Oh man. In the middle of October, I hopped on a plane with a few coworkers and jetted off to NYC. The reason? A bike ride around New York sponsored by my company to raise money for Autism Research. This all came about because I had to go to a meeting either the Friday before or the Monday after the race and then someone was like, why don't' you just ride??
Well - the fact that I have haven't gotten on a bike in literally 7 years might have stopped me...but nope, it didn't. So I signed up for Wall Street Rides Far, rented a bike and helmet and started fundraising. The fact that all the money raised from the race benefited the Autism Science Foundation made it even more special and close to my heart because my nephew, Eli, is autistic and the therapy that he got from wonderful teachers very early on has made a world of difference. He's pretty amazing if you ask anyone, so I loved what a great cause this was going to (and wanted to raise as much money as i could in his honor!). So thankful to all my friends and family that donated - it was so awesome. now I just need to finish my thank you notes to them!
Of course, my intention was to get on a bike at least once, but yeah. That didn't happen ever. So the first time I got on my bike was in NY about a minute before I had to race. I fell off on my first try and hurt my woman parts. Great start, right?
However, we did get these awesome bike jerseys and had a pretty good time. As much of a good time you can have riding a bike for FIFTEEN MILES. Goodness sake.
It was HILLY! And we made it up most hills, but had to stop and walk up this one!
We were POOPED. I also forgot to mention that we headed out on Friday night after work and had to connect in STL. Well, our flight from STL to LGA was delayed (of course) and then getting from the airport to Manhattan was not easy - there was the longest line of cabs and no close Ubers....so we didn't' get to our hotel until around 1AM. Then got up and drove an hour out of the city to the race...we were tired. After the race, Comic Con was in town, so there was crazy traffic and it took us 2 hours to get back into the city and to our hotel. As great as NYC is, that in itself made me so happy I don't live there! Was so frustrating!!
We thought about napping, but decided against it and Megan and I headed on the first subway ride of the trip over to Jill's apartment (our friend that we rode with that works in our NY office).
Jill made us reservations at The Smith and it was SOOO good. Oh my.
We got a little bit of everything and shared. Steak salad, mac and cheese and gnocchi. YUM!
Then made a stop at the oldest bar in NYC! They only have two drink choices: light or dark beer. That's it!
We went to a few more bars and then decided to make our way to Times Square. The other three people I was with from KC had never been to NY before and while I was so tired and just wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep (not to mention we were all so sore!!!), I sucked it up and went with them to see the sights again.
And of course I had to get a picture with some of Charlie's favorites. But then they demanded I tip them and made me feel bad for not giving them enough. Psssh.
We did make a stop to visit our competitor, Nasdaq.
It was LATE and on the subway home I fell asleep.
After sleeping in until 9 (heavenly and much needed!), Megan and I headed to take a ferry across the Hudson River to Brooklyn.
Then we met up with our friends and went to Smorgaburg, which was like a huge food vendors all in one place in Prospect Park. OMG. So good.
Yes, all those things in the above right picture were for me. Once in a lifetime, right?
(Shrimp taco, Cheese curds with truffle sauce, mexican street corn and finally...an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with sea salt, vanilla ice cream and hot fudge....YUM)
Then we walked across the Brooklyn bridge, which was crazy but fun. The bikers across it were crazy.
After that, we parted ways and I headed to explore the city a little more on my own. Got my kids some little cars from a street vendor and of course on my way back to the hotel, made a stop on Wall Street and to NYSE.
I grabbed some sushi to go and sat in my hotel room catching up on work and watching Sunday night shows (ps - east coast time is SO hard to watch shoes because it's so late!). Megan and I decided to save our company money and just shared a room, but she and Jill went to the Giants football game that night so it was fun to get a little alone time!!
Then next day, the three of us headed to our NY office (a first visit for all of us). And pretty much what everyone said is true. The view is unbelievable. Literally stare right at the statue of liberty. Pretty much our office in Lenexa is mincemeat compared to the NY view and the London view (that looks at the Tower Bridge on the Thames river in London).
After my meeting and some work, I headed to the airport and couldn't believe the comeback the Royals made (I was watching with some girls on my flight). Insane!!
The next morning, these two were excited to see me and the feeling was mutual! (if you cannot tell, Charlie just really liked the police car/taxi cab I got them too!)
It was a fun weekend in NY (and I burned a LOT of calories with the bike ride and walking - it was insane, as I track all that on my Apple watch), but it always feels so good to get home. Like I always say, visiting cities is amazing. There is nothing like a big city and the commute and the people and the energy. But then when I land back in Kansas City and get in my minivan and drive home- I just couldn't love my life more!