This was the first time visiting New York City for both me and Ricky.It did not disappoint. We had about 2 1/2 days to see the city, and like most tourists, we mainly stuck to Manhattan. For the amount of time we had, and considering we had a toddler in tow, we did pretty well. Some of the highlights:
- A charming hotel just 3 blocks from the Empire State Building (we had a junior suite with, wait for it.....our own bathroom. Just had to throw that in because it was advertised in a way that made it seem quite special. Space is quite the commodity, I know.) Anyway, it was fun to walk around that area each day as we were coming and going.
- A bus tour that was super-touristy, but perfect for us, since it doubled as a day taxi and let us see big chunks of the city without worrying about navigation ourselves.
- Walking. One evening we decided to have dinner in Little Italy, and had originally planned to take a taxi. We weren't very hungry yet, so we just started walking, and ended up walking the 30 or so blocks there. We also ran into a very talkative woman who I initially thought was crazy but was in fact just friendly. She asked what route we were taking, and when I told her that, oh, we're just going to walk down Broadway, she said "WRONG." Then it was awkward for a moment, but she the proceeded to explain a much more interesting route that led us through the original Five Points area. Best of all, when we got to Little Italy we were good and hungry. Sometimes on vacation I feel like I'm just eating and eating because I don't want to miss the local flavor, but I'm not even that hungry most of the time. Walking definitely helped with that.
- Getting rain-soaked during a night-tour of Brooklyn. Well maybe not the shiniest highlight but it made for a funny memory. We had some saran-wrap like ponchos, and Ricky had Nicky inside his. Nicky just curled up and went to sleep, as we sat there, squinting because the rain was falling so hard. Poor Ricky had glasses on so he couldn't see anything.
- A pastrami on rye from Katz's Deli. It was perfect.
- The view from the top of the Empire State Building. We waited until the morning of our last day to go up, and there was no line! I loved seeing the outline of Central Park; such a tidy rectangle of green in a sea of tan and gray.
- The drive up and back. We initially planned to take a train up from Baltimore, but it ended up being less expensive to drive, even with the tolls and parking costs. It was kind of a hassle getting around, but I just love the anticipation of driving somewhere, and then the coziness of driving home. It's when Ricky and I have some of our best conversations I think.
- Nicky boy's highlight: watching all the "Bob the Builders" at work at Ground Zero.
He's been asking to go "see the buildings" ever since.