Friday, August 01, 2014

New York City


Perhaps an odd photo to start off a post of NYC, but I loved seeing this glimpse of beauty in an ugly parking lot on Staten Island. I'd been eying the Queen Anne's Lace all over the east coast and was thrilled to get a photo. Not only that, I love how there was beauty in the midst of the not-so-beautiful.

If yesterday's parking drama was not enough {barely finding a space} today's was near panicky. We got up at zero dark thirty to break camp and head for our eventual destination of D.C. But, because we were this close, I wanted to see the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial.

So we paid a gazillion tolls {it felt like} and made our way. Aside from the tolls, we spent a grand total of $35 in NYC. David was awesome at figuring this day out as we are clearly not big city people and it kinda makes our heads hurt to figure these things out sometimes.

Back to the parking - we made it all this way, pulled into the parking lot by the Staten Island Ferry and the man said his last spot {the car just in front of us} oh.my. As our mental wheels were turning, wouldn't you know, a car pulled out? Deep sigh of relief, we got the very.last.spot. We were so grateful for how God provided because we were overly hungry and pretty done with New York traffic. Parking was $7.

Whew - a short walk later and we were in glorious a/c waiting for the next free ferry. We had a great view of the city taking the ferry:








Once on land again, food was a top priority! Both David and I love little local mom-and-pop type restaurants. We had done some scouting ahead of time but ended up just tossing our plan to the wind and picking something spontaneously. Pizza in New York - yum! Lunch was $23.

Plus, so much to see! Feeling so small! I did not find this city beautiful as I would normally define beauty - but there were things that caught my eye. We were happy to see a few children after seeing almost none in Boston, a park with trees, blue sky mirrored off of glassy buildings, a bus sign for Phantom of the Opera Broadway show that took my breath away as I imagined being there with my mom and dad - the three of us love to watch and sing Phantom together! And, the cute/funny/surprised/confused looks Rachel got wearing a fuzzy hat when it was not the right temp for it - it was hot!

There were plenty of things I did not like and I'll admit I was kind of antsy to get out of there, though Samuel proclaimed this one of his trip favorites!










After lunch {refreshing!} it was a short walk to the 9/11 Memorial. It is hard to imagine the chaos here on those immediately following days because it was so serene and almost hauntingly beautiful today. White roses are placed for birthdays of remembered loved ones.








On our way back to the ferry, Emily decided to have her caricature drawn - it was fun! {$5}




Back to the ferry - goodbye NY!










Thursday, July 31, 2014

Boston


Up and at it the next morning we were ready to explore Boston! First adventure of the day: felt.like.we.were.getting.the.last.parking.space.in.a.massive.parking.garage.whew. Next, figuring out how to buy a ticket for public transportation: bus, subway, train?! Our kids loved this!!! And, talk about reasonable - kids are free and David and I were just a few dollars each way.

The subway deposited us at Boston Commons and while we were waiting to meet up with a friend, we found a fun park and enjoyed a few quiet slow minutes of just being and enjoying. Lovely.

I can promise you I do not remember every detail of every photo here - so I'm going to let the photos speak. We walked the entire Freedom Trail at our own pace, went in Paul Revere's home, had a charming and heavenly Italian lunch (I had this amazing white pizza with carmelized onions and crispy prosciutto, mmmmm my mouth is watering again!) and took a water taxi. Tiring, full of memories, hot, yet so fun! Our kids were so good with all that walking and we were just bursting with pride at what good travelers they proved to be.

But, wait! There is one thing I want to tell you about - the Boston Tea Party Museum. Hands down, our favorite part of the entire day. Interactive, fun, informative, super well done and creative - we loved it! This was one of two attractions we paid a fee to get into in Boston and it was well worth the admission ticket price. We paid just a few dollars to see the Paul Revere house and while not super impressive and quite small, it was worth going into when we were right there.