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New York City with Family

New York City ended up exceeding our expectations. Prior to arriving in the area the only thing that really excited us was the prospect of spending one week with Mark’s parents, Steve and Teresa. As for the city, to be honest, we were really not that excited. Based upon what we have seen on television, read in newspapers, and heard from others we expected the city to be dirty, crowded, and the people to be rude. Wow could we have been more wrong.

The RV Park we chose to stay at was located perfectly to allow us direct access into the city. By riding a train into Grand Central Station we were able to quickly connect to all points within the city via bus or subway. It was always an interesting trip since we would leave a crowded city and arrive home on the train to the secluded Hudson River town.

After picking the parents up we began our first day in the city first thing the next morning. Katarina played tour guide for the week and did a superb job of arranging for an insightful and exciting stay.

Three Hour Tour

Day one had us on the Circle Line boat tour around the island of Manhattan. The ship we sailed on had a unique history as being part of the rescue boats for that plane crash in the Hudson River a few years back. The same Capt. was piloting us for the tour. You will see from the pictures below that the city is nonstop buildings and architecture. It truly was surreal to see and experience the area in person.

From the Hudson River the buildings rise up vertically for hundreds of feet and with their different sizes and shapes the create a kaleidoscope of color and form. The camera was constantly snapping to capture the different angles and views presented before us. Within the scope of this day one tour we were seeing the outside of all the areas we would later tour on the inside.

Times Square

After the boat tour we walked a few blocks to Times Square. This area of the city is famous for the annual ball drop on New Year’s Eve and then ball is still in place throughout the year for folks like us to photograph. The numerous lights, billboards, and businesses are enthralling to witness matching the sensation one would get on their first trip to Las Vegas. During our stay we would return to the area three more times with the final trip after the parents left for Katarina and Mark to see a Broadway play.

Statue of Liberty

Day two and our tour guide had us up and out the door early. Thankfully she took the time to cook us a wonderful French toast breakfast so who were we to complain. Arriving at the tip of Manhattan around 11 AM we found that the line to board the ferry over to the island was one and a half hours long. Well we didn’t come all this way not to see the island so we waited. Let us say that the wait was well worth it. As you can see in the photos below it was a picture-perfect day for visiting the Statue and Ellis Island. The blue skies and white clouds formed the perfect backdrop for our photos. After walking around the statue we found ourselves a spot in the shade for lunch, it was in the high 90s with high humidity that day… yes we almost killed the parents.

After lunch we boarded another ferry over to Ellis Island but by then we were all too tired to really check out all the sights at this historic location.

Wall Street

Arriving back into Manhattan we were within walking distance of Wall Street so off we went. By this point all of us were dragging but nonetheless we visited the various sites including location where George Washington was sworn in as the first president. What was impressive about this area was how compact all the buildings were towards one another, here it was late afternoon and the shade from the tall skyscrapers was already extending over the whole city.

The Empire State Building

Day three ended up being an off day where we just stayed at the RV to recover our energy. Day four we were off for a building tour. Katarina had arranged for us to visit the Empire State building in the morning, the World Trade Center site, and the Rockefeller Center at night. The combination of these three made for a magnificent day in the city.

Security was very tight at the Empire State building but once we finally cleared it and made it to the observation deck the views were amazing. The observation deck is outdoors and the weather was beautiful with hardly a breeze at all. Snapping 360° of pictures you get an idea of just how compact the city is. Everything is within a 10 mile radius of this location, that is 8 million people and their associated homes, offices, restaurants, and other stores.

After descending from the building we made our way down to the World Trade Center site. Walking up to the site we passed the oldest church in New York which was across the street from the buildings. In the photos below you will see that rebuilding has proceeded rapidly on the surrounding structures and work is beginning now on the main structure. We took the opportunity to visit the World Trade Center Museum in a small office space adjacent to the site which did a good job but not a great job of memorializing the tragedy. From there we walked over to the new overlook site to view the actual grounds where the World Trade Center once stood, the whole experience seemed almost disconnected from the tragedy that occurred here.

Leaving the World Trade Center and made our way back up to Times Square where we had dinner at the Hard Rock restaurant. While not really authentic New York food at the Hard Rock is becoming a kind of tradition for Katarina and Mark being that we have visited a number of the more unique locations. After dinner it was on to Rockefeller Center for a nighttime visit to their roof. The views were as spectacular at night.

Natural History and Central Park

day five and no rest for the weary. We were back into the city with our first stop at the American Museum of Natural History made famous in the movie Night at the Museum. The museum was very large but very poorly laid out, took us almost 30 minutes just to find our way to the main exhibits. Being a Sunday the crowds were quite large meaning we really only spent a few minutes in each room before feeling claustrophobic and moving on.

Leaving the Museum we walked through some of the wealthier neighborhoods of New York and found an old Italian restaurant to order and enjoy real New York pizza. With our tummies full we took a stroll through Central Park enjoying sunset in the city. Marking our final day in the city with the parents New York left us with an overall joyous feel.

West Point

West Point is a four year university that also serves as the Army’s officer training school. The campus was located 15 miles north and across the Hudson River from our home at Croton Point. On our sixth and final day with the parents we all took a drive up to the visitor center and check out their Museum and displays. We decided to skip on the tour and relax in the air-conditioned Museum.

Saying Goodbye

After seven days with the parents it was time to say goodbye. Steve made it easier on us by scheduling a 7 AM flight that required them to arrive at the airport by 5 AM, this meant we were up at 4 AM to drive them to JFK. This early departure ended up working out well since we avoided traffic in both directions and they were able to arrive back in LA in the a.m.

This seven day span highlights one of the key advantages of this lifestyle we have chosen. By traveling to and living in various locations we are able to enjoy the time without worrying about packing up at the end of the stay. Imagine doing all the things we described above and at the end of the day returning home instead of back to a hotel room.

The week with the parents was more special as it occurred during the one-year anniversary of Teresa’s near death experience. It was really special to have the two of them travel out to spend the time with us in the city.


4 Responses to “New York City with Family”

  1. Teresa says:

    The pictures were great. It was such a special time for me and your dad to be in your home and to be fed such wonderful meals. Kat is such a great cook. The whole trip has so many special moments that it would be hard to mention them all. We look forward to having you back home. We look forward to having more trips to visit when we are invited. It was special to be there for the one year anniversary of my near death experience. I feel very blessed to have you both in my life. Take care keep up the good work on the web site the pictures are beautiful as always.

  2. Teresa says:

    I just have so much fun looking at all the pictures of our trip to NY city with you’alll. I feel like we are with you after seeing what goes on with you on a daily basis, You are a great couple you 2 really bring joy to all of our lives, so just keep having fun .

  3. Dad says:

    Hi Mark & Kat:

    Wow these pics are so beautiful – it’s like reliving the entire week. Every picture has a memory. This Sat we’ve invited our NY Friends, Bobby and Loraine and Greg and Cindy over for dinner – we’ll share these pictures with them and play Monopoly. I would like to say we wish you were here – but that’s not true – we wish we were there with you. We look forward to the next adventure with the two of you. Enjoy…and we’ll talk to you soon.

    Love, Dad and Teresa