College Tours NYC

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

Day 1

Well, I’m at it again but for a very different reason. Today I checked Will out of school early and hopped on a plane back out to NYC. It’s a tour colleges trip 😭 When did my baby get to be such a big man-child? We are Coming out to see Columbia and NYU. Two others he was going to check out were Rutgers and Fordham, but couldn’t get the timing to work. 

And you may be surprised to learn I packed for 4 days with just carryon!! 😳 Mainly it’s because of our 45min layover in Minnesota. But that’s 45 min from us landing to the other taking off. They actually started boarding just as we got off our plane. By time we got to the gate, they were on general boarding. But made it with plenty of time. To get settled in. If we had checked bags (and my luck), they never would’ve made it. So we didn’t want to risk it. Therefore carryon only baby!!

Since we weren’t renting a car this time and I didn’t want to get ghosted by an Uber or Lyft driver, I made a car service reservation. Our flight got in at close to midnight, so I just didn’t want that uncertainty. 

I got us a room at a Hilton in Times Square. So this will be a first for me. Staying in Times Square. Kind of between the two universities, which is pretty much my only logic for it. 

Day 2

Today was college tour day at Columbia! But that wasn’t until 2pm. First order of business was getting some clothes for Will. We had dinner reservations at Sardi’s. Then the Broadway Musical, Parade. This boy only packed sweat pants and metal band tshirts 🙄

Breakfast is included in our room, so we grabbed some grub before hitting the streets. We were on 42nd Ave and literally across the street from a Target! Great! We get in there and it has to be the smallest selection of clothes in a target I have ever seen!! I’m not joking, Mens, Womens and kids took up all of maybe 100 square feet 😂 There was nothing to be had. So the person scanning items in this section recommended going down the street to H&M. 

Hit the jackpot at H&M. Will found some nice tan linen pants and light blue linen button up shirt. He also needed a fleece jacket as he didn’t bring one (he claims he told me to grab it, I claim he never told me that…take from it what you will). 

Will went back to the hotel with his loot, and I walked on to the Kate Spade store by Rockefeller Center. See, in my minimalist packing frenzy, I forgot to pack my “city” purse. Small enough to not kill my back by being too heavy, but big enough to carry essentials like battery charger, sunglasses & glasses and wallet, etc. As I’m walking through the city, I realize everyone is wearing their winter shoes. I was literally the only person in flip flops. Gotta love being a Coloradan convert 😜

The store opened at 11am. I had verified fan approval for Pearl Jam tickets going on sale at 11am. See my conundrum? Fortunately, I had predetermined what I wanted to snag at the store by looking online. So I rushed in at 11, got the bag, then let them know at the register that I may have to step away as I was in the queue to get concert tickets. And as soon as I swiped my card for the purse, I was having to choose seats for the show. Ugh! And I’m not the greatest at multitasking anymore. Haha!

Purse procured, tickets finally bought, then rush back to hotel to shower. The plan had been to head up to Columbia early and grab lunch somewhere. Well, by time we were done getting ready, got a ride up there and figured out where to check in for the tour, there was no time for food. 

The tour was great and Will really liked the campus. Columbia is a reach school for him, so it may not be where he ends up. But you never know! I’m just grateful he has the opportunity to go wherever he wants. I didn’t have that when I was applying to colleges. 

By the end of the tour he is starving. So we hit up a Shake Shack just outside the campus. And in typical NY fashion is was an experience. There was an older man (72 to be exact because he kept yelling that) banging on the door screaming at everyone to buy him a burger. “He was a 72 year old man and he hadn’t eaten in 12 hrs!!” Slamming the door, causing a scene. The store gave him a bag of food and he left. 

So this is all happening at like 3:45pm. We had dinner reservations for 5:30pm. I kept making sure with Will that he would be able to eat again in 2hrs. He reassured me he most definitely would. What was I thinking? He’s a 16 year old giant. Of course he would be able to eat again 🙄

Barb and Marg are already in the city, so we catch a ride back to the hotel. They meet us there and we head up to the room to get Will changed. Dinner was at the iconic Sardi’s. It’s an iconic Broadway restaurant. So iconic that it received some kind of award at the first ever Tony’s Award ceremony.  The restaurant has famous people caricatures all over the walls of those that have visited the place. We had Mark Hamill by our table. Many thanks to Barb for planning the reservation! 

Next up was Parade. Although it was a tragic and heavy content based musical, I did enjoy it very much. It takes place in GA, so held lots of meaning to me specifically (being from there). It was also Will’s first ever Broadway play. And he really enjoyed it! So much so that we ended up getting tickets for MJ on Sunday 😜

Sadly, when the show let out, the anticipated torrential rains started. I was hoping with all my might the weather gods wouldn’t let it come. But alas they did. Barb and Marg headed back to Jersey, and my late night shenanigans were taking shape. 

