Happy Monday! I’m here with Holly sharing some fun from our trip to New York City last week. I hope you’ll link up with us for Hello Monday!
I got a great deal on train tickets in February and decided we were going to New York City for a few days. The boys had never ridden the train and it was so nice not to have to worry about parking or driving in the city.
We stayed at the SpringHill Suites in midtown on West 37th street and it was perfect! The room had two queen beds instead of double beds and a complimentary hot continental breakfast every morning. Our view was of the Empire State Building even though we didn’t choose the upgraded view. The staff was so friendly when I called ahead with questions, when we were trying to check in early, when I needed help navigating the subway, and when we left our bags after checking out. I highly recommend this hotel!
We arrived in the city on Monday around 12:30. We walked about 15 minutes to our hotel to leave our bags and get moving. As soon as we walked in the lobby, the skies opened up and they recommended that we stay in the lobby for a few minutes. While we were waiting, they got our room ready and we were able to get settled in.
Jeff and I decided that we were going to try to get around using the subway and not taxis or Ubers. I’d never ridden the NYC subway but it was pretty easy to figure out. We kept reminding ourselves that we figured out the subway in Spanish in Barcelona, so we could definitely do it here.
About 40 minutes later, we hit the streets. We hopped on the subway in Herald Square and made our way to the 9/11 memorial. None of us had been there before and it was so moving. We opted not to do the museum because I didn’t feel ready for it and I knew they kids weren’t ready for it. Jeff and I talked to them about 9/11 and I checked a bunch of NYC books out of the library to help prepare them for our trip. If you haven’t been to the memorial, I’d say go!
After the memorial, we headed to Pier 11 on Wall Street to catch the ferry to Dumbo/Brooklyn. One of my friends recommended doing this and walking the bridge back to Manhattan so you could see the skyline on your walk. I’m so glad we did this! As we were waiting in line for the ferry, the skies opened up again. We were under cover so it was perfect timing. The rain only increased the humidity and did nothing to cool it off, but it didn’t slow us down. We made our way over to Dumbo and found the pedestrian entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was so cool to see the Statue of Liberty from the bridge. I got emotional thinking about all those people walking the Brooklyn Bridge on 9/11 to get out of the city.
We had lunch/dinner at Keste in the financial district because I read that they had great gluten free pizza. It did not disappoint!
From Keste we took the subway at City Hall to Grand Central Station. I was excited to figure it out! We walked around and talked our way into the Cornell Club for a quick phone charge and clean bathroom.
Then we went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is such a beautiful church and we spent some time learning about it.
We tried to go to the Lego store from there, but it was closed. Luke was sad but we assured him we’d make it back tomorrow. We headed up to Central Park, walking by The Plaza hotel and got a carriage ride around Central Park. It was nice to see the sights and rest our feet.
At that point it was about 8:30 and we had a mile walk back to the hotel so we headed that way. We walked down 6th avenue and caught a few glimpses of Times Square at night.
We were up early Tuesday morning for a yummy breakfast and to catch the subway to our Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tours. I purchased our tours ahead of time and opted for the pedestal tour at the Statue of Liberty. As we were walking around the Battery, Luke started getting really excited. He read Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson in school this year and it is set right there. He was pointing out buildings and where things would’ve been. It was pretty fantastic!
We hopped on the ferry and were off to see our Lady!
After two rounds of airport type security, one to get on the boat and one to get in the pedestal, we took some time in the museum there.
Then we started climbing. There is an elevator, but we opted to climb the 195 stairs to the top. The views from the top of the pedestal were gorgeous!!
We headed back down and took a few more pictures with Lady Liberty and headed over to the new museum. There were three short and informative videos and some other things to see. You can also go on the roof of that museum for views of the Statue.
We caught the ferry to Ellis Island. I was really excited to go to Ellis Island and we picked up a few of the free audio tours to guide us through. The first part was about how people came to America and we knew most of that. The second part, the Immigrant experience, was great. I’d been to Ellis Island a long time ago, but Jeff and the boys had never been. My great grandparents came through Ellis Island when the immigrated to the United States so I kept thinking about them as we went through all the steps and rooms that the immigrants did.
When we finished the tour, we headed out back to find my great grandfather’s name on the Wall of Honor.
Then we hopped back on the ferry to Manhattan. It was a hot day but gorgeous on the water.
We were all hungry so I did a quick search and we headed to The White Horse Tavern. It was perfect! Good food, quick service, great prices, not crowded, and they were so friendly!
I’ll the rest of our Tuesday and Wednesday in NYC tomorrow so be sure to come back to see what we were up to! If you blogged, be sure to link up below. Have a great day full of sunshine and books!