May 20, 2014

New York City - The Last Day

After not getting back to the hotel until WAY after midnight Saturday night (we made another pit stop at Times Square to try on sunglasses for fun), my roommate and I stayed up even later talking about it all.  The trip of a lifetime.

Oh, and side note here.  We stayed in the same hotel at the Iowa State basketball team, who was in town for the NCAA tourney.  They played Sat. night and had a pep rally in our lobby before they all marched down to Madison Square Garden.

We ran into some parents in the elevator when we got back from Sardi's.  We had heard they lost so we said congrats on a great season even though we knew they were sad about the loss. They were gracious in defeat but knew they'd had a great season.

Ok, back to the story.  After staying up until 2 am and knowing we weren't leaving our hotel until 10 or so for the airport, I decided that was plenty of time to mark a few more things off my bucket list!  Most people in our group were planning to sleep in and then pack up.

ME? HECK NO, I'm in NYC, sleeping can wait!

I got up at 6 am and got showered and dressed.  I left our hotel a little after 7 am.  I was going to The Today Show.  I luckily had one other lady that wanted to go with me.  I was planning to go by myself if not.  Nobody was going to mug me or anything at that time of day because NOBODY is awake in NYC before 8 am.

We arrived at Rockefeller Center about 7:20 thinking the show was already in progress. STUPID me was thinking it was on from 7 am to 8 am but that's only CST.  They don't start until 8 am EASTERN time. I know, I am blonde.

This is what we saw when we got there.  NOTHING.

We even had to ask the security guys where we were supposed to go.  Just a tidbit if you ever go!  You go behind the other building across the street. There is a NYC what I call ice cream type experience truck.  He served free breakfast and coffee and umbrellas and gloves, etc.  Well, it wasn't free. But, you just had to give a donation for cancer research as the guy in the truck was a cancer survivor.

About 7:35 or so, they let us on the Plaza. They have a place for you to sign in and make your own signs.  At this point it was cold and still a little rainy but we managed.  

Then a producer or stage person came out about 7:45 and gave us instructions.  A lot of what you see with people on the Plaza is prerecorded just before the show is live.  I was a little disappointed in that but I guess I should have expected that.

My friend Penny, who is as country as they come, was on the opening monologue!  She said Hello to everyone in Vicksburg, MS!  Luckily, we had called our families just before to tell them to watch.  

We met some super nice people.  A couple from Ohio celebrating their 1st anniversary.  Another couple from VA celebrating her birthday.  I was standing by her when they showed her saying, "It's my birthday and I'm spending with with The Today Show!"

We also met some nice ladies from MSU. Not MY MSU but Michigan State University.  They were also there for basketball.  And, if you followed anything about college basketball this year, you might have heard the story about the relationship between an MSU player and 'Princess Lacey' who was a pediatric cancer patient.  She was actually on the show that morning.  It was so fun to watch.  Too bad we came home and I read where she passed away on April 8, just a little over a week after we saw her.  Cancer stinks.

They also told us to tweet our pictures using a hashtag and they would put it on their scroll on the building.  

That's Princess Lacey in the picture beside us!

Y'all!  I'm a total dork when it comes to The Today Show.  I've watched it for years but since I've head kids, I don't get to watch it as much. I watch it more on the weekends now.  I feel like I know everything about the 4 hosts on the Sunday show.  Erica, Jenna, Lester, and Dylan.  Yep, my BFFs. 

Totally kidding.  I wish they were.  I kept hoping they would come outside but only Dylan did, to do the weather.  She talked to me!  She was so nice and so pretty!

The crew inside.

Since my buddy Matt isn't on the weekend team, I decided to stop by and see him.  Even if he wasn't real.  So what?

After it was over, it was safe to say I could mark that one off the list!

On the way back to the hotel, I snapped this one.  You could actually see this from our hotel!

After we got back to the hotel, we went to grab some breakfast.  Most of our crew was just getting up and getting going.  

I hit few touristy type shops along the way for shirts and presents for my kids.

The only other thing I didn't get marked off my bucket list this day was running in Central Park.  That will be a dream for another day.

All in all, it was a jam packed amazing weekend.  It was the trip of a lifetime as I came home with money.  You really learn a lot about your coworkers when you travel with them.  They might whine and complain, but when it comes to a life crisis, you want them all in your corner.  We bonded on a new level at the airport as one of our newest employees had a panic attack/dehydrated/seizure episode and had to be cleared before she could fly back home with us.  It was scary but it was nice to see how quickly we all reacted.

I can honestly say that I love the company i work for. These trips of a lifetime would not be possible without owners who care about their employees.

Now I've had alike 4 posts or so in 4 days.  Don't expect much for another month. Maybe I'll surprise you. I have missed it.  But I just don't have the time right now. Maybe this summer when I don't have to worry about homework and super early bedtimes! Or just life!
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