New York with the Family
For my birthday my parents, brother and girlfriend all came out to visit me. It also happened to be my dad's birthday the week before mine so we had a joint celebration while they were in town.
For the weekend they were here, we thought it would be fun to go somewhere and do something no one in the family had done before... drive up to New York City. Yes, I said drive. In the end, the tolls and gas prices seemed to be the most cost efficient for getting the 5 of us up to NYC.
We stayed outside of the city in Jersey. The first day we decided to take the train into the city near Times Square. That was a huge event in and of itself. First off, it is a relatively new train station so it was not in dad's GPS and most people we asked couldn't say exactly how to get there. The directions given to us to get to the train station were wrong. We drove in circles for a good half hour until we stopped at a gas station and asked for directions. Vaguely we had a new idea. Those directions were also wrong, but they led us to some streets mentioned in the first set of directions. But, we were lost again since we were told to turn right at a fork in the road and we found out only much later, there was no fork in the road and at no point around that area should be have turned right.
We stopped at another hotel. They told us we should see signs pointing us to the town the station was in. There were, none towards the train station. Eventually we stopped at yet another hotel. Dad and I went in this time. When we asked the lady if she could tell us how to get to the train station she said she could, but it would be useless since cars can't park there. Only buses and taxis. She offered, if we were hotel guests, to park for free and she would call a taxi. However I think after seeing our deject faces, she offered to let us park for free regardless and she called a taxi.
So, our first day experience of getting to the city was an adventure and the rest of the time in the city was fun. We did a ton of the touristy things, Times Square, Central Park, the Met, the Empire State Building, Liberty Island with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
It was a short whirlwind fun time in the city and I wish we had more time to explore and see a few more things. The wait to the top of the ESB was crazy long; with line wrapping and many checkpoints it makes it hard to know just how long of a wait it really is. The view from the top was worth it. I have always wanted to see the Statue of Liberty and it was worth it, too. We did the boat tour to the island and went into the base of the statue, since people aren't allowed to climb up inside it anymore. Ellis island was fun, but we had originally thought we would have relatives listed until I read the first immigrant recorded there set foot in 1862. The Steyh family came into the States long before that.
Overall it was fun and I can't wait to go back and actually have time to explore the place. But I will end with the words of my brother as we were on top of the Empire State Building looking down onto the city, "I could never explore this city in 3 lifetimes."
Enjoy the pictures below.
Times Square. This is the first thing we saw coming up out of the subway into the city.
Central Park. I don't know these people, I just thought it was a nice picture in the park.
Playing softball and relaxing in the heart of the city in Central Park.
The family on top of the Empire State Building. Me, Mom, Bryan, dad
The view down the river and the Statue of Liberty from the top of the Building
Bryan and I.
Mom on the very windy boat we took to Liberty Island.
Bryan and Renee in front of the Statue. It looks warm this day, but it was freezing on this boat ride.
I just like this closer shot of the Statue.
Me in front of it. You can tell by my clothes it is cold... or at least I am.
On Liberty Island. There was screening to get onto the boat to go to the island, and even more screening to actually get inside the base of the statue. Worse than airport security, but worth it.
The view of the city from Liberty Island.
I loved this shot. Because it had a map of all the buildings in front of you and the skyline of the city, but it still had the Twin Towers in it. I hadn't realized (since I have never been to NYC before) that the towers really did dominate the sky.