What can I say? New York was one wild ride. It was a family trip with my mom, my brother, my sister, my nephews, and my neice. Let me just tell you that I had a whole itinerary planned out, down to the minute (I take after my dad). Things went completely haywire before we even stepped off the bus.
We arrived in New York City at around 9 in the morning and my mom decided that she wanted to take a ride on the ferry. She said, “we can’t visit NYC without the kids seeing the Statue of Liberty.” I, for one, didn’t particularly care, but maybe it’s because I have been to New York a million times and I’ve definitely seen it before. So, I guess I was a bit biased, but I went along with it.
We took the subway to the terminal, got on the boat, and made our way to New Jersey. There, while we were waiting for the boat to go back, we had lunch at Dairy Queen. They actually had a really good deal going on there, $5 meal plus a drink AND a dessert! And, if you don’t know, I really love cheap meals 🙂
After taking the boat back and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the second time, we took the subway to Central Park. The kids ran around on the playground and the giant rock, went on the carousel, and visited the famous Bethesda Fountain (which can be seen in many, many movies).
From there, we took the subway to a bus that would take you from the city to New Jersey for only $3. We needed to get to the penthouse so we could drop off our bags. Unfortunately, we spent so much time in Central Park, that we were off schedule which shifted everything back by a couple of hours (this would prove to be very bad later on, just like I predicted).
It took us quite a bit of time to find the penthouse because it had gotten dark and it wasn’t exactly easy to find, not to mention the fact that a few people in our group had to use the bathroom… When we finally found the building, got to our floor, and stepped through the door, it was pretty breathtaking. It had two rooms with two beds in each, a family room, two bathrooms (one with a bathtub and one with a shower), a kitchen, and a dining room.
We rested for a bit and wandered around looking at things while we planned our next move. After taking the bus back to the city, which took forever because of traffic in the Lincoln Tunnel, we just decided to get some pizza for dinner. A lot of the places we wanted to go to were beginning to close because it was nearing 10 at night. But, we decided to stick it out and make the most of the time we could.
I thought it would be pretty cool to take the kids to Grand Central Station and I made really cool analogies about the train station and the scenes in the first Madagascar movie when the animals went to the station to help the kids understand better. I also went on to say how many times that place had been destroyed in many different movies.
We headed to look at and take pictures with the big Christmas tree in the Lotte New York Palace after looking around Grand Central. It was quickly approaching midnight and we were still walking around looking at the pretty lights and decorations. We decided that our best options would be to look at the window displays, go to the Rockefeller center, and look around Times Square.
Well, we hit a slight problem. Our first stop was Saks (on 5th avenue) and for some reason, it wasn’t there, and looked like it hadn’t been for awhile. Part of me thinks that we were in the wrong place or maybe on the wrong side of the building, but I don’t think that was the case. But, I guess we will never know. So, we made our way to the Rockefeller Center and on the way, we saw the window displays at Tiffany & CO.
Unfortunately for us, when we reached Rockefeller Center they were closing everything down plus, it was oddly really windy! I’m talking full blown gusts of wind, making it more cold than it was already. Not to mention that fact that I was pretty disappointed by how small it looked and the fact that they had turned the tree off. On movies, tv shows, and specials, it looks so much bigger, but I guess the ice skating makes up for it being so small…
Last stop was Times Square because we were tired, it was approaching 2 in the morning, and our feet were killing us (at least I know mine were). Long story short, we made it back to the penthouse, took showers, and finally went to sleep around 3 am.
The next morning, we woke up around 9, packed all of our stuff up, and took the bus back the city. We decided that the only thing we would do that day was visit Macy’s Santaland in Herald Square. And guess what happened? It turns out that you need a reservation to get inside. I was really bummed because I wanted to plan something really nice, fun, and festive for the kids. When I looked online, I thought you only needed the reservation to sit on Santa’s lap and take pictures, not walk around! So, we sat and ate in the McDonalds inside of the Macy’s, went outside, looked at the window displays, and made our way to the bus to go back home. Oh, did I forget to mention that it was pouring raining?? Yes, we were walking long city blocks in the pouring rain, wearing ponchos, with three kids and one was in a stroller (with a cover on it, of course).
Moral of the story: no matter how hard you plan something, sometimes life just finds a way of completely changing your plans. Even though we didn’t get to do a few things that I planned for us to do, everyone still had a really fun time (including me), and maybe the next time I’m in the city that never sleeps, I’ll get a little more sleep…