I had been desperately trying to get in touch with an old friend of mine before even getting to NY. But my attempts had seemed to not work. Just before the play, he had responded! Now mind you, Will and I had gotten back to the hotel about 10:30pm. It was pouring rain, and up until this point, Will was pretty adamant he didn’t want to go out to Brooklyn to visit my friend with me. Then at the last minute he said he would go. So he packed up the laptop (to work on school work) and we took a very expensive Lyft (hiked rates due to weather 🙄) out to Brooklyn. My Buddy, Dax, opened the door and the first words out of my mouth were “Damn! You’re old!” To which he responded “You’re old too!” 🤣

Needless to say, we spent many hours catching up and drawing Will into the stories. He didn’t get any school work done and we stumbled back to our hotel room about 3:30am. I was one tired mama! 

Day 3

Well, the rain gods were definitely raining on our parade. Just ridiculously pouring rain. In CO you can usually count on one hand how often you would need an umbrella in a year. After 28 years living in CO, I’ve gotten quite used to this statistic. However, I did do some planning ahead and had gotten two small compact umbrellas for Will and I for this trip. And guess who left his umbrella at Dax’s house last night? After I reminded him not to forget it when he was going to put his shoes on to leave. Yes, that boy. 

After missing breakfast because we were too tired to get up, we took showers to get ready for the day. My other friend, Taryl, was coming up to hang with me today. I say “up”, but it was only 9 blocks she had to go 😉

Will and I had said we wanted to try the Dallas BBQ across the street from us. Will had a bunch of school work to do, so I met Taryl there and brought him back some to-go food. After dropping the food off and leaving him to his work, we decided to check out the Museum of Broadway. While I’m not a Broadway fanatic at all, it was cool to check out since I have now gotten a few shows under my belt the last few weeks. And it was good to get out of the nasty rain. 

After the museum, Taryl and I hit up an Irish Pub and a Rum House. I was finally starting to shake my hangover from the night before 🤣 I just don’t really drink anymore, so it’s hard for me to hang like that!! We found a new Mexican joint (Amor Loco) nearby and decided to grab dinner there. Will walked over to join us and we all packed the humps (with food that is). Fun Fact about the restaurant….they bring you a sparkler shot and pump It’s Your Birthday by 50Cent. There were a few birthdays this night!

Then me and the boy headed back to the hotel. And guess what?? It had stopped raining!!!

Day 4

Sadly today was another torrential rain day. Definitely not a fan. Me and the boy grabbed a late breakfast downstairs, then came back up to the room. He did some schoolwork while I hopped in the shower. 

After we were smelling better, we headed out to the Neil Simon Theater to see MJ The Musical! 🤗 And I loved it. I know there can be controversy over him, but his music is the soundtrack of my youth. And he isn’t around to benefit from the proceeds, so there is that. Even though we were seeing a Sunday matinee, and the first lead wasn’t playing Michael, his understudy’s performance was simply magnificent! It was truly a wonderful show. And I’m still so amazed at Broadway set designs! The transitions that can be done are so surreal at times.

After the show, Barb had procured dinner reservations at Vice Versa. And Taryl came up to join us as well. If you are in town, you should check out this restaurant. All of us enjoyed our meals immensely (I had their lasagna). 

Both Barb and Taryl had left things in our room over the course of the weekend, so me, Taryl and Will walked back while Barb and Marg got their car out of the parking garage. Took us less time 😉 

Once everyone had their belongings and had left the hotel, Will did a little schoolwork before we headed next door to watch a 9:30pm movie (Evil Dead Rise). And we learned why our hotel has a Sky Lobby (on the 15th floor)….because a shit ton of theaters are below us! 🤣 

We get back to the room and it’s lights out for me and schoolwork for Will. 

Day 5

Poor Will. Apparently I was snoring last night. 😞 I know how frustrating it can be to try and go to sleep and the other person in the room is snoring. But I asked every morning if I had snored and he always said no. So needless to say he was a super grouch this morning. 

After we both showered and grabbed hotel breakfast, stowed our luggage with the bell hop (since checkout was going to be while we were gone), we snagged a Lyft and went down to the southern end of Manhattan to tour NYU. It was similar to my early college years experience when I was at GA State. An inner city university that has buildings among all the other buildings of the city. Will definitely liked the vibe down in the area and could see himself there. When asked what he thought of the 2 we visited this trip, he was basically saying they are different. Of the two campuses, though, he did like Columbia’s a little bit more.

After the tour we walked the entire way back to Times Square. So from 4th Street all the way up to 41st Street. However, there was a Lego shop along the way, so Will snagged a giant Range Rover set and texted Charlie the MineCraft selections so he could pick one too. 🙄 Now mind you, we had carry one luggage. Not much room in our bags. But Will pulled the packs out of the boxes and shoved them all over the place. 🥴 And they all fit. 

We still had a couple of hours to kill before the car service came to pick us up, so we walked over to the Yard House for a quick lunch. It was pretty good grub. Typical bar food. Then went back to the hotel to kill more time. Our driver texted at about 3:15 that he was there (wasn’t supposed to come until 4pm), so we figured why not leave early. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Good thing too. Something happened while en-route to the airport (like an accident or something), so instead of an hour it was an hour and a half. Breezed through TSAPre and then chilled in SkyClub until it was time to board. 

Overall I think we had a pretty productive trip. Stay tuned for all the other 5,643 colleges we’ll be touring this summer. 🥴 Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration, but there will be a few spots for sure. And I’ll be sure to share them here.

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