Thursday, March 17, 2011

Travel Tuesday Thursday - New York City, Part 2

Welcome back to New York! You can find the first part of my New York trip report here.

Day 3 of our New York City Adventure began all the way at the south end of Manhattan at the Statten Island Ferry.

I had read about the ferry--how it gives you a free (catch that? FREE!) 30 minute ride across the Hudson River to, where else?, Statten Island.

I think it's the best way to catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty (for free) . . .

. . . and some pretty good views of the Manhattan skyline.

It was cold and windy that day, but the trip was fun.

After the ferry boat ride we walked down Broadway to Wall Street.

And on to Trinity Church, most famous (in our household anyway) for the part it played in the movie "National Treasure." We joked about asking if we could just take a quick peek inside their vault, but the guy at the door didn't look like he would think that was funny at all. Their noon service was just starting, and he asked us to take a seat. Or head over to the room to our right to have ashes put on our foreheads (it just happened to be Ash Wednesday when we were there). The girls' eyes got as big as saucers at the thought of that, so we turned around and headed out.

The glimpse we got of the church, though, was absolutely beautiful. Every afternoon at 2:00 p.m. they offer a free tour which would be very nice, I think. Next time.

Next time I also want to take time to stroll through the graveyard that surrounds Trinity Church. This marker dates back to 1750. Can you believe that?!

Standing in that neighborhood, you just can't help but think of what it looked like on September 11. All of that chaos. All of that ash. It must have been amazing to be there.

Speaking of September 11, our next stop was Ground Zero. There's not a lot to see there yet . . . a huge hole in the ground and the beginnings of a couple of buildings . . . but I thought it was really important for the girls to see the site.

Right across the street from Ground Zero is a fire station--the first to respond, I'm sure--and on the side of the station now is this copper frieze, depicting scenes from that terrible day.

"Dedicated to those who fell, and to those who carry on."

"May we never forget."


Next stop was Chinatown--the girls' request. We hopped in a cab and got dropped off near Canal Street, a paradise for purveyors of cheap, stolen, gaudy handbags. And t-shirts. And sunglasses. And magnets.

And whatever other I ♥ NY paraphernalia you'd want to buy.

It's insanity down there. And I think I may have been just a little insane to take three beautiful girls down Canal Street, but thank goodness we were safe.

These pigs, however, are another story. Somewhere in Chinatown some pork is being roasted . . . and boiled . . . and fried. I should know--we had some in our dim sum. For lunch.

Here's a crazy sight--this is a parking garage on a street in Soho. Apparently they move the cars around on a platform to get them in and out. I don't know about you, but I was mesmerized by this sight.

After lunch we spent several hours walking through SoHo and Greenwich Village, shopping some, gawking mostly. By the end of the afternoon our feet hurt and we were exhausted, so we ducked into a small French cafe in Greenwich Village to warm up. As we were walking out, one of the girls in our group recognized someone famous--an actor who had been on Gilmore Girls for a while and had a fairly big part in one of my personal favorites, "Sydney White." Unfortunately for us (but fortunately for him!), we decided against our better judgements to NOT run back inside the cafe and ask for his picture.

I totally would have done it. They held me back.

After a rest in our hotel, we ended our evening at a sushi place the girls found. They had to find it because I was going to have no part in tracking down sushi. True confessions time . . . I had never eaten sushi before. It scared me. I thought I wouldn't like it. But the girls all convinced me that I just had to try the right kinds of sushi.

And you know what? They were right! I ended up loving the sushi we had at The Loop restaurant. Because, as you can see: "It's Japanese!"

I realize this is getting kind of long and maybe kind of boring if you have no interest at all in New York City (but then, why are you still reading?), so I will end my report with Day 4. The day we were heading home anyway.

The girls had one thing at the top of their list of things to do in NYC and that was to visit the Today Show. Thankfully, not that many people want to stand outside for hours in the chilly, nearly-raining, March weather, so we had a front-row stand (not seat--we stood). We got to shake Al Roker's hand (he's a very nice, very funny man), wave at Matt Lauer (apparently Matt had better places to be than outside with us that morning), and meet Meredith Viera.

Can I just say that Meredith Viera was a completely pleasant surprise? She was so nice! We politely asked if she would take a picture with the girls and she politely said yes. And after the picture she turned to them, asked them where they were from (we told her they were all on Spring Break from Wheaton College), and she took about five minutes to talk to them about college, ask questions about what they were studying, and generally showed sincere interest in all of them.

I think that was one of the highlights of our trip.

In the end, I'd say the trip was a huge success. Every minute was so much fun, and I felt it was such a privilege to spend that much time with my daughter and her friends. I know I will never forget it. I hope they won't either.


  1. Wonderful, wonderful memories! I love a wild NYC trip!

  2. Awesome actor sighting and Today Show experience! It looks like you all had such a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  3. I loved reading about your trip to NY with the girls. Our family went in the fall of 2008 for a week and had one of the best times of our lives! We loved exploring many of the same places you went to. I just love NYC!

  4. Love the long, rambling trip stories with photos - I have a few myself!

  5. Shelly, what an incredible trip! I have wanted to go to New York soooo badly since I was in high school and couldn't go on our school trip (I think it was with the drama teacher or something. My babysitting savings didn't quite cover the trip expenses, and my parents couldn't afford it.). I can't WAIT until the day I get to go to the Big Apple! :)

    Also...that sign with "It's Japanese" cracked me up!