NYC Day 1: Julia Roberts
NYC Day 2: Live! With Regis and Kelly
Ready to continue?
For Day 3 in NYC, we switched gears from the thrill of celebrity sightings and world-renowned tourist attractions, and went into a completely different mode to visit Ground Zero.
After my third Crepes Nutella at Cafe Un Deux Trois (so delicious, if perhaps a tad childish), we made our way to the site of the World Trade Centre. Although we could have saved a few bucks by braving the subway, we took a cab downtown (we only took three cab rides the whole trip, totalling less than $40).
The first thing we saw was the memorial sculpture pictured above. We agreed it was beautiful, but had no idea what it was supposed to be! After coming home and showing our pictures to our (patient) friends, one suggested it looked like a balloon creation. "Yeah, right," we scoffed. "As if that's what it is!" I promptly hopped on Google, and found the title of the stainless steel sculpture: "Balloon Flower (Red)". I stand corrected!
One of my family members asked me if we found the site desolate and depressing, but in fact all of the new construction gives a very hopeful feeling to the area. However, we also went in to visitors' centre, where I was not the only one with tears running down my cheeks. I found the timeline along the walls to be very powerful, as I remembered where I was when I learned of each event of the 9/11 morning.
We then lightened up with a bit of shopping at the popular department store Century Twenty-One. There were definitely some great deals, but we weren't exactly in shopping mode. At the end of this post I'll be showing you a photo of all of our amazing NYC purchases, so hold tight for that.
Next we walked the Brooklyn Bridge, which you must do if you visit New York. It was an easy 20 minute walk each way, and if we're ever there again we'll leave time to explore Brooklyn a little bit instead of turning around and heading right back once we reach the other side.
The final activity of the day was our very worthwhile Circle Line Cruise. It was a really great experience to do the three hour circumnavigation of the island, and to see everything from the water. We got a broad perspective of Manhattan as a whole, and the bridges, surrounding islands, boroughs and cities. The live tour guide was terrific, and gave us tons of important (as well as amusingly trivial) information. We learned a lot, and I would suggest doing this on the first day of a trip, just to start with the big picture and then work your way in as you explore the city on foot.
Statue of Liberty shots taken from the cruise
Dinner was pieced together from a deli and a bakery that we hit on the way back up 44th street towards our hotel. NYC is amazing for the variety and availability of food on every block!
Since we left the next morning, I'll sneak in our last touristy moment here: a visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. Devoted Catholic that I am, I truly intended to go to 8 a.m. Mass before heading to the airport. Hubby wanted a quick morning jog, so we decided he should be back at the hotel by 7. When 7:40 arrived and I realized that we wouldn't be attending Mass (and that perhaps something was wrong) I was a bit concerned. He arrived back soon after, with a plausible excuse about "getting lost in Central Park". (I'm sure he's not the first.) I was a bit suspicious though when I learned that the Jonas Brothers were playing in the Park that very morning. Hmmm...
Although the shuttle ride back to the airport was quite lengthy (I'd say double the time it took us to come in to the city a few days before) LaGuardia was amazingly easy to navigate, and our Air Canada flight took off on time and returned us home. It's funny that sometimes Toronto is the desination of our road trips, but after being out of the country it felt like home as soon as we touched down. My brother and his wife, who had kindly looked after Frannie and Maggie during our absence, dropped them off and our magical adventure was over.
Oh, don't worry - I'm not wrapping this up yet. I did promise you a shot of everything we purchased and brought home from NYC: (try not to be too jealous)
Yes, that would be two "I Heart NY shirts", two Polly Pocket toys and an Olivia DVD for the girls, a commemmorative Live! With Regis and Kelly tee, and two St. Patrick's rosaries. Aren't we WILD? (And can you believe we're so rich that we didn't even have to dip in to the line of credit for any of these purchases?) I didn't even pick up a too-close-to-tell knockoff designer handbag as I had planned. I'd say we did the complete tourist gamut in only three days, except for the all-important shopping. There's always next time....oh, and there will be a next time.
Whew. So that's the complete "Winns Take Manhattan" recap. I'd love to hear if any of you New York residents or former visitors know of anything I missed, and should see/do next time? Any questions from those of you who haven't yet made it to the Big Apple? I'd love to help you make your trip as successful as ours!