Our last full day in New York City means we have to divide and conquer. Mallory had been wanting to do some serious shopping the entire trip and this was her last chance. Mallory & Stephanie went shopping while Miles, Marissa and I went to the American Museum of Natural History.
Scott gave us a ride to the Secaucus Train Station and we rode into Penn Station together. From there, we went our separate ways.
The weather was nice today so we did not mind the walk from the subway to the museum.
The thing you are struck by when you enter the museum is that it is essentially a shrine to Theodore Roosevelt. There is a statue of him on the front steps, and inside the main hall upon entering, there are numerous quotes of his all over the walls.
Once inside, we made a beeline for the space exhibit. Marissa is our resident expert on space matters and was ready to enhance her knowledge.
The museum had a special space video called Dark Universe that was narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of Miles’s and KK’s favorite scientists. The video was played inside the planetarium. It has been decades since I have been in a planetarium.
We spent about six hours at the museum. It seemed like we saw most of it, but I’m sure we did not. Other than the space exhibit, the big thing to see is the dinosaur bones. Very cool.
In the early afternoon, we stopped at one of the cafes for a sandwich. I ordered a water from the café worker, but he told me “The museum café only serves New York’s finest tap water”. I was free to use a small plastic cup to drink as much of their fine tap water as I wanted.
One of the things I found most fascinating at the museum were the dioramas depicting the animals in their natural habitat. How can you not think of dioramas when you think of a museum? And this one had first class dioramas.
When we left the museum, we were all a little hungry. Lucky for us, there was a hot dog vendor on the street right outside and we all indulged. I love New York City and their abundant supply of hot dogs!
We went straight to Times Square and the giant Toys R Us store. Marissa had been looking forward to riding the ferris wheel inside the store. At only $5 a ticket, it is one of the best values we found in the city.
After leaving Toys R Us, our plan was to meet up with Stephanie and Mallory. They had an unexpected treat this afternoon. Due to an illness, our travel party had two extra tickets to the musical Wicked so Stephanie and Mallory got to see a Broadway show with Scott, Erin, PK, Joe and Judy.
We met up at a subway station near Times Square and made a beeline for Stillwater Bar & Grill to eat dinner and watch an Oklahoma State basketball game. This place has been adopted by the OSU alumni in New York for watch parties and we thought it would be cool to check it out.
The place did have the OSU game on in a side room and we even met another couple from Tulsa who were there watching the game. He saw Miles’s Union jacket and asked him if he played in the Macy’s parade. Turns out this guy had been in the Pride of Broken Arrow band when he was in high school.
While it was interesting to find a place in NYC that had orange pom-poms and an Eskimo Joe’s print signed by Stan Clark on the wall, it was disappointing. The service was on par with the worst we had while in town and the food was poor. We are all beginning to think that any restaurant with good service would do gangbusters in New York.
Our mission now was to get back to Penn Station and get back to the hotel. Everybody was tired and ready to call it a day. After we got off the subway and were on our walk to Penn Station, both Miles and I had a quick conversation with a Jewish man.
Jewish Man: Are you Jewish?
Me: No Thanks.
Jewish man: Ok. Happy Hanukkah!
I meant no offense, it was just I was in a hurry and didn’t know what to say. I have never been asked that before!
Before we could get to Penn Station, Stephanie wanted to stop in an American Eagle store to purchase something she had her eye on earlier. She found her item and the lady helping her, Shanice, was insistent that she sign Stephanie up for the rewards program.
She asked Stephanie for her address, and when Stephanie said “Oklahoma”, the saleslady marked her account as “International”.
Saleslady: Do you have American Eagle stores “over there”?
Stephanie: We live in Oklahoma.
Saleslady: If you do, this rewards card will work just fine over there!
Stephanie: We live in Oklahoma. It’s right above Texas. (gestures with her hands)
Saleslady: (blank stare)
Stephanie: I can fill that out. (takes the iPad from Shanice and enters her own address)
During this conversation, Scott texted me that if we did not catch the 10:14 train, it would be almost an hour until the next one. Stephanie and Miles hurriedly checked out and we walked out of the store at 10:07. We hustled down the sidewalk and through Penn Station. Actually, we were running through Penn Station trying to make it to our track on time. We felt like real New Yorkers!
We got on our train at 10:13. A minute to spare. Scott picked us up at the train station and brought us back to the hotel. What a brother!
It is our last day in the big city. It’s been fun, but we are all looking forward to our international flight back to Oklahoma tomorrow.