Movies show the Big Apple at Christmas time. It always looks magical. I had always wondered what it would be like to actually visit the city during the holidays and see all the sights first hand. That idea, plus a summer of VBS focused on NYC, I was even more intrigued. I mentioned to Thomas in early November that we should do that together as our Christmas, and even though it was in passing before Bible Study, Thomas took it to heart and he set out to find some good deals on plane tickets. When we realized the cost was not near as much as we anticipated, he and had a mission to try and make it all work out. When my mom got on board to watch the kids for a few days, we booked the hotel and plane and began counting down the days.
Turns out, everything is a big, busy, bright and loud as it appears on TV.
The Statue of Liberty was empowering, not to mention much larger than you expect.
The 9/11 Memorial is simply unforgettable and moving. Seeing the reflecting pools, which are literally built in the footprints of where the Twin Towers once stood, is something I think everyone should experience. Being that the memorial just opened in September, there was still some constructing and creating going on around the area, but the pools themselves create a quiet solitude among the loud sounds of the city and rebuilding.
We also took a visit to the Today Show. Let me just say, I enjoyed this more than I anticipated. It was SO much fun. We literally turned on the TV from our hotel the morning we went and saw the show already in place. Less than 15 minutes later, we were there watching Scarlett Johansson and seeing Ann, Matt, and Al firsthand.
Speaking of hands, I shook Al’s! (side note: his gloves were soft)
Again, I am surprised about how giddy I got at Rockefeller Plaza seeing these people. I usually care absolutely nothing about celebrities (except maybe Joel McHale, but that is a different story for another time). The Today Show folks though just made me excited. And yes, Thomas was on TV! I was too short though, so no me.
Ice skating had to be one of my highlights. It was just magical. The love of my life, the chill of NYC winter, Christmas music, Christmas lights, and just joy all around made it simply perfect.
Central Park was a bit of a let down you might say. We couldn’t really peg if that was because A: It was winter and all the greenery was muted B: We didn’t travel through something that was possibly impressive or C: We are accustomed to lots of nature and green where we are from, so what seems great to the city folk seems dim to the country folk.
Purusing 5th Avenue and Macy’s Holiday Windows, along with grabbing a few gifts for the kids made up for most of our shopping. I did try to hunt down a clothing item I saw at one store, but with there being about 4 of that store within just a handful of city blocks, it was not too likely to find it again. Oh, and the hubby experienced heaven on earth inside the Lego store. He even made Lego men/women that reflect the look and style of himself, Daniel, and me.
A Broadway show, which was amazing, was on our to do list. It was so cool to just walk a few blocks from our hotel and be “where the neon lights are bright” and where there “is always magic in the air.”
The cool thing about watching this show on Broadway, where it stays, not floats around like we would have in our home state, is that every little detail of The Gershwin Theater was devoted to creating the vibe and flow of _Wicked_. From the witch hat lights to the Emerald city glow on every wall, the theater echoed the play, which was such a great experience on a whole. If you get a chance, go see it, even if not on Broadway.
Subway rides, taxi rides, ferry rides, the most delectable meal I have *ever* eaten, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a viewing of The Dead Sea Scrolls, Irish Pubs, a pizza lunch, coffee to go, traffic galore, and a few more events rounded out our adventures.
It was truly an amazing experience, and even though we could have stayed much longer and taken the opportunity to see so many other things, our two sweet boys beckoned our hearts back home.