Coming home to the United States was a blast!  We planned a short 3-day stopover in New York City on our way to Europe.  During this short trip, we were joined by our parents who were gracious enough to come visit and agree to stay with us in our tiny rental apartment in the Lower East side.  We instantly felt New York’s big-city vibe, which was quite shocking in comparison to our relaxing beach life in Costa Rica.  Nonetheless, we enjoyed the city’s sites and food & drink establishments.

While in New York, we were able to spend a day site-seeing with cousin Louise McAllen who has lived in the city for many years.  We visited Rockefeller Center and went up to their observation deck – “Top of the Rock”.  From there, we were able to see fantastic views of the city and enjoy the gorgeous autumn weather.  Then we made our way downtown and took a leisurely voyage aboard the Staten Island Ferry.  The last event of the day brought us to the new National 9-11 Memorial to pay tribute to those who perished on that terrible day 12 years ago.

The next day was also filled with many sites joined by my childhood best friend Joyce, who’s lived in New York for several years now.  With Joyce we visited The Plaza Hotel, FAO Schwartz Toy Store and ate an amazing meal from the Halal Guys street car on 53rd and 6th.  We then took the train to Citi Field in Queens to watch our San Francisco Giants play the New York Mets.  Unfortunately, the game didn’t end well for us, but it was really fun to sit down after all of that walking and enjoy the game with our parents and Joyce.

We absolutely loved New York’s food and drinks!  During our 3 days, we had delicious pizza at Lombardi’s, had drinks at Corner Bistro, ate yummy BBQ at Bone Lick Park, had the best bagels and lox from Russ & Daughters, devoured pastrami sandwiches at Katz’s Deli, enjoyed free hot dogs at Rudy’s Bar, and got an early start to drinking Irish beers at McSorley’s Old Ale House.