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So, yesterday, I took the family and my friend Denise's family into the city (NYC, to be exact!). Started with a great train ride on the LIRR, cabbed it to the Rock Center Cafe in Rockefeller Centre, a GoNY Double Decker Tour Bus ride, a solemn and emotional visit to the 9/11 Memorial and back home via the LIRR.
Alright, so I'm going to speak frank about the entire day. First of all, the day itself could not have been more fun due to the amazing company of friends and four terrific kids! The weather was cold, crisp and very windy, which provided the right atmosphere to visit Rockefeller Centre and watching the skaters glide around The Rink.
The train rides, including the subway - seemed to be enjoyable to the kids. But, the Bus tour was a big loser for all four of them. I had a vision (as I often, incorrectly do) that riding around Manhattan (MY HOMETOWN!!!) on the top level of a double decker bus, would be met with great enthusiasm and elation by the girls. But, unfortunately, I was wrong :-(
Gianna said it was "boring." Kelsey was more interested in holding Denise's two year old, Mia, and Madison (6) was into it for the first 20 minutes until the novelty of sitting on my lap and taking selfies wore off.
We thought riding enough would be enthralling enough, without getting off and "touring" the various stops, but in the end, we were forced to get off downtown near the Freedom Tower in order to walk around with Mia in the stroller since she was very cranky being confined on the bus.
This particular site was very difficult to see. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, I have had no desire to go to the former site of the World Trade Center. Living in NY and being a native New Yorker at the time of this horrific event, it was a memory I really do not wish to remember so vividly.
The fact that we really needed to get off the bus for Mia, we all decided we would finally visit the 9/11 Memorial. It was a very depressing and emotional visit. The Freedom Tower looms over everything and does give some hope that American cannot be brought to her knees.
Walking around those waterfall pools and seeing the carved names of ALL the victims of that tragic day was just a reminder of how it felt 13 years ago.
Now, back to the tour bus, I must say, I enjoyed the ride - the tour guide was informative and had a great sense of humor. I learned a few things about this great city and saw some sites from a different perspective knowing some of the history. The only negative from my perspective was that the top level was covered with a plastic top and unless you were sitting at the back of the bus, the view out was very cloudy and terrible for pictures! This was a real disappointment!
Our day ended with a crowded ride on the subway back to Penn Station and onward to Garden City. All in all, we had a blast together, but learned that tour buses are not a good idea for kids 10 and under! In the end, I'm glad we experienced it.
On a good note, we all loved the Rock Center Cafe with our table by the window with the perfect view of the Rink! I'll be doing a full review of this restaurant on next Foodie Friday.
Today is just a gorgeous day and I'm so happy to begin a new week! Going out to take a lovely walk.
Enjoy the day!!!
Holy Smolies, can you believe that it's already November 3rd?!
On one hand I'd almost like to say "where did the year go?"
But I know just how much I squeezed into 2014 and still have some squeezing left to go!
We only have 8 more days until our next Vacation!
And I have a busy day ahead of me, filled with switching out more (summer/winter) clothes and the beginnings of packing!
It is definitely gonna be a relief when these chores are finally behind me!
Not that I dread doing either, but having to do both simultaneously is going to be a bit hectic!
As far as yesterday went, we got most things checked off of my to-do list with the exception of going to the mall.
The kids weren't really into it, so I postponed it and decided that we'd come back home and take a break until we needed to leave for the Rise of The Jack-O-Lantern Event.
Dave B was both shocked and stoked with the idea of taking break, because that also meant that he'd be able to watch some of the NFL game that was on!
Then at 5:30p we left and headed up to the Descanso Gardens, which is in La Canada (about an hours drive from us.)
I've only been to these Gardens once before (on Easter 2010).
Last night was quite a bit more busy than my last visit, the parking lot was packed full, and there were people and lines everywhere!
Walking amongst the 5,000 professionally carved/sculpted pumpkins was definitely pretty cool.
There were several themed sections and incredibly artistic designs..
They had booths and tables set up for refreshments and gifts. They also had a table that had a demonstration of how the artists sculpt the pumpkins.
It was pretty dark on the 1/4 mile trail so that the Pumpkins glowed just perfectly, but this didn't help me seeing my camera settings!
I couldn't see a thing! Ugh...
So capturing some of the unique sets was definitely a bit frustrating.
Plus poor Cosette was complaining about being cold throughout the evening.
It was the first night of the season that there was actually a chill in the air, so both her and Dave B were joking around at how wimpy they were being. But in all honesty most other people were wearing hats, scarves, coats, or wrapped in blankets! lol
They had video game themed pumpkins, planet themed pumpkins, Hollywood themed pumpkin, actors/actresses, sports figures, dinosaurs, Day of the Dead, they had a memorial section, Chinese zodiac, Wizard of Oz, you name it!
Even the Kardashians (but they left Bruce out)!
All in all we had a very nice time and I'd recommend this event for all those interested!
Now, it's time to get down to business and put my nose to the grindstone!
Catch us back here tomorrow for more Scoop and for another fun Travelin' Tuesday!
Ciao 4 Now,