Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day Fourteen

The view of the city
Checking out the view from the Empire State Building 
Waiting for the subway

Somehow it is not nearly as stressful to take a cab as it is to be riding in your own car.  We started off the day with a cab ride to the Empire State Building.  A man tried to get us to upgrade our tickets to express, for an additional $150, to avoid all of the lines (5 to be exact).  We kindly refused and found the lines weren’t bad at all.  There were five, but not all of them could be avoided if you had the express pass.  Once we got to the observation deck, it was packed.  We had to hover until an opening appeared and jump in right away.  I found myself wondering how long I could live in this city before all of the people started to drive me crazy.  I really do love New York, but I have never spent more than four days here at a time.  I just wonder if I would get used to the crowds or sick of them first.  I think one of the things that bugs me more than all of the people is the filth on the streets.  When it was raining, there were puddles everywhere and I was wearing flip flops.  I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of germs and other gross stuff (I can’t imagine what exactly it would be) were in that water that my feet kept getting bathed in.  I also pondered how many hands have touched each door handle and how many rears have touched the toilet seats (let’s just say mine was not one of them), gross!
After the Empire State Building, we made a yummy stop at Jamba Juice to fuel up for our next adventure.  We took the subway downtown, got off at Wall Street and walked to the Staten Island Ferry, which is free.  It was a welcome rest for our feet as the ferry ride is about 20 minutes each way, and there is a great view of the bridges, the city, and the Statue of Liberty.  
After the ferry, we took another cab ride past ground zero and into Chinatown, where we got dinner and a good dose of strange sights, sounds, and smells.  From Chinatown, we found a park where the kids ran wild then found a pastry shop in Little Italy where we enjoyed dessert.  We tried to take the subway back, but the machine wouldn’t accept our credit card and we used all of our cash on dinner.  So, we had to take another taxi.  Actually, we had to take two because we couldn’t find one who would take six of us.  It turns out that their insurance only covers 5 people if one is a child.  Some will still take you, but others will not, and still others will only if you “make it worth their while”.  In this case, they wouldn’t so we had to take two cabs. Then we settled into our room for the night.  All of our feet were happy to rest.
Tip of the day:  I just want to emphasize again that Camelbaks rock the city as well as the hiking and biking trails.  We never once had to buy water or stop for a drink in a scummy drinking fountain.  In addition, each kid can carry their own snacks for those times when hunger strikes at an inconvenient time.

1 comment:

  1. I've really enjoyed reading your posts and learning about the new and fun adventures you're having! I noticed you're behind a little -- keep the posts coming, okay! (Reading about your trip has caused me to wax a bit nostalgic about great family vacations I've taken, and that's a good thing.)