Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 2 in New York

For our second day in New York City, we wanted to see the Statue of Liberty & the Empire State Building. So, we took the bus again from our hotel to the Port Authority.
The view on Chris' side of the bus was a little better than mine...
We took a cab from the Port Authority to the ferry. That ride was pretty uneventful, and in the end, the driver dropped us off at the wrong one. He took us to the terminal for the Staten Island Ferry. It was freezing out, so we stayed for a few minutes to warm up & have a snack. The terminal had a nice view of the Brooklyn Bridge, though.Once we could feel our fingers again, we walked a few blocks to the Ellis Island Ferry, only to find out that not only would it be at least a 2 hour wait, they would only go by the Statue of Liberty, not actually stopping there as their brochure alluded to. So, we opted to enjoy the view of the Statue from shore. We took a brisk walk towards Ground Zero after that. Along the way we saw a cemetery...while I realize even New York has to have cemeteries, it just seemed a little out of place to me.
We also went by Wall Street.
And finally arrived at Ground Zero. It was kind of a surreal feeling, to see it so many years later.
We took a cab from Ground Zero to the Empire State Building. It was just like they show on TV! The driver completely ignored these "Don't Honk" signs, and literally almost ran over the feet of a couple crossing against the light!

While I was in the front seat fearing for my life, Chris & the boys were enjoying the view.
Tyler was especially excited...or at least as excited as a 14 year old gets when on vacation with his family.

Here are some pictures of the Empire State Building when we arrived there & got in line.
We took a few pictures inside the building, too, while we waited in line.
King Kong even paid a visit.

Finally, after over three hours in line, we got to go up. The view was probably would have been better in daylight, though. It certainly was nothing like they showed on "Sleepless in Seattle"!

Here's a final picture of the lights right after we came down.

From there, we decided to check out Times Square again, to see it at night.

This was the end of our time in New York City. Overall, it was really fun to see, I'm glad we decided to take the boys there. But there were just way too many people for me - I don't know how people can live there! Next stop...Washington DC.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New York, New York

We decided to go on a vacation this year with just Tyler & Cameron. We started out thinking if we waited to take them to Disney World until the little kids were old enough, they would be too old to enjoy it. But after remembering that neither one of them is really into rides and such that maybe Disney World was not the ideal place, so the four of us agreed that New York City would be fun, and we could drive down to Washington DC for a day, too.

The original plan was to drive there, but that was re-thought when my sister told me about some very inexpensive flights to New York, which sounded a whole lot better than driving for 2 days each way! We were really starting to wonder if we made a mistake, however, when we starting hearing the weather forecast for the day we were flying out. So much so, that we even purchased trip insurance since all of our hotel rooms were non-refundable.

The plan was to leave on Christmas Day and return on New Year's Eve. I took our 5 kids up to my sister's on Christmas Eve but Chris had to wait until Christmas Day, as the respite care we had lined up for the 3 foster boys we have wasn't available until then. Christmas Day morning he got stuck in the driveway of the couple doing the respite care for us, and once he got pushed out, he averaged about 30 MPH on the freeway in the freezing rain. About a half an hour before my sister was going to drop the boys & I off at the airport, a car got stuck at the bottom of her driveway and it was looking like we might not be able to get out. But we did all manage to get to the airport in plenty of time for our flight. If the flight was able to get off the ground, of course.

Not only did our flight leave from Minneapolis, we also had a connection in Chicago, and with snow & freezing rain forecasted in both cities, we were not certain we would make it there until that second plane took off from Chicago. Amazingly, we made it, without more than a 20 minute delay. Since it was after 11 pm by the time we arrived, we got to the hotel & went to bed.

As luck would have it, I woke up the next day with a horrible migraine. So we just took it easy that day & hung around the hotel. I think it was very needed, especially given the amount of walking we would be doing the rest of the trip!

Our hotel was actually in Secausus, New Jersey, literally right next door to the Meadowlands, so we took the bus into "the city" the next morning. (That is if you use the technically definition of morning being any time before noon since we did have a teenager with us.) We were dropped off at the Port Authority and armed with a map of NYC started walking.

It didn't take very long before we came upon our fist street performer.

We also saw some celebrity's...

We meandered to Times Square and Central Park.

We also had to see David Letterman's studio (although he was on vacation),

The Hello Deli was also closed...they must go on vacation the same time that Dave does.Next was Rockefeller Plaza and the Trump Tower.

After dinner at TGI Friday's we checked out Ripley's Believe It or Not.

And, finally, we found our way back to the Port Authority to catch our ride back to the hotel to rest our legs for day 2 in NYC.