Thursday, April 5, 2018

NYC - last days

One of our last stops was to see the aircraft carrier, Intrepid.  Such a fabled history for this old we walked toward the ship you could only see the old planes on the upper deck.

As you get closer, you see how huge this beast really is!

There were often over 2500 sailors living on this ship - it's a small city!

On the upper deck we toured some of the historical aircraft that they have on display there.

This one was Madison's favorite - its the jet that was used in Top Gun.

Inside you could actually touch many of the instrument panels and they had retired volunteers that had served on the ship telling you about their time there.

In the anchor room - the size of the chains was pretty impressive!

This was an officer's bunk room.  Very tiny but efficiently laid out.

So this is where my photos ended since we were supposed to fly home the next morning.  That didn't happen.  Our flight was delayed until evening because of bad weather further east so we went back to the Natural History Museum since we hadn't felt like we had enough time there the first day.  By the time we got back to our hotel to get our things to go to the airport, they had cancelled our flight.  Ugh.  

We spent a frantic 2 hours trying to figure out what to do since the soonest Delta could get us home was TWO days later. We ended up taking a train to Newark, NJ where we then took a bus to the airport and rented a car.  This should have been a fairly easy overnight drive back to Detroit but oh no...that bad weather had created all sorts of havoc.  Several times we were routed off and back on to I-80 to avoid accidents on the expressway.  And then finally, somewhere around Mt. Poconos in PA, the X-way was closed and there was no way around it without heading out onto some tiny mountain roads in the dark and snow.  Nope.  We bedded down in the car between all the semi-trucks to wait it out.  

We woke up around 3 am, drove back to the expressway to find it still closed so back to our parking spot for some more snoozing.  At 6 am, with it barely light enough to see, we put our trust in Google Maps and started heading east on back roads.  We were doing pretty good and were ALMOST back to I-80 when the road we were on closed down! Ugh!  We rerouted ourselves to some even smaller back roads and by10:00, we were back on I-80 about 10 miles from where we originally started.

From then on it was pretty clear sailing and we made it back to Detroit by 4:30.  It was an awesome trip, even if it did end with a little more adventure than we had planned!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

NYC Day 3 & 4

Day 3 was about as perfect as you can imagine for the end of February in NYC.  Blue, blue skies and a moderate 50 degrees.  It was also the day I got to spend with one of my oldest friends - Leslie!  We've been friends since 7th grade and since she doesn't live too far from the city and was willing to play tour guide for a day we were happy to have her join us!

We started the day by walking through Central Park to meet her at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

We spent the morning there, slipped out for a deli lunch on the steps to the museum and then back in for a little more before we headed across town to the Chelsea High Line. The High Line was a raised rail track that has been turned into a walking path that runs through Chelsea and then connects to a path that runs along the river. It was the perfect day for this stroll as we stopped along the way to relax in the sun and take a few pics.

Madison hadn't seen Leslie since she was about 3-4 years old but we all enjoyed one another's company and had a great time!  We had dinner at a small pub that actually had "real" New Yorkers in it and later, drinks at another place with what I think would be called real NYC yuppies!  This is also the day that we logged about 12 miles according to my Fitbit!

The next morning we were off the the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.  We hadn't been to this end of Manhattan yet and I was honestly a little in awe of those past events and what it must have felt like to have been there. This feeling got so much more intense later on.

You can't help but come upon the 9/11 reflecting pools as you come into the museum area. The names of all those that died are inscribed around the edges.  We saw flowers near some names. Apparently they put a flower on the names of people on their birthday...

 Inside the museum I was so incredibly moved over and over and over again.  I shed more than a few tears in remembering that heart pounding day.  I told Madison how I had started crying as we watched the news thinking my babies were going to grow up in a war zone...

Madison wasn't as emotional as I was but I think the history of the whole event had a pretty profound effect her as well.

I forget where I saw this but I had to laugh that someone though a super duty lock was really necessary to hold the toilet paper on the roll!

Next stop was the Staten Island Ferry to take the FREE ride  (best deal in NYC) across the river and back so see the Statue of Liberty.  It was another beautiful day!

And then finally - there she was!

 Not the best selfie...

 On the way back to Manhattan we went out on the back of the ferry.  It was actually quite nice out there and not as windy as I had expected.

This is exactly what our ferry looked like. LOL!

This is in a park in lower Manhattan and I totally don't remember the name...

Poor Madison just can't do selfies in the sun...and it wasn't even very sunny at this point!

Monday, April 2, 2018

NYC Day 2

Day 2

The day began quite overcast but it wasn't raining!  We decided to start out at the Museum of Natural History.  We had the place to ourselves for the first 30 minutes and then every pre-schooler in NYC arrived. LOL!  We kept trying to out run them but they are fast little buggers!

A view of NYC across Central Park from the museum window.

The side of the museum - kind of reminds me of a castle with a moat.

In a room about senses we discovered that my nail polish turns an interesting light blue color under the black lights!

A cool mosaic...these things fascinate me.

I have no idea which building this is or ever where we were when I took it but it was kinda cool...

In the afternoon we took a bus tour around the city.  The seats ran along the side of the bus stadium style and it had a glass roof so you had a great view as you drove around with the guide telling us stories about NYC.

We drove past Trump Tower and she pointed out that they only recently opened the street back up but there are still lots of guards out from to protect the other people that live there from protesters.

 We really wanted to go to the spot on Madison Ave where Tom Hanks named Darryl Hannah "Madison" in the movie Splash but we never made it over there.

This restaurant is pretty famous for their singing waiters and waitresses. Food was terrible but the entertainment was fantastic.

Next stop was Broadway to see School of Rock. We had chose this show as one that Austin would really like.  Madison and I weren't too enthused about going but we ended up loving it!

And finally we made it to the Top of Rock!  And oh my what a view!  I used to feel like being on the 21st floor of the RenCen at work seemed pretty high up....not any more!

We traded photo ops with another couple...kind of hard when it's dark out!