(Today’s guest post is from my friend and co-worker Ed, and his daughter Samantha. Take it away you two!)
A few weeks ago my friend Mike asked my 13-year-old daughter Samantha and I to write a two-part story about 1) winning a trip to New York City and 2) the actual trip itself. I’m writing most of the first part and we’ll split up the second with each of our perceptions. The above picture is our salute to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. We didn’t have any dwarves, I’m far from being a wizard, and I fear for anyone who calls Samantha a Hobbit. Here, for your reading pleasure (we hope), is part one of the trip we have returned from:
On October 24, 2013 my daughter Samantha and I ate dinner at a local Denny’s after her school’s Halloween party. After eating our highly nutritious meal we were buckled in and headed for the exit to the parking lot when the car radio announced that caller 11 would win $105 dollars and be entered in the “Trip or Treat” giveaway for a trip for 2 to New York City. Being the money hungry cheap S.O.B. that I am I quickly pulled into a parking space in front of Harry’s Sports Bar and Grill right next to the Sinful Skin Tattoo and Piercing Parlors, the Minute Loan store, and the Sinful Salon (Yes, Reno is that classy) and we both began speed dialing.
A short time later we were $105 dollars richer, thank you KOZZ 105.7!
I was told by the DJ that in a few weeks they would cut a check and they would call me to let me know when it was ready. True to their word, a few weeks later I got not one but two phone messages on my voice mail. Not only was the $105 check ready for pick up, but we had also won the drawing for a trip for two to New York City which included round trip airfare, three nights hotel stay at the Crowne Plaza Times Square, and $500 spending cash!! Now the real fun began, we had to figure out what we wanted to do while in NYC (So, naturally, we thought of food first).
Ideas came from many sources: Google searches, Fodor’s 2014 NYC guidebook, off the top of our heads, and from Mike’s suggestion of the UsedYorkCity blog. We got tickets to see The Lion King and Waiting for Godot starring Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard) and Sir Ian Mckellen (Gandalf the Grey).
We also have tickets to climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty (we’ll try to sneak the boom box, toaster, and mood slime up, but I’m not confident of getting it through security and yes, we are that big of nerds), tour Ellis Island, and go to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. We have other ideas depending on our time and location such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Natural History, the Intrepid Museum, the U.N., Grand Central Station, Grant’s Tomb, and taking pictures beneath a Bleecker Street sign (we’re both Simon & Garfunkel fans).
We’ve also decided that since Reno doesn’t have much in the way of ethnic restaurants, we will turn this trip into a feeding frenzy of foreign foods (like I said, we do really love food). We want to try Moroccan, Ethiopian, French, Russian, Scandinavian, Austrian, German, British, Canadian, and everything else we can possibly eat. This will require many small meals all day and night, but we think we’re up to the challenge. Samantha and I also want to try genuine NY pizza and a hot dog from a cart if they’re out in the cold of winter.
Wish us luck, and we’ll be back with part two and a report of all our adventures and misadventures in New York City. And from this helpful video guide, we will NOT be wearing “I Love NY” t-shirts while we’re there!
Johnny T’s NYC Tourist Tips – Courtesy of You Tube
A note from Ed: I am the single father of a wonderful daughter, have traveled to Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Paraguay, Mexico, and 25 of the 50 U.S. states. I have a B.A. in Spanish and also knew how to speak Portuguese many moons ago. I am a movie buff, an eclectic music listener, and a voracious reader. I have known Mike for over 14 years and we once spent a work week together doing impersonations and cartoon character voices when he was training me on the job.
Samantha, is thee only daughter of this fabulous father, and has only traveled within the U.S. She speaks only passable English and no other languages. Samantha is not a movie buff but a lover of history, enjoys music, and is a happy reader of books of the book variety. She does not know much about Mike (except that he has a puppy dog named Phoenix). Her talent is rambling gibberish about history, anime, fictional characters, or just gibberish in general until everyone has died from boredom.
Thank you Ed and Samantha! I absolutely love this tale of perfect timing and great luck and can not wait to hear the conclusion. Knowing of my lifelong placement as New York City being my #1 bucket list city destination in the world, this story totally resonated with me! I will chime on Samantha’s behalf that she is razor sharp smart and absolutely adorable. Ed is a non-blogger but has been a huge supporter of Phoenix’s and I in our quest to tell our story as well.