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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

So this is what spontaneity feels like

For those of you that have been following me for any period of time, you know I'm a planner.  I like the structure of an itinerary for a trip because it's important to maximize the time I have.  We don't always follow it to a tee like in the olden days but we've tried going sans itinerary and spent 45 minutes saying "where do you want to go?"  "I don't know, where do you want to go?"   Decide on something, then repeat for the next thing.  It just breeds frustration and irritation.

Part of the fun of last week's trip was we planned on paddling most of our indulgences off.  One of those trips may have been the night we got into Saratoga Springs just to knock the rust off of us from the car ride.  When we got there, we didn't have it in us and decided to skip it and walk the town.  Now that I know what was waiting for us, I'm glad we waited because it could've ruined my day at Beekman Farm given my pension for dwelling.

See that beautiful building in the background?  That's the Sagamore Hotel on Lake George in the Bolton Landing area.  I'd been dreaming about paddling around that with the Mr for 2 months.

See the Mr?  He's paddling that dream...while I take pics from the pier with tears streaming down my cheeks.  Why?  Because my delightful inflatable kayak decided to blow not one, but BOTH bladders.  The one was a complete rip that was not able to be patched.

The patch covered the initial leak but inflation to 1 PSI (half the normal) sent it busting at the seams...literally

The Mr said no way was he going without me and I insisted he go because one of us should be able to enjoy it.  Though it would've been nice if he hadn't gushed about how awesome the scenery was when he got back.  *flick to forehead*  It didn't help the restaurant we'd been looking forward to was the only one closed for the season.  Oh, did I mention we started off the day with a HORRIBLE breakfast experience and later that night some rowdy school kids made us get up and leave the theater before the movie even started with their antics?  So yeah, the 2nd half of our trip was nowhere near as good as the first half.

We were set to head for home the next morning.  I was bumming because Sleepy Hollow was only 3 hours away and I really missed it.  We joked about going that night and then decided against it.  Then next morning it was nagging at me and I felt I was owed an extra day to make up for the crap that was the day before.  It wasn't until we got in the car with it packed up that I said so where do I set the GPS for?  Sleepy Hollow it was.  Halfway there after constantly seeing signs for NYC and knowing that there was a train station in Tarrytown, the Mr and I both had the same thought.  He mentioned it first that we could take a train in and I laughed and said I thought the same thing.  I checked the departure times and started seeing what was close to Grand Central Terminal that we could cram in.  I knew we'd have to see things at break neck speed but we were on an adventure.

When we got to Tarrytown, I told the Mr to get the maximum amount allowed at the parking meter.  We had to be back at 9:21pm or I didn't know if we'd get a ticket or worse, they'd tow us and all of our clothes and possessions and we had nowhere to stay there locked down yet.  (I knew there were vacancies but didn't book anything yet)  So yeah, it was way out of our comfort zone.  The next thing we knew...

...we were in Grand Central Terminal.

Then Times Square.

Wandering the theater district

Enjoying some much needed sustenance at Angelo's pizza while watching the people waiting in line for the Colbert show.  We're more deep dish people but this was GOOD!

Making our way around Central Park was much more pleasant once we hopped in for a carriage ride, a dream of mine!

I was so glad we took this route over a pedicab.  If the building looks familiar, it's from Ghostbusters, Dana Barrett's apartment.

We enjoyed taking it all in.

Afterward, we wandered the park a bit more as I took mental notes on our ride and we returned to the Bethesda Terrace/fountain area.

Even though we're not Beatles fans, we swung by Strawberry Fields.

A part of me wishes we could've seen the Pope but we couldn't have seen about 90% of the things we did had we been there 4 days later.

As the sun began to dip into the sky, the neon lights of the city started to light our way back to the terminal.

Next time, Jimmy.

A quick photo of the Chrysler Building while we were waiting to cross the street.  No time to lollygag.

We were both broken by the time we reached the terminal and the following few days.  It was a whirlwind and we both feel like it happened to someone else because we only had 5 hours to take it all in.  But I think for having no itinerary I was able to find things concentrated in an area we could easily navigate and see some big landmarks.  It was a quick taste of midtown Manhattan and while we both agreed we don't feel the connection we feel to San Francisco or Chicago, we'd better plan a trip for the next few years because I'll be too old to keep that pace up!

When we got back to Sleepy Hollow after some uh..."issues" with the train, I started getting upset because I knew we were going to scrape back by the short hairs on the parking meter.  I told him to run ahead of me to get back to the car.  I don't think he was physically able to run at that point so I was only about 6 steps behind him.  We literally got in the car with ONE MINUTE to spare.

I got on a travel site and booked through them to get a better rate at a place we were looking at and we collapsed in bed.  Too bad the cement bed left me awake most of the night but I was just glad we weren't sleeping in the car evading the Headless Horseman all night!

