Tuesday, July 31, 2018

9/11 Memorial Tour

We learned soooo much on this tour the morning before we had to leave for our flight.  The last time we were at Ground Zero the entire memorial was surrounded by temporary walls and you had to go through basically airport security to get to the memorial.  Now, you just walk right up to it from the street.  Crazy.

We started our tour at Trinity Church-basically one of the only close buildings to ground zero that was pretty much untouched by the attacks.

Our next stop was the steps of the Brooks Brothers.  Apparently since it was so close, it was turned into a temporary morgue during the aftermath of the attacks.

Next, we went to the Oculus!  It was just the coolest thing ever.  It doesn't really even look that big from the outside, but once you get inside-it is so expansive. There are tons of restaurants, shops, and a huge transportation hub inside.  You can catch the train to NJ from inside this beauty!

It's really cool and used a memorial to all those who were lost on 9/11.  The center skylight opens only on 9/11 from 8:46-10:02am (the time of the attacks) no matter the weather.  It was finished at the end of 2016 so 2017 was the only time it has been opened.  Amazing.  I just wonder who comes up with all of the symbolism?  It is genius.

Uncle Frank and B inside the Oculus.  This thing just keeps going and going.

Freedom Tower in the background

I think this is WT 3.  

Freedom Tower!  Tallest building in the western hemisphere!  One World Trade Center

As we made our way to the memorial, our tour guide showed us so much that wasn't there the last time I was in NYC.   He told us about the Ladder 10 station that had 6 firefighters on duty.  They are known as the First of the First Responders.  There was also a volunteer firefighter who was working in one of the towers as an attorney who stayed back to help others.  They are all memorialized on the side of the new Ladder 10 station.  Apparently his law firm organized the building of the 56 foot bronze memorial on the side of the fire station.  We learned so much!

This crunched up ball was actually then center of the original fountain in front of the original world trade centers.  The have it now in the memorial garden.

We finally made it to the 9/11 memorial and like I said, we've been here before, but didn't know all of the information about it until our tour guide told us.  He said that all of the water running in the pools is to signify tears cried.  No one is ever supposed to feel uncomfortable here.  So the metal is never too hot or too cold to the touch.  Cold water runs through it to keep it cool in the summer and warm water keeps it warm in the winter.  We got to see white roses placed on names to signify birthdays of those who were lost.

Another cool thing we learned is how the names were placed on the memorial.  They placed them so that people would be next to ones they loved or knew.  They made sure to not put people next to each other who for example worked together for 10 years ,but didn't get along.  Or if a husband died in the north tower and his wife was in the south tower-their names were placed next to each other.  Such a moving memorial to witness and learn about.

Here they are near the survivor tree!  The only tree that has 24/7 security to protect it.  The only tree that survived the attacks on 9/11.
After our tour we headed back to the Oculus for shopping and lunch.  We picked up some fun Sugarfina candy, a couple tops at And Other Stories, and had crepes in the dining area.  The Oculus just kept going and going. We thought we were going to find the end of the place to catch a cab, but it seemed like miles long.
Yay!  Bennett!

After we said our good-byes to Uncle Frank we hopped in a cab to get back to the hotel.  This was the absolute worst cab ride I have ever had.  It was hot, no A/C, he drove horribly, I thought I would barf!  We asked him to take us to the airport, but we retracted that statement after the ride.  

We loaded up all of our stuff and called Uber!  We had a nice drive out to the airport and made it through security on time.  We had TSA pre-check on every leg of our journey except for the one home.  I requested a wheel chair at each gate for my dad because he was having such a hard time.  I guess they took away our pre-check after that.  The wheel chair made it so much easier for him!

Bennett and his 5 snacks, headphones, and movie!  He was ready to go!  

We loved our trip, but missed Neil, Henry, and Sarah Kathryn!  I realized on this trip that I LOVE to Travel.  I always have but, I love my people more.  I could not wait to be home.  I wanted to get home and never leave my house!

Thank you to Dad for a wonderful trip of memories that will last a lifetime!  We had so much fun exploring the east coast with you!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Gentlemen's spa, Delmonico's, and Times Square

 After the Statue of Liberty we headed to John Allan's, a gentlemen's spa.  Dad, Bennett, and my brother each got a hair cut, hot towel, manicure, and a couple other things.  While they did this I went around the corner and got my hair blown out!

They LOVED this men's spa. Bennett really enjoyed playing pool and having popcorn and cokes.  He was living his best life right up in NYC!

NYC swoop
 We went back to the hotel to get dressed for our last night's dinner in NYC!  Little did we know that we were going right back to where we had been to get our hair did.  We went to Delmonico's, Americas first fine dining restaurant!   This was the first dining establishment to have table cloths and printed menus!  Baked Alaska, Eggs Benedict, and Lobster Newburg were invented here.  Talk about good!  We all had Delmonico's steaks and a good ole' time!

Delicious donut dessert!

All Bennett wanted to do after this was walk around Central Park.  In fact all he wanted to do everyday was walk around Central Park.  
 I was too scared to walk around the park at night so we opted for Times Square.  The hotel was about 2 blocks from it and I felt safe taking him alone on our last night.  He wanted to scooter so badly!  So, we made our way to Times Square!

