Tiffini lives a quick 40 minutes away from New York City, so of course we HAD to take a day trip while we were visiting last month. I had to resist channeling my inner Moana and belting out, "It CAAAAALLLLLLS me!" on the train ride in. I just can't stay away from that magical place. I think this was my 8th or 9th trip in the city and I'm still in awe of the magnitude and flow and energy of it all.
I. Love. It.
Tiffini kept Belle for me (thanks so so much T), and me and my "big kids" set out on our BIG adventure. We took the train in, which thrilled Johnny and Rae to pieces. Shortly into our ride, (((continued after the jump...)))
the conductor came around to collect our tickets. Johnny saw his getup and excitedly announced that it was a police officer. I quickly corrected him, telling him that he was actually a train conductor...just like in the Polar Express movie. The conductor paused, took a few steps back to us, pulled out a couple expired tickets and stamped little smiley faces into them....one for Rae, and one for John. Their faces! It was pure magic.
I was definitely a little nervous to take 2 young children to NYC by myself, but this was the perfect start to our adventure and I just knew it was all going to be worth it! The train ride flew by, and before we knew it, we were standing in the middle of Grand Central counting consultations, twirling in circles, and soaking up the hustle and bustle of it all.
Our first stop was, OF COURSE, the "Statue of Litabree!" We took the subway downtown to Battery Park, walked around a bit, and then boarded the ferry to Liberty Island. In all my times in the city, I've never been able to step foot on Liberty Island. I've been to Battery Park a handful of times, ridden the Staten Island Ferry back and forth past it, and even got my own personal chartered police boat all around Manhattan Island, which provided us some amazing views of Lady Liberty. But being ON Liberty Island was it's own kind of special. First we picnicked in the grass, under the shade of the trees, and enjoyed the backdrop of the city across the Hudson. It was a Monday, and early in the morning, so the crowds were small and we were able to go slow and really soak it all in. We took our time walking around the island and enjoyed every angle of the Statue of Liberty. It was such a perfect activity for the kids, and they loved every second of it. This was the highlight of the day for them.
After spending a good chunk of time there, we took the ferry back to Manhattan where we caught a cab to the Highline. We made sure to drive past the 9/11 memorial on our way, which, I would have loved to spend more time at, but we just couldn't make it work (but seriously, it's one of my top 3 must-do's in the city...had we not been 2 years ago, I would have made it work).
The Highline was new for me, and oh my gosh, it was so cool! If you don't know, they converted old railroad tracks into a long, narrow park, with gorgeous gardens, fountains, art, and of course, amazing, unique views of the city at every angle. We took our time walking it, stopping to play at one point, resting on wooden loungers a few minutes later, and definitely grabbing strawberry-basil popsicles as our mid-morning snack.
Next we made our way to Times Square which never fails to make me smile. I seriously could sit there all day and leave still wanting more. I love watching the people, seeing the lights, and hearing the cars honk as they whirl by. We grabbed the kids some lunch, had a little dance party, and then picked up some souvenirs at the Disney Store. Rae picked out a little Ariel doll, Johnny grabbed some "Cars" cars, and they decided on a Statue of Liberty Minnie Mouse for Belle.
While they were entertained with their new toys, I found myself a Luke's Lobster and treated myself to the BEST lobster roll ever. Seriously, such a treat!
We wish we could have spent longer in the city, but we were also anxious to get back to our cousins, so we made our way back to Grand Central. Johnny slept on me the whole train to Connecticut, while Rae squished her nose to the glass and watched the city fade behind us. I can't believe how good those two did walking SO much and taking in all that is New York City. I'm pretty convinced that they inherited my LOVE of the city, which makes me so proud and so happy.
I think there might have been a time where I would have shrunk away from the idea of going to New York City by myself with a 2 & 4 year old. It wouldn't have been hard to think up 1,000 reasons why it was crazy or dangerous our just too hard. But Garrett and I agree that we want to prioritize EXPEREINCES with our family. Which means doing the work, slowing our pace, and setting realistic expectations. And also, SO much going with the flow. Embracing that dang flow, which can be a real tough one for me. But, my gosh, it's so worth it. Going to New York City for the day, just the three of us, is something I think each of us will remember fondly forever. I know I'll never forget it. It was the best kind of adventure!!
|^hailing their own taxi #proudmommoment^|
|freaking obsessed with this picture|
|^she carried that dang kitty EVERY step of the city^|