We were so excited to take the kids back to some of their favorite spots from the summer we spent in the City as well as to do some brand new things. Last time the kids were here Blake could ride in a stroller and Josh could stand on the buggy board. Let me tell you, that made things a lot easier. Now that they had to power their own bodies there was a lot more whining to contend with 🙂 Rusty and I were so fatigued from the marathon that it made parenting harder than normal. Although there were times we both had to take a step back and do some deep breathing we managed to have a pretty good time. Of course it was made all the better by the fact that Grandpa and Grandma were there with us.
Monday morning we ate breakfast at the hotel. Josh was on a mission to eat a donut every day were were in the city. And he succeeded! Then we were off to Roosevelt Island. Neither Rusty and I nor my parents had ever been. It feels just quiet enough to be a respite from the noisy city and sports some killer views of the UES. We rode the free red bus down to a cute little lighthouse.
Then we took the Roosevelt Island tram. It was really a fun little ride! It’s smooth, fast, and almost all glass and it’s awesome to view the city from above. I’m so glad we tried this out! It follows right along the Queensboro Bridge so we also got to relive a little of the marathon.
On our way to Central Park we passed Dylan’s candy. Naturally, we had to go inside. Josh decided to spend the rest of his birthday money on a personalized candy jar. He says now he’ll have a dedicated place to put his stash and won’t have to hide it under his pillow.
Billy Johnson Playground was our first destination in Central Park. It’s a beautiful little pocket park where all the features try and blend in with the natural surroundings. There wasn’t a ton of play equipment, but the slide stole all our hearts. The kids could have stayed here for hours.
Just a stone’s throw away from the playground was this beautiful gazebo high up on a hill. I imagine there have been some pretty romantic date nights in this gazebo deep inside the park with the city shining in the background.
No trip to Central Park is complete without a stop at Bethesda Fountain. It is one of my favorite places EVER. The bubble man was there and Blake just loved all those magnificent, giant bubbles. We hung at the fountain and the lake for a bit, then walked to Bow Bridge.
(This is my “Where’s Waldo” Picture. Can you spot Blake, Josh and Rusty?)
After Bow, the boys were getting tired but we kept dragging them along. They wanted to stop but we pushed them to keep going. Finally Josh had had enough. He recruited Blake and said, “Come on Blake, if we both sit down they will have to wait for us.” So they both sat down in the middle of the sidewalk and wouldn’t budge. It was hilarious.
After a ride on my back Josh perked up a little and we made it to Gapstow Bridge. This is the bridge you see in all the movies and with the fall foliage all around it was a stunning site to see. Loved it.
We were beyond starving at this point so we made a pit stop at Waffles and Dinges on our way to Five Guys and Dig Inn. (Food will be covered in detail in a different post)
After another jaunt on the subway we were at the Highline. It’s such a fun way to view the city and there are so many cool/interesting/strange art installations to see.
We ended our walk on the Highline at Chelsea Market. Mmmmm….Chelsea Market.
We split the vote after Chelsea Market. Rusty and Josh and Blake wanted to hit up the Apple Store for awhile. The Cornells and Halle and I wanted to go to the holiday shops at Bryant Park. So we decided to meet back at the hotel when we were all done. It was fun to see the ice skating rink, look in the fun, eclectic shops, and eat another croissant hybrid–the Cretzel. We slept hard that night!
We woke up on Tuesday and the city was abuzz. It was election day! Time to decide between Hillary and Donald. Yikes. But thanks to early voting, our job was done. We headed to breakfast at the very apropo spot–Clinton Street Baking Co. And miracle of all miracles, there was no line! The pancakes, scrambles and french toast were delicious. This meal sustained us until almost dinner 🙂
Then it was another Subway ride across the river to Brooklyn. Our destination? The NY Transit Museum. Another 1st for us. It is such a unique place. The museum is housed in an old subway station. We learned all about the Sandhogs who dug the Subway tunnels and explored all sorts of cool old subway cars. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something to do off the beaten path.
We decided to walk the Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan. My feet were still tired and sore from the marathon and Rusty paid Blake a dollar to rub my feet. It was great!
The Brooklyn Bridge never ceases to amaze me. It is an architectural wonder! The weather was a little chilly, but the sky was blue and we could see lower Manhattan gleaming in the distance.
And who should we see at the bottom of the bridge but Hillary and Donald! Of course we had to snap a photo.;)
After the Bridge we all needed a pick me up. Pretzels and Coke in the park by City Hall to the rescue!
We couldn’t visit Lower Manhattan without stopping at Trinity church to pay homage to our main man, Alexander Hamilton. The kids had fun discovering his grave, Eliza’s, Hercules Mulligan, and Angelica. Angelica is buried in the Livingston family vault, so her headstone doesn’t even mention her name!
With daylight savings taking effect we were running out of daylight. We hopped over to WTC 1 to add a little Wow Factor to our trip. It was so fun to see their faces as the elevator sped to the 102nd floor of the tallest building in North America.
We got to watch the sky turn from blue to pink to yellow as darkness set over the city and the lights started to twinkle. Empire State was lit up red, white, and blue in honor of the election. And later that evening past presidents and also election results were projected on the side of the building. It was really cool!
When we spent the summer in NYC Josh’s favorite thing on earth was Ceasar’s Palace Pizza. We could easily walk there from our apartment and the slices are huge and delicious. He had been saving his birthday dinner for this occasion and we all thoroughly enjoyed our NYC slices. The birthday boy also got a bottle of Snapple, something he had loved to do back then that I had completely forgotten about!
We could resist the pull of the election no longer and we made our way to Rockefeller Center and “Democracy Plaza.” What a site to see! Rockefeller was also lit in red, white, and blue and there were giant TV projectors and live feeds broadcasting results as the polls closed for the day. It was a really neat experience, and probably one of my favorite from the trip. We walked past police officers with machine guns near the Hilton, where Trump’s campaign was headquartered for the evening. Hillary was across town at the Javits Center. People were cheering or booing as state results were rolling in. God Bless America–it was fun to be up close to all the action.
We tried to stay up late into the night to see who won, but the 24,000 steps we took that day got the better of us. We woke up the next morning in Trump’s America. Heaven help us all.