This summer we did vacation a little different. I have never been to the north east and really wanted to go. Years ago we promised Reese we would take her to NY for her 10th birthday...so that is what we did. We flew in to New York on July 16th.
And the four of us had our first experience in a New York taxi (Lance has been to NYC before).
We checked in to our hotel in Times Square and then headed out to explore for a little bit. I spent a lot of time researching all that we did but if I could do one thing different it would be to plan our meals a little better. That was always the most frustrating part: looking for a place to eat that would make everyone happy.
We ended up just eating at Hard Rock that first night because we were close by and then we headed to M&M World. Hayes had been most excited about this but he soon realized it wasn't what he was hoping for!
We definitely saw things we had never seen before walking through Times Square. The kids got the biggest kick out of the girls who were literally walking around naked with body paint on!!
We headed to bed that first night and then were up early to head to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We rode the ferry over to Liberty Island first and it was so neat to see her getting closer and closer.
A look back at Manhattan
And looking ahead to Lady Liberty
We got a city pass and it included an audio tour. They had a kids version and an adult version. It slowly walked you around the island and talked about all of the history.
Next we headed over to Ellis Island but apparently didn't get any pictures other than this shot. I enjoyed the history there but the kids were kind of over it at this point. We ate lunch, watched a quick video, and then head back to the city. It did make me want to know so much more about my family's history though so maybe I will check in to that information soon!
Once we were back in Manhattan, we grab some ice cream from the ice cream truck (so good!) and then set out on our walk north.
We walked to the 9/11 Memorial and it was so moving! I didn't expect the emotions that I felt there.
The new Freedom Tower
Reese and Sam have learned some about this in school each year but Hayes had so many questions. It was really hard and emotional to explain things to him.
We didn't know what these flowers meant at first and then later saw a sign that said the flowers represented that is was this person's birthday...and that made me cry all over again.
Taking this picture was interesting because it is such a somber place. When we told the kids we wanted to take their picture they all just smiled and it felt wrong. But then I remember that life still goes on and we have so much hope in that!
We headed in to Chinatown and Little Italy after the museum and ate dinner at Lombardi's. The pizza was delicious! Another surprise was how expensive every single meal was. Even when we tried to save money on meals we still spent at least $50.
The next day we got to sleep in just a bit and then headed to breakfast at Chick-fil-a for a little bit of home!
Then we were off to the American Museum of Natural History (aka Night at the Museum movie). We got there a little bit before it opened and had to wait outside for a little bit. It was already so hot. I think we took the Atlanta weather with us.
We saw a lot of this with Reese this week. #selfie
We watched an IMAX movie on Humpback Whales when we first got there and then decided to do the self-guided Night at the Museum tour. Honestly, the kids were pretty disappointed in this museum. It was pretty boring for them so we left right before lunch time.
The kids rode the carousel after we walked around.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
We headed back to the hotel for a little bit and then out for dinner again. We ate at Heartland Brewery on the same square as the Empire State Building. After dinner we headed up to the top of the Empire State Building for a view of the city.
The elevator had a video screen on the ceiling as you headed up and down in the building.
These pictures are a little out of order but you get the idea.
And then Reese had some work to do for the next day!