Practically every vacation that we’ve taken has involved some sort of water recreation.  Swimming.  White-water rafting. Water parks. Fishing or just hanging out at the beach and taking it all in.  Day four finds us walking towards our only water recreation of the trip…a cruise around the waterways surrounding New York City.  It’s a mile walk from our hotel but the morning dawns bright and clear so we decided to hoof it to the pier where our Circle Line boat awaits us.  We paid a little extra to get reserved seats on the top deck where my vast and ample forehead braised like a raw chicken breast on a hot grill in the bright sunshine of a cloudless June morning, becoming the envy of many a rotisserie chicken chef.  The two and a half hours spent sightseeing while the boat navigated the waterways around NYC was money well spent.

The skyline of NYC from our Circle Line Cruise
The skyline of NYC from our Circle Line Cruise

 

Two and an half hours of time well spent with views like this
Two and an half hours of time well spent with views like this

 

Liberty.  A cool shot that Connie took
Liberty. A cool shot that Connie took

 

The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge
I'm no Sex in the City expert but I'm pretty sure that's Chris Noth (aka Mr. Big) on the corner by Papaya Dog...which is my newest nickname...Papaya Dog...not Mr. Big
I’m no Sex in the City expert but I’m pretty sure that’s Chris Noth (aka Mr. Big) on the corner by Papaya Dog…which is my newest nickname…Papaya Dog…not Mr. Big

After our cruise and upon the recommendation of our hotels bartender we made our way down to Chelsea and found The Meatball Shop.  It became one of our favorite spots of the whole vacation.  Quirky with an old timey feel to the place they use re-purposed tables and chairs and have a really friendly staff.  Their menus are laminated with multiple choice options that you mark with a dry erase marker AND they had homemade ice cream sandwiches for dessert.  In a term used loosely…it was delicious comfort-food.  Prepared from scratch and served up multiple ways.

My newest FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT.  The Meatball Shop
My newest FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT. The Meatball Shop
Inside The Meatball Shop.  They had PBR on tap!
Inside The Meatball Shop. They had PBR on tap!
Cool feel to this place
Cool feel to this place
Their basement party room...closed for the day
Their basement party room…closed for the day
Their daily specials and such
Their daily specials and such
Did I mention the home baked cookie ice cream sandwiches?  EPIC!!
Did I mention the home baked cookie ice cream sandwiches? EPIC!!
Their "tongue in cheek" ball menu
Their “tongue in cheek” ball menu

One of the contradictions of NYC for me was that every place would be huge buildings and a literal concrete jungle.  While there’s certainly a lot of that in Manhattan and such I was surprised how you could walk from the hustle and bustle of a loud big city street and in a block or two be in a quiet, almost….small town setting.

Quiet small town living in NYC?  Who'd a thunk it?!
Quiet small town living in NYC? Who’d a thunk it?!

After lunch we made our way to the Brooklyn Bridge and walked on it.  We didn’t go all the way over (it was starting to cloud up and we had already walked quite a bit) but we saw some really neat things while we were on it.

One side for bikes, the other for walkers.  Tons of people...even talked to some sailors from Spain's Navy.
One side for bikes, the other for walkers. Tons of people…even talked to some sailors from Spain’s Navy.
Shameless selfie on the Brooklyn Bridge
Shameless selfie on the Brooklyn Bridge

We found the subway and started our way back towards Times Square with no real plans to do anything but let our feet and curiosity do the work.

The problem with having such a beautiful wife is that guys are always trying to pick her up
The problem with having such a beautiful wife is that guys are always trying to pick her up
The Naked Cowboy is a HUGE RICH RIPLEY fan though asked me to depart quickly as I was drawing the tips away from him.  Too bad...sweet guy
The Naked Cowboy is a HUGE RICH RIPLEY fan though asked me to depart quickly as I was drawing the tips away from him. Too bad…sweet guy

We checked into the hotel for a bit before heading out for supper at another restaurant that had been recommended to us, Trattoria, an Italian place.  The food was good, I had spaghetti with veal in it while Connie had something that was covered in green sauce that she wasn’t expecting.  It was still good.  While there our first date came up.  It was late February of 1988 at a place called “It’s Italian” in Mason City Iowa.  Connie said that for our first kiss that I was “pretty eager”.  I had to agree and laugh.  I hadn’t had a date for around three or four years at that point and basically was 98% testosterone, which is still a record . 

The GREEN MONSTER...Connie's ravioli...which was pretty darn tasty!
The GREEN MONSTER…Connie’s ravioli…which was pretty darn tasty!

Again I had a rum side car, official drink of Rich Ripley…VACATION 2015.  It was good and just for the heck of it (and the hokeyness) I ordered a Manhattan, a bourbon based drink that my bartender had cut with more bourbon.  It was strong.

Times Square around 9:30 at night.  A regular carnival of sight and sound.
Times Square around 9:30 at night. A regular carnival of sight and sound.

After another great day of exploring, sightseeing and eating we retired to our room.  Thanks for reading!!  Have a great weekend!!

God bless.

R

 

Advertisements