Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New York: Days 3 & 4

Day 3: The day I nearly pushed my family to the breaking point. :\

The Statue of Liberty

Before Casey and I went to bed on day 2, we very wisely bought our Liberty Island tickets online. When we got there, we walked passed hundreds of people to get on the ferry. It was a victorious moment.

Here we are on Liberty Island.

And there she is! Gorgeous!

It was very sunny. I'm not sure if the hubs meant to stick his pinkie out like that, but that's all I can see in this picture.

After we spent a little time with Lady Liberty, we decided to get back on the ferry, pass by Ellis Island and head to lunch, as we were getting quite hungry. Now, while the handy online tickets were brilliant in getting ON Liberty Island they proved to be of no value WHATSOEVER in getting OFF Liberty Island. We waited in line for well over an hour, in the sun, herded in like cattle before boarding the ferry back to Battery Park. It. was. brutal.

A Brooklyn Excursion

Once we were back in Manhattan, we were a little grumpy and a lot hungry. We grabbed a Starbucks (the daily venti black tea) for the train and headed to Brooklyn to try a little restaurant that my dad just raves about, Pete's Downtown.

Well, after about 45 minutes of jumping from one wrong train to the next and a bit of a walk after the right train, we made it to Pete's. Thankfully, I mean really...Thank the Lord!...it was delicious!

Meatball sliders.

And of course, we had to grab some ice cream from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory right on the waterfront with a perfect view of the Brooklyn Bridge. It turned out to be such a lovely excursion. All grumpiness was lost in gluttonous amounts of heavy Italian food and coffee ice cream. Which was good, cause there was still much more on the agenda.

The Empire State Building

By the time we got back into Manhattan, it was early evening and the plan was to go to the Empire State Building. Now, I thought I was being kind of clever...to go to the top at night...surely the heavy tourist hours are during the day, right? So we take a nice little walk from our hotel to the Empire State Building, but not without a brief stop into Macy's and H&M. :)
When we get to the ESB there is a CA-RAZY line out the door. Apparently, I'm not as clever as I thought. Casey immediately wants to pull the plug on the ESB. But me, being the Go-Big-or-Go-Home traveller that I am, thought the line was moving pretty fast and surely it wouldn't be that bad. So we get in line. We get inside and I think, "Man, we are gonna be up there in no time! Good thing we didn't abort the mission!" Then we get to the first snake-line room...a giant room with a snake-line from end to end. At this point, I know my family's tired, so I give in and offer to abandon the ESB adventure. But Braelyn wanted to go to the top and and so did I, so we decided we were in it for the long haul. No turning back. Casey was less than enthusiastic.

5 or 6 or 20 HUGE snake-line rooms, 2 hours and 1 unhappy husband later, we made it to the top.

Happy Braelyn. Happy Steph. Casey.
It was awesome to be up there, for sure. But it was nothing like the movies. Even if Debra Kerr had made it to the top of the ESB to meet Cary Grant, she never would have found him in that crazy crowd anyways!
In the end...I'm glad we did it.

All of that was Day 3.
(In case you were wondering about how Braelyn fared through all of that...she was as delightful as ever! I couldn't believe what a trooper she was!)

Day 4:

A much lighter day by far, as was the plan. This day we took leisurely walks around the quainter, less touristy parts of Manhattan.

The West Village

First of all, let me just say, the whole area is so charming. Would love to go back and just spend a few days strolling around the West Village. One little treasure I found here, and one of my favorite spots from the whole trip was Buvette. My oh my! The loveliest little French cafe! (Go to the website...ilovebuvette.com, my pictures do not begin to show how wonderful this place is!)
(Notice the uh, VBT? Venti Black Tea? How do you think I kept up the energy to be the travel nazi that I was? The VBT!))

Crepes! And, btw...that little water glass is called a buvette.

French baguette with olive oil, fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, arugula! This is the food I love!

The East Village

After a leisurely afternoon in the West Village we took a cab to the East Village to the legendary McSorely's...the oldest pub in NY. It was a pretty great place I have to say, albeit a far leap from Buvette's. It's community seating and things are about as simple as you can get at McSorely's. A 3 item chalkboard menu, a 2 item drink menu and there's no bill...the server just tells you what you owe and you're expected to hand over the money when he gets back. ;) It's full of character, that place!

Visiting My Relations ;)

That evening we took the train to northern Manhattan to see my cousin Mollie and her sweet kiddos, Parker and Lizzie. We saw their gorgeous apartment and enjoyed a delicious picnic dinner looking out over the Hudson River. A perfect way to end the tip. But I didn't take any pictures of that...cause I'm an idiot. :\

So that's our trip.
And I just have to tell you that this trip was a gift to us from my mom and dad, who overwhelm me time and again with their kindness and generosity.
Thank you so much, Mom and Dad! We made wonderful memories here. We will remember our trip as a sweet and precious time.
We love you!


Cynthia said...

Thank you for sharing so much about your trip! Phil and I will be traveling to NY in a few weeks (without the boys) and you have given us so many great ideas! Last time we did all the typical tourist stuff, but this time we were hoping to be more locals. I love that you had a budding photographer with you. :)

mandi said...

I want to go to Buvette's right now! That is my kind of food too- simple, rustic, flavorful. I'm excited you posted this. I've been eager to see the rest of your trip!