After starting the school year with a trip to Europe..I mean North Carolina’s version of Europe, we thought we’d end the year with a real trip to New York City. We took just our two oldest daughters with the intent of peering into some American history, seeing some of the art they had studied this year, and having some “big girl” fun. Honestly, I can’t imagine taking anyone under the age of 6 to the city. It is loud, filled with exhaust and smoke, and crowded with people. It was hard at times for my two suburban girls! But, it made coming home so much sweeter!
I planned an itinerary months ahead of time, made reservations, and planned peaceful moments to be sprinkled throughout a busy 4 day trip to the city. My husband thanked me over and over for making reservations and doing so much planning. It really made a difference when we could walk right into places, while others were waiting.
This is how we arrived. God bless my husband for strapping a “princess” back-pack to himself and walking through the busy streets with all this luggage.
The morning after our arrival, we enjoyed a harbor cruise to Ellis Island to learn about where the first immigrants entered the U.S. and climbed the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. The first “torch” that Lady Liberty held is on the bottom floor of the pedestal, so we were able to get an idea of how grand this statue actually is. From the base of the pedestal to the top of her torch is 305 feet and it takes 154 steps to get from the pedestal to the top! She symbolized freedom for so many, which we felt by visiting the museum on Ellis Island.
We loved the museum around the Statue. We explored, complete with an audio-tour on our head sets. My second grader remembers freakish amounts of details, so this was a blast for her. She couldn’t move on until she had listened to every word. My first grader? Not so much!
Here are our girls in Rockefeller Plaza, where you’ll find the large Christmas tree in December. They have a summer-time bar and grill right by the water falls, which provided a really nice and peaceful meal. See Prometheus in the background? We loved this place!!
We visited the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) on Friday evening, because on Friday’s after 4pm, it’s FREE! Yes, that’s right and it’s probably the only free thing you’ll find in the city besides walking around Central Park. Our Classical Conversations program does an excellent job of focusing our attention on the Fine Arts, so my girls have studied these artists and painted renditions..ahem..”loose” renditions of their art. Seeing the real thing, was honestly such a treat! The above painting is Vincent Van Gogh’s “A Starry Night”.
By far, the coolest moment for me, was when we walked into the Impressionist gallery and my first grader said with a gasp, “Oh Mom….Monet’s “Water Lilies”!” I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry. This has long been one of my favorite paintings and Monet is certainly one of my favorite artists. Even the guard at the door looked down in surprise.
If you ever go to NYC, you must visit the Chelsea Market. Above is a photo of a spice shop called “Spices and Tease”. It’s a really cute place, as are most of the shops in Chelsea. I stocked up on a few spices and enjoyed leisurely adoring the unique blends. If you’ve read this blog for very long, you know that I love to cook, so pretty much, the trip could have been complete right here! But, while there, we dined at the Green Table (Farm to table deliciousness) and had gelato after dinner, and to top it all off we walked on the coolest “park in the sky” called the “High Line”. It used to be a railroad track, that has been turned into a sustainable, eco-friendly mile and a half-long park. After all the hustle and bustle of the city, we loved the quiet and unhurried pace of the High Line.
A trip to NYC wouldn’t have been complete without visiting the site of 9/11. Since our history timeline for Classical Conversations includes this date, our girls have learned a lot about what happened that day. They know where their Daddy and I both were, how we felt, and how this day changed America. The last time my husband and I were in the city, these memorials were still being built. They turned out incredibly! It takes your breath away to see thousands of names surrounding a waterfall of memories. In the first picture below, you’ll see the name of Todd Beamer, who we all remember from Flight 93. Not all men go down in history as a hero, but we will all remember him as one. I often think of his wife and kids and pray they are well. Around the memorials were the names of fire fighters, police officers, office workers, and women, some even listed as dying with their “unborn child”. My heart just broke as I remembered.
On a lighter note, we visited Dylan’s candy shop and ate dinner at Serendipity, which is THE quirkiest restaurant, made famous by a movie with the same name. It was a wonderful trip and a great learning experience. We saved one surprise for our girls until we were on our way to NYC….tickets to the Broadway production of Cinderella!! The show was a little (and big) girl’s dream come true with lovely gowns, in front of your eyes costume changes, and a fun storyline. Carly Rae Jepsen was Cinderella and Fran Drescher was the Step-Mother. Remember the Nanny??
Hope you enjoyed a little peek into our NYC trip! Come back again!!