 We stumbled upon a street performing act that called up a bunch of white men.  They were going to jump over them and whatnot.  They were so racist!  I could not even believe the things they were saying to Asian men and others.  I grabbed Bennett and we moved along the block.  We stumbled upon another street act and they happened to call Bennett up as a helper.  They seemed nice and all, but I didn't know it was the exact same act that we had just left, but with different people.  They had all the same jokes and derogatory, racist comments.  I was videoing Bennett being used in the act and they started cussing and being rude. I had no idea this was going to happen!

So we never actually saw the act.  I took Bennett away after all the guys did was walk around to collect money, but they did give B $18 and told him to never work for free.  I don't get it.  I told Bennett to give them the money back because that's how they make their living!  He tried, but they wouldn't take it.

Bennett loved having cash in his pocket in NY.  Pops made sure he had random dollars because he loved giving them to any person in need.  It was really so sweet.  He used the money he earned to pass out to strangers,
Bennett and his street act!

Lady Liberty and Ellis Island

We knew we wanted to go see the Statue of Liberty even though my brother said it was a waste of time.  I had to keep reminding him that a 9 year old would enjoy it!  Bennett is doing American History this year so I thought this would great for him to see.

We arrived in Battery Park bright and early to get on our boat and headed to Liberty Island.  It was so neat to ride right up next to these islands and see the Statue of Liberty come closer and closer in to view.

We got out and walked around the island.  We forgot to get the walking tour listening device because we had a one track mind of climbing up on to the pedestal and crown.

We snapped a few pics and then made our way around to the backside of the statue. 

Awesome!  Ready to go inside!

Dad decided to wait on the benches next to where we are standing because he was in so much pain while Bennett and I went in those tents you can see behind us.  That's where you enter to go up in the crown and pedestal!  

So we started to go in the side labeled "Crown and Pedestal" and they asked for our ticket. Ummm, excuse me?  We need another ticket?  Yes, you need the crown and pedestal ticket.  I don't have it, but I will get it right now online.  Sorry, Ma'am. They've been sold out for 2 months.  Ummm K. 

I was so disappointed! I didn't see it anywhere that we needed an additional ticket.  Oh well. So, we bought foam statue hats for the kids and took a really cheesy tourist pic by her backside.  

Leaving Liberty island and heading to Ellis Island!

Bennett and I picked up our listening device and headed on our tour.  Dad sat in the baggage room while we went on the 3 story tour.  Poor dad was hurting!

This is the registry room where everyone coming to America was registered. Makes sense.

This is where people would have to sleep if they had to be held over for any reason. 
 I didn't take lots of pictures at Ellis Island, but let me say that it was AMAZING!  It was so interesting.  We didn't miss a room.  We saw everything from the markings they would write on your coat if you looked sick or had a mental illness to the fancy possessions of some of the immigrants who came from all over the world.  I am so glad we did this fantastic tour!
Ellis Island and me

Bennett with Lady Liberty in the background

Dad and the Cityscape. You can see Freedom Tower towering over all the land!

We got off the boat and were immediately hounded by caricature artists!  He said $5!  I said OK!  

He finished Bennett's picture and his wife said "$30 with the frame."  

I said "you said $5 and we don't need the frame."  

She said "it will smudge how about $25"

I said "you said $5 and we don't need the frame."  

She said "$20."

Me. "No"

She said "$15."

I said "ok."

They got me.

He was not impressed with his portrait!

After the statue we headed to the Financial District.   Here are Dad and Bennett on Wall Street

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Lion King and Nomad

 After we went to the museum we didn't much time before our Broadway play!  We chose The Lion King because it would be the best for Bennett. 

While in the Uber I grabbed a sneaky pic of the Naked Cowboy!  My brother said that is not allowed because they want money.  Oops.

Enough of the pics, mom!

Headed to our play!

We were on the second row!  Thanks, Dad!  It was really amazing!  The people dressed liked animals were simply impressive.

After the play we went for a quick bite and drink at Sardi's.  We loved looking around at all of the caricatures of famous Broadway actors on the walls.  It's a good thing we liked it because we left dad's credit card there and we had to go back to get it a couple hours later!

John Pickens recommended The Nomad restaurant to Dad so that was our dinner place this evening. As we were walking down the street a street vendor just handed Bennett a scooter that ad been left at his stall all day.  Bennett was in HEAVEN!  He wanted to scooter around EVERYWHERE.

 When we arrived at Nomad, it was surprising because the bellman said "Frank!"  My brother was like?????  So apparently the guy knew my brother from a show they played together!  The bellman offered to store Bennett's scooter in his bell closet.   It pays to know people who will store your free street vendor scooter while you dine!

He ordered the house made ginger ale that was "a little too spicy" so he sent it back for sprite.

Highlight of the trip  for Bennett was seeing Lori Greiner from Shark Tank.  Bennett LOVES Shark Tank!  He could not believe it.  I spotted her and was like OM goodness I son loves Shark Tank, but he's in the bathroom!  She said she would walk back through and she did!  

We were at Nomad for about 3 hours.  They kept sending out extra things because it was taking so long.  The fancy eggs were delish!

Even B liked it! 

Nomad was delish!  John told dad that we should get the chicken because it was the best chicken he'd ever had.  We were shocked to see that the chicken was $95!  My brother says it a total faux pas in NYC to order chicken off any menu.  So, we ordered the chicken.  It was good, but not $95 good!  It looked like a $6 rotisserie chicken from Kroger to me.

Nomad dessert and you know what? I can't even remember what this is! I do know we all liked it, though.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...