Times Square, New York City
We spent last weekend in New York with the kids. It was their first visit to the Big Apple, so as soon as we rolled into town we took them to Times Square. It was around 7PM and dark, but as soon as we got there I remember George saying, "Mom, it's so bright it's like the middle of the day!" I was thinking the same thing just as he said it. Caroline was so quiet. She just sat in her stroller looking up at all the lights with her big eyes.
Caroline in awe!
Looking out over the city from the Empire State Building
Kevin had some meetings the next day so I took the kids to see the Empire State Building. It was quite a process to get up to the top, but it wasn't very busy so we got through all the lines pretty quickly. I can only imagine how it must be in the summer! Impossible with kids! There was a line for the tickets, then a line through security, then a line they made you go through to get your picture taken in front of a blue screen, then a line for the elevator to take you up to the museum level, then a line for the elevator to take you up to the top. There were meandering hallways and slight confusion with where to go at times. At one point an employee asked me if I was visiting alone with the kids. I said yes, and he told me to follow him. I must have been given some kind of shortcut. I have no idea! But I was so happy that we got through it so fast!
A nice police officer directed me to a spot where he thought Caroline could see!
The view was incredible! It was also fun to listen to all the accents and dialects from all parts of the globe. It was a tight fit at the top, and there were lots of "I'm sorry" and "excuse me" in our native tongues as we dodged out of each others' photo ops! On the way up we rode with a couple from Sweden, and on the way down we were with some Brits. I kept reminding the boys that we were at one of the most famous landmarks in the world. They were mildly impressed. As for me, I couldn't stop thinking about King Kong, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, and Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. Ha.
Teddy thinks it's hilarious to do this when I ask him to smile.
It was a rainy, dreary day but the view was still spectacular and my pictures don't do it justice.
The tallest building is Freedom Tower, where the World Trade Center towers once stood. You can see the giant crane on the top. You can also just make out the Statue of Liberty on the first island to the right of the tower. Later the next day we drove past the site of the towers and I couldn't believe the footprint the buildings once had where they stood. Massive. It was very humbling to see it.
Empire State Building Lobby.
Teddy's eyes are still closed but at least he is smiling this time.
The next morning we got up early and walked from our hotel to the Sea Grill Restaurant at Rockefeller Center to have breakfast with Santa. We walked past some beautiful window displays on our way there. The streets were so quiet at that early hour, and it was special to have the sights just to ourselves.
Window display at Lord and Taylor
I made the breakfast reservations two months ago and requested that we have a table at the window overlooking the ice rink, never thinking in a million years we would really get one of those coveted spots. But guess what?
We had a wonderful family-style breakfast overlooking the iconic scene!
The kids met Holly Elf who gave them an assortment of chotchkies.
Santa stopped by too! And this was the real Santa, not one of those helper Santas like at the tree farm. This was the real deal. The boys were so nervous! George even asked me if I would talk for him.
Caroline sat in her high chair the entire time staring at this:
Carolers! She thought they were singing just for her.
After we ate Kevin and the boys (wait, we didn't eat Kevin and the boys) but after we ate breakfast, Kevin and the boys went skating. That's better.
Caroline and I watched.
George throwing us a wave.
The next thing on the weekend's agenda was a visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We were disappointed to find that the parks were both closed due to Hurricane Sandy damage, so the closest we could get was on a ferry ride around the harbor. While on the ride Teddy asked many questions about the hurricane, and eventually I realized he thought that the storm was coming. He couldn't understand why we would get into a boat if a hurricane was coming! I had to explain to him what happened. Poor Teddy!
George checking out the Statue of Liberty.
Last week grandma told me that her dad, Magnus Miller, left Denmark in 1906 at age 17 and came through Ellis Island. She remembers my great-grandpa saying the Statue of Liberty was the most beautiful thing he ever saw.
The last thing we saw before heading back home was the Brooklyn Bridge. We were told that at the time it was built the bridge was the 3rd tallest structure in the world.