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New York and meeting new people

Posted Feb 12 2010 7:32am
Well I finally made it home from NY Thursday. What an amazing experience. It didn't go as I had planned but it was still a great time for me. Monday I didn't get my travel info till like 8:30 at night. I was kind of freaking out. I also found out that I would be wearing jeans and a t-shirt after buying a new outfit lol.

So Tuesday I set out for the train station at 7:30am. I knew I might have some trouble getting there with Penn Station being in downtown Baltimore. Well I was right. Thankfully I had given myself HOURS to get there, like 3 1/2 when it should only take me 2. So after feeling lost but not really being lost lol I finally made it to Baltimore then I was really lost lol.

Poor Mike, is all I can say, he was a trooper and tried hard to keep me calm (impossible) on the phone while he tried to talk me through finding my way through all the 1 way streets. Finally I told him I was going to stop at a gas station and just ask. So in I pulled, asked the guy, he said it was right around the corner. So I backed up, pulled forward and darn I was stuck in the snow. I put the van in reverse, spun wheels, put in drive, spun wheels. By that point I was in a panic, I was down to 25 mins left to get to the train station. So I was out there digging with my hands trying to get the snow from under my wheels with no luck.

Thankfully a guy saw me and said he had a shovel (the guy at the gas station said he didn't have one which I found very hard to believe). So he started to help dig me out then another man and his 2 sons came along and said they would push me out. So within minutes the van was free and the father and sons were gone in a flash with only a thank you from me. I tried to give the guy with the shovel $5 but he told me to send it to Haiti. All I could think was how blessed I was.

So off I went around the block and thankfully found the train station. Turned out my train was a hour late so I had plenty of time to get a coffee and decompress from my traveling adventure lol. Finally the train arrived and I was off. It was a nice trip to NY, only 2 1/2 hours. It seemed like I was there in a flash.

NY Penn Station was so much bigger than Baltimore by far. But I just kept following the signs and found my way to the street where I caught a taxi to the Hilton. I arrived at 3:30 so after checking in and going to my room I headed out for a walk. I had a little map I had printed out but I didn't want to seem like I didn't know where I was so I just wandered around staying fairly close to the hotel. I was very close to radio city music hall and the NBC studios at Rockefeller center. But I never took any pictures because I wanted to stay low key lol.

After my walk I headed back to the hotel and hung out in the lobby for awhile. I ended up spotting Sarah from the weigh it is and her mom coming in so I stood and talked with her after she had checked in for awhile. Then another woman came along Anika who wasn't a blogger but knew Sarah's mom from seeing her at her gym. It was nice getting to chat with them both, great ladies.

Then they all headed off and I was on my own again. I had an older gentleman sit next to me and talk awhile which was nice. He said his uncles had left him money and he had a house in Las Vegas, Florida and NY, made you wonder if it wasn't like the Sopranos or something lol. But he was really nice and told me all the things I should do while in NY if I got a chance.

I was starved by then and wishing I had someone to go to dinner with. But since I didn't I decided I was going to just go on out in the big city and find a place to eat. When I walked out the Hilton I saw a street vendor on the corner and there was a HUGE line so I figured why not and I got in line too. It turned out to be greek food. I carted it up to my room and had a true NY meal *smile*. It was yummy but I could sure feel it in my belly afterwards lol. It came with some really HOT sauce lol.

I must have called Mike like 5 times bored to death just wanting someone to talk to. That was when I put up my blog post wishing someone else would come along I could chat with. Then Lori and her mom showed up and it just felt like we had known each other for a long time. We all talked so easy and I just felt so comfortable. They are such sweet sweet ladies. We ended up talking till like 11pm when we finally realized we better try to get some sleep with our early morning the next day.

Wednesday I woke up at 5:30am to make sure I had enough time to get myself together and down to the lobby by 7:20. I had brought jeans so did wear them even though they were kind of baggy. I couldn't decide if I wanted to wear boots or not. I ended up wearing them and regretted it all day, but I weathered through. I was the first to arrive in the lobby at like 6:45am lol.

In the lobby I got to see some of the other Dr. Oz 100 as they started coming from their rooms. We all kept asking how much did you lose lol. There was a woman that had lost 340 lbs and I was just amazed. I got to see Diane there too, though I'm not sure she knew who I was. I would have liked to have gotten to chat with her some but it was a busy crazy morning.

I also met a fellow TOPS member, Donna and her husband Kevin, they were really sweet.
I also met a young lady of 20 (Kaitlyn) and her mom (Joette) and aunt (Lisa) who seemed to take an instant liking to me and invited me to hang out with them later. They said they were sorry they hadn't found me last night, I was too. Then I saw Lori and her mom and got this picture.

