Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Final Day

(This is the 2nd blog of our trip, due to too many pictures in first blog!  So, read previous blog first, then come back to this one.)

Saturday was our final day.  We made one last trip to Times Square to finish up our souvenir shopping.  We were definately wiped out!

 The Disney Store

Our final stop was Carlo's Bake Shop from Cake Boss.  I expected it to be busy, but not the busy that it was!  First we have to wait in a line across the street by CVS.  An employee comes over to hand out number tickets.  Then he tells when it is time to cross the street to stand in front of the store.  Then when you get to the front of the line, you are told when it has cleared out enough for you to go in.  Total we waited 1 hour to get inside. 

 Once inside, you fight the crowds to look in the goodie cases to pick out your prize.  Our total time was 1 hour and 20 minutes to get our goods!
 A few blocks from the bakery is a park by the river.  So we went there to enjoy our pastries.

 Carlo's is actually in New Jersey, just on the other side of the river from New York City.  There we made our final goodbyes and headed for the airport.

It was a fabulous trip.  We were able to see and do so many things.  Would we do it again?  Yes, but next time will choose a different destination!

Spring Break 2012 - New York City

We began our journey to New York City on Sunday, March 11th.

 This was our mode of transportation!
 Tons of characters on Times Square.
 Times Square

 On Monday we began our tour through New York City.  We started with the Staten Island Ferry.  The Statue of Liberty was closed for renovation, so we decided to just take this (free) ferry that cruised right by it.
 Ellis Island

 The Brooklyn Bridge

Then we headed over towards ground zero.  I had forgotten that in order to see the memorial, you have to get tickets because they only allow so many people in a time.  When I looked, it was a 2 hour wait, so we decided not to go.  However, we walked around the area and saw the new buildings they are building
 When completed, this will be the tallest building in New York - higher than the Empire State Building

We also walked around 5th Avenue.  This is where the Rockefellar Center, NBC Studios, FOX Studios, and the shopping district is.

 Lego World
 American Girl Doll Store

 We took a break and had some cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery which was recommended to me on the airplane.  They were REALLY good!

 We ended back in Times Square where we visited M&M World
 Just riding on the subway
 We headed over to China town for lunch. 
We ate at this restraunt!

On Tuesday, we began our day volunteering at a local soup kitchen. This paticular soup kitchen in in the Catholic Church.  We got there around 9:30.  By 10:15, we were given our assignments and at 10:30 the doors were open.  Halee and I were in charge of drink refills on boiling hot tea.  Ed and Hannah were at the dish scraping station.  That day they fed about 940 people.  Some days they feed almost 1,200!  Anyone that comes will be fed, no matter the situation.  It was a great experience to serve those in need.

 After lunch, we headed over to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum.  This aircraft carrier is now a musuem, but is the actual carrier that was used in WWII through Vietnam.  It began it's service in 1943 and was decommissioned in the 1970s and made 7 trips around the globe.

 This is the hangar deck inside where they stored and repaired the airplanes.

 This company, VA95, is the company that Ed's dad was a part of.  This is the actual ship he worked on.

 Halee is navigating
 Hannah is steering

 Flight Deck

 We also toured the Growler submarine
 This is a piece of the World Trade Center.

Then we took a bus (we actually rode only 2 busses) over to FAO Schwarz and did a little shopping.

 We ended our day with Halee loosing her tooth!

Wednesday the weather was beautiful!  It was a great day to visit the Empire State Building.

 The Flatiron Building
 The Chrysler Building (from the ground)

Then we headed over to Central Park where we took a short carriage ride.

 The flowers and trees were budding out.  It was beautiful!

 We stopped at the Chess & Checkers House for a game of checkers.
 This is an obelisk that was gifted to NYC in 1881.

Then we took a subway ride up to the Bronx to check out the Yankees Stadium.  Here we found a Jamacin restraunt.
 On our way home this evening, we went through Grand Central Station.  We actually went through this station several times, but only once did we go up to see the main terminal.
Thursday we made our way to the Bronx Zoo.  This was actually the coldest day we were there.  The sky was overcast most of the day.

 From the zoo, we took a little walk through Little Italy of the Bronx (there is one in Manhattan too).  We went into this cheese shop to buy some homemade cheese.  Hannah wanted the bunny shaped cheese and he gave Halee the pig shape cheese.  He says that he makes the cheese into shapes to give to the kids so that they will like the cheese!  We were willing to pay, but he said we couldn't.  He was a very nice man and filled us in on the history of why the Italians were there and how the cheese was made.

 We also found a pastry shop called De Lillo's.  Fabulous!  We each chose a pastry and got a fancy drink. (This place was actually better than Carlo's!)
Friday was the rainiest day.  It was just misty in the morning and then cloudy the rest of the day.
 We made our way on train 7 to the New York Hall of Science.  This is the best children's science museum I have been too!  It has so many different exhibits from space, to light, to sound, to math, atoms.

The museum is actually located on the property where the World's Fair was held in 1964-65.  This is the old Met's stadium.  The new stadium is located to the right of this one.
 Then we found a Mexican restraunt to try for lunch.  When we walked in, we saw this sign that Guy from Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives had eaten here!
 We took our longest train ride, about 1 1/2 hours down to Coney Island.  We had our famous Nathan's Hot Dog!
 Walked on the boardwalk
 and played in the waves.  Halee actually fell down when I wave came up and she wasn't paying attention.  She was digging a hole in the sand for the water to fill and the wave actually came and filled her hole!
 Train 7 was our "home base" train.  Our hotel was a block from the station.  So anywhere we went, we rode train 7 and the connected with whatever we needed to get where we were going.  We were very impressed with the subway.  It was clean and efficient and pretty much got us where we needed to be.

(Well, I think I have maxxed out the picture number for this blog - only 80!  I will post our final day on another entry.)