Our Trip to NYC: Sightseeing and Chopped Junior
A year ago today we were heading to New York City. Our family and friends thought we were going for an educational trip for the kids to The Big Apple. Friends that knew us well, lifted an eyebrow when we told them we would be gone, where and why but were too polite to question it even though it seemed out of the ordinary for us. So we quickly finished our Thanksgiving celebrations and boarded a plane for NYC.
We value efficiency in our family, so we had great plans to fit all the major hot spots in the 3 days before Jenna’s Chopped Junior competition. I had researched and purchased a New York City Pass. Our goal was to see as much of New York City without wearing ourselves completely out before competition day! In three days, we visited:
The Statue of Liberty visiting one of the most iconic symbols of the United States was more special than I could have imagined. She is majestic in nature but just imagining how immigrants must have felt to see her and feeling their hope for a better life was a bit overwhelming. The narrated tour almost brought me to tears to hear the stories and just to reflect on how lucky we are to live here.
Empire State Building- almost .25 miles above Fifth Avenue, the views from the observatory of the Empire State Building was very cool. We went at night to see the city lit up and in hopes, the lines would not be very long. PSA: The lender carries his pocket knife with him everywhere but they are not allowed in the empire state building, so farmers leave your pocket knives at the hotel or they will become the property of the Empire State Building.
9/11 Memorial and Museum- honors the people killed in the attacks of 9/11/2001. The two reflecting pools are in the location of where the Twin Towers were. The Museum houses the stories and artifacts of that tragic day. Very emotional visit, yet powerful all at the same time.
Madame Tussauds New York- This was not on our original list to do, but we were in the neighborhood, so we decided to check it out. The over 200 wax figures looked so real and we had fun posing with them!
Top of the Rock & Rockefeller Center- The tour of the Rockefeller Center was great because we had an amazing guide. The art he pointed out to us, I would never have noticed without his explanation. The tour was all around the Rockefeller center and ended on the Top of the Rock observation deck on the 70th floor.
Times Square-Unlike any other place I’ve ever visited. It’s full of movement, activity, and excitement at all hours of the day. If it was warmer I think I could just sit and watch the people in Times Square all day.
American Museum of Natural History- Block out several hours if your son loves dinosaurs and fossils and your other child loves animal exhibits. It was several floors of exhibits and collections with special earth, space, and African rainforests!
Central Park- An oasis. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the city is this 800+ acre park. I can certainly see why this place is always popular in the movies because if I had to live in NYC, I would spend many hours in this spacious green space!
National Museum of Mathematics (not on the NY pass but my little mathematician wanted to visit)- Very cool museum. The interactive exhibits were great! They also had enough staff to explain the exhibits to the kids and help them complete some of the more challenging ones.
The next two days, Jenna and I spent at Chelsea Market filming her introduction and a day of competition. Since they only allow one parent and no siblings during filming, the boys went exploring on their own.
During filming lil man and the lender visited:
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
M & M World
New York Water Taxi
Madison Square Gardens
FDNY Fire Zone Tour
Throughout the week, we rode the Big Bus Tours around the entire city, took the subway, rode in taxi’s (oh my goodness) and rode the ferry! The city is hard on a gal with motion sickness, I had to take a Dramamine just to stand in Times Square with all the movement going on there!
I’m so glad we were able to go during Christmastime! The whole city was decorated and it was a sight to see!
I had always dreamed (just in my head, not out loud) how cool it would be to visit the Food Network Studios in Chelsea Market. I never thought it would actually happen and with my daughter getting to compete in those studios…no way. It was a great trip I will always cherish and remember. When we landed back in Nashville, lil man was over the big city, the flights, and being away from home. He said, “I’m never leaving KY again and I’m done flying.” Good news is a year later, he’s ready to get back on a plane and even has talked about wanting to take his friend to show him some of his favorite NYC sights. What a difference a year makes!