Thursday, January 17, 2013

Live the Dream in 2013 (NYC Day Three)

That Monday was the big day! (For Asha at least). Jason Mraz was in the city performing that night at the famous Madison Square Garden. We had a lot of time to kill until then so why not start with a New York bagel?

Sianneth took us to her neighborhood bagel shop, Murray's, and we were instructed NOT to ask them to toast our bagels. Apparently they just don't toast bagels in the city. It's offensive or something like that. We shrugged our shoulders and obeyed orders. Of course then we noticed that while we were in line, a customer asked for their bagel to be toasted. The employees just shook their head and laughed, saying that they did no such thing.

Despite no toasting of bagels, Asha had a delicious Everything bagel with vegetable cream cheese piled high with enough to spare for at least two bagels. Jeremy found something similar to a Bojangles order of a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. This time it was on a bagel and he loved it just as much! We could then cross "devour a New York bagel" off our list!

With the day pretty wide open, we decided to do a little shopping around Union Square which was featuring a Holiday Market at the time. On our way over we passed by the Flatiron Building which was once, long ago, one of the tallest buildings in the city.

Once we got to Union Square, we walked through at least 100 booths looking for some unique gifts to bring back to family and friends. We wound up finding something perfect for our nephew, Keegan, and  a Christmas ornament for our tree. We try to grab an ornament on any trip we take so we have those memories on our tree for years to come!

Happy with our purchases, we left the Holiday Market and started back home for a much needed nap. On our walk back, however, we came upon a Nike store, and that always deserves a pit stop in the Singleton household. Jeremy left Nike with a BIG smile on his face because he was now a proud owner of his beloved Nike Fuel Band. He had been eying those suckers for at least a year and felt it was the perfect Christmas present for himself.

I wanted those shoes too - Jeremy

With the fuel band on in full force, we were now determined to meet his fuel band points for the day.

(Jeremy: Basically, you set a daily goal on your Nike Fuel Band and throughout each day, you gain "Fuel Points" through all of your movement - exercise, walking, flapping like a bird, tap dancing - as long as you're moving, you get points! It's a great way to make sure your desk job doesn't completely stop you from some sort of movement throughout your day. And I love it.)

Since Sianneth had 4 extra hands to help with groceries, we stopped by Trader Joe's to help her pick up a few things for the week. You guys... this Trader Joe's was INSANE. We have never seen a Trader Joe's this busy in our entire life. While we were there, the check-out lines wrapped around THE ENTIRE STORE. They even had employees hold signs saying where the beginning, middle and end of the lines were! It boggled our southern minds. Don't get us wrong, it was super efficient, and the line moved quickly...we had just never seen anything like that in a grocery store!

We felt like true New Yorkers walking through the street, carrying groceries. We're positive we didn't look like tourists then! But that's beside the point :)

We got back to Sianneth's place and rested up for Madison Garden later that night. Because Asha was super anxious, we headed to the Garden SUPER early. We grabbed some of New York's BEST pizza in town (no really, it said so on the window!) then stepped into one of the busiest music arenas in the world. Asha finally got her hands on the tickets she had been waiting for and exhaled a sigh of relief when they were physically hers to hold. (A little dramatic, but true). Since we were there way too early (oops), we stood in line for the gate to open. While we were waiting, we caught a glimpse of Mona, Jason's percussionist for the tour and Jeremy's new crush, talking to her family and giving them passes of some sort. After what felt like an eternity, security finally unlocked the gates and the crowd flooded in. We followed the majority at first but then realized that we actually needed to go DOWN a level. We were pointed in the direction of the elevator and felt pretty VIP riding down to the floor level and passing through the historic hallways.

We were lead to our seats by a security officer and happily sat in the fourth row thanks to the RKOP (the Jason Mraz Team)! We overheard similar stories from other fans about the RKOP contacting them into getting their awesome seats as well. We sat back, smiles on our faces, soaking it all in and waiting for the opener, who we honestly, at the time, weren't TOO excited to see.

Ready for Jason Mraz at Madison Square Garden!

Jason Mraz made a brief appearance (like he always does) to introduce the opening act, Fitz and the Tantrums, to the audience. As we said before, we weren't too excited to hear them but they definitely changed our minds. The soulful/indie, upbeat band had us out of our seats and dancing in no time, and well, we now own their entire album. It's safe to say they won us over.

The next 2.5 hours, Asha was off in la-la land as her favorite performer of the past ten years, took the stage. She was ecstatic that he started off the show with "Everything is Sound", a song she had wanted to hear live back in Charlotte. It's like he knew or something! (ha). Jason played old songs and new as he was very humble and grateful to have come so far as an artist and play at such a memorable venue. The crowd was alive and loud as Jason suggested to "Live the dream in 2013" while he played his music on the last stop of the U.S. tour.  Jeremy admitted after seeing the show and seeing how many pictures he "accidentally" took of Mona, that he had a crush on her. Asha doesn't blame him because she's pretty sure she has a crush on her too.

The big surprise of the night was having Colbie Caillet come on stage and sing "Lucky" with Jason Mraz. It's not often that you get to see the actual featured artists sing their hit track together. From where our seats were, we could see her exit the stage and hang out a bit before she went backstage. It was actually pretty cool to see her stay and watch Jason perform a few more songs.

Before the show, we got word that once Jason Mraz started performing, "Plane", to record footage using the app, Vyclone. Vyclone then takes all of the videos being recorded around the same time and area and merges it into one. Pretty cool, huh? We, of course participated, and this is what came about:

The night was pretty special and we (that means Asha) didn't want to leave the Garden. Once we made it through the mob of people and into the cool, crisp streets, we figured it was a good time for dessert. We stopped at a bakery in the neighborhood we were staying in and discussed the great trip we were having thus far over some delicious cheesecake!

Stick around for our last full day in the city! Asha has her second breakdown in Central Park...

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