I did something a little different for Thanksgiving, this year. I traveled with a friend to her sister’s home on Long Island! I had never been to Long Island – been to NYC many times, but never Long Island! So, I can check that off my bucket list……and a few other things, as well! It was a wonderful week of friendship, food, fun, and adventures…..definitely made a lot of memories……I am truly blessed and thankful!
On our first full day, we took the Long Island Railroad into New York City – we had tickets to see the Radio City Music Hall Rockette’s Christmas Show! It was a day crammed with lots of wonderful activities! I always wanted to go to NYC during the holidays…..and now, I have!
We caught the train out of the Ronkonkoma Station and arrived at Penn Station about an hour later
This sink is in the ladies room at Penn Station — it was sooooo cool!!! You put your hands under the far left side and get your soap, then move to the center to get your warm water, and then move to the far right for the air dryer!!! All in one bar……and there were several of these along a long shallow sink! I just thought it was worthy of a photo and mention here!!! I thought about taking a photo when I was in there, but didn’t…..then, my friends were surprised I didn’t, so I went back in to snap it! Yeah – I know – it’s the little things that make life so much fun!!!
We had to go in to Macy’s to see if Santa was there, yet…..we didn’t think he would be, but thought we could at least see it set up for him!
Macy’s is such a magical place! I remember my first time shopping in the “Mother Ship” of all Macy’s not long after I graduated from HS! And, after shopping there several times over the years, it still has a thrill I can’t possibly describe!
There is so much history there and they preserve it so well – like the original wooden escalators that snake up from floor to floor to floor!!!
And, the “over the top” decorations throughout the huge store!
And, the place where Santa can be found…….
And…..Santa, himself!!! Yes, he was there!!! We were thrilled to discover that we could see him! I asked him if I could ride with him on Christmas Eve and travel around the world helping him……he said that, unfortunately, there isn’t any room for extra helpers on the sleigh……but, I was really just happy that I got to see the Macy’s Santa in Macy’s!!! Albion’s very own Charles Howard was the original Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Santa and he was an adviser on the movie Miracle on 34th Street……for many years, he taught Santa’s from around the world right here in Albion at his world famous Santa Claus School! I had my photo taken with him when I was a little girl at his school……and, now, I have completed the dream of seeing a real Santa right there in the original Macy’s!!!
And, my friends did, too!!!
There was a lot to see on the walk from Macy’s to Radio City Music Hall
A lady making a pie in a bakery window!
And we finally made it!!!
They passed out Santa hats and 3D glasses to everyone as we walked in
The glasses were for a beginning part of the show where Santa takes the sleigh to NYC to see the show and the audience goes along for the ride! Real cool!
A high school chorus from Wisconsin got the chance to go on stage to sing a Christmas medley for us before the show — what a thrill that must have been for them!
Then, a curtain opened on each side of the stage and two organists played more Christmas music — it was FABULOUS!!!
I’ve seen the Rockette’s before, but never their Christmas Spectacular…….something I always wanted to see! I was not one bit disappointed!!! It was amazing!!!
The most famous kick line in the world!!!
Chandelier hanging above the lobby of Radio city Music Hall
Flags at Rockefeller Center with St. Patrick’s Cathedral spires in the background
We watched the skaters at Rockefeller Center for a bit
The tree was up, but was still scaffolded and being prepped for the famous lighting……so, we really couldn’t see it!
On the walk between Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, there was a long pool with lighted angels all along on either side!
One of many, many wonderful store window displays – this is one of Saks windows!
We went in St. Patrick’s Cathedral – another thing I’ve never taken time to do when in the city, but always wanted to!
We sat and listened to choirs singing…….so beautiful as their angelic voices echoed through the massive sanctuary!
And, then we stopped to see the light show on the Saks Fifth Ave building! Awesome show of lights to the tune of There’s No Business Like Show Business!!!
And, the Saks window displays!
Right behind us as we watch the Saks light show was the pool with the trumpeting angels we saw earlier – now all lit up! So beautiful!
We stopped for dinner at Megan’s – an Irish Pub!
NYC at night is so………amazing!!!
The Empire State Building was lit up in blue
We went back by Macy’s on the way back to Penn Station to see their windows lit up
The Macy’s windows tell an animated story as you walk by to view them all
The front of Macy’s where the parade passes and all the performances take place!
It was hard to see with the barriers and equipment trucks, but the street was already shut off and painted for the parade — it was Tuesday night, so two more days till the Parade!
No – we did NOT go back in the city to watch the parade – we watched it from the warmth and comfort of Linda’s living room while we worked on our Thanksgiving dinner, just like the rest of the world – no freezing temperatures (it was the coldest in the history of the parade), no crowds to fight, and much better views! LOL
Linda lives in a beautiful wooded setting on Long Island — so peaceful and full of nature! Lots of squirrels and birds and deer – we saw a huge buck wandering up her driveway, but couldn’t get our cameras out in time to get a photo, and we saw others while we were there, too!
This is her driveway in from the street
I got the best sleep while I was there…….I stayed in a wonderful room they have in the basement – it was cozy, comfortable, quiet, and dark……and I slept like a baby every night!!! I didn’t want to leave!!!
