On our second day we left early to take the ferry from New Jersey to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. It was fun to see both, I do wish that we were able to go up in the Statue further but since 9/11 they only let you go to the pedestal. Still it was a lot of stairs (some decided to fully experience everything) and the City skyline was awesome. Again a lot of lines so we weren't able to ferry back to New York till about 1:00. Mom, Dad and Grandma and Grandpa took a taxi to get to their Broadway play of Lion King. Carl and Colby and Jayden and I stayed in Battery park and ate lunch from one of the hot dog kiosks. We then decided to bus tour Brooklyn and it was long, it took two hours and we were all so tired we were falling asleep. When we looped around we were so tired and ready to go home that we got off at Rockefeller Center and walked to the bus station. We went to a triple decker McDonald's to eat, that was fun. When we got back to the hotel Mom, Dad and Colby went to get our car that we left at the ferry terminal. They got back 2 hrs. later because they were lost. Guess what happened the next morning? Bonnie (the Tom-Tom) was changed to Richard :)
We made it to New Jersey now we had to find out the best way to get to New York. We found out the airport shuttle would drop us of at a bus stop to catch the 107 to New York City. We waited at the bus stop for about an hour a little nervous that we didn't have it right. Then we found out we needed exact change and no one did. Dad wanted me to be first with the baby so the bus driver would have sympathy for us. I wasn't first but he let us get on, they just kept the "extra" change. When we got in the city we bought tickets for those hop on hop off buses that circulate the city. We got on and rode to the Empire State Building, our first stop. The lines were crazy! We were so glad we had bought our tickets online! All in all the view was incredible and it was worth it, it just took us about three hours! After that we got on the bus and got off and ground zero. It is a construction site but you can peek through and see what they are doing. They are still taking apart the foundation of the towers. I can't wait till the future to see when they have completed the memorial/project.
We were hungry by then and I had done some research on the internet because Mom and I wanted to try authentic New York style pizza. Carl works at a pizza place and he wanted to see if his job was secure :) This experience ranks second only under the Applebees adventure. We were seated and we ordered a large pizza to share with breadsticks and a pitcher of root beer. Well the bread sticks were delivered and they were different. They were like a thick sourdough stick. Carl made a production about being able to bite through them. I should have known then that we were in trouble. Well the pizza came and if you don't know about New York pizza it is thin with more of an oven baked crispy crust. Grandpa didn't like it! He kept talking quite loudly that they had forgotten the cheese and it was so thin that it was like burnt cardboard. He was hilarious, the server probably didn't think so but I was smiling. Anyways I liked it because it was an experience and it was different but Colby and I like to try new foods. Grandpa jumped up because he wanted to pay so that he could tell the gal that the pizza was overrated. Poor Grandma was trying to stop him with no luck. Dad jumped up just to monitor the situation. It was all well and on the way out I told the gal that I like it. We got a picture in front of the store about Lombardi's puts a smile on your face, kind of ironic. From then on I was not allowed to pick another place to eat :)
That night Colby, Carl and I went to the Broadway play Phantom of the Opera while the others watched Jayden. Carl was great, before it started he said that if it was too cheesy he was going to sleep. He LOVED it and talked about it the rest of the trip. He is converted! It was awesome. Afterwards we walked down Broadway and found an Irish place to eat. The food was not different but our waiter was an authentic Irishman.
All in all a great day with lots of great adventures. We were all having a lot of fun!
We are home and the trip was a lot of fun. There are so many stories that I think it will take several days to blog it all. I will start with the first day because there is plenty to tell. Colby and I left early Thursday morning so that Jayden would sleep while we drove. It worked pretty good but we still needed to stop. One of the stops along the way was in Hershey, PA. That was a lot of fun. There is a huge amusement/water park there but we did the free tour and of course bought some candy. The tour was like a Disney ride. Jayden loved the singing milk cows and all the lights. We then got to the Hotel and while we waited for everyone else to arrive we swam at the hotel pool. Colby went underwater and swam towards Jayden, he could see him coming and when Colby popped up Jayden went, Aagh!
When everyone got to the hotel it was a great reunion and everyone was hungry. We got a paper from the hotel suggesting some restaurants to try. Everyone decided to try Applebee's. The directions the hotel gave us were about 6-7 miles away. Dad bought a Tom-Tom (a GPS system) and went and found that there was an Applebee's closer on the unit. So we jump in the car and as she (Bonnie, the GPS voice) leads us to the Applebees we realize we are in a pretty poor African American neighborhood. OK, we are in a rough neighborhood. We get a little lost and Mom and Grandma make sure the car doors are locked. We find an Applebees and as we walk in we realize that we are the only white people there. One lady asked Dad why we were here. Grandma and Grandpa were a little worried but we were treated well, the service was great and you could really dance to the rap/R & B music :) All turned out well! We "survived" and we all got a little culture. At the end Grandma said it was great and from now on we will follow the advice of the Hotel. We were stared at the whole time. It was one of my favorite experiences of the whole trip. Poor Carl was rolling his eyes wondering if Mom was alright as she clung to his arm while going to the restaurant.
On the way home we got lost again. By the time we got to the hotel 1 1/2 hours later, we were all ready to strangle Bonnie and when we reached the hotel we did it on our own without her. It was a long but super funny day.
So it has been awhile. I don't know what to say except for I am just tired. Colby has been busy with midterms, Jayden thinks the world is at an end because he can't quite crawl, walk or eat the food he wants, and I am in the middle just glad to have had a shower and eaten myself. I will tell you that there is never a dull moment :) I guess I wouldn't want it any other way! Do you like Jaydens new smile? He squints his eyes and smiles really cheesy!
We went to Gettysburg over the 4th of July weekend. It was a lot of fun. We saw a huge reenactment and then had a tour of the park. During the reenactment canons were going off and smoke everywhere from the guns, it was pretty cool. I am in awe again for what was done and endured for our freedoms today. I hope I remember all that I learned there and appreciate my blessings today (even if we are paying $4.19 for gas). We got our picture taken with four of the reenacters and the whole time we were taking the picture they were looking at the line for the bathrooms and complaining. The guy on the far left said he was just going to find a private bush and then realized I was listening. He stopped talking but wasn't embarrassed. Oh well, as long as I don't have to walk by the bush :)
We are going to New York tomorrow, I can't wait. My Mom and Dad, brother and Grandparents are flying out to go with us. We will see New York City till Sunday, then head to Niagara Falls and Palmyra New York then see my Uncle in State College, PA. I am supposed to be packing right now but Jayden is napping and I got distracted by some long lost friends I found on Facebook.
We have kind of had a tough few weeks. Do you ever feel sometimes like Heavenly Father has a sense of humor? We had some rough news and hope and pray that we will know what is in store for us. Faith, just got to have faith! Love you all, see you next week after NY!