One of my bucket list items has been to travel to New York City (NYC). I have never been and I especially find NYC very lively or magical around the holidays. In my mind, NYC seemed so vast in size, concrete everywhere, millions of people, thousands of buildings, block after city block of stop lights, and taxi cabs. These where my initial thoughts of what New York City was going to be like. I wasn’t too far off.
I had planned this trip for almost 9 months, saving money, researching, and planning. I wanted to take my kids over the holidays, to see the magical chaos that is New York City. It was a surprise and my kids knew nothing until Dec. 25th, when they both got suitcases and a few NYC items inside, along with the plane tickets. We flew out the 26th ready to tackle the city.
I had purchased NYC Passes which gave us entry to 6-8 different sites which included the Statue of Library, Museum of Natural History, Art Museum, Intrepid Aircraft Carrier and Museum, NYC Boat tours, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center/Building, etc. There were a few more attractions. The passes where a great price and in some places, we got to cut the line due to having these passes while in other places it did not matter and we had to wait with the other hundreds and/or thousands of people waiting to get in. Not fun with kids or the cold. We cut our losses and gave-up on actually going up in the Statue of Library due to the unbelievable lines and we saw it from the water on a nice, heated boat (it was 20 degrees that day).
We covered 9 miles via walking on our first day. I was determined to get our bang-for-our-buck while visiting NYC. The following day, we invested in Metro passes. But a combination of walking and Metro seem to work. The kids were troopers and plus it was about 20 degrees there, but a heatwave compared to the temps back at home. If I shoved food, like hot pretzles, down my kids, they would do a better job at walking (or they could not complain about it while eating).
It was amazing to see sites, buildings, monuments, etc. that I had only seen on TV or in movies. That is probably what interested my kids the most. Home Alone 2 and the movie Elf were both filmed in New York City and in Central Park. We loved the food, the lights, and the history. What we did not care for was the millions of people. People everywhere being herded like cattle across crosswalks as Time Square was being set-up for New Year’s Eve. People really didn’t visit, engage in conversation, but walked very quickly on their way. I could see where even in a city filled with millions of people, that someone could be very lonely.
My kids did take notice that many people spoke different languages which they found interesting. I liked that they picked this up the first day and this was great exposure to diversity that they do not get in rural, Midwest America. The kids did not really understand or get the 911 Memorial. They understood the event but they have a very limited connection to the actual event. The 911 Memorial was very humbling, sad, and very emotional for my mom (who came with us) and I. My youngest child then concluded that it must be like a cemetery and in a way, he is right.
But if you ask my kids what they liked best, they will tell you the Lego Store, Build-a-Bear, and Doughnut shops. (Insert eye-roll). They would have been perfectly happy to sit in the hotel room, building Lego’s, and watching the Teen Titans marathon (a.k.a. most annoying cartoon ever). But we made some great memories and we hope we can all go back in the next couple of years, in the spring or summer. Going during the holidays was a once-in-life-time experience.
I would like to return to NYC with just adults as well. The food, the shows, exhibits, etc. to do things that my kids would not enjoy. The city did not disappoint and I know that my kids will remember many of the sights and sounds of the city. One of my favorite pictures I have posted is of the view from our hotel that looked directly down on the busy street below filled with taxis and of Carnegie Hall in the background. NYC was pretty amazing.
One thought on “New York City, You Did Not Disappoint”
That is my concept of NYC in 1953 and 1964. I imagine it is more so in 2017. Good post. You have taken your boys on fantastic trips. Keep it up.
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