Tuesday, May 09, 2017

New York City, Day One

Last Thursday I met my daughter at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. It was the start of a very special long weekend—a weekend to celebrate my niece Amy's 50th birthday. After leaving my gate, we made our way to the outside of the terminal and waited for our Lyft transportation to take us to our hotel in midtown Manhattan. We soon discovered our driver was a very good tour guide. He made the ride very enjoyable.

Once we got situated in our hotel room, Heidi sent a text to my niece Andrea to see where she and the others in our family were so, if possible, we could meet them for lunch before they had to go to Andrea's for the night. They were at St. Patrick's Cathedral and said they would wait for us to come. So we started out for the twelve or so blocks. Thank goodness I had brought my cane with me! I knew there would be lots of walking and the cane makes it possible. Once we found them, we walked to a place where we could eat. It was really nice seeing them!

L to R: Donna Mae, Morgan, Amy, Andrea, Montana, Heidi, yours truly

After the others departed, Heidi and I made our way to Rockefeller Center, stopping by the Magnolia Bakery first that was just around the corner. Everything in the bakery looked tempting, but I settled on a big slab of German chocolate cake, which, by the way, was an excellent choice!

Yummy things in the Magnolia Bakery

Yours truly eating German chocolate cake

My sweet daughter

Rockefeller Center
It was really nice to sit in this famous setting, enjoying the sights and eating our treats. The weather was perfect—not too warm and not chilly. Just right.

After our respite, we set out for the Empire State Building. I don't remember how far away it was, but off we went. Once inside, it was fun seeing the front desk on the first floor of the office building where Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle stopped to ask permission to go to the top.

We snaked our way through lines to buy our tickets and then proceeded up the elevator to the 86th Floor Observatory. On this level, we could walk around all sides of the building, allowing us to see 80 miles in each direction! Looking to the west, we looked down on part of the U.S.S. Intrepid aircraft carrier that has now become a museum. My brother served on this magnificent vessel during the Vietnam war. President Trump was expected to make a speech on the carrier that evening and from our vantage point, we could see many police cars with their lights flashing on the nearby streets.

We stayed on this observatory for quite awhile. I was enjoying hearing all of the diverse languages. I also loved seeing the excitement with the young children.

Looking south toward Freedom Tower and the Statue of Liberty
After looking around the gift shop, we got back into the elevator that took us to the 102nd Floor Observatory. I had not been there before. It's the highest observatory in the city – 1,250 feet above ground. It was awesome!

Walking back toward our hotel, we agreed it would be good to have dinner in the steakhouse across the street from it. It turned out to be a good decision. Both of us were very tired and we enjoyed sitting down to eat a fine meal. I mentioned to Heidi I wondered how far I had walked and she showed me an app. on my phone that showed I had walked seven miles! I never, never could have done it without my cane.

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