Sunday, March 20, 2011

NYC Johnsonstyle

I couldn't wait for the Wonder Twins to get old enough for us to do some special Mother/Daughter things. I took my girls to NYC for Spring Break. The Husband stayed home with the other two Shorties (he has his own superhero cape and costume). While we were gallivanting in the Big City, he took The Little Flower and The Number One Son to McWane Science Center and to the B'ham Zoo by himself. (Whose your daddy? Eh? I know who my man is.)

We did everything in four days that one can squeeze in the Big Apple

Day one: we left for the airport at 3:30 a.m. Our flight was at  6:00 a.m. First for the girls, so they were super jacked up about it. We flew to Baltimore and then stayed on the plane while they added and subtracted some folks. At 11:00 a.m. we were out of the plane and getting into our first taxi ride. We checked into The Manhattan Hotel at Times Square. Excellent view, excellent room, excellent staff. The first thing the girls wanted to do was EAT! We were starved and hunted up some real NYC food. Some food items that made the short list to try in New York:

Pizza, brisket, deli, potato pancakes, cheesecake, hot dogs from a street vendor, and something decidedly foreign.

First to check off of the list was pizza. We went into three places until we found people speaking Italian, then ordered. Crispy, cheesy, perfect!

We wandered around Times Square for awhile, because, let's face it, it's pretty awe inspiring. Like a shrine to over indulgence and neon.

Then it was time for Madame Toussads' wax museum. Too cool. The Wonder Twins were a little bummed that the Justin Bieber figure wasn't quite ready yet, but there was still a ton to see. It was a major awakening about how little my kids know about pop culture (thank goodness). I had to explain who over 3/4ths of the folks were. :-)


We shopped and people watched and gawked just like the tourists we were. It was fabulous. One of the big highlights of the trip was being able to swim indoors, since we're bad ready for it to be summer in Alabama. I miss the sun and the pool! That was a little side treat. We ate at the Carnegie Deli, which was an experience in and of itself. Unlike here, were you get a whole table to yourself, they just keep filling the table up with people. So, we ended up eating with four people at our table who weren't "with" us. That freaked the girls out. Then went back to the hotel by 8:00 to swim and relax for our next big day.

Day two: we got up early and headed to Ellis Island on the Circle Line Ferry. We also go to go by the Statue of Liberty. We opted not to get out. I didn't want to hear the complaining up 208 stairs, plus the place was packed. So, we cruised on by and got out at the museum. The girls were not impressed. Evidently, a three-story building full of M&Ms was enough of a testimony to freedom and living the American Dream. Who needs dusty luggage and passenger logs?

After Ellis Island, we went shopping again (because we have our priorities in complete order). We went to The American Girl store, Aeropostle, and China Town. This was the biggest culture shock of the trip. We got out of the subway at Canal Street and were for several minutes the only white Americans in sight. All of the signs are in Chinese, unidentifiable foods are everywhere, and the smell is overwhelming. We were there to buy chopsticks, slippers, umbrellas, and of course, knock-off purses. Since the garbage is brought out the front of the buildings for hauling away, the girls were convinced we were in one big back alley. Someone asked if I felt even remotely guilty about "robbing" from Louis Vuitton when I bought me and Elise purses. Um, no, since I'm not stupid enough to pay what Louis wants for a real purse in the first place. It's money he never would have had either way. Hard to feel guilty about that.

Subway ride

After China Town, it was time to go back to the hotel and clean up for the first of two Broadway shows. We had tickets for Wicked, so we ate at Friday's (excuse me, I know it's a chain, but E-1 informed me that it was our only chance to eat at the "world's largest Friday's" so we HAD to eat there.) :-) This was actually a really enjoyable dining experience with lots of laughing and joking and being generally goofy. (Johnsons)

The girls and I ADORED Wicked. I've seen it before, but it's just so clever. Highly recommend. Here we are under the sign holding our goody bag from the show. Everyone had to have t-shirts. Naturally. After Wicked, we caught a cab to the Empire State Building at 11:00 p.m. I wanted the girls to have something special at night--our towns shut down at 9:00 p.m., so I wanted them to have the experience of going and doing at this odd time of night. Every night we ate dessert after our adventure to talk about what we saw and did and discuss what we would want to show The Little Flower and The Number One Son if they had the opportunity to come next time. Dessert at Lindy's:

Day three: we woke up early and headed to the Museum of Natural History (see previous posts). You know what happened there. After that deal, we ate a hot dog on the street (a highlight of the trip for the girls). This cracked me up, but think it over--you can't buy food on the street in Jemison. Well, except for boiled peanuts and watermelons. Not exactly the same.

They girls declared this the best meal of the trip. ha! Think of the money I could have saved! We traveled on the subway again to Rockefeller Center and up to the Top of the Rock. Since we did the view from the Empire State Building at night, I wanted one amazing view during the day. We are up on the viewing deck and I'm pointing out buildings and giving this running account about what we are looking at when Elise asks, "So, where is the Eifle Tower?" Um, Paris? Ha!

We ate dinner that night in the middle of Times Square at the Roxy Diner. Neat building and good food. I ordered a Reuben, one of the twins stuck with the foot long hotdog and the Fashionista ordered a Cobb salad the size of her entire midsection.

After supper, we went to see The Addams' Family. Really cute. A little unnecessary language, but cute. The girls laughed and laughed. After this show, we got frozen yogurt on the street at midnight. (Vacation tradition in Johnsonville.)

What a lovely trip. I am so thankful that I was able to take my girls to do something that they will remember for the rest of their lives! I hope we have the opportunity to travel and go and enjoy this amazing creation together! I can't wait for everyone to get old enough for our next big adventure: a family mission trip! The Little Flower has to mature just a little more for that program. Or maybe I have to mature a little more for that program.

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