A group from this area recently traveled to New York City. Although a wonderful place to visit, I would not want to live there. The frenetic pace is tiring and the city lacks in some areas. As my granddaughter said, "It made me sad not to be able to see the stars!"
We met some wonderful people. The staff at the hotel was very helpful. It seemed like the rude people we met were tourists so consumed with their own desires they neglected to think of anyone else.
This was girls' weekend. My daughter, granddaughter, daughter-in-law and I made the journey to the big city. We went part way by bus and the rest of the way on Amtrak. The train ride was very relaxing. Although the food offered was not gourmet, it was adequate.
To see the city through the eyes of the young is enchanting, especially when the youngest person has spent her whole life in the country. While we were on the train she took pictures of cows, horses, and farms along the way. Once she got to the city she snapped pictures everywhere.
We made great decisions, trip wise. The first night we boarded a hop on, hop off bus to see the city Christmas lights. That trip not only allowed us to see the lights, it oriented us to our surroundings so we could plan for the next day.
We went up in the Empire State Building. I had been there years ago, but forgot how awesome the view was. It is higher than the Top of the Rock the new kid on the block! The day was clear and mild so we spent quite a bit of time checking out the view. If you ever go there beware of the ticket hawkers outside the facility. They try to sell you more than you need. We went into the facility and bought cheaper tickets there.
Then, it was on to Chinatown. It is different to hear Chinese be the primary language used. Our guide told us how to haggle. He told us about the best restaurants as well as many helpful pointers about the city. We ate in Little Italy. The restaurant was upscale, but the prices were affordable. We all had a complete delicious meal for just over $15.00 a piece including the tip.
I checked into going to the 9/11 Memorial but since my granddaughter did not have a government issued photo identification I let that go. I found out from others that they were not even checking the identification so we could have gone. One group had trouble using the buses on Saturday because of the number of people in the city. The buses could not get around.
My granddaughter looked forward to seeing the Statue of Liberty. We read that the facility was closed for repair so we did not bother going directly to the island. We took the Staten Island Ferry over and back at no charge, spending about an hour to do so. We had a wonderful look at Lady Liberty and the bridges that crisscross from island to island.
Of course, we went to Macy's. While it was fun to see the fashions, most were not something that would get a lot of use at home. I did, however, see some texting mittens that were like the ones that I make for craft shows. At Macy's the mittens cost $66.00 while I sold them for $6.00! I guess the people who bought or ordered mittens from me got a bargain by NYC standards.
I must admit I never saw such a sea of humanity as I saw this weekend in Rockefeller Center and Times Square. As you walked around it was like a wave of people coming toward you. All was well until you got to the corner and had to cross through.
The Radio City Extravaganza was a show to remember. The Rockettes performed the toy soldier routine falling like dominoes. Of course their high kicks were rewarded with applause. I read about the microphones on their shoes so I understood why we heard the tapping.
To see the landmarks of the city we only attended one Broadway show. Mary Poppins was spectacular. She really flew out into the audience as the clips on television show. Bert, the chimney sweep, did a dance across the ceiling. Of course, being the age I am I could not help but think of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke's portrayal of the lead characters.
A word about our hotel - our escort described it as a "chimney that was converted to a hotel". He was not far from wrong. The rooms were small but since the majority of time was spent on the streets of the city that was fine. We walked down from the fourteenth floor to avoid the busy elevator, but never attempted to walk back up.
Our shower gave us problems. We could not figure out how to use it so we called the desk. The clerk told us to pull the chain to get the water to the shower. We had no chain! We called again and someone came up. The girl looked at the tub, and left. Eventually she returned to show us how to manually pull down the ring that was supposed to be attached with a chain.
We laughed a lot and had a wonderful time. The group we traveled with was congenial. They were wonderful to a young teen that was experiencing the city for the first time.
Our last stop was the creamery at Penn State. Most of us enjoyed cones and many brought home samples for the family. They even pack the ice cream for travel!
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org