If we’re going to see it–it has to be today. Note the lady in the white T-shirt smiling sweetly at our little herd. Yeah, we got a lot of that.
Aren’t these mounted policemen the guys who chased Santa Claus through Central Park in that Elf movie? I bet that got them on the naughty list.
A shy bald kid at his favorite place on the face of the earth…
Nintendo World! Gee, I thought our front room was Nintendo world. My mistake.
The youngsters were thoroughly enthralled.
Most of them, anyway.
I really wanted to see where the Macy’s Parade takes place on Thanksgiving. Maybe I’m some kind of country chick or something, but I just couldn’t fathom an 8 story department store.
By the time we went up all the escalators–I was a believer.
This place had a McDonalds right in the middle of the store. Yogurt–yum!
Then on to the Empire State Building. We didn’t actually take the tour to the top—
but the ground level was really pretty.
Speaking of ground–apparently New York people spit a ton of gum on the ground. Ewww–ah.
Prepare now for the ultimate Subway experience. First you go in and down…
then sometimes you have to go back up. Hooray for big burly men.
See that gal in the green shirt waaaay up ahead? Well, she is our illustrious leader, guiding us to all things touristy–provided you can keep up.
I’ll admit, I expected the subways to be dark and dirty and full of scary gangs and half dead people. I know, too many movies–but the truth is–they were clean and well lit and full of regular folks…just like us. See? I can be taught!
Our destination was at the very last stop. That why the sign says, “Last Stop.” har har
We found this lush, shady park to sit in and rest our tired bones…
and stare out at the lovely Lady Liberty. This was my very first time seeing her.
We just sat and thought for a very long time. It seemed like the proper thing to do. That’s the bald kid and his mom in between the trees there.
It was really quite peaceful…sobering even. My mother’s family came here from Sweden and my father’s came from Scotland about a hundred years ago. They both saw this very same lovely sight.
We loved the boats…
and the chicken nuggets…
the sea birds…
and the mysteriously matching trees.
We discovered that they are building a memorial visitor’s center for the World Trade Center.
So, for now all we could do was stand back and take pictures of the Ground Zero horizon…
This is what a thousand pounds of jaw breakers looks like up close.
It looks the same far away.
A couple of babies enthralled with a Jack in the Box. Sheesh, you’d think they’d never been surrounded with 65,000,000 toys before…
or been hugged by a 6 foot bear.
Three stories of this. Even a Barbie wing. A BARBIE WING!
I’m sorry, did I say that twice? They even had my very first Barbie in a glass case as a collector’s item. Ok, that part was embarrassing, but if you’re wondering where the picture is…umm…well…too blurry to do anything but make everyone sea sick. Maybe I was shaking.
It was an emotional moment for me.
Remember the movie “Big” where Tom Hanks dances on the giant piano? Well, I’m sure at some point, I told my kids that I’d get them one of those big pianos someday…
Oh, yeah. I lied.
Lily chose a sweet dolly…
and Beck and Chompy met the Muppets.
If you look at the corner shelf on the far right—third shelf down, third bird over–you’ll see a stuffed Robin. It came home with me, to be with the Cardinal that I already have.
Maybe it would be helpful to tell you how we planned out this New York vacation in the first place. Jacob had us sit down one evening and write down two things that we would feel really disappointed if we missed seeing. Two things might not sound like much, but with 7 adults going to one city that could be a ton of “important” places to go.
Today, we mapped out where everyone’s “not to miss places” were and realized that most of them were on the same street—5th Avenue. So, we started walking, and pointing and snapping pictures.
Today, it was raining and we quickly found that everyone in the state of New York has an umbrella hidden somewhere on their person–except us. How do they do that?
An MTV salute to SpongeBob? Help me.
I really like this town.
One of my kids said, “We have those at home, mom.” Pretty sure they meant the bird.
Well, we don’t have anyplace like this where I come from. I didn’t even know such a place existed. Now, I ask you–how is a rational person supposed to behave?
I’m all a quiver.
Oh, we’re going in, all right.
Pretty sure that my Daney Boy would always catch this football. Yum!
Even the Hershey’s store can’t interfere with Chompy’s nap time. How would it be to just magically fall asleep whenever you’re tired?
Wait. Maybe I already do that.
A store dedicated to the proposition that all M&Ms are created equal. I totally lost sight of nearly all my children and all their children in this place.
The bald kid and I sat in a corner and waited it out.
This thingy looked pretty important, so I took a picture.
It’s soup to me.
Oh-ho! So this is where the natives are getting those umbrellas. Very clever indeed. It did me no good though, because being hobbit-like in stature, I still couldn’t reach them.
Being book lovers, we needed to see the NY Public Library. This building holds over 15 million books. Sounds like our family room. What a cool place.
We sat outside the library to regroup and Jillian found a couple of birds that were happy to eat out of her hand. We don’t have them back home.
This incredible place is St.Patrick’s Cathedral. It has been here since 1879. It is actually much bigger than it looks on the outside.
Breathtaking on the inside.
While we were walking quietly around, admiring the beauty of this reverent place…
we looked over at sweet baby Beckham and without any prompting from anyone—
…he was so reverently—folding his arms. Babies “get” things better than we do sometimes.
You know how, when it’s time to pack up and leave a hotel–a hotel you’ve called “home” for 3 days–how it’s kind of an ordeal to sort out his, and hers and theirs and ours and somehow get it all packed back into those really little shrinking suitcases? Well, we did it.
April even rounded up her arsenal of 843 Binkies–for the road. It’s apparently a twin thing.
Little dudes are ready…
Teeny, tiny Aunt Jillian has squeezed into her cozy spot–where no other human being could possibly fit. So, we are indeed ready to head off to the big city.
Several hours and a couple of rest stops later, we spotted signs that we were leaving the quiet, foresty, calm world that we had known, thus far.
“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
“Look! Emerald City is closer, and prettier than ever!”
WAIT. Nobody told me about the tunnel….
the UNDER WATER tunnel!
Perhaps I haven’t shared with you how I feel about tunnels. We won’t talk about the underwater part.
Imagine me, with my eyes squinched shut, fingers in my ears, shrieking. Not a fan of tunnels.
Ok, ok. When I opened up my eyes, I realize that we had survived.
But it was close.
And so the city approaches.
Those are some mighty tall buildings, Opie.
And that-there is a busload of people, Aunt Bee.
While unloading the car we had a swarm of passer-byers make sweet comments about seeing 3 babies all in one place, and about Chompy’s new hat. Wait a second–is this the cold, mean New York, that we’ve heard so much about? Hmmm….
By the time we got our luggage to our rooms upstairs the place really came to life. We did learn fast that if you see something cool and stop to take a picture of it, you’ll cause an immediate 17 people pile up. The proper procedure is to step off to the side and then snap the picture. That may make a few people smile and shake their heads, like, “Oh, you tourists,” but it beats being trampled to death on Broadway.
Our hotel room was just around the corner from Time Square.
We found a familiar pizza joint, first thing. The guy behind the counter yelled at us–and I’m not kidding–to give him our order, before we even stepped up to the counter.
He said, “Boom, boom, boom! What you want? Hurry! Move!” Don’t be dilly-dallying around in this town man. These folks are in a hurry.
Obviously, some of us were particularly hungry.
So many lights. So many people. So far away from home. So much to look at. So much to squeeze into the next couple of days.