April 18, 2017

Our trip to the Big Apple!

Be forewarned this post has tons of pictures and details. When I was planning this trip, I was hoping to stumble across a post like this with recommendations and suggestions because there are so many things to do see, eat and do in NYC. So maybe this post will help someone else out there. 

A few months ago, I created a post on Facebook asking for suggestions for our week. I started drafting a Word document with plans for a morning activity, lunch spot, afternoon activity then dinner restaurant. I tried to plan attractions in close proximity to each other on the same day however as the weather forecast firmed up, I shifted things a bit. 

We took the train from Richmond to Penn Station on Monday morning, it was Camille & Clyde's first train ride and the trip up seemed pretty quick. We packed a lunch which worked well. It is nice to have the cafe car on the train but the options aren't the greatest which we discovered on the way home.






We arrived around 3 pm and Michael had researched subway passes for the week. He decided if we took the subway at least 10 times, it would be worth getting a weekly pass. I must say arriving at Penn Station then buying subway passes, navigating to the right train, then piling on a really full subway car with two kids and three suitcases was a bit stressful but we made it. #winetime

We stayed at The Kimberly Hotel for the week and it was perfect. It is on 50th street between 3rd Ave and Lexington. The hotel is made up of converted apartments and we booked a one bedroom suite. The living room was large and we had a kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave and sink. The bedroom had two doubles and there was a pull out sofa in the living room. We did a lot of research on suite hotels and The Kimberly was definitely reasonably priced over our dates.



Kitchenette behind these cabinets.

Our couch potato settled right in...this was 10 minutes after we got into the room.

Coloring book and crayons given at check-in

Giant fish tank in the lobby!

The only hotel negative was the elevator situation. The hotel was in the process of upgrading the elevators to be faster so one of the them was not in use. They did let guests use the service elevator but there were quite a few times we waited for 5-10 minutes for the elevator and it would arrive too full to get on so we would wait for another. Hopefully this will be resolved with their upgrades. 

The first night we reluctantly took the subway to Times Square...let me rephrase that....Camille, Clyde and I reluctantly took the subway...Michael was all in...we had nine more trips before we recouped our money! 

Times Square was very crowded and it wasn't dark yet so not as exciting as it could have been. We tried to have dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner but most of the restaurant was reserved for a private party so we decided not to wait in the line. We had dinner at Serafina Broadway instead and sat outside which wonderful. The kids split a pizza and Michael and I had entrees. 




After dinner, we walked back towards Times Square and visited M&M's World. We customized M&Ms with Camille & Clyde's names. They loved it! 






Tuesday was a beautiful day, and after breakfast, we walked The High Line from start to finish!



 
The kids were tired by the end. 

 After our walk, we had lunch on the Hudson at PJ Clarkes. Very cool spot and great burger. We opted to sit inside to cool off (it was hot that day) but they also have outside seating which would have been fun. 

After lunch, we had planned to take the Statue of Liberty Express boat but discovered that it was down for maintenance. So that was a bit of a miss! This is the closest that we got to Lady Liberty! PS...If you are going in the summer, The Beast speedboat cruise is supposed to be really fun....it starts running in May I believe.


   

From there, we walked over to the 9-11 Memorial and One World Observatory. We didn't go up but admired from the ground.


Then we hopped on the subway and Camille & I went to the American Girl store! 4 floors of American Girl Doll goodness! And Clyde & Michael hit up the Nintendo Store. 




We all met back at the Lego Store  where Camille & Clyde personalized their own Lego set from a giant wall of Legos! Another win!


We were close to ice skating at Rockefeller Center...Michael & Clyde snapped this cute selfie! 


After downtime at the hotel, we walked to dinner at The Smith. The hotel recommended this as kid-friendly but I am pretty sure Camille & Clyde were the only children there. They both had the soft pretzel appetizer for dinner. They were thrilled! My dinner was really tasty and it was very quick which was a plus. 


 On to Wednesday, we took an Uber and went to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. This may have been my favorite attraction. Camille & Clyde liked it but started losing interest at the end. 















 This is where the silliness comes in....and they are done! 


Then the rain unexpectedly picked up and we were without raincoats. So we took a cab back to the hotel (nightmare long trip)  and then tried to regroup for lunch. From the hotel, we walked up to Central Park hoping to find something on the way. At this point, we were loosing Clyde. He was complaining of a tummy ache but he kept on trucking! We got him a hot dog and some orange Fanta at Central Park and he was back in business. The rest of us ended up eating in the Food Hall at the Plaza! If you are going to Central Park this is a perfect place for lunch...it is like a food court. Also, there is the Eloise Store on the same Plaza level that we visited. 

After lunch, we went to the Central Park Zoo which the kids really enjoyed and then climbed the rocks and walk around Central Park. The weather was gorgeous by then.  

 


 


 


That night we had dinner at Rosa Mexicano. The table-side guacamole was delicious, our entrees were just okay. They do have a kid's menu which is nice.

After dinner, we walked over to Dylan's Candy Bar! Another hit of the trip! Floors and floors of candy! 





Our last full day was Thursday. We took the subway to the American Museum of Natural History. We arrived right after they opened which I think was wise. We ordered our tickets online that morning and then used the kiosk in the lobby to print them. This saved us waiting in a huge line. We didn't realize that each special exhibit was $5 extra and I wish we had gotten at least one but there is still a ton of cools stuff to see! 





After the museum, we went to Shake Shack for lunch! We arrived at 11:45 am hoping to beat the lunch crowd and we did not! We placed our order and then waited for a table, thankfully by the time our order was ready, a table had opened up. Food & milkshakes were good!

 After lunch, we had time to kill and walked by the Today Show and one more trip into the Nintendo Store.





Next up was Top of the Rock! We booked our tickets the night before and there were only a few time slots left. We paid $5 per ticket extra for a professional photographer to take your picture. I think this was well worth it because these are the only family photos from our trip and they give you digital copies.






 I am not a huge fan of heights so I was a little nervous on the very top floor! This is me standing in the very middle point of the top deck.

We were definitely all tired by the end of this day but we rallied for an early dinner at John's of Times Square and I am glad we did. We arrive right before 5:30 pm and they told us there was be an hour wait. We headed to the bar and probably waited only about 30 minutes before being seated. The food was good and very reasonable! This was by far our cheapest dinner all week.


 The next day, we left around 11 am via Amtrak and were back in Richmond by dinner time. It was such a fun week!