We did go back to Sleepy Hollow cemetery and enjoyed our spot at the Headless Horseman Bridge, the lighthouse and enjoyed an afternoon tea in town.

(From last years trip)

I could so live there.  It's a beautiful town.

We left waaaay later than we should have if we wanted to get home at a decent hour but we were just enjoying it too much.  Mad props to the Mr because it was a long, arduous drive both ways but he tackled it like a champ.  I couldn't have driven half the places he did because I get so panicky when it's construction zones and it seems that's all we hit.

When we look back on the disappointment of the kayak issue, the last minute decision to stay in NY and then suddenly ending up in the biggest city in the world with no directions or plan, we can certainly say it was an interesting, whirlwind, unexpected trip and by far the most spontaneous thing we've ever done!

What is the most spontaneous thing you've ever done?

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  1. Despite the disappointment, it sounds like you had so much fun and just rolled with it. I love that! The most spontaneous thing I've done is when Hubby and I decided on Friday morning that we were taking a roadtrip to Milwaukee (living in Ohio at the time) for a book signing. We left right after work Friday afternoon, planning to come back Saturday night. We were having so much fun we stayed an extra day and came back Sunday. Who knew Milwaukee would be such a blast?

  2. This is by far the most spontaneous thing I've ever done and it was awesome! I could hardly believe it when we were riding the train and then when we were looking up at that amazing ceiling at Grand Central terminal it was surreal. Still feels a bit like a dream and we didn't get much time there but I am so glad we did it.

  3. That sounds really great! I'm sorry your kayak blew up, but it sounds like you really made the best of your vacation after that. NYC sounds great, it's one place I've never been that I really want to go. Sleepy Hollow is one of your favorite places so I'm sure it was worth staying the extra time on your last day.

    I don't usually have the money to be spontaneous like that, I have to plan for every expense - but I dream of being able to just hop in the car and go wherever the roads take me. One thing I'd like to do is just take a road trip with no real destination and stop at all the little roadside attractions (biggest ball of string type places).

  4. Your vacations sound wonderful, even this one with the exception of you not getting to paddle board.
    I'm a planner also, and I'm amazed that you winged an unplanned trip into NYC and managed to see the sights you did!! I guess the train ride gave you a little planning time.

  5. My trip to NYC in Nov. of 2012 wasn't as spontaneous as yours. I went to appear on the Today Show for losing 178 lbs. But what a trip it was! I loved seeing your pictures and reliving the joy of our trip. It was pre-cancer diagnosis (for hubs), and I think we both remember it so fondly because we didn't have that awfulness hanging over our heads as it has been ever since Feb. of 2013. We didn't plan much for our four days in NYC, beyond the Today Show appearance, but did manage to do a lot.....a trip around Staten Island, Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, Annie on Broadway, much walking about 30 Rock, Times Square and Broadway, the 9/11 Memorial, and even a trip to F.A.O. Schwarz. So winging it each day we were in the Big Apple worked for us too. Our one regret, that we didn't stay one more day to experience the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, or an extra week or two so that we could see the lighting of the BIG Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza. We did get to see the tree, pre-lighting, with the scaffolding all around it as they worked on getting it all decorated, and of course all the other Christmas lights around the area. It was spectacular. We hope to return someday.
    Sorry about your kayak.....Next time!!!

  6. So sad about the kayak, but New York??? How awesome was that! We visited in 2012 and I loved everything about it! We drove to Hartford, left our car at the station and took the train into Penn Station. We spent five days there, highlights being the 9/11 Memorial, a Letterman taping, Rock of Ages on Broadway, carriage ride through Central Park and a Yankee game (for hubs)! I kept saying while looking at your pics "I was there, I was there" lol. And Angelo's Pizza??? OMG the best! We stayed at the Salisbury Hotel on West 57th and there's an Angelo's right next door, it was amazing! I, like you, are very much a planner and don't often wing it, but sometimes it's good to get out of our comfort zone and just go for it. So glad you did it and that it turned out great!

  7. That is AWESOME! What a wonderful trip you had with all the sightseeing. I'd love to go to Sleepy Hollow (we do have a town here named that and it's a quaint little town, but nothing like the real thing). While NYC isn't a place that interests me all that much, both me and the hubs said if we had endless amounts of money, one day we'd fly there during Christmas season to see all the special spots they are known for (a little Miracle on 34th St if you will) and then fly out. I've taken a carriage ride in downtown Chicago at Christmastime and would definitely like to do that around Central Park at least once in my lifetime.

    Hmmm... the most spontaneous thing I've done is probably move to AZ. I had no plan, only $500 in my purse (no credit cards) and it took me 3 days to get there because I'm so bad with directions. I got a job within a week cleaning offices at nighttime and got to know the president of Scottsdale Bank pretty well -- nice guy. I was 23 and just flew by the seat of my pants.

  8. You covered a lot of ground in NYC in such a short period of time!


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