- Deciding to not eat at any chain restaurants that we had at home.
This rule forced us to be creative about food – even late night snacks – because it eliminated 90% of fast food. And we ate really good food. I don’t know if I can pick a favourite meal. Maybe the Grilled Cheese we had for my birthday. Next time I would keep this rule for sure, but if travelling by myself or with a different friend I would try more of the ethnic foods available to me.
- Seeing a wide range of types of shows.
Vampire Cowboys’ Six Rounds of Vengeance, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Sleep No More, Book of Mormon, An Act of God, Aladdin, Then She Fell and Something Rotten! Two site specific shows. Three Musicals. Three Plays. Four Broadway shows. One Off-Broadway. Two Off-Off Broadway. Three Comedies. One Drama. Two Dance/Movement Pieces. One Geek Theatre. Seeing this wide range of shows gave me good context and also kept things interesting. Next time I would try to do this as well – keeping the indie theatre that I love in the mix with the big budget spectacle that I also love.
- Mixing Preparation with Spontaneity
I am generally a planner. I like plans. Jaime is less of a planner. Our agreement going into this trip was that I could make a spreadsheet as long as she could toss the plans out the window (other than things we prebooked). This meant we had a good idea of what we wanted to do, but didn’t have to feel tied to doing it. Tickets to shows gave our days an anchor point with the flexibility to explore and meander off to check out things we hadn’t planned (like the library, Columbus Circle, or even riding the carousel in Central Park on the first day).
- Meeting (Internet) Friends
I ended up meeting up with four internet friends and two old friends who have moved to the city. These coffee or drink meet ups were a delightful change of pace from the crazy of exploring. For the new friends, it was wonderful to put faces to names and relationship on top of text messaging. For the old friends, it was great to catch up on 6-8 years worth of life. There were so many more people I would have liked to meet up with, but time is what it is and hopefully I’ll catch them on the next trip.
- Leaving the Last Day Open
We pre-planned NOTHING for our final day. Then the second to last night we made a list of all the things we wanted to go back to, things we hadn’t gotten to, and picked a show to see. It meant we were able to fit all of those things in. If I were on my own I probably would have just seen two shows that final day, but this system worked really great for travelling with a friend.
Travelling with Jaime
In the past I have always travelled on my own, but travelling with Jaime was a blast. Sure, there were moments of frustration on both sides, but it was wonderful to have a buddy to share the joy, the foot pain, the laughter, the confusion, and the adventure with.
- Blisters on blisters on blisters on my feet.
Next time I will bring better walking shoes. I thought I had brought pretty good walking shoes, but we were often walking 14 hours a day and my shoes disintegrated and had to be thrown away at the end of the time.
- The smells
New York is a stinky city.
- Being Poor
It would be so easy to spend a lot more money on a trip like this. Another time I’d like to.