Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 8 - Touring NYC - Part VIII (Coney Island)

This was our last day in New York City and, as hard as it is to believe, I had no agenda.  We had done everything we had planned to do while we had been there, and so on our last day Scott thought it would be fun to take the subway to Coney Island.  We were scheduled on an afternoon Amtrak train back to Philly, so we checked out of our hotel with our backpacks and hit the subway. 

Master of the Subway!

On the subway on our way to Coney Island

Our subway ride to Coney Island took quite a while.  At one point we were the only ones on the train... which was a bit creepy as far as I was concerned.  But the girls thought it was pretty cool and decided to take advantage of it  by running up and down the aisle!


We made it to Coney Island and decided we'd eat lunch at Nathan's Hotdogs.  I had a chili dog, which was so good, but it was so messy that I had to eat it with a fork. 

Chili cheese fries - I can feel my arteries clogging!

On the coast

On the boardwalk


We strolled around Coney Island for a bit before we had to head back to the city to catch the train back to Philly. 

Grand Central Station from the balcony.
Can you spot Scott, Ashlee & Emilee?
It's like "Where's Waldo?"

Can you find them?
Look for the red backpack!

We said goodbye to New York City and headed back to Philly.  Once we got there, we decided we'd drive as far as we could toward Richmond, Virginia before staying the night.  Scott had a business trip and had planned to fly out of Richmond, and then the girls and I would head home from there.

Goodbye New York City!
Our summer 2012 road trip was amazing, and we feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to travel to the places we did over these past 8 days.  Don't know where we'll end up next year, but I can't wait to find out! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 7 - Touring NYC - Part VII (Central Park)

I was so excited for today's adventure.  When researching things to do in New York, one of the top things to do was to rent bikes and ride around Central Park.  We had a reservation for bike rentals for this morning, so we jumped on a subway, which we were pros at now, and headed toward Central Park. 

Let this be a lesson in picture-taking... ALWAYS look at
your background before you snap the pic!

Down in the subway station we spotted
these tables with Christian pamphlets in all kinds
of different languages..

We finally arrived at the bike rental shop, picked up our bikes, and started off toward Central Park.  I was ready to hop on mine and ride, but evidently that wasn't allowed until we got to the park, so we had to walk our bikes to the park... and the park was about 3 blocks away. By the time we got there, we were already hot and sweaty and were ready for some water.  Fortunately, my bike included a cute little basket to hold my purse, and then Scott grabbed us all a cold water bottle from a street vendor, and we tucked those into my basket too. 

Then we hopped on our bikes and took off.  Yes, this is me below snapping pictures with one hand while trying to pedal and steer with the other while watching for "serious" bicyclists all around me.

Hopped off our bikes for a photo opp.


Ashlee had to have her picture taken on the bridge
in Central Park from the movie "Enchanted."
Emilee was too tired to walk with us to get to it,
so she stayed with Daddy.

Riding bikes in Central Park was one of my favorite activities during the trip!  It was so hot, so so so hot, but it was so much fun!  We rode around the whole park, returned our bikes back to the shop, and went to grab some lunch at Subway. 

After lunch, we jumped back on the subway to go back to our hotel to get cleaned up.  As we rounded the corner to our hotel, we noticed vendors lining the street... lined up for blocks and blocks and blocks and blocks... as far as we could see.  YES!  So off we went to find some goodies.  And, fortunately, we were able to find the tote bag Ashlee had been looking for at the price she wanted to pay!  We were also able to pick up some fun NYC tshirts for us and for the nieces/nephew! 

Daddy found a deal on men's dress socks!

Street fair!

Photo opp with a taxi!
As we were walking back to the hotel, we spotted
what appeared to be a photo shoot with a
Marilyn Monroe look-alike.

Emilee found a M.A.C. store!

The view from our hotel room.
Taxis lined up outside of Grand Central Station.
After we cleaned up and rested up a bit, we hit the streets again to find some dinner.  We were all still really hot so we decided to "check out" one of the hotels we passed.  We walked into their lobby, and the cool air-conditioning was too amazing to resist.  So we found a seating area by the window and took a load off... for about an hour!

Loved the hefty mosaic woman artwork!

We made it back to our hotel just before dark and started hearing some thunder.  We looked out the window and saw these ominous clouds blowing in.  It was pretty fun to watch.

This was the view from our room as a big
thunderstorm was blowing in.

Then it was time for a good night's sleep before our last day in The Big Apple!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 6 - Touring NYC - Part IV (Top of the Rock)

We wanted to see New York City from the top... way up top!  I had done a lot of research on which building had the best view of the city - the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center.  The reviews were almost equally split but leaned a bit more toward Rockefeller Center.  Scott had been up on the Empire State Building, so we opted for Top of the Rock!  I wanted to see the city during the day but also wanted to be up there at sunset, and we timed it just perfectly.  We arrived at Rockefeller Center and strolled around a bit outside before heading up.

Looking up from the bottom of Rockefeller Center

Scott and the girls under the flags from across the plaza.

Inside Rockefeller Center looking up at an icicle chandelier
We got our tickets, got in line at the elevator, and took our ride up, up, up and up.  The doors opened and we stepped out to see the city from the inside of the building, which was quite an amazing site!  Then we stepped outside onto the roof.  UNBELIEVABLE!  Buildings as far as I could see! 

From inside the building.


Looking at the Empire State Building

View of Central Park from Top of the Rock

Empire State Building again... I couldn't
stop taking pictures!

Times Square from Top of the Rock!

The sun beginning to go down on the west side of the building.

Check out the crane dangling from the top of
that skyscraper being built!
Can you imagine being in that crane?
Not enough money in the world to get me in that thing!

Central Park from Top of the Rock!

Sunset from Top of the Rock!

I wish my camera could have captured the
incredible colors from this sunset!

From the Top of the Rock with
the Empire State Building in the background.
My new favorite saying... "You rock like the Top of the Rock."  It was an absolutely amazing way to see the city and was one of my favorite parts of the trip!  We reluctantly finished up at Rockefeller Center and headed back down to start the trek back to our hotel for the night.  We were too tired to even think about what to eat for dinner, so I suggested we see what we could find in the food court at Grand Central Station.  After all, eating at Grand Central Station was on my list of things to do, so that was pretty convenient.  It was getting late and some of the places were getting close to closing up for the night.  Daddy spotted a pizza place and, since we all really enjoyed the first NY pizza so much, we were all for getting another one.  We ordered it to go and took it back to our room so we could relax and settle in for the night.  It did not disappoint.  It was yummy, and we ended up having some leftovers to put in the fridge for breakfast.  :-)