Monday, September 10, 2012

NZ reunion in NY!

Sarah, Amy and Kimberly in Times Square
It had only been two weeks since we arrived back in Stamford, and I was looking forward to my friends Sarah and Kimberly coming to visit! I met Sarah and Kimberly when I went to NZ in 2010 as they were on my exchange program AustraLearn. Through this program we spent a week together traveling the North Island on our orientation before heading to Canterbury. We all had classes together, went traveling together every weekend and I can thank Sarah for dragging me over to the University of Canterbury Canoe Club table to sign up, because she heard they had the the most fun, best parties, and some attractive males at the sign-up table. Turned out to be Thomas sitting there to convince us to join the club!

We were inseparable in NZ, but hadn't seen each other in two years as Sarah lives in Michigan, and Kimberly in South Carolina. Sarah had never been to NYC, so it was a perfect excuse to plan our reunion weekend right after returning home. The girls arrived on a Thursday, both into JFK but Kimberly at 7am, and Sarah at 5.30pm. We decided to drive in early, pick up Kimberly and go hang out at the beach on Long Island and later head to Queens to hang out. The only thing on Thomas' mind was waves when reaching the Atlantic coast. So, yes we squeezed his board in my little toyota Corolla and had the girls all squashed in too. We headed for Long Beach, and being early in the season still, there wasn't a soul in sight! Us girls sat on the beach and caught up, soaking up some sunshine while we watched Thomas attempt to surf. Problem was he only had one fin as two were  broken off on our travels. He did quite well managing to get by and even made friends with a local Long Island long boarder and played swaps for a wee bit! 

Collette, Amy, Kimberly & Sarah in Queens

We then decided to head back to Queens, and meet up with Collette, whose from Queens and who was my roommate in NZ in 2010! She met us for lunch, brought us to a very unique Czech Beer Garden, and then came with us to find Sarah at the airport. Now Kimberly had been to NYC before, but Sarah had not, and I can not even express how excited she was. She kept taking pictures of everything, and screaming she couldn't believe she was actually in New York City! We went and found some Greek food in "Little Greece" Queens, then we headed in an Irish bar for trivia night! 

Sarah and Kimberly came back to Stamford to stay with me for the weekend, but Sarah only had two full days with us, so we had to make the most of her time! Sarah didn't think she could see everything in a weekend let alone one day, but I planned out an action packed sight seeing day hitting all the big spots, in just one day! We took the train into NYC early, heading straight to Times Square. Sarah made sure we went into the most touristy store and bought an I <3 NY t-shirt and sunglasses. 

Amy, Kim, Sarah with the Statue of Liberty
We took the subway to Greenwich Village, walked around and then met Kimberly's cousin for pizza at John's Pizza, which he claimed to be the "best in NY." We got famous Magnolia's cupcakes, and then headed to the the World Trade Center site. We didn't go into the 9/11 memorial, but we did see ground zero and the new Freedom Tower. We then headed through Wall St. to Battery Park and rode the Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty. We walked through South Street Seaport once back in Manhattan, and took the subway again up to Central Park. We had a mishap on the way, taking the express all the way passed the park and into Harlem! Finally we got off at Strawberry Fields, and walked around the park and to the boat house. This was a perfect place to finish the day, and even get an authentic street vendor hot dog! 

Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry

Thomas & Amy in Essex, CT

On Saturday, we took a ride to historic Essex, CT with my mom and sister Shannon. We walked around the gorgeous little town, which has a historic inn and tavern, the Griswold Inn, one of the oldest continuously-run inns of America. On the way home, we stopped in New Haven, CT and walked around Yale University.

Sarah left the next morning, and we spent the next two days hanging around Stamford and the surrounding towns with Kimberly! It was so sad to see them leave, but we have plans for another reunion in the near future, hopefully in some awesome Michigan or South Carolina location! 

Thomas, Amy, Kim & Sarah in Essex, CT

1 comment:

  1. What a great tour guide you are Amy. I should have got you to take me sightseeing in NYC when I was there a couple of years ago!