Thursday, April 09, 2009

New York City Family Spring Break - Day 1

Spring Break NYC
With the Kohne's and Dan/Kris heading to Washington DC, Kevin and Susan going to Chicago, we thought it would be fun to do something over Spring Break with the kids. At the last minute, I was able to get together a flight and hotel in NYC using my miles and points for the whole family.
My friend Lori Skjeveland was great at helping me figure out a full kid friendly agenda. I'm there fairly often and I had taken Cathie there last year, but Maddie was the one whose wanted to visit NYC for the past few years more than any place in the world.
The trip was a blast. We left Sunday morning early (Thank you Katie Green for watching our house and dogs!!) and spent three full days in NYC.
We stayed right in Times Square, right in the middle of the action, and tried to fit in just about every touristy thing possible, while doing it on a budget (comon, you knew that was coming. I'm a Kurt afterall).

When we arrived on Sunday it was beautiful, with nasty weather forcast for the next couple of days so we decided to take advantage of it while we could. We took the NYC bus tour around lower manhattan, hitting all the big stops, including China Town, Wall Street, 9/11, Fulton Street and a bunch of other places.

China Town was an interesting experience. They've cracked down on the selling of knock-off purses, watches, sunglasses and movies, so they try and be kind of sneaky about it all. Maddie got a purse and I bought a couple fake Rolexes. Nate was standing next to me watching the transaction go down with the watch dealer (which was conducted much like a drug deal). Nate's response was, "Um, Dad, what just went on there?"
You'd see the vendors open and close suitcases and alert each other that the police were coming like a bunch of merekats signaling each other of a nearby hyena.

We headed over to the 9/11 memorial and really couldn't see much. The more interesting part was the church nearby, and the display that had talking about they'd used the building and their resources to serve the rescue teams and victims. Great example of how the Church in general should behave to the world around them.
We found this crazy balloon animal statue nearby and hung out there to take a breather.
Emily was so darn funny throughout the whole thing. She was amazed at all of the "Doves" everywhere, and tried to make any that would come near into a pet. We hoofed it over to Ful Street and headed up near the UN Building. We did a lot of walking, and I did a lot of hauling Emily around on my shoulders.
At the hotel room (Doubletree, Times Square), Emily saw Maddie hanging her clothes up in the closet - actually taking over the entire closet. Emily followed suit, hanging her socks on hangers, her underwear and anything else she could find, just to be like her big sis.

Why Em loves NYThat evening we had a great dinner of New York style Pizza @ Johnny's Pizzaria (the one in mid-town, not the original one in Greenwich Village). It was pretty reasonably priced and good food, if you like NY Pizza. As we waited, Emily spent lots of time petting this horse.. Over and over. And over. She loved it. A lot. 'Cause she loves animals. A lot.

We went to the giant Toys R Us in Times Square, complete with a Ferris Wheel. Emily looked around and picked out a stuffed animal duck that you could feed. She spent hours pouring over her options, while Nate and I hung outside, people watched and talked to the homeless people.

You can see the rest of the pictures from our trip here.

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