I'm attempting to keep from publishing twenty posts about our trip to New York City.  Consider this a labor of love, readers. With 300+ pictures taken and a suitcase full of stories to share, it isn't easy to edit myself. Or maybe it is. Maybe I could just say that it was heavenly and leave it at that.  Because, the trip was heavenly. Honestly, this was as close to perfect as any vacation that I've ever been privileged to enjoy. And considering how charmed my traveling life has been to this point, that really is saying something.

It was on this trip that the company, the destination, the occasion, the weather, the food, and the itinerary all worked together so beautifully that I couldn't have asked for anything more. I'm gushing, right? I realize that I am. And if it seems disingenuous, let me assure you that I am not exaggerating. This was, quite frankly, MY (maybe not everyone's) perfect trip.

Last week, I shared with you our unbelievable theatre experience. But in this post, I intend to hit the high points of the rest of the week. There were plenty of them, and even after being home for a week they are all still swimming around in my head reminding me of the good fortune we had! Maybe, if I share the memories here I can get my buns back in gear and resume regularly scheduled programming. Maybe.

Any great vacation always includes great food. There was, of course, an abundance. We compiled a list of "must eats" before boarding the plane and I'm happy to report we knocked that list out of the park. Cheesecake, pizza, a REAL bagel, and cupcakes. We had to have cupcakes. But our first meal was my favorite by far. After checking into the hotel, we boarded our first (of maaaaaaaaaaaaany) subway trains and headed to Katz's Deli for a world famous pastrami sandwich.

In case you're keeping score, this is the deli where the now famous, "I'll have what she's having," scene in When Harry Met Sally was filmed. But more importantly, the pastrami sandwich was pretty spectacular. It was as simple as can be, just an enormous pile of pastrami on two pieces of rye bread. But, WOW. Maybe it was because it was our first meal. Maybe it was because I was hopped up on adrenaline. Maybe it was because they started the meal by bringing us a plate of various house made pickles. But, I was in heaven. This sandwich tasted like New York city. Just the right amount of spice and no frills, just in your face yummy.  Plus the experience of the restaurant reminded us that we definitely weren't in Chattanooga anymore. The tables around us were all speaking different languages (I'm not kidding - French, Spanish & Dutch), the greeter at the door was yelling at customers to move down the line, it was LOUD and the waitress - though nice to us - rolled her eyes openly at the table beside us that didn't tip well. The whole thing set the mood for what was to be a great week.

One of the "couple" items on my Ultimate To DO list is to see a baseball game in all the major league stadiums.  While we were in NYC, we checked another one off the list. We saw an afternoon game at the new Yankee Stadium. Now, I'm not going to say it's nicer than the new Busch (though the hubby did! *gasp*), I will say it is incredibly impressive. Plus, the fact that 70% of the music played was Jay-Z made me smile.  Also, at Yankee Stadium when the grounds crew comes out to "clean up" the infield before the 7th inning, YMCA is played and the crew stops and dances along. It was pretty humorous and definitely something I haven't seen done before. Grown men doing the YMCA will brighten my day EVERY TIME.

We made time to wander through central park that same afternoon. We discovered street entertainment, a guy creating ENORMOUS bubbles and a pair of street musicians playing beautiful classical music under the bridge by the Bethesda fountain (pictured above), that was far from average or expected.  I took the opportunity to cross another item off my Day Zero list and gave a little bit of moolah to the musicians. The acoustics under the bridge contributed such a lovely effect, I couldn't help myself.

Each day more than 3000 visitors climb to the base of the statue of liberty.  Of those 3000, only about 200 are permitted to take the additional (almost) 300 stairs up to the crown. You probably remember that the crown was closed for several years after 9/11 and it will be closed again starting this month for safety and comfort renovations. So, we considered ourselves fortunate to make it to the city during a window where it was possible to look out her crown! It was well worth the suuuuuuuuuuper narrow spiral staircase. The view was completely unique and the experience added in a little bit of "roller coaster" type apprehension and fear that was a welcome adrenaline push. But I guess it goes without saying, we both took some i-bee-pro-pin that night and my calves were definitely remembering the climb when we woke up the next morning.

Although the weather terrorists were predicting rain, flooding and general end of times-Armageddonesque-storms for most of the week, we only had one rainy morning. Thankfully, it wasn't the day we planned to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. Just over a mile each way, we earned the street hot dog and cupcakes that followed.

{Carrie Bradshaw's brownstone, The Flat Iron building, St. Patrick's Cathedral, View from the Empire State building, The Woolworth building}

One of my favorite parts of New York city is the breath taking architecture. It seems like every view is a post card. I loved that during this trip I never worried that I looked like a tourist as I stared up at its beauty slack jawed and impressed. Because, we were tourists in every way on this trip. We brought the camera everywhere, we saw all the sites we could and drank in everything the city had to offer.  Not one moment or view or meal was taken for granted. Together we made memories that I hope will encourage many trips back in years to come.

What city/place makes you want to be a total tourist?