Thursday, August 14, 2008

NYC - Day 4 & 5

I know, I know - it's been awhile since I posted. I would have finished up about our trip to NYC sooner however I was in Austin and then Washington DC with only two days in between and very little computer access. (This helped a bit with my facebook addition however having the mobile application on my blackberry prevented me from going through total withdrawal.)

So day 4 of our trip was a big one. Hubby and I took the boys to the city to see all the sights. Seeger loved riding the train from Sayville to Penn Station, although didn't seem as impressed about going under ground into the city as I would have thought. I think he's just such a jet setter that it takes much more to make a true impact.

Upon arriving at Penn Station, we hopped on the subway to downtown and Battery Park. Our first site of the day was the Statue of Liberty. At my mom's advice, I prepurchased tickets online however I didn't do it early enough to get tickets for going up to the monument. So our tickets were for the ferry ride to Liberty Island where we could still walk around and see the Statue up close - we just couldn't go up. Last time I visited the Statue of Liberty (about 12 years ago), I was able to climb to the top of the crown and look out. After 9/11, they only allow access to pedestal. I thought the boys might be bummed about not getting to go up but after waiting in line to catch the ferry and seeing the second line for the pedestal, we were all fine with missing out this time around. It was a beautiful day and we took several pictures however my favorite is this one that hubby took from the ferry boat.

We were able to get a nice family picture with the Manhattan skyline in the back.

After eating lunch on Liberty Island and walking around for a bit, we skipped the tour of Ellis Island (I don't think the boys would have really enjoyed it) and headed back to Battery Park. In hind site, hubby and I decided we probably should have skipped the Liberty Island ferry and taken the Staten Island ferry instead. The boys still would have gotten a good look at the Miss Liberty and we would have avoided the expense and wait of going to Liberty Island.

I didn't realize it but Battery Park is now home to "The Sphere" sculpture that stood outside the World Trade Center until 9/11. We didn't make the trip to Ground Zero but I'm happy (and sobered) that we were able to see it.

From Battery Park, we took the subway to Central Park so we could hit up FAO Schwartz. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to see much of Central Park other than the stinky horses but Nicklas was exited to recognize the Plaza Hotel from one of his favorite movies, Home Alone 2. After grabbing some drinks, we headed to the big toy store which had lots of cool Harry Potter stuff (which Nicklas loved) but no Thomas the Tank Engine (a bummer for Seeger). Hubby and the boys rocked the house on the Big Piano.

We walked around the store and checked out the different areas and it wasn't until we got the candy section until either boy asked for something. Seeger's eyes lit up at the bubble gum so how could I deny him the 50 cent treat? Nicklas picked out some cotton candy and we left the store and headed to the Empire State Building. We debated on taking the subway but decided to try and walk the 25 blocks instead. It was hubby's idea to walk and he took the brunt of it by carrying Seeger on his shoulders for almost 18 blocks. He's such a rock star!

I had also prepurchased tickets to the Empire State building which unfortunately didn't mean we got to go up to the observatory any sooner than the thousand or so other people who were also visiting that day. I'm guessing we waited in line for about 2 hours but the boys did great and didn't complain at all about the wait. They are remodeling the 80th floor observatory so it was pretty crowded on the 86th floor. We were able to squeeze in and get a few shots of the city but miserably failed at getting a nice family shot.

We didn't spend nearly as much time at the top as I would have liked but with the crowd and evening time upon us, I was ready to get back to ground level and search for dinner. We made our way to Penn Station, stopping at Jack Dempsey's pub for dinner.
Hubby and I were successful in getting on the correct train the second time around however we didn't think about the fact that it was Friday and all the city folks were headed to the Hampton's for the weekend. Did you know you can openly drink beer on the Long Island Railroad? There was a definite party atmosphere and lots of confused people who kept stopping the train because they were missing their stop. But as it was our last day of vacation, we didn't mind the extra time it took to get back to Aunt Carolyn's. When we returned, the boys headed to bed and hubby and I enjoyed staying up to chat with Carolyn and Bob. It was a great visit and I'm always amazed at how much I enjoy family vacations with the boys - they don't fight or have tantrums and they always seem to enjoy the activities we do. We always end up having a great time. As they get older, I hope they continue to appreciate that we are able to have nice vacations.

Day five was Saturday. We woke up, bid farewell to Aunt Carolyn who had to go into work. We took a quick picture before she left.

Uncle Bob graciously drove us to LaGuardia for our 1pm flight. I started this post saying that Seeger is such a jet setter. Doesn't he look it in this photo at the airport?

We arrived all safe and sound in Lafayette that evening. Thanks again to Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Bob for having us. We can't wait to come back for another visit!

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