This is the first of three posts to blog about the Mother-Daughter vacation I took with my Dear Mom recently. This was a long overdue getaway for just the two of us. Our destination was a 7 night cruise to Bermuda. Before we could relax on pink sand beaches, we had to navigate our way through New York City.
We arrived in Newark the afternoon before our cruise departure. The NJ Path has a line that runs from NJ Penn Station to the One World Trade Center. I wanted to visit the Observatory Deck on the 100th Floor. Of course, this being New York and the One World Observatory opening in May, there were a lot of people. We purchased tickets and were given a time to come back.
There is a mall across the street and we grabbed a bite to eat from P.J. Clarke’s on the Hudson. The food was tasty, but the serving sizes were skimpy. The food court and food trucks would have been better options.
Partially satisfied from dinner, we walked back to One World Trade Center in time for our tour. We had to go in the basement and go through our second security check of the day. There was a board that gave stats about who was visiting and from where.
After security, we walked through a corridor with info about the One World Trade Center construction.
The elevator ride to the top took less than a minute. It went by quickly thanks to the virtual aerial animation.
We stepped off the elevator and stood behind a media wall. After a short video, the screens opened to the 50 mile views in which we all had been waiting.
There was an option to rent an interactive table which serves as a hand held interactive tour guide. The users can click on a building and read facts.
Next, we walked over to the 9/11 Memorial Pools. Being in that space made me feel sad and angry. I was near Ground Zero a week or two after the attacks and bombs, and the smell of death was in the air with blocks and blocks of missing person posters. I asked myself “Why?” all over again.
On the way back to the trains, we spoke with a fellow who had a display to raise awareness about what really happened and how there were so many lies and cover ups for people to gain money and power.
I can say I was inside the world’s 4th tallest building, but it is not an area I would care to go back to because of the sadness I felt.
On a lighter note, our second mini tour of NYC happened after we disembarked the cruise around 9 a.m. I came up on the deck just in time to catch view of the Statue of Liberty.
Our flight was not scheduled to leave until 4 p.m. We took a taxi from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal to the Schwartz Luggage Storage near Times Square. There was no way we would be lugging that stuff around in the city.
Times Square had plenty of activity, even at 10 in the morning on a Sunday. There was a street festival on 6th Ave and vendors were getting things ready to sell.
We headed up Broadway towards the Southwest entrance to Central Park. People were on bikes offering 90 minute tours. After shore excursions, I was toured out for the week. We sat and people watched. The scenery reminded me of some of the Louisville Metro Parks, except the exercise traffic was like a mini marathon or Hike and Bike event. The park has a 6 mile loop. I was so tempted to run. I left my running shoes at home on purpose.
Next, I came up with an idea to take a subway to Chinatown for cheap souvenirs and for my Mom to get a taste of another side of New York. Although I have been to and through NY several times, I have never ridden a subway. There was a lot of nonverbal communication between my Mom and I based off our surroundings.
Canal Street seemed a little different compared to my last visit. Perhaps it being a Sunday with less people made it feel more open. The weather was hot and humid, making it a struggle to really enjoy ourselves after the sea breeze mid 80s in Bermuda. My Mom bought a hat to protect her face that she will probably never wear again.
A few blocks up and down Canal Street was enough for a feel of Chinatown. Our luggage was secure and safe when we picked it up. While we were in Central Park I arranged for a driver at Dial 7 to transport us to the Airport. Our departure from the city needed to be peaceful and stress free. I am happy everything went well and we made it home safely.