Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Believe It Or Not

I am leaving New York City.

Tomorrow, my coworkers and I are boarding a plane and heading off to Las Vegas.

I am full of mixed emotions.

I am excited to continue my internship on location for the 2012 Miss USA Competition, but I am sad that my two-month stay in NYC is over.

I know many of you would like to punch me in the face for saying I'm not "over the moon" about a free trip to Vegas. So, I'll focus this post on my last weekend love affair with NYC, instead of my "problems."

I started my weekend off with a relaxing after-work run along the Hudson River.

Then, I had a date.

16 Handles, I love you

... A fro-yo date with Sarah, Jen, Sam and Megan.

I know the combination above looks a little odd, but, trust me, it was delicious. I don't remember exactly what I put in it. I went with the "shove everything you can into the bowl" strategy for this one. Although, I do remember that the key ingredient was Fruity Pebbles.

We spent the rest of the night talking, and then we all went to bed early. (I don't care if you think I'm lame; I was still still recovering from the No-Sleep-A-Thon a.k.a. media tour.)

Saturday morning started with Pilates and shoe shopping, which, by the way, is an incredible combination. Later in the afternoon, Sarah, Sam, Jen and I decided to take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry.




Eventually, I saw something besides the backs of people's heads.

Statue of Liberty

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty while running. Once it's in my view, I can never look away. Everything about it is beautiful.

Manhattan

After we got off the ferry, we booked it to The Webster rooftop. It was a gorgeous day, and we wanted to soak up every possible ounce of sunlight.


... And then we wanted to excessively photograph ourselves.





When the sun went down, we headed inside to get ready for a night out.



Our first stop was Ripley's Believe It Or Not! in Times Square. I used to watch the Ripley's TV series when I was younger, so I was not a stranger to these oddities.

Freakish friends forever

WHERE ARE MY LEGS!?

The 1400 Pound Man

Rub-a-dub-dub

Staring contest with an Indian chief (I won)

Instant nightmares
I deserve my own exhibit
 After we had our fill of weird, we went to dinner at Hard Rock.


I got a veggie burger. (Big shocker, I know.) I was absolutely stuffed after this meal. I blame it on the french fries extra lettuce.


We enjoyed Hard Rock's unique atmosphere and ear-pleasing music for awhile after dinner and then explored Times Square a little more before calling it a night.

The next day, I kept up with my usual Sunday shopping routine and made a final trip to H&M. I also went running and started packing up my room. Before I knew it, my last weekend in the city was over.

I believe everything I saw at Ripley's, but I somehow cannot believe that I am actually leaving New York City. I promise, I will be back.


... No, seriously, I have to come back in June to finish off my internship.

See you later, Big City!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Catching Up

Before I recap this weekend, I feel compelled to catch up on everything else that's happened lately. Life has been moving faster than I can blog, and I have a lot to discuss.

But, because my brain is a little fried from long work hours and hectic city life, I'm going to let pictures talk for me. (Well, for the most part. We all know how I love my words.)

I'll start with the Smile Event, which was held on Thursday, May 3 and hosted by Operation Smile at Cipriani Club 55 on Wall Street. The company I'm interning with had a table at the gala, and, thankfully, I got a seat. 

The venue was gorgeous.

Fit for a king ... or a New York socialite

The food was delicious.

Vegetarian option, of course

Vanilla meringue cake

The company was delightful.

PR ladies

We had a very beautiful table

The entertainment was wonderful.

Music by Joshua Radin

The donors were generous.

Text pledges

And the hair was there. (Sorry, I had to.)

Donald Trump

I was touched by the messages spoken and videos shown at the event. Operation Smile is a truly admirable organization, and I was glad to have the opportunity to support it.

Bill Magee, Operation Smile Co-founder and Executive Chairman

It was an amazing night.

Then, it was the weekend, and a couple friends and I decided to visit the American Museum of Natural History that Saturday.

I yelled, "I'm not a tourist!" as I took this

Land Before Time, anyone?

I saw a sign that said "Butterfly Exhibit" and talked about how badly I wanted to go until Sarah and Sam got the hint.

Take me there!

Thanks for listening, friends

I was in awe of the beautiful creatures.

Gotta catch 'em all!

By the way, you actually shouldn't try to catch them. Or touch them. I got in trouble for that. Oops. I guess I turn into a 5-year-old when butterflies are involved.

"Hands off, chump!"

Later, Sarah and I went to dinner at Stout, per my recommendation.

Grilled Vegetable Panini + Sweet Potato Fries

Then, we got Crumbs cupcakes. Do your mouth a favor and try one ... or seven.

Cake heaven

I opted for the Cupcake of the Month, "Rose in a Box."

The more icing, the better

The next day was Sunday, and I kept up my Sunday shopping tradition. (Sorry, bank account.) I hadn't shopped in Times Square yet, so I made that my destination for the day. Turns out, there is a four-story Forever 21 in Times Square. Needless to say, I was occupied for hours.

Shopaholic-intern heaven (we're on a budget)

Then, I went to the Disney Store.

Kid (or kid at heart) heaven

Finally, I went to the M&M's World. This visit was anti-climatic for me because I don't eat chocolate. (Don't ask why. I don't even remember anymore.)

The Statue of Liberty Sugar

Wall of Chocolate

I also stopped to check out the street peeps.

Is this 7th Avenue or Sesame Street?

Odd couple

I was very tempted to ask for a picture with Dora. I guess Times Square turns me into a 5-year-old, too.

After this relaxing weekend came a very non-relaxing, but exciting, media tour. My coworkers and I stayed at The New York Helmsley Hotel near Bryant Park during the tour.

Not too shabby

I started off feeling like a PR superstar, eager and ready to go.

"I'm all business"

I ended looking and feeling similar to this.

Dog tired

 In two days, the organization made appearances at the Today Show, Live! with Kelly, Fox & Friends, Trump Towers, Watch What Happens Live, NASDAQ and PIX 11 Morning News.

Today Show

Live! with Kelly

Watch What Happens Live

Donald Trump (again)

NASDAQ

I didn't sleep very much (or at all), but I learned more than I can explain during these fast-paced two days. It was one of the most incredible experiences I have had in the city.

Plus, I met one of my heroes.

In the presence of greatness

Matt Lauer is a passionate journalist and a proud OU Bobcat. Basically, we are the same person. Except, he makes $25 million a year, and I ... don't.

Somehow during the hectic two days, I made time for S'mores at Max Brenner. I guess there is always room in the schedule for dessert (priorities, people).

Toasted to perfection

'Mallow + graham + peanut butter + raspberry sauce

Life may be moving in fast-forward, but I am cherishing every second of it. When I sit back and reflect, I realize just how lucky I am to be where I'm at and to have the opportunities that I do. New York is a place like no other.

If it's possible to fall in love with a city, then consider me head over heels.

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