Our day had quite an inauspicious start as our flight out of Montrose was cancelled. Yea, the well known LaJoy Travel Curse struck again. We had to be rebooked on a later flight, and luckily had friends working at the counter who surprised us and got us all rebooked before the other passengers so we could all make it out together. We, of course, missed our original flight into New York and the flight they rebooked us on another flight but our connection was so tight we thought we had missed it. After a seriously mad dash of 7 LaJoy's through the United terminal, we literally made it with less than 1 minute to spare before they shut the door. Whew! That was close!
Here are some pics of the kids as we waited:
We arrived after midnight only to find our little surprise for the kids was ruined. We had compared prices and it was the same price for a limo as it was for a van to transport us to our hotel, so we had booked a limo and were looking forward to seeing the kids' eyes bug out. However, due to the flight change, they were unable to send anyone so we had to rebook with regular taxis. It didn't matter at all as the kids were thrilled to be in the Big Apple anyway. For small town kids, this is seriously BIG in a million ways:
Here are some pics of the kids as we waited:
|Getting our fix of Wills and Kate's Wedding photos!|
|I think someone is totally excited!|
|It's kind of funny when you check in for 7 for 3 weeks of travel and have only one bag to check...and the airline staff ask if you can train other travelers on how to pack!|
|During our delay, Dominick felt sorry for our fellow travelers and opened up shop to feed them!|
|Waiting for our ride, Josh was still a happy guy despite it being way past his usual bedtime.|
We got to our hotel room in New Jersey, where everyone crashed quickly to get ready for our first long day of sightseeing. We got up early, packed our backpacks, metal water bottles, and cameras so we would look like Super Tourists from Hicksville, and off we went to the Statue of Liberty.
We took the first of our Gray Line Tours on the double decker bus, and we saw a good portion of the downtown loop prior to arriving at Battery Park. The kids were in total awe at the sights and sounds around them...the sheer number of people was enough to blow them away. Coming from a town of roughly 17,000 people, the 8 million or so New York City residents were mind boggling. There was no real way to prepare them for what they would see, and the looks on their faces as they took it all in was worth all of the preparation for this trip.
They have been keeping journals about the trip and there were comments about hearing so many languages and seeing people of all colors, along with the wonderful smell of a huge variety of foods everywhere. Matt was the only one who noted the bombardment of advertising everywhere, and we all talked about the various forms of advertising we were pelted with, from street vendors to billboards, to signs along the side of the buses. Angela kept saying how beautiful all the different people were, how it was so much fun to see their different faces. If only every kid grew up feeling that way, racism would be a thing of the past.
I was taken by the architecture, so varied and interesting. I think the world is crazy to think the Empire State Building is so attractive when it stands so near what is truly beautiful...the Chrysler Building. What a stunning piece of work it is!! Dominick has done a terrific job of moving us around via bus, subway and tour bus...not an easy thing to do for a first timer. What everyone commented on though, was the helpful attitude of so many New Yorkers we have encountered. We have had people see us standing around looking at maps and they come up and offer to help us, people literally walk us to the subway track we needed, and give us plenty of free advice. This pleasantly surprised us all. We must have had no less than 10 such encounters in 2 days. It blows old prejudices out of the water about Big City folks.
Here are a few pics from the tour and the Statue of Liberty:
|Our ferry to Liberty Island|
|Up close and personal, she really is a stunning piece of art.|
|Josh loved all the statistics about the Statue of Liberty|
|Gee...what is that strange island I see???|
|This picture hit me hard...Joshie is really growing tall!|
|The original torch of the Statue|
|Checking out a bronze model of Liberty Island|
|5 Immigrants and American citizens...Lady Liberty takes on a special meaning in this family.|
Our internet connection is quite slow, so that is all I can manage to upload tonight. I am not feeling well and am battling a fever so I need to get to bed. I have much more to post, and will do more tomorrow.