Monday, April 09, 2007

NYC Vacation

Those of you who only come to TSD for political rantings and ravings can stop reading now. For the next couple of days I'll be updating on my family's trip to visit the big apple.

I'm so glad we waited until the girls are teens/preteens to come to NYC. They are having so much fun. We all are. Oh, and for those who try to spread the stereotype of New Yorkers as being rude and gruff, you are soooo busted. My oldest has declared this the nicest city we've ever visited.

First things first: TSA employees at the Charlotte airport are very friendly and helpful. We were there early, so no crowds to deal with and we made it through without any trouble at all. I honestly can't stress enough how easy the TSA employees made the experience even while following all security procedures from what I could tell. It helps that people are slowly getting used to taking their shoes off and new equipment helps make the process more orderly. My youngest was wearing a charm bracelet that we thought set off the detector, but the TSA employee immediately asked Em if she was wearing a belt and then when Em got a look of panic the woman handled it beautifully and told her it was OK and to just take her belt off. If your child is a frequent flyer, the process isn't that big of a deal, but if your child hasn't flown before the security process can be a bit intimidating. The TSA employees in Charlotte helped prevent that from happening.

We flew out early in the morning, so had to get up about 4:30am to get everyone showered, dressed and fed. Katie had flown as an infant, so this was basically their first time flying.



John arranged for a stretch limo to pick us up at the airport and I thought the girls were going to burst. Emily had never ridden in one and they got a kick out of watching people take pictures of our limo at the street corners. He said it wasn't that much more than hailing a cab. We dressed for comfort for the plane ride, so it must have been funny to see ragamuffin southern hicks climbing out of a fancy limo at our hotel. (Hilton at Times Square)

We spent some time getting to know the subway system. It wasn't running on the regular schedule, so we had some hesitant moments while we tried to figure out where the heck we were going (South Ferry) and how we were going to get there. Once again, have to show some love to some folks I'm sure rarely get any love. The MTA employees/guards were extremely helpful. One woman waved to prevent the doors from closing so we wouldn't have to wait for the next train. Another shouted to us across the tracks to help us find the correct local train. They were running on the "local" schedule which wasn't exactly self explanatory to visitors, but we were able to get where we needed to go with a little bit of help.

We decided to try the Staten Island Ferry since I had never been in my previous trips to New York and we were too tired for a formal tour through the Circle Lines. We had a blast. First when we were on Train 1 to South Ferry we were in the last car and saw a sign that said we needed to be in one of the first five cars in order to get off at South Ferry. (This was before we realized they were running on a "local" schedule.) We decided to move up a car at each stop, so we would leave our car and run to the next one each time the train stopped. We had done this (laughing hilariously the whole time) a few times and were in the fourth car when the announcer informed us that the train would NOT be going to South Ferry. After all that we were going to have to change trains then then take a shuttle. No biggy, but it took the fun out of our "car hopping" a bit.

The Staten Island Ferry trip was fun. There were very few travelers compared to the size of the ferry, so we could move around at will. It was very cold, windy and snowy but a great time for first-timers.

Katie seems absolutely at home in the crowds, which is a little scary. She wasn't intimidated in the least last night in Times Square where the crowds on the sidewalks were huge. Every teenager in the area must have been out cruising the sidewalks. It was probably a little livelier than the teenage crowds at Concord Mills Mall on a Friday night with a few thousand more teenagers involved :), but the police presense was impressive and I think kept the crowd in control. I wasn't able to take pictures because the crowd moved constantly and it was too hard to stop, aim and shoot. However, I was able to get some pictures of theaters on the side streets.



Emily is a little smaller and more intimidated by the crowds, but is having a blast. She wants to go to the top of the Empire State Building and Katie is OK to go along since the next stop will be to Virgin Records. We also are fairly close to The New Yorker building and she wants to go there and to The New York Times. I don't know why(other than the fact that she wants to be a journalist), but she wants to go, so we'll at least head on over.

We are getting ready to leave the room, so I will update about dinner last night and today's adventures later.

2 Comments:

Blogger Gray Newman said...

I can't believe you are not on the "no fly" list. Do they know who they are dealing with?

8:23 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger B. Muse said...

I was a little nervous about that. Apparently being a royal "b*tch" doesn't keep you from flying.

7:58 AM, April 10, 2007  

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