Tuesday, March 25, 2008

30 Hours in New York City

Last week Laura and I took the kids and headed to New York City. We arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn in Secaucus, NJ at about 2pm. After checking in, we walked out to the white bench just outside the hotel. It didn’t say “Bus Stop” but the lady at the hotel told us just to stand out there and flag down the first bus we see that says New York on the front of it. To our amazement, it worked. The bus ride took about 15-20 minutes through the Lincoln Tunnel and into the Port Authority Bus Station located on 42nd Street.

We decided to head over to Grand Central Station to see what it looked like inside. Unfortunately, it was raining pretty steady and only Laura had an umbrella. By the time we got to the train station, we were cold and wet. Fortunately, we were able to buy three umbrellas inside the station and then we headed toward Time Square. The rest of the evening was spent going into all kinds of shops, most impressive of which was the M&M World with the world’s largest wall of chocolate candy. After several hours of walking and sight-seeing, we made our way to the Gershwin Theater where we had previously purchased tickets for the evening showing of the Broadway hit, “Wicked.” I will blog about that in and of itself tomorrow but for now let me simply say…AMAZING!

Following the end of the show we headed over to Roxie’s Delicatessen. But get this…We ordered just two burgers to split between the four of us. Everyone had water but me…I had a soda. Then we got one piece of cheesecake to split between the four of us. That’s two burgers, 1 soda, and 1 piece of cheesecake…the bill? $62.00! YIKES!! From there we walked back to the Port Authority where we caught the local 190 bus back to Secaucus, being sure to ask the driver to let us off at the Home Depot as we had been told, where we walked down the service road to our hotel, getting back at 12:15am.

The next day we once again caught the bus back into the Port Authority and grabbed a pastry at the station for breakfast. From there we headed down to the Subway station where we took the #1 train all the way down to the South Ferry station and Battery Park, being sure to stay in the first 5 cars as we were advised when we purchased our subway tickets. There we waited in line 45 minutes to get tickets to go out to Liberty Island and then another 45 minutes in line for the next boat. The Statue of Liberty was quite a sight but I have never been colder than I was during the 20 minutes that we waited to board back on to the boat to go back to New York. The wind was just brutal. As the four of us huddled together in our light jackets, a mother and her teenager daughter drew close and said, “I know we don’t know you, but can we huddle real close to your family too!

From there we headed back uptown where we had dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Diner where the waiters and waitresses, who are trying to break into Broadway, sing the entire time the wait on you. Pretty cool! After dinner we let the kids get some sweatshirts with some spending money we had given to them and then we headed back to the Port Authority where we again caught the 190 local back to Secaucus where our car was waiting for us at the hotel to start the three hour drive back to Lititz.

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