2010 Summer Road Trip - Day 19

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Needless to say, we slept in today! Yesterday just wore us all out. We missed breakfast at the hotel, so we decided to go for lunch at the Flamingo Restaurant. Once again, it was surprisingly good! After lunch we headed into Manhattan. Our goal was to go see the Empire State Building and possibly check out Central Park and whatever else we could fit into the day. We made it to the ESB quite easily and bought our tickets, then headed to the top. Or so we thought... We managed to get into the second or third group taking the elevators up and thought we had beaten the wait. The wait was actually on the 81st (I think!) floor! We stood in line for almost an hour on that floor. The architecture of the building was impressive, and the rooms we meandered through were beautiful. Reese got on a kick of asking me to take her picture with every new velvet rope we came to. That was pretty funny!

After standing in line for quite a while it was pretty exciting to see King Kong come out of one of the rooms. I tried to get my girls to take a picture with him, but Reese was scared and Katie just wanted to jump line and get ahead of all the folks who had left their spots to get photos with a man in a big monkey suit. We made it to the elevators that would deposit us on the roof shortly after that.

I must say, the views from the top of the ESB were magnificent! You could see all of Manhattan and quite a bit of the New Jersey shoreline, too. It was incredibly crowded at the top, so there was a lot of jockeying for position, but we got to see what we came to see. I got very angry at one point and only my good manners kept me from getting really ugly. As I said before, it was very crowded. The walls on the observation deck are all different heights and most people were aiming for the lower walls so that they could take their pictures against the backdrop of the city. Reese was actually able to look over the walls in some of the lower spots, so that's where we headed, too. She's too heavy for me to lift her up to look out. Well, apparently another tourist, who was very short but still a LOT taller than my three year old, thought he should be allowed exclusive access to the shorter wall. He knocked Reese down not once, but THREE times trying to make his way to the short wall. The first time he did it I assumed it was an accident. The second time I was annoyed. The THIRD time I was TICKED OFF! Any grown man should have more respect for children than THAT! Luckily, he moved on to another side of the building and I was able to take Reese's picture while she was actually standing up. As you can see in most of the photos, Reese was not at all impressed with the Empire State Building. She spend most of her time there asking when we could leave.

We probably spent less than an hour on the roof of the ESB, but that was enough to see everything around us. We took our pictures then headed back down and out into the city. Our next stop was to be Central Park and FAO Schwarz. Thankfully the two were close together, so our travel time on the subway was minimal. We walked past one of the entrances to Central Park on our way to FAO Schwarz and saw a group of young men getting ready to perform a tumbling routine. We stopped to watch, and this is what we saw:

Impressive, to say the least! Mom took an awesome video, too, but I haven't been able to get it to upload to blogger. I'll keep trying! We saw some mimes dressed like the Statue of Liberty, so we had to get a picture with them, too. It cost me a tip ($1.75 was all I had on me!), but I got a cute pic of Katie. Reese refused to stand with the mime. She was terrified of it!

After visiting the mime we headed over to FAO Schwarz. This place was heaven for a kid! The girls loved the FAO Schweetz section of the store, and the big piano was a hit, too. There were so many different things to see and do! Neither of the girls wanted to take their picture with the red suited guard at the front door, but we got lots of other pics and video once we were inside.

After spending FAR too much money on candy in the toy store, we went back outside to get a bite to eat and to explore Central Park for a bit. We bought hotdogs from a street vendor and sat down on some park benches to eat and people watch. After eating we decided that a ride on a Central Park horse and buggy was a well deserved treat for our tired feet. Our horse's name was Snow White, and the girls thought that was so cool! The driver even let them feed her a carrot! Even though it was quite expensive, and our driver kept trying to hustle us into a longer ride, it was worth it for a bit of a rest! That ride was pretty much all we saw of Central Park. We were too tired for much more walking!

By the time we took our carriage ride my phone was almost dead. Since there was an Apple store right across the street we decided to go in and check it out and see if we could charge my phone. The Apple store itself was really cool. The only thing that showed from the street was a glass cube with a glass elevator in the middle, but when you got off the elevator we were in Apple heaven!

We found a table full of kids computers and were able to hook my phone up to a charging dock. While it was charging the girls played on the new Mac computers. Let me tell you, they were SOLD! There were so many cool things to do! I've been wanting a Mac for a while, and now I have backup! We played for a while in the store, and when it was time to leave we got a big surprise. Reese threw a hissy, kicking FIT when it was time to go. I swear, I think people thought we were trying to kidnap her! She was having such a great time playing the games on the computers that she could have stayed all night! It was almost dark when we got streetside again, so we decided to try visiting Times Square. We found the subway we needed and arrived to see the most spectacular McDonalds ever! It was all lit up, just like everything else in the area. It took us a few minutes to get our bearings, then a few more minutes to walk to the actual Times Square. It was amazing! I don't know if the pictures I took will do it justice! We saw Mickey Mouse and Elmo. We saw a Toys R Us with a huge ferris wheel inside. We saw the Hershey's store! It was all amazing! The girls, especially Reese, were bound and determined to ride the ferris wheel, but by the time we got down there they had closed it. Reese threw another crazy fit when we had to leave, but she got over it pretty quickly. With a promise of ice cream, she was OK. Little did we know how hard it would be for us to find ice cream in Times Square! We finally settled for dessert at Applebee's and everyone was happy again.

After our yummy desserts we went back to our hotel and crashed. We were worn out! It was an awesome day in New York City!