Sunday, September 26, 2021

NYC and Back in 18 Hours

Looking South
 102 Floor Observation Deck
Empire State Building, New York
September 25, 2021

Lucas with Shuttle Enterprise
intrepid Air and Space Museum
New York City, NY
September 25, 2021
Amazingly, hit took just 18 hours. From home to NYC to home with a lot of fun activity in between the day flowed continuously.

But we were exhausted when I finally pulled the car into the drive at 11:30 pm after a day in the city. 

The itinerary was pretty straight forward: Statue of Liberty, Intrepid Air and Space Museum, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and the Lego Store, and close the day at sunset atop the Empire State Building. 

The significant deviation was a stop in Rockefeller Center at City Winery for a Happy Hour Cabernet Sauvignon. Luke had a Sprite. And there was the obligatory street vendor hot dog which we squeezed in for lunch. 

Things got off to a later than scheduled start, but Chris and I made a pact that we were not in a hurry and so we would not dwell upon the small things. Traffic to NYC was light and we made great time, right up until we were changing roads to go to the New Jersey site for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. But, we made the 9:30 ferry, so all was good. We skipped the Ellis Island stop, opting for just visiting the Stature of Liberty and we able to spent a lot of time wandering around the Statue and visiting the museum. We stopped for some drinks and then it was back to the car for the trip into NYC.

Statue of Liberty with Autumn Leaves
Liberty Island
September, 25, 2021
Can I just say that driving in NYC is not for the timid? We were mired in difficult traffic from the moment we exited the Holland Tunnel. But, Chris and I teamed to navigate the car through the traffic and successfully made our second stop at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. I had scoped out parking and was about to park just across the street from the museum--where we left the car for the remainder of the day. Parking in New York is not much more expensive than parking in downtown Baltimore, BTW. And the price is far more expensive than it should be.

Luke and Chris Fighting King Kong
Empire State Building
September 25, 2021
The Intrepid Museum is one of my favorite places. I never seem to be able to spend enough time there and the exhibits are continually updated. It is simple amazing to stand on and inside of this warship which helped to defeat the Japanese and took significant damage during Kamikaze attacks. The Growler submarine is also a very interesting and well preserved exhibit from the Cold War and must not be missed. There is a definite difference in the use of weapons from the Cold War to now. The Growler served from 1958-1964 when it was retired. By contrast, B-52s built during the early 1960's are still flying. 

After the museum it was time to transition into the city than never sleeps. We walked five blocks to Time Square. Lucas was amazed and we walked through the middle of the Hell's Kitchen eating area and then past part of the theater district. Time Square, unlike the museum area, was alive and full of people. We subsequently walked to Rockefeller Center and visited the Lego Store and enjoyed some wine before heading to the Empire State Building.

Because we did not spend the night in the city, I decided that we needed to visit the 102nd Floor Observation Deck. Frankly, it is really expensive--I could have rented a hotel room for the cost to get three people up to that point--but do you know why it is so expensive? Well, because it is worth it. It had been decades since I last visited the high point on the Empire State Building and to say the view is breathtaking is an understatement. The Observation Deck is build so that there is nothing between the observer and the world outside the deck except for a piece of glass. It is breathtaking, really!

As sunset descended, it was time to begin the journey home. We were exhausted and a cab ride from the Empire State Building to the car was a must. It was also a thrill ride! Our taxi driver knew to the millimeter where his fender was in relation to other vehicles. As I tipped the driver we laughed about the excitement of the ride. I am glad that I was in the backseat.

The drive home was mostly uneventful. The New Jersey Turnpike might better be renamed the New Jersey Racetrack--but it was all good and we made it home; ending the adventure.

Memories were made.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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