Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Family Vacation To...New York City! {Part 2}

Yesterday I shared the first part of our family trip to New York City, and today is part two! Get ready for a lot of pictures! I mentioned before we packed a lot of stuff into our week, but now reading the recap I'm surprised I wasn't more exhausted!


This day marked the group of us splitting into two. Part of my dad's birthday present was seeing his favorite football team play at home. So half the group headed to MetLife Stadium with my dad and the rest of us were left to our own devices. 

Originally Mr. Cute and I planned a family day to see things, but then my mom fell sick so Mr. Cute happily volunteered to take her spot at the game. That left me with the three kids by myself alone in the city. I felt pretty confident I could get through it, but my baby sister was just hanging out with her boyfriend so I thought they should get a good dose of birth control. 

Fortunately they were sweet enough to offer to help and we agreed to take the kids to Central Park to see the zoo and maybe visit a museum afterwards. 

We opted to take the subway, and about five minutes into this journey I'm thinking they were (1) regretting their decision to help, (2) wondering why I brought the world's largest stroller for this trip, and (3) wondering if they brought enough hand sanitizer to get through this day. 

Seriously though, I love my BOB double stroller. But, for this trip logistically it wasn't the best decision. While at home it's spacious size and jogging capability is wondrous, getting through the NYC subway system...not so much. 

We were staying right by a subway stop at W 35th Street. To get into the subway involves a series of turn styles. At this location we fortunately had one we could close the stroller and fit it over. Alone, I would not have been able to do this. At least not without fear of a kid running off after I got them out and swiped everyone through before doing so. 

Next, we had to find an elevator. Luckily this location had one. 

Maybe unluckily? Cute's face says it all. 

This location however did not have a map. So I batted my blue eyes, and in my best southern accent asked a nice local which train to take. They pointed us in the right direction. 

The subway was highly entertaining. We were able to take in a few "performances" while we were on it. I also got to explain to my children what pole dancing was. The day was already looking up. 

After we got off at the correct location for the Central Park Zoo, we quickly learned that not all locations have turn styles you can pass your stroller through, or have an elevator. It took us a good 20 minutes to figure out how to get out of the subway. Fortunately, someone was sitting at the subway booth and buzzed me through the emergency door. From here we determined Uber would be getting us home, or I was selling my stroller on the nearest street corner.

We finally made it to Central Park and the zoo, and those of our crew who had never been couldn't believe how large the park was. The zoo is smaller, but had tons of interactive things for the kids to enjoy and obviously tons of great animals. 

| Black jumpsuit | Black lace bralette | leopard flats | leather backpack |

There is a separate Children's zoo, and the kids loved this part. There is a petting and feeding area. I didn't realize it at the time, but now that I know my advice is to bring tons of singles or quarters to buy the food. 

If my sister and her boyfriend weren't pumped about being on this adventure with me before - between the tour of urine soaked subway elevators and their wallets being $40 lighter for sheep food - they were now. 

We ate a late lunch at the zoo and then headed to the American Museum of Natural History. It was at the other end of the park, which on a map seemed closer than it was. 

About halfway through our walk L.C. decided she needed a little something to cool off. Apparently a character Popsicle was going to do the trick. 

By the time we arrived we were just all happy to have air conditioning and benches to sit for a minute. Both girls had also fallen asleep. I almost bailed but I felt like we still had time before the others returned from the game and dinner. Looking back we could have bailed on this. 

It was a fun museum, but we realized it closed in an hour. After we paid to get in. And the museum is huge

Cute went around with my sister for a little bit and I sat with the girls. Then L.C. woke up and we all spent the last ten minutes playing in the space atrium. This was probably the kids favorite part. 

We took about an hour Uber ride back to the hotel, and by this time we were all DONE. The kids acted like they had never been in a car in their entire lives, and I'm pretty sure my sister's boyfriend was questioning their relationship if this was the family he had to belong to. Did I mention it was the first time we had ever met him? Lucky guy. 

We ordered pizza, ate in the hotel dining area, and called it a night. 


We were all pretty lazy waking up the next morning, but by mid-morning we had to kick it into high gear for the rest of another busy day. My middle sister really really really wanted to see the Statue of Liberty. So we all hopped into multiple cabs and made our way to Battery Park. 

We had purchased tickets in advance and I would say that is the only way to go! The line was long, and the security is five times more rigid than any airport I've ever been too. Not even kidding. We got checked, and re-checked at least five times. If I had to change anything about this I would have packed a small tote instead of my backpack. They won't let you bring in backpacks, so I had to purchase a locker before they let us in. 

While waiting we did see a really cool flyover. The kids loved this! 

We made our way onto the boat and headed off to Liberty Island. 

The views are gorgeous. L.C. couldn't get enough, and kept her eye on the statue the whole ride. 

Only my sisters and our significant others decided to purchase tickets to go inside. We purchased pedestal tickets, and the view was beautiful all the way around. 

The crown tickets are hard to get to, and even though I'm not a huge fan of heights after going up to the pedestal I think it would have been worth the anxiety to at least see it from the top. 

We took about a million photos and then headed back down to check out the museum. 

The museum was interesting and gave a lot of great background about the statue, its architect, and the building process. There is the original flame on display as well as several replicas of the casts they used to make her. 

Once we were ready to head out the rain started to roll in. 

We still had some down time before eating dinner with my great-aunt so we decided to check out the Freedom Tower, and the 9/11 Memorial. 

The experience is moving and somber to say the least. My dad and a few of my family members decided it was too much for them and sat it out. We waited too long to try to get in the museum, but I have heard it was excellent. It was the one thing I wanted to see on the trip and my one regret was not planning out this experience better. 

We made our way over the bridge to Ft. Lee, New Jersey to have dinner with my great-aunt. She is just darling and she was so lovely to host us in her home for a little bit before taking us to one of her favorite restaurants for dinner. 

The view from her apartment is stunning. 

The restaurant she chose was probably my second favorite meal the entire trip. Cafe Italiano was beyond delicious. Great wine, great food, great desserts, and great atmosphere. I highly recommend if you happen to be in the area or want some great food outside of the city. 

We made it back to our room around 11p.m. and we all passed out in two seconds. Knowing our love affair of the city continued on for two more days we needed all the rest we could get! 

Stay tuned for the last leg of our trip tomorrow...


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