It is only appropriate that it has taken me a little time since returning home from the whirlwind city known as New York, The Big Apple, The Island of Manhattan to post about our family’s experience. An experience in and of itself that we inhabited NYC for 3 and 1/2 days and there was NO rain. We had bright days full of sunshine to walk hundreds of blocks and easily grab a cab in what is my favorite city.
Guess that I will have to take the boys back to experience hailing a cab in the pouring rain?
My dad was a Brooklyn Boy, and I spent the better part of my childhood visiting New York several times a year. I always left begging and whining and pleading that I wanted us to move on up from Pittsburgh to NYC. I am pretty sure the ‘I [heart] NY’ was written with me in mind. All this being said, this was the first time that my boys visited NYC. After losing my dad, going to New York became bittersweet for me.
I would be lying if I did not admit that I also knew going to NYC with the boys would mean little to no shopping for me. When I head out with the boys it is always with their disclaimer, ‘No shopping, No stores.’ Let’s just say that shopping for anything other than sporting goods and Legos is not their thing. Ever.
With the no shopping stipulation set, there was nothing holding us back from NYC. I spent the six-hour car ride sharing stories of visiting NYC growing up with my dad. I told the boys everything we used to see and do and EAT when we went to the Big Apple. They were prepped and ready to hit the city their Pappy called home and their Mom calls heaven.
Upon arrival, we ditched our car for some crazy per night rate and hit the streets. I will say that my kids are urban kids, so the walking was not a big deal to them. We walked almost everywhere with the exception of a cab ride here or there and a Subway journey. We stayed in Times Square since it was the boys’ first time in Manhattan, and my wonderful hubby thought they would love all the lights, billboards, and action. He was right. They did.
Prior to leaving, I debated heavily on whether to see a Broadway Show or not. For this trip, I decided not. We had another little surprise for the boys while we were in the home to the NY Knicks, and as a collective, none of us wanted to see the same show.
Next time – definitely.
One of the biggest highlights of the trip was checking out the sights and places from movies we have seen like Home Alone 2, Serendipity, and Ghost Busters. Our first day consisted of hours spent in Central Park. We checked out the zoo, the fountain, and yes, we were BIG tourists who took a pedicab ride through the park. The horses were not a fan favorite for the boys, but the pedicabs received two thumbs up.
Having our fill of the Park and catching a quick sneak peek at the Plaza Hotel – where we did not stay…off to Serendipity 3 for a frozen hot chocolate
…and Dylan’s Candy Bar for candy (even our friends from the Upper West Side took a cab over to meet us because it is so delicious)
…and we did take in some shopping.
Would you believe that this was all in the first day not including a bathroom break at Bloomingdales (?!?!?), a cupcake for me, and a late dinner? I would have to say that one little trick was not over planning, which I am can be guilty of at times. We took a wait and see attitude on weather and mood to visiting NYC. It worked.
We ended our first night with a visit to the Top of Rockefeller Center. It was absolutely terrific to see all the lights and the Empire State Building all lit up. HB downloaded an app that went along with The Top of The Rock that could line up with the skyline so we knew what building or bridge we were looking at – COOL!
Needless to say, we all fell into bed that evening and did not hear a peep from Times Square. The rest of our days did not seem to have as many hours as the first. The second day was taken over with brunch at The Carnegie Deli (my dad’s favorite), and JB was only thrilled to see that his favorite quarterback had eaten there, too.
The remainder of the day was spent on the surprise – THE KNICKS game! As you probably know, we are a basketball family, and going to see the Knicks play the Bulls at Madison Square Garden was the biggest hit ever with the boys. A dream come true, tickets worth the money (gulp), and truly a one-of-a-kind experience to go to a major sporting event in NYC.
Well, and having Amare Stoudemire sign a T-shirt!
After a nail biter of a game that went into over time, we could have gone home with 2 happy kids, but we still had time left.
We spent our last day seeing Lady Liberty from Battery Park, visiting the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero, riding the Subway, and exploring the West Village. The 9/11 Memorial is something to behold. A stunning tribute to the lives lost on that dreadful day in our history. JB, who was 9 months old when 9/11 happened, has started to learn about the tragedy in school. The memorial held a heavy impact for him.
(A little tip – if you want tickets, keep checking back on the website as they add more time slots every day)
All in, we were able to capture a little bit of spectacular-ness in a few days in NYC with a good attitude and comfortable shoes. I am grateful for all the walking because without it, I would have gained 10 pounds rather than five. We ate so many good eats while were in Manhattan. I could not photograph all of our delicious experiences, but I will tell you each little bite was great.
Oh, I should close with this – I did get in ONE hour of shoe shopping somewhere in the few days … shhhhh.