…and I Would Walk 500 miles; Vacationing in NYC, Day 4

Day 4, at promptly 6:00 in the morning, we woke to the sound of a text message on my phone.  It’s Emily and she is stressed!  With four girls to a room, a bathroom big enough for only one, and a roommate who has been in there the entire time, she has only 15 minutes before their first rehearsal for the Middle School Honors Performance Series, and hasn’t seen so much as a mirror or a toothbrush.  I can see she doesn’t want to be the squeaky wheel, but this “arrangement,” or lack of, needs some adjusting.  There’s not much I can do from where I’m at (a brisk 20-minute walk away), and I know, some of these things are better figured out and handled by her, and she’ll grow from it.

Chris was feeling worse, and now was running a fever, but no matter, he was determined to join the rest of us and see everything he could while we were in New York City.  And I guess he had to share, because now I was feeling the sore throat coming on.  So we took some meds, brought plenty more along, and went downstairs for breakfast.  Lori and I stayed down there a little longer than the rest of the bunch, sipping coffee and enjoying conversation.  I felt so grateful that she and FD chose to join us on this trip, they helped to make the journey even more exciting and adventurous.

We took the train to the American Museum of Natural History.  The subway actually has a station there, in the lower level of the museum.  When we arrived  a mere 10 minutes before opening time, the ticket guy in the lower level  (very rudely) waved his arms at all of us to get out of his lobby.  Not a great first impression!  I had no idea, but this would be just the start of it.

At first, we all tried to stay in a group, or at least stay in the same area.  It became apparent to me, this was not my cup of tea, whereas Lori, FD, Sid, and Chris found plenty to marvel at. Getting close to noon, Sid and I broke away from the others for some lunch.  It was evident, this place was a money sucker!  Our admission was $22 each, the planetarium was extra (so we didn’t go), and lunch for Sid and me was $26.  All we purchased was a bowl of soup, an order of chicken fingers, a small bowl of macaroni and cheese to share, and one Fanta orange soda!  Then, when we attempted to go back and find the others, a security guard stopped us and asked to see our tickets.  I had them somewhere, but couldn’t find them right away.  I tried to explain we’d been there all morning, and just went to the lower level for lunch, but he simply stated, “No tickets, no access!”  This made me quite irritated, as we had never exited. We went to where we first entered the building, walked right past all the ticket booths, and security guards, and nobody asked us for our tickets!  We found the rest of our family, and after spending a total of 4 hours there, we moved on.

This was the one exhibit I was amazed by!  Sorry for the poor lighting.

This was the one exhibit I was amazed by! Sorry for the poor lighting.

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If I hadn't spent so much $$$ on admission and lunch, I might have come away with this shirt; I loved it!

If I hadn’t spent so much $$$ on admission and lunch, I might have come away with this shirt; I loved it!

We walked a good jaunt over to see the World Trade Center memorial.  Like so many people, I remember 9/11 well; watching it all unfold on the TV in the safety of my home.  To think such a catastrophic event happened right where we were standing; it was almost too much to process.  The memorial site where the two trade centers formerly stood had a solemnity about it, and people spoke in quiet tones.  The time spent here was sobering, yet so necessary; giving me an even greater appreciation for those who were there when it happened, and who lived the tragedy.

The New York Stock Exchange was not a far trek away, and before long we found we were admiring the famous Charging Bull of Wall Street.  Apparently, it’s a picture-worthy event to touch the, ah-hem, testicles of the bull, while posing for the camera.  Although none of us took the plunge, Lori and I did think it would make for an interesting blog header ;) .

Chris and Sid with The Charging Bull of Wall Street

Chris and Sid with the Charging Bull of Wall Street

Next, we walked over to the South Side Seaport, on our way to the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was getting later in the day by this point, and the Seaport area began to feel a bit creepy.  We picked up the pace, and trudged forward.  Poor Sid confessed to me that his feet were really hurting.  He doesn’t complain much, and I knew his shoes were on their last leg before we left Nebraska.  I had no idea we’d be walking so much on the trip, or we’d have found some new shoes beforehand.  I was growing weary as well, my back was sore and tight, and it’s no wonder we were in such a shape, we were pounding the pavement all day every day on this trip.

When at last we came upon the Brooklyn Bridge, it was marvelous to see, yet disconcerting (to say the least) to find that we had overshot our entry.  To get onto the walking path of the bridge, we had to travel back several blocks, then climb a tall staircase to reach the top.  I know I was cranky, and as much as I had wanted to walk this particular bridge, my body was exhausted and sore.  At this point, I honestly was ready to hop on the next subway train back to our room and hibernate.  Thus the title of this post, “…and I would walk 500 miles,” as the song “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers was ringing through my head.

Once on the bridge, I was able to see what all the fuss was about.  The view was incredible!  There were a lot of people walking, and quite a few bicyclists pedaling the bike path.  I found a spot where I thought I’d be out of the way to stretch my back.  Just as I bent over, a line of bicycles came at me with their dinger bells ringing and the lady out front yelling, “Get off the bike path!”  It instantly pissed me off the way she said it, and I snapped back at her, “Yaaaa I’m MOVEing!”  I was so irritated, I sloooooowly moved out of her way.  I know, of course, that I was standing in the wrong spot, but then where I come from, we usually say “please” and “thank you” when asking someone to move!

Chris and FD, stopping for  drink

Chris and FD, stopping for drink

We walked about halfway across the bridge before Sid claimed he could go no further, he offered to just stay behind and wait while the rest of us kept going.  I felt bad for him, I really wished we had bought him new shoes before this point.  Even with prescription orthotics in his shoes, the soles were just too thin, and he was hurting.  I had no problem choosing to stay with him and rest my back awhile, Lori joined us too.  We watched Chris & FD until they were out of sight, and still managed to enjoy the view from where we stood.

Photo of Brooklyn Bridge by FD.  You can see a little of Lori at your left, then Sid and I (pink shirt) walking ahead.

Photo of Brooklyn Bridge by FD. You can see a little of Lori at your left, then Sid and I (pink shirt) walking ahead.

The bridge was amazing! The walking path is above and in the middle. On either side below, cars are moving slowly.

The bridge was amazing! The walking path is above and in the middle. On either side below, cars are moving slowly.

A beautiful view of the harbor from the Brooklyn Bridge.

A view of the New York Harbor from the Brooklyn Bridge.

It was becoming a little dark by the time we exited the bridge, but we soon found a subway terminal to get us back to the hotel.  Lori and FD decided to eat at The Brew House nearby, while Chris, Sid, and I brought back chicken gyros and a hot dog from a street vendor.  We also made a quick stop at the Rite Aid store across from our hotel, as we were quickly going through cold meds.  Chris looked as happy as a kid in a candy store when he spotted 2-liter bottles of Mountain Dew!  So far on this trip, we had not managed to find ANY restaurant or vendor who sold Mountain Dew, we were beginning to wonder if NY had a ban against it!  Since we had an endless supply of ice at the hotel, we agreed that a bottle of the green stuff would be a refreshing alternative to all the bottled water we’d been drinking.

We were all clearly exhausted and sore when we returned, and I think we all put a good dent in the bottle of Ibuprofen that night.  We settled in for the evening and rented the movie, “The Other Woman,” while enjoying our vendor food (which was delicious).  Three showers later, we were all tucked nicely in our beds, with hopes of sleeping in a bit in the morning!

Day 5 in NYC, coming soon!

Jump on over to my sister Lori’s blog for her recount of the adventure:  Day by Day the Farm Girl Way.