Friday, October 30, 2009

The Big Apple Trip

This is the Observation Deck on the Empire State Building. It was neat to be able to see New York in all directions. It was a beautiful day with very little wind - even up there. The night before, we all got soaked by the rain. This is definitely a MUST for any visit to NY, but I was not ready for the huge crowds of people. Pre-purchase tickets on line and go in the morning as soon as they open. The lines were longer than Disney World and you go through several different levels of lines. I was also surprised by how many foreign languages we heard all around us. It makes sense that any foreigners visiting America would want to see NY, but I was still surprised at how many and the tremendous variety.

I recommend the tour bus. It's a great way to see everything and you have the option to get on and off anywhere you want. You can use it for pure transportation, but not if you're in a hurry. It was so neat to see the advertisements for Toxic on walls, buses, and even trash cans. This is the same picture as my last blog. JD is the cop - second from the left.

The elevator was broken at Lady Liberty and again, the crowds were huge, especially catching the ferry back and forth. Don't be in a hurry! Even with tickets, pre-bought on-line, we only got to go up to the observation deck (the balcony below the statue). To go up through the statue takes another ticket and you have to reserve it way ahead of time. It was still neat to see it up close after seeing it so many times from planes. If you don't like lines and you don't care about up close, you can take a harbor cruise that circles all the islands and lets you see everything in comfort. We had tickets for that but not the time. Also, the Long Island Ferry is free and allows you to see everything too - from a distance. Thanks to Don Rose for sitting on the ground to get the above picture.
It was raining on Saturday when we arrived, then we had two beautiful days on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday, our last full day there, it was raining again, but we really wanted to see Central Park. It was really beautiful, even in the rain, and it was much bigger than I ever thought it would be. It's two and a half miles long and a half mile wide, with lakes, trails, roads, and buildings of all kinds - not to mention all kinds of sports fields from baseball to tennis. And there are all kinds of things around it or attached to it like museums, the zoo, and lots of other stuff. It is really hard to believe you're in the middle of NY City when you're walking around in the park.

That night we went to dinner with Jonathan and Holly at Otto's, one of Mario Batali's restaurants, in "The Village". It was nice to spend some time with them. We see them less than anyone else in the family because of Jonathan's show schedule, which doesn't include vacation during any holidays. They really do love NY and seem to be coping well with incredibly busy work lives. We really hope that we can go back again before too terribly long.


Deborah said...

How cool! I love the picture of you and mom with umbrellas.

elizabeth said...

Great pictures! I'm so glad you were able to go.

Scott and Ashley said...

I've gotten so used to Facebook that I was looking for the LIKE button!
So glad that you had a great trip!