Did I mention we don’t plan to sleep much on this trip? This news did not meet with favorable reviews from the minors involved, the ones who like to sleep in a bit, say until 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. But we have things to do.
Thing number one involved an early (though not so bright thanks to the drizzle) departure in order to make it down to Battery Park for our rendezvous with the Statue of Liberty and her crown, Soccer Boy’s only request for our trip. While I’ve visited Liberty Island before, today’s trip marked the first time I’d made it inside the statue or trekked up the over three hundred stairs to reach the top. I’m pleased to announce I made it just fine, though I certainly couldn’t pretend not to be winded when I arrived in the crown’s observatory.
After recovering our breath and resting our aching legs a bit, we boarded the ferry for our next destination–Ellis Island. On my last trip to the Statue of Liberty, the island hadn’t yet been reopened. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting. Both Adventure Guy and I have ancestors who entered the country through those gates, so I found it incredibly meaningful, especially when I successfully located the records of my ancestor’s arrival in the early 1900s.
Riding the ferry was only the first of our transportation-related adventures for the day. Public transportation is a new experience for our kids, since unfortunately, it’s sorely lacking in Suburbia. I actually enjoy using the subway when I’m fortunate enough to visit a city that possesses one, but I do find the New York system harder to decipher than most. Adventure Guy and I are currently engaged in a bit of a debate about which of us is the better subway navigator, but we still managed to get the family from Battery Park up to Chinatown for lunch. We had a fabulous meal, complete with Peking Duck for Adventure Guy and DD2 and then did a little discount shopping before moving further uptown to some very non-discount shopping in SoHo and on 57th Street. Santa may be leaving some reminder notes for the girls this year!
After the shopping spree, we took advantage of Free Friday at the Museum of Modern Art. Every Friday, the museum provides free admission from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. This provided the perfect opportunity to see some of the pieces I really wanted to kids to experience while also introducing them to the modern art I feared they might not enjoy quite as much. I’m afraid my favorite Jackson Pollocks did not win them over, but they did have fun seeing the Monets and Van Goughs they’ve studies in art class.
Though we’re hoping to catch another Broadway show before the end of the trip, we decided two long days in a row made us less-than-eager to do so tonight. Instead, we headed for Stage Deli. Yes, we wanted sandwiches, but the cheesecake provided the real draw. We indulged in both and enjoyed happening on one of the projected top finishers for the marathon on Sunday. The Kenyan runner seemed to enjoy meeting another race participant. He even managed not to laugh when Adventure Guy answered his question regarding projected finish times. In all honesty, I’m not sure he completely comprehended the concept of finishing a marathon in between four and a half and five hours. His goal? 2 hours and 5 minutes–a pace he’s run before and one which would break the New York Marathon record. By the way, he didn’t have the cheesecake.