Aside from things to actually do, just experiencing this city is an experience in itself of course. Especially for us country bumpkins here. Yes, compared to these city folks, even (or not even) we fall under that title (and are proud of it btw!).
Wow, the headache of it all, the mad rush here and there, the noise levels, the smell levels, the sheer number of people, cars and buildings. Wow wow wow! Now, I've been to NY city several times over the years and it has always terrified me. Really. Freaked. Me. Out. This is the very first time though that I can proudly say that not only did I finally figure out my north/south, east/west here (ordinarily that's my strong side, this city always threw me for a loop though) but I mastered the subway system (the parts I needed to take anyway) and actually knew what I was talking about when I mentioned street names and intersections. I have officially conquered my fear of it all! I'm not saying I'd move here any time soon, or not so soon, but at almost 40, I think that's a pretty awesome accomplishment, for me anyway :-).
The kids, particularly Analyzer, were in shock when we wandered around midtown (I think it's midtown) and the Broadway area. Uptown was WAY calmer and peaceful, for NY anyway. Analyzer kept saying 'what am I doing here? What am I doing here??' A fish out of water I tell you.....
The absolute highlight of our second day in the city with the in-laws was the Lion King on Broadway. Yes, the real deal. The absolute best.
It was U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E. S-P-E-C-T-E-C-U-L-A-R. OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. I am not exaggerating.
Of course no pictures could be taken during the musical, but after the show we got this one with the huge lion mask in the background. The kids were absolutely enthralled during the entire show. Even Whirlwind! I was sure he'd end up either asleep at some point (especially given the level of fatigue we were all experiencing) or at the very least end up on the floor in a tantrum. Nope. Non of the above. He sat high on his booster seat and absorbed every minute.
After about half way through the show it occurred to me that the kids probably had no idea that what they were watching was the height of professional performance, the best of the best, cream of the crop. They probably had no idea (beyond the sheer size) that this was way more significant than the small local productions we've seen in CO (and those were really very good btw, but this was Broadway after all). They surely had no clue just how lucky they are to be experiencing such brilliance.
Well, I couldn't let that ignorance continue so at intermission I set them straight. From that point onward, everyone they talked to got to hear about how they saw the Lion King performed by "the best people EVER!" :-). Funny as it was, it was and is *very* important to me that they truly appreciate the things they do and see. They shouldn't go through this trip, or life, thinking everything is run-of-the-mill and take things for granted. I think I got that point across, here and now anyway.
We could not pull ourselves away from the theater doors after it all ended.....Even when they booted us out of the building.
Oh, this btw was the hullabaloo that is the city from way above it all in the theater. Quite impressive. And tense. For us anyway.
After finally pulling ourselves away from the theater we began walking south hoping to come across a decent place to eat. We ended up walking about ten blocks, being very indecisive on the way. Finally, we came across a Friday's. Of all places we could possibly choose to eat in NY! Friday's is a nation wide chain in case you don't know, you can find one or more in every city in this country. A ridiculous place to eat in NY if you ask me, but we were tired, hungry and had not come across anything better on our walk down, so, Friday's it was. Fortunately, we were at least afforded the quintessential NY view along with our 'everywhere in America' dinner. Thank goodness for small favors.
Friday's also happened to be overlooking Madison Square Garden and the cool Roman looking post office (on the right). Again though, the hullabaloo down below drew the attention of the younger ones and actually kept them occupied until dinner arrived.
After dinner the time finally came to say our real good byes to the in-laws, they were flying out the next day. We had an awesome, if not very intense, two days with them here in the city, as well as a couple days together up in Maine. Saying good bye was tough, but having a mass of people constantly rush pass us did not allow it to be a very prolonged good bye.
Having parted ways our day was not over yet. Now we had to head down to 14th street for a quick late evening visit with my cousin, her two daughters and her Mom. It was the only time we could swing a visit and not visiting was certainly out of the question. So, at 7:30PM, after our already incredibly long day, we schlepped on yet another subway.
The little cousins get along so well every time they get together (which isn't that often) it's like they just saw each other yesterday. The kids had a blast, the grown ups had a blast. Wine and pie were involved, need I say more? It was short, sweet and late (for a play date anyway), but at least we did it.
That's it. NY city is done with for us, for this trip anyway. In case you're thinking hey, there's so so so much more to see and do here, you'd be right of course. We were lucky enough to be here for my cousin's wedding back in May of this year and took that opportunity to do some Manhattan sightseeing as well. We did the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Thank God! Otherwise we would have had to pack those into this visit as well.....
The ride back 'home' began at 9:30PM or so and I think this iphone picture just says it all.....
Good bye for now Manhattan.......until we meet again.