Thursday, October 10, 2013

Big City, 3 - Tourists

We must have heard "Where are you from?" over a dozen times today from museum docents, waiters, subway riders, etc.  I guess we just look like tourists - or it could be because we pretty much just stuck to touristy destinations today.  It was kind of the 'Intro to the Big City Day'.  Our bus ride is great into the city, about 20 minutes.  This morning we headed straight out the exit doors at Port Authority Bus Terminal into Times Square ... yeah, that place is nuts!
We were all just dazed for a little bit.  The kids were quickly acclimated to the chaos, figured out how to quickly cross a street, not stop for everyone that wants to hand you a flier and sell you stuff, etc...

We wandered semi-aimlessly for many blocks, looked at cool buildings, Reed took about a bajillion pictures, we tried to find the Apple (electronics) store and became sidetracked when we found Rockefeller Center.  We had actually intended this to be on the itinerary today, but as I was about to order tickets, found at that kids under 6 can't go in.  Boo.  This is the same reason we can't do the Tenement House Museum.  Oh well, there are just too many other things to do and see in New York to get upset over those ones!  At Rockefeller Center, they were just starting to fill/freeze the rink for the seasonal ice skating - that was neat to see in progress.
Reed was super excited to find that the NYC Lego store was located just in front of Rockefeller Center!
Of course we had to go in!  Lego murals, lego statue recreations of the Rockefeller Center famous statues.  Way cool.

Times Square was overall a massive amount of chaos and advertising, but something we just had to do, if just so the boys can say they were there.  Clay checked out the Element skateboard gear shop, Reed bought some touristy souvenirs.  Fortunately, the kids had no desire to go on the Toys R Us ferris wheel, and I forbade them from going in the M&M store.  This is not the real New York, this is tourist trap central with glorified chain stores.  And after a couple hours, we were all tired of it, so hopped on the subway uptown to the Museum of Natural History.  Before heading in, we crossed the street to the western edge of Central Park and the kids had their first New York hot dog.  And blech - only Blossom liked it, and that's probably because she hasn't eaten bread in months, so the whole thing was pretty fantastic in a way that only a white bread hot dog bun can be.
Back to the museum.  Unforunately, a lot of the really big exhibits (like, the Ocean animals, the huge dinosaur skeletons, etc) were blocked off for some fancy-pants party being held at night.  We didn't see all we wanted to, but did see neat stuff.  We all liked the Minerals hall, the Meteorites hall and the few dinosaur exhibits that were open.  Another thing I particularly liked about this museum is that it is a "suggested payment" museum, so you pay what you wish.  They don't really tell you that, but the cashier didn't blink an eye when I handed him the credit card and told him I'd be paying $30 total.  I think I would have felt a little ripped off, actually, had I paid full price only to find out that the largest exhibits were closed for a private party.
We grabbed a subway back to near Times Square to find a pizza place (the kids insisted they HAD to have New York pizza ... can't blame them), and thankful that is something not hard to find here.  I will say that the kids are already very comfortable with all the public transportation.  Here's Blossom riding the subway like a pro (with Reed feeling very protective of her :)
I think ZB's favorite part of the day may have actually been the subways.  She waved to every passing train, held on tight during jerky starts and stops, and really loved the tile mosaics all around the Museum of Natural History subway stops...

The night ended with Blossom passed out in my arms before the pizza even arrived at the table, and some tired & cranky kids back at the apartment.  Staying up late to wait for their Gram's arrival has not helped the cranky-factor.  Here's hoping for a good night's sleep and a fresh start in the morning!

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