So off we were bussed to NBC Studios for the show. We spent a lot of time in line being shuffled around. I got to see Tony in line, though I don't think he recognized me and I also met Ann from Rising Phoenix. We then got our number paddles which I was a bit bummed didn't say 200 but only 165 but such is life. Then they gave me my Dr. Oz 100 t-shirt and my stressing began.

I went to the ladies room and put it on and my arms were a mess. You all know how I feel about my arms so I didn't know what to do. I kept wishing I had worn something long sleeve like some of the other ladies did. So when I got out in the hall I saw Lori and her mom and I told her how stressed out I was and the sweet terrific woman that she is said she could lone me a shirt so out of her bag she pull a black turtle neck for me and I put it on there in the hall way and my anxiety just melted away. I can honestly say if that hadn't happened I wouldn't have had the good experience I did. So thank you thank you Lori. Then we were finally allowed in the studio and got to sit (remember I was in my yucky boots and my feet were killing me by then lol). I ended up sitting between two hunky men lol. They were both sweet as pie and we got to chat a bit about their story. The one guy had lost 110 and the other 220. It was just so cool meeting so many people that had lost so much weight. I would have loved to have met every single person there and heard their story.
It seemed like a whirlwind of activity. Richie, the guy that told us what was going on throughout the show was hilarious and really helped make us all feel more relaxed not to mention kept us laughing a lot. Finally Dr. Oz came out and the show began. It was 7 sections and just full of good stuff.

Then Richard Simmons came out in his usual short shorts and bedazzled Dr. Oz tank top and I just couldn't help but smile. I have loved Richard forever. He was so emotional and so full of energy too. It was like it just spread to all of us. He really is an amazing person. He actually kissed my hand and I told him I had read his book when I was 12 yrs old.

I never did get to talk to Dr. Oz. I think that is my one regret that I didn't go up and speak to him but there was so much going on and so many people. Then we were told we needed to get back to the bus so they could take us to the new hotel. So off I went. I had asked someone if Joel Harper was there and he told me no otherwise I would have done my best to see him.

In the lobby of the new hotel Lori, her mom and I said our good byes since she was heading back home that night. Then I headed up to my room. I spotted the 3 ladies I had seen in the morning and they said they were going to eat and asked if I wanted to go. I said sure and my next adventure started. We had a lovely lunch and just like with Lori I felt like I had known these ladies for years. They said they were going to weather the storm and go sight seeing so I thought what the heck why not when will I ever be in NY in a snow storm again. So after lunch we headed out into the snow. It was really coming down.

We got a cab down to central park. It was a true winter wonderland. I couldn't hardly believe how many people were there. There was a huge snowball battle going on one hill, several people building snowmen, people sledding down a hill, it was all just magical. The ladies and I took a bunch of pictures and walked a ways.

Then we headed back towards the hotel. We wanted to go to Rockefeller center and back to the NBC building to do some shopping. We also wanted to see time square.

We would stop every now and then for a cup of coffee at starbucks and to get warm too. It really was a true adventure. But I just felt so happy to be with these new friends and to be seeing NY even in a storm. I kept thinking how my kids would have loved it and Mike too. I really do think at some point I will go back and visit sometime with the family.
After we got back we went to our rooms and changed clothes and got warm. Then I came back down into the lobby and I met up with my TOPS lady Donna and her husband Kevin again. They told me they had a great conversation with Tony and his wife.
Then my 3 ladies came down and were ready for dinner so I asked Donna and Kevin if they wanted to join us. When we walked into the restaurant there was Amy the woman that had lost 340 lbs and her boyfriend Allen( you can see them in the background of the picture of Lori and I holding cups of coffee). So I invited them to dinner too. So we all had a great time chatting at dinner telling each other our stories.
Amy is truly an amazing woman who is now a fitness trainer/wellness business owner and motivational speaker. She's also a body builder too. I was just amazed at all she's accomplished, she's such a driven woman. After dinner my 3 ladies and I said our goodbyes and they headed back to their room. The rest of us headed to the lobby where we chatted and laughed till midnight.
Thursday I got up, packed up and headed to the train station. It took me like 8 hours to finally arrive home. Of course I had to get lost in Baltimore again lol. I did get to see all the beautiful snow they got though but thankfully I didn't get stuck in it this time lol.
Well there is my LONG version of my trip to NY. Definitely an experience I won't forget.
Till tomorrow...
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