If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I had problems posting every day on our recent vacation to the East Coast, mostly due to various internet issues Well, that kind of thing happens. But the one thing I didn’t anticipate was the time investment it would be to have the kids along too.
Last year in Europe, it was easy to write and post on a regular basis, even with the inconsistency of the internet connection in Italy. The venture included only my husband and me, unencumbered as we were. And don’t get me wrong…I would do absolutely anything for my two beautiful kids and would’ve taken them on this vacation (or any other) in a quarter of a heartbeat.
But having JRS and NLS on this trip took up more time than I had anticipated. They wanted to do things that RAS and I alone would never think about, and for that reason alone, blogging every day became a more difficult, then impossible prospect.
I’m back and now have the time to share our New York/DC/Delaware adventures with you, starting today.
Our rental in Midtown East was nothing to rave about. That’s why you don’t see any pictures of it here. The best part was that we were in a very safe neighborhood, since the United Nations headquarters was only two blocks away and many consulates around indicated a strong police presence. Roughly 500 square feet in a long oblong, it was clean and tastefully decorated with a queen bed alcove, a decent bathroom and a living room that doubled as the girls’ bedroom with a couple of futon couches. The kitchen’s dimensions weren’t larger than those in a well-appointed playhouse, but we only stored our breakfast foods and used the dishes, so it served its purpose.
There were just several things I didn’t like about the place: dark corners that couldn’t be illuminated because the some of the lights were nonfunctional, running out of hot water one morning (especially bad after a sweaty and humid run)…and really poor internet connections. Enough said about that.
But we weren’t there to enjoy living quarters. Enduring a 90-minute “air traffic control” delay (whatever that means) coming into the city, we took an hour-long break, then headed out into the cloudy afternoon to explore:
These photos have a gray pallor to them, due to the crummy weather. My apologies for that.
We first headed to Rockefeller Center and scaled the famed General Electric building (aka 30 Rock) that houses NBC to catch a view:
Here’s the not-so-spectacular vista they had:
At the store, JRS discovered offshoots of her favorite Pokemon, Chespin:
There was a preview for a new Super Mario game, which about a 100 people jammed the upper floor to play. I suppose the most comforting thing about this was that they weren’t all tweens or even kids. Most were college-age and quite a few past that demographic group:
We then walked over to Times Square to look around, but to also find dinner. We ended up at Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen restaurant, which wasn’t as bad as the New York Times made it out to be (except for maybe the inflated prices, but it was located in Times Square, for Pete’s sake).
Before eating, we looked around at the Art of the Brick exhibit, at Discovery Times Square. We were able to get in here and at Top of the Rock with our three-day New York Passes, which allowed us easy access to many of the popular attractions around town. It was a pretty good buy – about $150 for each of us and entry into 80+ places, which of course we couldn’t do in our limited time.
I was last in New York in 1984, right about the time it was on the verge of bankruptcy and this area in particular was filthy with decaying garbage, legitimate theaters and porn houses, and few decent fast food joints. Now it’s as clean and family friendly as you can get, with life-size cartoon characters chasing you and your kids down to take a picture with (for a small gratuity, naturally).
Here are a few of the items we were amazed at:
Also pre-meal, we went to what is probably the largest Toys-R-Us in the country. So big, it even has its own Ferris wheel:
We ended our evening as many natives do…with a subway ride back. The girls actually loved going on it, even if it was somewhat confusing to navigate at times:
I’ll follow up here with day 2 next…