While BattleKid quietly watched some Curious George I managed to doze on the couch until just before 6am. BattleKid asked for some food so we had a yogurt and some fruit before BattleDad woke and joined us at 7am. We chanced looking out the window and it was a bit cloudy but dry so we decided to try and beat the commuters and head into Manhattan and try catch up on the things we hadn’t managed to do the previous day.
We quickly got washed and dressed and headed for the Subway with my little list of destinations and the subway routes to get to them. We decided to head south and visit the World Trade Centre Memorial first. We were lucky on the subway and it didn’t get too packed so our decision to go early paid off. BattleKid had a snooze unsurprisingly on the subway. We only had to do one change from our line, the N line, before we arrived at Cortlandt Street and came out in what was the most amazing concourse I’ve ever seen, the World Trade Centre Concourse. It contains entrances to the various World Trade Centre buildings as well as a brand new mall and entrances to the subway. I completely forgot to get a picture of it as we tried not to get in commuters ways with our mouths wide open in wonder.
Once we got to ground level we made our way to the memorial site and came across the North Tower memorial first. It’s a very sobering and yet beautiful site but seeing all the names along the walls of the memorial brought that day back. Getting that first phone call from BattleDad about the first plane to getting home just to watch the first tower fall on TV. Although we were watching from over 3000 miles away it was no less shocking.
The site is very peaceful and beautiful, even on a dull grey morning as it was for us. We got some pictures of BattleKid and us around it and in time will explain to him the significance of those pictures.
The one thing that got to both BattleDad and I was along the names on the North Tower memorial. It was the name of a lady and beside it it read
And Her Unborn Child.
Seeing that brought tears to our eyes. We knew there had been at least one pregnant lady who had lost her life that day but it wasn’t until that day that it really hit home for us, particularly now we are parents. After walking around both the North and South Tower memorials we stopped at a nearby diner for breakfast and BattleKid and I had some lovely pancakes with bacon and strawberries.
From the World Trade Centre Memorial we decided to walk towards Battery Park to find the Staten Island ferry. Just as we turned the corner across the road from Battery Park an African-American guy stopped us and asked we were interested in the New York Water Ferry to see the sights from the water. He must have spotted my camera in my hand and guessed where we were headed. BattleDad reluctantly said yes. Now he was wearing a ‘New York City Attractions’ bib and had an ID badge but I was still wary as was BattleDad as he told me later. We paid the guy our ticket money and he put us on a free bus which took us near to Pier 16, the ferry dock.
It turned out that he was legit, BattleDad exchanged our tickets for actual ferry tickets and we boarded the 11am departure on the Zephyr for an hour’s tour around the waters of Manhattan and it turned out to be great. It wasn’t quite a water taxi as we were on board with a couple of hundred other sightseers but it was well worth the $30 each we paid (BattleKid went free).
During the boat ride we went under the Brooklyn Bridge, which I had completely forgotten about until the guide pointed it out and around the southern tip of Manhattan to get a great view of the Manhattan skyline with One World Trade Centre (mistakenly known as the Freedom Tower as the guide told us) taking centre stage.
Once we turned around we headed towards Liberty Island to get pictures of the Statue of Liberty. This was definitely our preferred way of seeing her! After we docked we decided to get some lunch near Pier 16 and I had a lovely salad, while BattleDad and BattleKid enjoyed some burgers.
With our bellies filled we headed back to Cortlandt Street Subway station to head for Central Park. BattleKid fell asleep in his buggy in the train. We got off at 57th Street and we walked into Central Park from the south, heading for the Natural History Museum which is located on 81st Street on the west side of Central Park. We enjoyed our walk through Central Park and it’s easy to see why New Yorkers flock to it on nice days. It’s surprisingly peaceful inside, despite the hustle and bustle of the city around it.
We arrived at the museum just before 3pm to find out it was going to cost the guts of $60 for the three of us in entry fees and we’d only have 2 hours in the place. That seemed quite expensive to us considering the majority, if not all museums in the UK are free of charge (donations suggested instead). And they were going to charge us for BattleKid as he was 2 years of age. Really?! The museum was more for us than him but not for $60 so we decided not to go in this time. We’d rather wait until we return when BattleKid is old enough to appreciate and enjoy the museum.
We headed back through Central Park on route to the subway to catch a train back to the apartment. While there we decided to try and find a particular spot in Strawberry Fields that has sentimental memories in our family. We managed to find it and got a kind passing tourist to take our picture there, keeping the family tradition going. I was chuffed, even if BattleKid was still asleep in his buggy. Our plan is to return to that same spot when we go back to New York in the future to emulate our sister’s pictures. I won’t explain further but I hope she doesn’t mind us carrying on what she started all those years ago.
Satisfied that we’d achieved quite a lot in one day, we headed for home and got back to Astoria just after 4pm. BattleDad got us some Starbucks drinks; him an iced mocha, me an iced chai tea latte. BattleDad and BattleKid watched some Netflix cartoons while I started packing us and cleaning up the apartment. We had showers and donned our pjs and had a late dinner just after 7pm.
After dinner we saw another spectacular sunset before getting BattleKid ready for bed and I wasn’t far behind him at 8.30pm, with very sore feet after walking the legs off ourselves, something we always do on city breaks. I was knackered after a broken night’s sleep and a jam-packed day and was really hoping for a better night before home day arrived.
Stop by tomorrow to see how the return journey to Cardiff went!