Pine Bluff National Bank's Crown Club recently returned from 'holiday' in New York City.

Pine Bluff National Bank’s Crown Club recently returned from ‘holiday’ in New York City.

Christmas in New York is spectacular with so many beloved holiday traditions in the city; it was impossible to take them all in within a week, but the Crown Club was determined to give it a shot.

Upon arrival at their deluxe accommodations at the Sheraton New York, the group dispersed to grab a bite for dinner. Carnegie Deli was at the top of the list for many. This true New York City landmark, founded in 1937, is as popular now as it ever was. Their walls are filled with pictures of celebrities, dignitaries, athletes and others who have enjoyed their famous gargantuan sandwiches and pickles.

After dinner, they began exploration of the city on their own. Several toured the world famous landmark, the Empire State building. The building is the highlight of New York’s skyline reaching 1250 feet above the city with stunning views, especially at night.

The next morning, after breakfast at Lindy’s, the group began their fascinating tour of the “Big Apple”. A local guide escorted the group around the city to view time-honored landmarks such as Greenwich Village, the Wall Street district, Chinatown, United Nations, the Chrysler Building, Central Park, views of Ground Zero and St. Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Church. Now famous as the “Little Chapel that stood”, the church became a relief center after the towers fell. Clergy counseled, cooks dished out meals and medical workers treated the injured and weary.

The group enjoyed dinner at Maison Restaurant, a casual French Brasserie located in the heart of the theatre district. Following dinner, the travelers walked to Radio City Music Hall for the incredible Radio City Christmas Spectacular: The Rockettes Celebration! The world-famous Rockettes entertained all with their signature high-kicks and precision choreography. This year’s show included a new showcase of the most extraordinary Rockettes’ costumes through their 85-year history of dance, style, memories and surprises.

The following morning, the Crown Clubbers were awakened to snow in the big city. Everyone was excited, as it just added to the Christmas spirit flowing throughout the city. The group departed for a boat cruise of lower Manhattan and even though the group did not get to tour Ellis Island because of recent damage from the superstorm Sandy, everyone enjoyed the views of the famous Statue of Liberty as the boat circled the island. Since 1886, “Lady Liberty” has welcomed immigrants and visitors to the New York Harbor. She is a global symbol of freedom. After the cruise, the group divided; many were dropped off at Macy’s for some shop therapy and the others spent the afternoon exploring exhibits and vital collections at the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Tonight after dinner, many in the group joined thousands at Rockefeller Center for a beloved holiday tradition among families in the city, to watch the lighting of the world’s most famous Christmas tree. Stars performing in the 80th annual celebration, both live and taped, included Rod Stewart, Cee Lo Green, Mariah Carey, Trace Adkins, II Volo and many others. The crowd danced and sang along with their favorite artists before the switch was flipped. The crowd roared as the 80-foot tree with more than 30,000 multi-colored led lights, crowned by a Swarovski star, lit up at just before 9 p.m.

On the last day of this Christmas vacation, everyone had a free day to do as they chose. The Collette guide made arrangements and escorted those who wanted to tour the 911 memorial site. Crown Club director, Cindy Whitwell, escorted those who wanted to take the NYC Department Store Holiday Windows tour. The most famous window displays and themes were as follows: Saks Fifth Avenue’s Snowflake Spectacular, this year’s story ‘the Snowflake and the Yeti’ plays out in fashionable holiday fantasy; Macy’s Magic of Christmas windows celebrate the magic of holiday traditions throughout the ages; Bloomingdale’s Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away included five scenes from the film which was released in theaters on December 21; Bergdorf Goodman’s BG Follies of 2012 was inspired by the lux life of American pop culture in the 1920s and ‘30s, otherwise known as the Jazz Age; Barneys New York Electric Holiday partnered with Walt Disney Company to bring holiday extravaganza to life; last but my favorite, is Lord & Taylor’s Holiday Traditions Around the World. The store celebrated 75 years of showcasing their holiday windows through depictions of spending the season with those you love, from seeing Santa Clause on his day off to his travels around the globe.

The group enjoyed time for lunch at one of New York’s many delicious delis and stopped for shopping time at several of the department stores, as well as, Tiffany’s and FAO Schwarz NYC.

The final evening, the group dined at Scaletta’s, across from New York’s Central Park. The dinner was a relaxing and enjoyable evening with delicious Northern Italian food in a beautiful setting. After dinner, it was time for the clubbers to enjoy the hit Broadway musical, “Mary Poppins”. One of the most popular Disney movies of all times, this hit musical was delightfully entertaining for all. It was a wonderful mixture of magic, fun, dance numbers and a heartfelt story with unforgettable songs. Everyone left singing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.

Crown club members and guests enjoying this Christmas vacation include Joy Wilkerson, Christa Bruner, Tenie Bullard, Elaine Dial, Allison and Terri Ruff, Katherine Keahey, Mary Ann Grimes, Jerry & George Reap, Kay Turner, Curley Gilmore, Cathy Metcalf, Kimala Coker, Laura Hopson, Karen Preston, Judy & Ben Ellison, John Whitwell and Cindy.

Whitwell reminded the group to call PBNB and sign up for the Italia Classica tour preview party on Jan. 17. The tour which features Rome, Florence, Venice, and the modern city of Milan will be Oct. 21-29, 2013. She also informed them of the San Antonio Christmas tour for 2013.