Playing catch up…

Evaluations are done. Portfolio turned in. So now I can go back and update you on my travels.

Vacation in New York

Months ago, I realized my nephew was getting married on the last day of the Harvard/ACRL Leadership Institute, so I decided to make a family vacation out of the NJ wedding. My kids had never been to NYC and since we’d be so close, this was an opportunity I couldn’t ignore.

My 18 & 19 year, who’d been in Florida while I was in Boston, flew from Tampa to Newark where their 24 year old brother met them. (He’d flown into Newark from Orlando about 3 hours earlier. If you wondering why they all couldn’t fly together, don’t ask.) They figured out how to get train tickets to Red Bank (where the wedding was) and headed to the train platform. My 18 year old got on the wrong train and waved good-bye to his brother & sister as the doors shut and the train pulled out! Thank God for cell phones. The kids talked to conductors (the ticket guys) on their respective trains, talked to each other via cell phone, and managed to meet up and get little brother on the right train. Whew!

My flight from Boston left about 50 minutes late, not that I figured I’d be in Red Bank in time for the wedding. The train was about 25 minutes late but finally I was on the way. The Red Bank stop is a busy place and there were tons of cabs, so I hopped into one and headed to the wedding reception, suitcase in hand. I arrived just a few minutes before the lovely plated dinner was served. What timing! Especially since it was now nearing 9pm and I hadn’t eaten since noon. The bride was lovely and the groom quite handsome in his tux. They seemed to be having a wonderful time!

I don’t remember what time we left the reception for the hotel where my brother so graciously put us all up for the night. But I was up early (as usual). My brother indicated he’d take us to the train station so we could head into the city.

Penn Station
I wasn’t impressed with the signage at Penn Station. The information booth was closed. The only train schedules appeared to be for commuter trains and not for the subway system. So since I hadn’t planned ahead and researched how we’d get to our hotel, I pulled out the cell phone and called the hotel to ask for directions. We headed above ground and grabbed a cab. Ah… first cab ride for the kids in NYC. What an experience. I think they were amazed and agog.

We arrived at the hotel around noon, left our bags with the bellman, and talked to the concierge about tickets for the CircleLine boat trip around Manhattan. (My cousin, a born-and-raised Long Islander, recommended this.) Another cab ride to pier 82 (or 83?) and on the boat we went for the 3 hour version of the excursion. The weather was perfect. I think the kids enjoyed this and learned a bit about NYC and I saw parts of the city I’d never seen.

We met cousin Gary for dinner at a deli that was out of just about everything and only accepted cash. The food was so-so. After dinner we headed toward Times Square & the lights on Broadway.

Broadway was a lot brighter than I remember. So much to look at. Lots of images everywhere! Lots of energy. We did the normal tourist things, trying to cram a lot into 2 days: Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building ($120 for 4 of us to travel to the 102nd floor – geesh! – but I guess worth it once in your life), Ground Zero, Central Park, Rockefeller Center. We barely touched the high spots and didn’t get to explore too much. But at least the kids have an overview of the city. Hopefully they’ll each get back there one day and can focus on a few specific things, explore Little Italy, China Town, Greenwich Village, take in a Broadway show. I had hoped to ride the Staten Island ferry and walk up Richmond Terrace to see if I could recognize the house where my grandparents lived when I was growing up. Lots of fond memories of visits there and rides on the ferry. Maybe I’ll have a chance to do that someday.

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