In a New York State of Mind

I was excited to get to The Big Apple! I remember our trip when I was around Dacen’s age. My grandparents lived in Queens – Astoria, NY. I loved the escalators, seeing the fountain where the dancers from Fame did their twirls across the plaza, watching the Nutcracker Ballet, riding the ferry by the Statue of Liberty (she was closed for repairs) and eating a pretzel from a street vendor. I wonder what will stand out to them years from now?

I know the Statue of Liberty will be one thing, Ellis Island? The view from the Empire State Building? The city lights at night? I know Times Square is burned in their minds!! They haven’t been able to watch hardly any TV on our trip, so Times Square was almost heaven 🙂  Plus the boys commented that seeing the crowds of people was how they envisioned NYC. We were there on the weekend and seemed to mostly avoid the worst crowds somehow (except on the subway). Ooh the subway! The kids were excited about that!! Their first REAL subway ride. We debated…. Are the DIA trains considered a subway? I didn’t think so, but technically they go underground. The reflection/infinity pools at Ground Zero were very moving. We all loved the design and the bottomless fountain. Cool and disturbing at the same time.

I loved how excited they were to catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty! And Brielle really couldn’t wait to actually stand on the island. Silly me, I didn’t realize you had to get tickets to the top of the crown 6 months in advance. Geesh. Ooh well we wanted to see the statue, not necessarily the view from her.
Wachs at Lady Liberty

The audio tours of Ellis Island and Liberty Island were both fantastic! We all enjoyed listening to the the kid version 🙂 I love that they have that option! Same information as the “adult version”, but much more fun and interesting! There were also optional tracts you could listen to that were personal stories and narratives often told from people who actually were there. It talked much more about the daily experiences and some of the fear and uncertainty they encountered. Learning about the medical exams was interesting. Chalk marks on your clothes meant further scrutiny.
Cool earth art display  NY Pretzles


We took the ferry over to Manhattan. I wanted to make sure we got a pretzel from a street vendor as that was a good childhood memory of mine. I’m pretty sure they have the local and out of towner prices, but it was yummy! We walked by a fun outdoor art display. It had a bunch of Earths and each one had a different way you could help the world to survive. Most were ways to recycle or save the planet or animals. A couple were very creative. One was different ways you could play without using technology. We walked on to the 9/11 Memorial. I was there pretty soon after the buildings collapsed – when they were still doing salvage and clean up work. Those images are burned in my brain. The infinity pools were beautiful and quite captivating.  New York Day 1:

Ava's peg leg

Liberty Harbor RV Park(inglot)

Our campground

Here we go


Waiting for the train

Light rail to the ferry

Walking to the ferry

Abandoned train station

Ellis Island in the background

Ferry to Ellis Island





In the grand hall

Jr Rangers



Ellis Island grand hall

Manhattan sky line

Its a beautiful sight

Arrival at Liberty Island

From the ferry

Wachs at Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty pose

Dude Liberty

Ferry ride to Manhattan



Cool earth art display

NY Pretzles

Downtown Manhattan

Jersey City sky line

Taking a rest


WTC Memorial

Church yard by WTC

Subway escalator

The subway ride home

I’m glad we weren’t leaving today! As we walked by there was something going on, but we don’t know what. What we do know is there was no getting in or out of the RV park via automobile.
Some emergency at the RV park

When we exited the subway I noticed we were at Greeley Square, so I had to get a picture! There was also a statue of Horace Greeley there. So of course then I had to explain to Brielle how Greeley, CO (where I grew up) got it’s name.
Greeley Square!

The Empire State Building was fun. It is interesting that they were able to build the tallest building at that time in less than a year. Today we have far more knowledge and technology and other advantages and I’m sure it would take so much longer to build it today. It was fun to see the entire city at such a height. The only hiccup was, as usual, we needed to eat lunch in the middle. We were told we could eat up on the 86th floor. And yes, technically you CAN, but there are no benches and they won’t let you sit on the floor. That would have been good info when we asked. We would have eaten on the 80th floor. Other than that it was great! So fun to learn about the time period and the workers involved in the building of the Empire State Building. The race to the skies and  the coordination involved amazes me. I did project coordination prior to kids and I remember my Operations Management classes and the details involved every day just boggles my mind!

As I stated above we enjoyed hanging out in Times Square. Even though we were there during the day it was still very impressive and fun. Since we were staying in Jersey City this time around that we could not see Times Square at night. We keep telling the kids it gives them a reason to return! 😉 Ok and I must explain one of our pictures in the album. We were at a huge souvenir shop. Nothing was amiss until we were standing in line to pay for our items.  Brielle had Huck and I and the couple behind us in stitches! She noticed a sign where they forgot the “r” It said, “I have a Kush on you.” It was spelled out using cannibis leaves. There were more all with funny inappropriate sayings. Luckily, Brielle had no idea what they were trying to say and she had no idea what she was even looking at.

The boys and I ventured on to Rockefellar Center while Brielle and Huck started back toward the Subway station since she is such a trooper, but still younger than the other two and tires a bit faster. I didn’t know if Rockefellar would be a let down for the boys, but since they love the movie Elf they were able to make plenty of connections. Plus I pointed out the Tonight Show, etc. I told them where the Christmas tree is and the ice skating rink. We talked a little about news anchor and talk show hosts. Oh and on the way there we stopped to watch an artist as she spray painted an amazing scene. It was soooo fun watching some of the tricks and techniques she used. The boys and I were very impressed. Maybe when we get home they can experiment and try some of the tricks out. She said she watches Youtube and then spends about 6 months practicing. The ones we saw were a NYC skyline and a Star Wars type scene.
Rockefeller Center

We were going to meet Huck and Brielle at Bryant Park next to the NYC Library. This time we were on the opposite side of the library. It was an Amazing park! B had to use the restroom, which was across the park, so we got to see the OUTDOOR library, there was ping pong and other activities to enjoy, a nice fountain/pond, a couple restaurants, etc. It’s a very nice park!

Back to the RV Park and out to the shores of Jersey City to enjoy the NYC skyline lit up at night! Such a pretty site indeed!
The fam 

Some emergency at the RV park

Waiting for the subway

Getting on the subway

Still a little personal space

Pretty full for a Sunday morning

Subway commuter

Exiting the subway

Greeley Square!

My NYC babe!

Empire State Building foyer

Screen shot



Great view

Pano from ESB


Wachs on ESB

Hugging or stepping on each others feet?

Do you like my hat?

Resting in Bryant Park


Times Square

In the Big Apple

People watching

Times Square pano

Awkward cash register display

Rockefeller Center


A little snack




The fam



Enjoying the view


NYC at night

I was glad we were there on the weekend and it seemed a little less busy than I expected. I was a little worried about keeping an eye on the kids, but in the end it was easier than I had expected. We always had a hand on Brielle and usually Dacen. Caden is very good at keeping track of us. The interesting part is I’m best at dodging through/around slow people, but I’m also the best at staying in the back to keep track of the whole pack, so usually I try to let Huck lead and I scoot along whoever is trailing behind.

The 3 things I didn’t get to see due to our timing and lack of planning ahead:  My childhood/HS friends Havilah and Carrie and I really wanted to see the Highline Park. There are many more things we missed. All reasons to come back and visit another time!






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