Hi kids! It's me...Chet the traveling adventure bear. I just got back from New York City, where I spent a lovely Labor Day weekend. Boy, did I have a great time! It was much different from my home in Jacksonville. Before I begin, I want to thank Miss Hoffmann and Miss Patterson for letting me write to you.Probably the best thing about my trip was what happened when I first arrived in Manhattan. I was walking around Chinatown, trying to find some food to eat for lunch, when I saw some baby clothes that were just my size. I got a great deal on a little Chet-sized suit. It says, "I love New York" all over it. I slipped it on and continued on my way, looking much more civilized.
The first day I walked around Central Park for a while and watched all the people playing there. People were playing football, frisbee, baseball, soccer, and many other games. Then I took a nap on a bench, near two young people playing mandolins. A little girl and her dad were dancing around to the music. It was hilarious!
After my nap, I was feeling very refreshed, so I walked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at some sculptures. There was a new exhibit that focused on the clothes that superheroes wear. I got to see the real suit that Christian Bale wore in "Dark Knight." I spent a lot of time on the roof, where they have a rooftop garden. There are huge statues that look like inflated balloons. My favorite one looked like a giant dog! It was fun looking out at the view of the city skyline.
All that walking really took it out of me, so I was happy to go out for a big dinner that night. I went to Palapa in the East Village. It serves Mexican food. Delicious! I ate so much homemade guacamole that Miss P and her friends had to carry me home. I couldn't even walk. I also ate beans, rice, and some very spicy chicken. Salsa verde is a little too much for this bear to handle!
The next day I woke up early. Miss P wanted to sleep in, but I squeezed her nose until she woke up. She wasn't very happy with me, but I really wanted to get out and experience the city. We ate breakfast at a small Italian cafe. I ordered banana pancakes and was not disappointed. Yum! Yum! After breakfast, I rode the train all the way through Queens, which is on a whole other island. Miss P had a surprise for me...I was going to the U.S. Open to see Nadal play. During tennis matches, you have to be very quiet during the points. This was hard for me because I like to yell and shout cheers of encouragement. Later in the day, I also got to watch Serena Williams play. It was very exciting. We were quite high up in the stadium but I could still see all the action down below. I have watched tennis on television since I was a cub, so this was a big moment for me. Wow! I still can't believe it; it was so much fun seeing all my favorite players in person! As if that wasn't great enough, I got to have ice cream for dessert after dinner because Miss P was so impressed at how well behaved and quiet I was during the tennis matches. We went to a place called "16 handles" where you get to make your own sundaes. You choose what kinds of different ice cream flavors you want to mix together, and then you get to choose what toppings you would like to have. I was so overwhelmed and excited that perhaps I didn't make the best combination. I chose chocolate, white chocolate, and cheesecake ice cream, and I got to control the handles and put as much in the bowl as I wanted. So far, so good. But there were so many toppings that I accidentally mixed strawberries and Butterfingers together. These toppings were good on their own, but not so good together. Still, it was a lot of fun, and I would love to go back.
On Sunday, I went shopping for some shoes to match my bear suit, in Soho. Most of the stores weren't open yet, so I just walked around and then checked out the neighborhoods around NYU (New York University). There are many interesting shops and cafes. I went into a record store on Bleeker street and met a friendly cat, who lived in the store, when I was browsing for new music to listen to. Next, I rode the train to Times Square to look at the billboards and lights. Yow! What a bustling place! The lights were almost too much for me, so we rode the subway home to take a long nap before dinner.
We had special reservations at a place called Ninja. It is a Japanese restaurant where ninjas bring you your food. They also jump out and scare you when you are walking to the bathroom. I did not like this at all! The restaurant is below ground and it is decorated like an ancient Japanese village. We ate in a small room that looked like a jail cell. Miss P's friend ordered a first course called the "clam bombshell." When the ninja brought it to the table, he said it wasn't ready yet. It had a rope sticking out of it, which he lit on fire. There was a huge flame and the clam eventually opened. There were all sorts of pieces of seafood inside! We ate and ate and ate some more...four whole courses. When it was time to pay the bill, I hid in the bathroom...bears don't make much money, you know! I will make it up to Miss P by sharpening some pencils now that we are back at Chets Creek.
Monday was our last day in the city. I begged Miss P to take me to NBC studios, so I could see where the "Today Show" is filmed. I didn't see any of the hosts, but I did see cameras set up for a segment in the plaza outside. There were many people gathered around holding signs, just like you see on television. I was going to wait for the segment to be filmed, but I wanted to keep going so I could get to MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art) before it got crowded. There were many interesting paintings, sculptures, and models to look at. I didn't stay long though; I was pretty tired from walking around. Miss P thought it would be a good idea to recharge ourselves by eating some giant pieces of New York style cheesecake in Central Park, so we had a little picnic. We sat near a pond and listened to a man play the saxophone while we ate. It was very relaxing. Then we watched people riding in horse drawn carriages. Eventually we made it back to where we were staying, to pack our bags and take a nap before dinner. What a day. Miss P let me try some of her artichoke ravioli at dinner. It was much more delicious than the twigs and berries I am accustomed to. Man, what a trip! I just can't believe all the fun things we did in such a short amount of time. I can't wait to go on another trip soon! Who will be next to take me on an adventure? Will it be you? Where will we go? I just can't wait to start another journey.