NYC Day 1 ( well half of it anyway…)

When I left you, we had just landed at JFK International Airport….

It was a bright and early 5:40 am EST.  I don’t think I fell asleep until we were somewhere over Chicago, so this 5:40 am that is really 2:40 am PST, lets just say it was WAY to early ….

We gathered and headed out to meet our luggage, and then wait…. and wait…. and wait…for the shuttle vans to come.  Eventually we found them, or they found us… because we were standing still.  Our drive in to the city was pretty quick, considering it was rush hour, and the klunk that happened every time our van shifted into or out of first gear….

We arrived at our hotel,  descended upon it might be a better description.  The lobby was about the size of my kitchen and half of my living room…. and in walks a sleep deprived hoard of 13 people with 26 bags, looking to make it  all fit onto one of those hotel carts….  We were taking things in and out of bags… making sure we had what we would need for the day.  The Bell-man needs an award or something, he just smiled, and joked with us all.  He was incredibly patient with us.

We were starving, so from there we moved on to the breakfast of champions….  Mc Donald’s.
The only thing that made up for the food…. was the view….

Would anyone care for a little Empire State Building with their coffee?  It made up for the lousy McMuffin’s.

Our next mission, was to walk the Brooklyn Bridge.  Good plan actually, since my legs were still in knots from the plane.  We walked down to the nearest subway station, and ventured in….  If we were going to lose people on this trip, the subway would be the spot. We had decided to get a 7 day pass so we would only have to get tickets once….  So we descended on the ticket machines….  ALL of them…. and then our cards weren’t working….  so we were standing there longer…. and there were all these people impatiently staring at us as we hogged all the ticket machines and all they wanted to do was get to work on time….  I felt like such a bad subway rider.  Incapable of even getting a ticket!  After about 20 minutes, we all had our tickets, and we went in to wait for the train.  It was then we realized Auntie Maymee ( tour guide Barbie) had been so busy helping us, that she didn’t buy her own ticket.  The 12 of us on the other side of the iron bars watched nervously as our leader bought her ticket, hoping she wouldn’t realize she could now escape and be free…
I think I heard 12 sighs of relief when we saw her come through the turnstile….  we were not abandoned!!

I loved the architecture of the Bridge, even the tiles in the subway, harken to an era of craftsmanship when things were built to last.

From the Bridge we could see the Statue of Liberty.  Walking on History, looking at History, I couldn’t help but wonder these symbols meant to the people who came to our country long ago.  What thoughts of opportunity swirled through their heads as they walked across a bridge into Manhattan?  What did that symbol of Liberty mean to them as they sailed into that harbor? In more recent history, I was walking, the very path, taken by thousands of people as they escaped Manhattan.  Covered in ash, blood, and tears, they crossed that bridge to the safety of their homes to ponder the enormity of what had just happened. 
The emotions that were evoked as I walked that Bridge with my loved ones, were many.

Our next stop, was Coney Island.  Why?  Because when your last name is Coney, you just gotta go there!
We lost our first family members trying to get there.  Big Daddy, my Mom and Hunter, weren’t quite quick enough getting on the train, and the doors closed leaving them on the platform…. we figured they would catch up to us eventually, and they did.
Lunch was a Nathan’s hot dog.  It was pretty tasty, but I think I like a Casper’s dog better.

Even though the Boardwalk is closed for the season…  and looked like it had been closed for longer than that, we still had to go there!  How can you be at the Atlantic Ocean and not touch it!

After the beach we were off to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular……..and that my friends is a post all its own!

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I Survived!

We made it out alive!  We made it through our crazy vacation and managed not to lose anyone, or any luggage….. well, almost, but those are stories you will have to wait for…..

If you remember back a few weeks ago we were just beginning our trip to New York to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

At the time, you may remember me mentioning the fact that my aunt was delusional…..  I still stand by that statement, but I will add that she has an amazing little elf named Amy, and a taller one named Brent, that helped to make her delusion a reality.

I hope I can begin to describe to you how this trip went. 

It started on Monday night,  we had made it through the security check point in the airport, and with the recent “junk touching” incidents that had been on the news….  I was ever grateful that we were spared being pulled aside for any type of search by the TSA.

Sorry, I got sidetracked.

So we are there sitting at the gate waiting for our flight, the boys are hooked up to their electronic brain draining devices…. and Tour Guide Barbie ( also affectionately known as Auntie Maymee ) plops a 5 page itinerary, and google calendar of events in my lap.  It was beginning to look at lot less like a vacation, and more like a Navy Seal insertion and extrication mission.  I had the sinking feeling that sleep was going to be a very small component of this vacation.

We board our transport vessel and realize that Jeremiah is supposed to be sitting in the middle of row 19 surrounded by two people who I am sure were very kind, but were none the less, strangers.  Hunter was in the middle of row 22, and thought that sitting by himself was fabulous.  I am not so sure the guy he fell asleep and drooled on thought the same thing….  I was in the middle of row 24, and Jody was with the two oldest in a complete row.  Jeremiah and I switched seats with them, so that he could be with mommy and daddy and kick us in his sleep.    He was absolutely thrilled with the take off… and thought all the lights on the ground were so cool.  He fell asleep about 20 minutes into the flight, and woke up as we were taxiing to the gate in JFK.  When we woke him up to tell him we were in New Yort.  He sleepily replied ” Dat wuz an awesum wide.”

Oh Jeremiah…  if you only knew… ‘da wide’, is just getting started.

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