The night before Thanksgiving, Cathy and I were charged with making “turkeys”!
It was fun and they were really quite delicious!
Then, our Thanksgiving was full of family, food, and lots to be thankful for! This was taken BEFORE all the food was on the table…….it shows the stunning pottery plates and mugs made by Linda’s husband, John, who is an artist!
And….after dinner, there were the desserts!!!
The next day, we ventured out to do some shopping on Long Island – yes, we went out on Black Friday – the stores and mall we went to were not too crowded and we had a very pleasant experience! We stopped at Zan’s Kosher Deli for lunch — this is my corned beef on rye sandwich! YUM!!!
The pickles were good, too!
On Saturday morning, we had bagels at Linda’s son’s home and then drove to Montauk to see the lighthouse……We drove through all the Hamptons on the way and had lunch in South Hampton!
We stopped at this lovely cemetery in East Hampton on the way!
There were swans on a mostly frozen pond
The stories on many of the head stones were so interesting!
It was just a small fenced in strip between the main street and a side street and was fenced off, but it was loaded with history and awesome stones and crypts!
And, there was this incredible crypt with a stone knight’s armor lying in rest on top!
He was a Lord and came from Holland to settle here!
We spent quite a bit of time at the Montauk Lighthouse – it was a beautiful place at the tip of Long Island with the ocean on one side and the sound on the other and views of Connecticut in the distance!
As we were leaving, this silly creature was wandering around the entrance to the lighthouse and parking area delighting the children of all ages who were there!
As we drove through Flanders, NY on our way to Montauk, we saw the Big Duck — listed on Roadside America as a quirky American site (click here to read about it)! The duck was originally the location of a shop where a local Long Island farmer sold ducks and eggs – it is now a gift shop! On our way to Montauk, they were just starting to decorate it and when we saw it on the return trip, it was all decked out and ready for photos!
We also saw a flying pig at a restaurant of the same name!!!
No trip is complete without a visit to a local ice cream parlor……this was a delicious treat from McNulty’s in Miller Place, NY
We also got a slice of amazing pizza from Uncle Giuseppe’s in Port Jefferson…..it is a grocery store that is truly awesome – like if Wegman’s and Trader Joe’s got married and took steroids – LOTS of steroids!!! They even had a little Italian guy wandering around serenading the customers!!!
It was sooooooo good!!!
Sunday evening we went to Linda and John’s church for mass……St. Francis Chapel in Miller Place
It is a Friary – an old Monastery with Father Frank – a wonderful “hippy” priest who runs Hope House Mission – a program that helps addicts get and stay clean! It is a great program that Linda volunteers for and has had great success in helping so many!
It isn’t big and elaborate, by any means, but it is warm, inviting, and Father Frank’s message was extremely inspirational…..and the Hims and Her Choir of recovering addicts was a very emotional experience! Although I’m not Catholic, I felt like a welcomed part of the service and felt really good about being there and left with a full, warm heart!
One of our other days, we went to the shore —- the ocean was really active after the rain and wind from the night before – HUGE waves!!!
But, it was a gorgeous day to be on the beach……a bit chilly, but sunny and bright and very pleasant!
We found this little green guy enjoying the sun……
There were several people out walking on the beach and a few dogs, too
And, LOTS of seagulls!
Don’t look, now, but you’re about to get wet, my friend!!! LOL
This is a place I could spend hours just sitting and walking and taking photos!!! It was so relaxing!
This is the spot on Long Island where TWA Flight 800 took off from JFK on the evening of July 17, 1996 and 12 minutes into the flight crashed just off shore, here! There were no survivors! This International Memorial was established to honor those who died in the crash and those who worked tirelessly in search and recovery efforts.
It is a beautiful tribute with benches and information and inspirational quotes!
This little building caught my eye – it is across the street from the ice cream parlor we went to that is close to Linda’s home — it is an old school house turned into a Free Library!
It seems like everywhere we went, we saw ducks and swans!!!
So……I’m not sure what I expected Long Island to be like — I guess I thought it would be little quaint beach communities……well, there was definitely plenty of those, but it was so much more! First of all, it is a LOT bigger than I thought! I guess I thought it was just a small strip island with just beachy communities…….it has a LOT of rural space and wooded areas and many both quaint little shopping spots and bigger malls – including a Tanger Mall! And, it is a HUGE island — I think it took us a little over an hour to get from Miller Place to Montauk and Miller Place is about 1/2 way up the island!!! But, whatever I had pictured in my head, I found Long Island to be a beautiful place to visit with tons to do and see! I had a really nice time and knocked several items off my Bucket List and/or did things for the first time ever: See the Radio City Music Hall Rockette’s Christmas Show, see NYC decorated and lit up for Christmas, get my photo with a real Macy’s Santa AT Macy’s, visit Long Island, add the Montauk Lighthouse to the list of amazing lighthouses I’ve seen, went inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, drove through the Hamptons – all of them, and even saw a little green man on a beach!!! And, so much more!!! It was a great week of wonderful memories!