2009 Big Rock Goal #2 New York City

This is the second in a series of 5 posts describing my Big Rock Goals (major milestones) for 2009.  Every year I try to set up some reasonable specific goals that I can devote my time and energy to.  Every year when I finish them, I feel proud and happy that I’ve really managed to accomplish something special.  Here is what I’m going to be working towards this year . . .

Read about my Big Rock Goal #1 – Boxing Cardio Challenge

Ok, first things first, an apology.  In my last post I had thought I’d get a chance to post this one the next day, so I said it would be coming on January 2nd.  Well, obviously this didn’t happen.  I’ll try not to make promises I can’t keep this year either.

For my second goal, I really wanted to do something travel related again.  My husband and I really have a long list of adventures we’d like to get done with.  But that wasn’t the only thing motivating this trip.  My sister was another big motivator for me.  First, let me tell you a bit about her . . .

My sister is a wonderful, hard working person.  She is also a homebody who does not like change.  She laments the fact that she never gets a chance for a vacation and yet she never sets aside money for one or looks in the costs and arrangements for making one.  The last time she went on an airplane was 12 years ago when my mom took us girls to Disneyland and California for a couple of weeks.  I don’t think she’s ever been the major planning force in any vacation, even the car rides down to visit relatives.  She doesn’t have a driver’s license and, until recently, didn’t have her passport.

Needless to say, I love my sister.  But I get very frustrated at her lamentations when she does nothing to change her situation.  She is bright and intelligent and, if she really wanted to, she could save the money for vacations and go places.  But, she needed a gentle push in the right direction.  My hints about setting aside money every month for vacationing went unheard, so when we both came into some money due to my father’s life insurance payout, I thought that this would finally be her chance.  No excuses about money, she was going to take a vacation.

We’d always talked about going to New York, so one afternoon when she was complaining about her lack of vacations I said, “Ok, we’re planning that trip to New York that we’ve always talked about.”  So, that’s how it came to be.  I’m excited for myself, but also really excited for her, since I’m hoping that travel will be a transformative experience for her, like it is for so many others.

So, here’s our plan so far . . .

Dates: March 15-22 (yes, we’ll be there for St. Patrick’s Day . . . already looking forward to the festivities!)

Hotel: Affinia 50 – I was pleasantly surprised at the room rate and at the fact that the room has 2 queen size beds!  With all the sleep troubles I’ve been having lately, the last thing I wanted was to share a bed and run the risk of making us both grumpy while we’re there.

Flight: Air Canada, despite all the bad reviews, I’ve only had good experiences flying with them.  But, I’m weird because I love flying in general.  Even the long waits at gates in uncomfortable seats (though, I’m thinking about splurging on the lounge this time, whadya think?  Worth it?)

The List of Stuff to Do:

I’m considering:

  • The Guggenheim – mostly just for the architecture of the building as I’m a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright

Those are just the specific ones, but I’m also probably going to suggest we have a spa day (towards the end so we can relax from all that sight seeing) and I know my sister wants to do a bunch of shopping.  She also wants to eat out at least once in a nice restaurant and I want to eat a pretzel from a stand.  I’m also probably going to indulge in a corn dog because my husband won’t be with me to veto the meal idea.

I think we’ll also be getting together with one of my step-mother’s friends who lives in New York.  It’ll be kind of fun to spend some time with a local!

If you are planning some travel this year, or any year, here are some things that might interest you and help with the planning process . . .

  • Tripadvisor – Gives you hotel and sightseeing reviews.  Plus, people upload real photos of hotels and such so you get a better sense of what they look like.  They also recommend the hotels for different things.  Pus, they have forums that you can check out for specific questions and recommendations.  It also checks rates and things, but we just used Expedia to book the flight and hotel.
  • GoPlanIt – Need ideas on what to do?  Just enter your dates and the city and this site will populate an itinerary for you.  I like it since I can move events around on days and then check the map to make sure I’m planning things in the same general city area and not making us walk/cab all over wasting time.
  • Travel Guides – They can be expensive but worth it for the tips and recommendations.  I particularly like Fodor’s but there are lots of others to choose from.  If you are on a budget you can sometimes get them from your local library too.
  • Tips on packing light – We went to Japan and managed just fine with a carry on bag each.  (Of course, the purchase of sake and numerous souvenirs required we buy a small suitcase to check, but until our last couple of days there, we were travelling ultra-light and it was great!)
  • Great luggage – I’m planning on getting another piece of Red Oxx luggage for New York – some type of back pack.  I was so impressed by the Air Boss bags that we bought for Japan that I’d easily recommend their products because they are so well made.

Have you been to New York before?  Any suggestions on some things to see and do while we are there?  Want to weigh in on which back pack option looks best?  Please let me know in the comments!

Next in this series, I’ll tell you about my language goal for the year.



  1. valery said,

    January 6, 2009 at 3:54 am

    the post is great!!

    very interesting! I will definitely be back here.

  2. January 6, 2009 at 10:53 am

    We’d love to learn what you think of NileGuide (http://www.nileguide.com) as you plan your next trip. Our mission is to be a one-stop-shop for custom trip planning, complete with personalized recommendations, planning and booking tools, and a free downloadable custom guidebook to take with you.

  3. January 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    […] about my Big Rock Goal #1 – Boxing Cardio Challenge Read about my Big Rock Goal #2 – New York City Read about my Big Rock Goal #3 – German Lessons Read about my Big Rock Goal #4 – NaNoWriMo […]

  4. January 17, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    […] Read about my Big Rock Goal #1 – Boxing Cardio Challenge Read about my Big Rock Goal #2 – New York City […]

  5. January 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    […] about my Big Rock Goal #1 – Boxing Cardio Challenge Read about my Big Rock Goal #2 – New York City Read about my Big Rock Goal #3 – German […]

  6. Shelley said,

    January 21, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    NYC during St. Patty’s Day is wonderful! I was there in 1997 – long time ago now, but still seems like yesterday. My favorite museum is the Met. Although, Natural History Museum would be my 2nd choice in NYC. Guggenheim is impressive for its architecture. I have never been there where I was “wowed” by the exhibits.

    Circle Line – definitely the 3 hour – totally worth it.

    Look into City Pass – http://www.citypass.com/city/ny.html. Last time (2004) I went it was well worth it.

    Ok – I could go on. I love NYC. Lived there for a year, still love to visit. Have family there too. Enjoy your trip!!

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