Day FIVE was dedicated to New York and the memory of all those lost on 9/11. This day didn't revolve around anyone in our family...it was planned as "Things We Just Gotta Do" Day.
MARCH 24, 2013
#1) Chelsea Market: We are huge Food Network Fans. HUGE. The kids choose to watch it all the time and we loved the idea of getting to visit "where the magic happens." For me this was like getting to go to Disneyland for the first time....and then showing up and Disneyland is the Big Fresno Fair. Yup. Sucker punch to the stomach. Chelsea Market is not like what you see on TV. I really thought I was going to walk in and reminisce about our fantastic trip to Vancouver's Granville Island.
I had visions of seeing some Food Network Star walking the halls. I expected my senses to be overloaded with fancy-pants New Yorkers doing their shopping and maybe even a famous person or two taking their dog for a walk. NOPE. It was super filled with tourists. Just like me. I didn't want more of me...I wanted more of New York. I wanted to see what it "looks" like to grocery shop here...because in my simple mind grocery shopping in New York should be just as normal as grocery shopping where I live and tourists don't dominate there. I'm not sure WHY I was so surprised that other people like me flocked to take a gander and the famous Chelsea Market, but after having been here I'm confused how they keep their reputation...I was let down. It felt like a mall, with nicer shops.
#2) Eat Where the Stars Eat: We tried. We really, really tried. Apparently it's the off season for the stars too. We discovered this awesome star favorite, The Spotted Pig. We loved the food philosophy of April Bloomfield which further inspired us to eat at her restaurant. We had a small wait, but thankfully taking pictures on the iphone kept us entertained and busy. Both of the kids decided that their Grandma Cookie and Grandma Betty would love this place for the simple reason that it had so many potted plants around the building. It really did make the atmosphere quaint and special.
These were amazing deviled eggs.
I found a similar recipe...it ALMOST does it justice.
#3) Pay Tribute to 9/11. After we filled our bellies, our day changed tone. Explaining to a 4 and 7 year old the atrocities of 9/11 WHILE you are in New York is a difficult conversation to have. To convey a sense of safety to them, and to still be honest about the quickness of a terrorist attack was a tricky conversation. Honestly, it was unnerving. I wish I had the forethought to really talk this through with them before deciding to make this part of our trip. Steve and I both felt a deep need to pay our respects as we both remember the vivid details of that day. Steve and I were newly married, (not even 2 whole months) when 9/11 occurred and I remember begging him to come home from work because I was so terrified and scared. I can't imagine what I was thinking taking my kids and explaining this to them without more background conversations. There is so much security there, and so many hoops to go through to get to the memorial site and that process was the hardest to explain to the kids. They couldn't understand why at a memorial site there needed to be so many people checking for our safety. I tried my very best to explain without over complicating the matter. For goodness sakes I was explaining terrorists to my children when all they should be thinking about is gumdrops and roses. This however, is the reality of the day we live in. I vacillate between being clear about the real world and letting them have their bubble of a childhood. I'm not good at this part, I know that.
The memorial site really was breathtaking. I wanted to run my fingers through the grooves of every name, show my solidarity towards my fellow Americans...it hurt to be there. Bottom line. It was a painful experience, and continues to be to all who visit there.
We happened to visit there on Palm Sunday, and it made the visit all the more poignant.
This amazing tribute is just outside of the fire station nearest the Towers.
This church was in session for Palm Sunday, St. Peter's Church.
This church served as a staging and triage area after the attack.
#4- Walk and Talk; We did a lot of this while we were in New York. We walked hand in hand, encouraged each other to keep warm and keep moving and logged lots and lots of steps. During our walk from the memorial, we needed some time just to breathe in some air and talk through what we saw and learned. We ended up near Macy's Department Store! Woops! We weren't supposed to get to this part of town until Macy's Day! We had this on our list because Macy's was having their annual flower show. It was the opening day, and we were planning on catching it the next day in the hopes it wouldn't be too packed. We were in luck! The wait wasn't bad at all so we decided to make the most of the opportunity and walk it!
This guy and his dog. Yup. I had to wait till he walked away because he wants $$ to take his picture.
Sneaky Joni, sneeeaky.
They had amazing flower displays in all the windows.
This was the leftover mess from their opening of the show.
Then we entered the exhibit. Wow.
It smelled devine, but it was sooo humid inside.
What a refreshing stop.
Up next.... The Empire State Building!
I'm probably the only tourist who had no desire to actually spend the money to go up the building.
I am NOT a fan of heights.
Bunk beds and I don't even get along...so the idea of going up a building to look out over the scape doesn't set well with me. I'll buy that postcard.
#5) Make a happy Memory: Zach surprised me with his desire to make a Build-A-Bear. He has never expressed interest in having a Build-A-Bear, but this day he wanted this thing almost as bad as a baseball. So, we let him. He was giddy! He had his own spending money, and this was the ONLY thing he had spent his money on so far. So Roger was adopted into our family, and of course Zachary picked a Spiderman outfit for him. Zach sleeps with this little dog every night still, and loves to talk about New York and 'when we go back'...it's a touchstone of this happy trip, and I'm so happy it helps him remember.
#6) Visit the American Girl Store: This was also slated for Macy's day...and because they were closing we promised we could still visit again the next day. Her eyes were as wide as saucers and I'm certain it's the best she's felt the entire trip.
Macy posing with the GIRL OF THE YEAR
#7) See Landmarks- New York is obviously chock-ful of site-seeing opportunities. We couldn't possibly see and tour them all. We were also restricted with the age of our kids to do some of the nightlife.
This is Saint Patrick's Cathedral off of 5th Avenue. When we visited, the Bronze doors had been removed as they are in the process of restoring the church.
Our next quick stop was at Rockefeller Center where all the flags were flying.
Steve and I were dying to go watch Jimmy Fallon.
Not this trip.
And Radio City Music Hall was also just a quick picture for us.
I wasn't too sure I wanted Zachary watching those high kicks.
We bribed Macy into walking the rest of the way back to Hell's Kitchen to eat by letting
her pick where to eat. She picked Hummus Kitchen.
She also was so tired and still not feeling great.
So, she fell asleep.
Stay tuned for day SIX!