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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bike New York - Part 1

I typed this post yesterday while we were driving back to Wisconsin.  We had just entered Indiana after driving through New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Thank heaven for conversion vans.  It has been a pretty comfy drive.  I then had some computer problems last evening and am now trying to reinstall Snow Leopard on my Mac book - while using another computer to finish this post.  I didn't get all of my photo's uploaded to the post before the "incident", so there might be a part 2.

To describe the weekend in one word - whirlwind.  We did so much, in such a short period of time, it is hard to remember.


3:00 AM - got up, dressed . . .  and headed to our office parking lot, which was our meet up location - loaded the U-Haul
4:00 AM - left for New York
It is pretty dark out at 4:00AM and the camera was too far away - but there we are - ready to hit the road!

As I mentioned we had a conversion van and the back seat was comfy - here I am sprawled out, enjoying string cheese and crackers.  YUM!

We had to come up with something clever to wear or display on our bike ride - so Thursday evening I searched the local Shopko and came up with this wedge of cheese with little mice.  We just needed to figure out how we would attach them.  We ended up simply stuffing them into our helmets.  Many people realized that we were obviously from WI and there were several "hey cheese heads", while others were "what's with the cheese in your helmet".  But during the drive, it is sometimes the simple things that bring the most laughs.  ;-)

We drove and drove - stopping to fill the gas tank and stretch.  In Pennsylvania we had a mission - remember we are from Wisconsin and enjoy a good beer.  So we had to find a beer distributor near I-80 in Pennsylvania so that we could stop and pick up a case of Yuengling beer, which is America's oldest brewery.  To be honest I am not much of a beer drinker - I like beer, but had never heard of Yuengling - but it sure did taste great on Friday evening.  

7:00 PM - stopped at Stoudsburg, at a local drive-through distributor for a case of Yuengling beer and proceeded to have a beer (only 1 beer) in the parking lot - then back in the van.

After about another hour of driving we decided to stop at Rockaway NJ at the Best Western. We figured this would leave us less than an hour in the morning to get to New York. 

8:30 PM ate a a local restaurant - the Exchange - we raved about the food, it was really good - we all had seafood dishes and a couple of pitchers of beer (Yuengling - of course) - but honestly, anything would have probably tasted good.  Back at the hotel and sleeping around midnight.   


6:30 AM up, ready to hit the road by 7:00 to drive to New York

First photo opportunity of New York - Took the Holland tunnel into Manhattan.
Scott dropped Ken, Nikki, Tricia and myself off at Battery Park.  We were headed to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Scott was headed to his cousin's apartment to drop off the bikes and then HOPEFULLY find a place to park the van and trailer in New York City.  (he has been to New York numerous times and was not interested in these tours).

8:00 we hopped the ferry and headed to Liberty Island.
Ken, Tricia, me, Nikki - and of course Lady Liberty
Then onto the ferry to Ellis Island
Ellis Island - we walked around and listened and read about the immigrants.  We also commented about our conditions in the Conversion van on our trip to New York vs. what the immigrants must have experienced.   
One last view of the Statue and skyline.
11:30 AM back to city - met back up with Scott - who hadn't found anyplace for the van.  He did drop the bikes off and then enjoyed brunch with his cousin - but had a hard time driving around Manhattan because the Revelon 5k Run/Walk for Women, which obviously closed some of the main thorough fares.

The plan was now that Tricia and Scott would drop the van and trailer off at the hotel and then they were going to go to Central Park, while Ken, Nikki and I were going to Wall Street, World Trade Center site - the new Freedom Tower, and then Hobokan to see Carol's Cake Shop. 

New York Stock Exchange
12:30 PM took PATH to Hobokan NJ, both Ken and Nikki's children love the Cake Boss and really wanted them to visit the shop.  Needless to say - there is a line of people waiting outside to go into the shop - we simply snapped a couple of photo's and then walked around Hobokan - which we all agreed is a really nice community - or at least the "downtown" area. 
Escalator to the Path - we had a hard time finding this - we were looking for the PATH at the subway stations near the Freedom Tower site - but it is a completely (or almost completely separate) station. 

Carlo's Bake Shop, make famous by the show Cake Boss.

We found a great bar / grill and stopped to have lunch.  Chatted about the city, etc. with the waitress and then were on our way back to Manhattan via the PATH and then up to the hotel via the Subway. 

Jack, Sally, Ken, Scott, Nikki and Tricia.  Grand Central Station is a beautiful building and just such a cool place.
4:30 PM - met up with one of our East Coast (work) attorney's, also doing the ride with his wife in the hotel lobby.  He took us up to the 55 floor of his office building, we saw one of the Helmsley buildings and then stopped at Grand Central Station and the to dinner at PJ Clarke's for dinner.

7:15 PM - took cab to Barrow St Theatre to see Mike Birbiglia's show titled: My Girlfriend's Boyfriend.  Funny show.

9:30 - enjoyed some Gelato

10:00 - took subway up to Times Square - walked around and then headed back to hotel - 11:45
 (we were there the night before Osama was killed - in my opinion, it is always crazy down there - but I can not even imagine what it must have been like on Sunday evening)

A picture does not do Times Square justice!
Sunday - The Ride

5:30 AM - up and head down to Scott's cousins apartment to pick up bikes via subway.

. . . .  rest of the story tomorrow - now I must work on my mac book!


  1. Sounds like a fun weekend so far :)

  2. What a nice way to start your trip! So many great memories and hot spots!!

  3. i love yuengling! it's actually all my dad drinks... so we know it well. =) what a great time!