NYC, Travel

Our Tour of Central Park and Broadway

After enjoying our continental breakfast at our hotel, we headed to Central Park. Green Light tours divided the students and chaperons into groups of 8 and we had the opportunity to enjoy our personal tour guide. Tip #1: Make sure you wear comfortable shoes while touring Central Park. I brought along my TOMS but, I should have worn my tennis shoes. We started our walking tour with seeing the building where John Lennon was assassinate and where his tribute takes place. Strawberry Fields is located between 71st and 74th street and is 2.5 acre area of Central Park that pays tribute to this legend. A lot of the high schoolers didn’t know about the Beatles or John Lennon so it was nice to introduce them to him. Did I tell you that Central Park has over 40 million visitors each year? Definitely a popular tourist spot.

Did you ever see the movie Enchanted with Patrick Dempsey and Amy Adams? This movie takes place in NYC and the one of my favorite part is filmed in Central Park. It’s the part where they sing and dance at the beginning of the movie. If you haven’t seen it, i suggest you do!

My favorite quote to describe Central Park is “A splash of green in a seas of grey” After spending your day walking around concrete floors, it’s a nice surprise to get lost inside this vast garden. If you bring your kids, there’s plenty to keep them busy. The park offers,  Besides Strawberry Fields, from April through October, children and boat enthusiast can navigate radio and wind-powered vessels across the shimmering waters. Don’t forget the Central Park zoo where the inspiration for Madagascar came from.

The kids loved the statue as well. You’re able to climb on top and take some great pictures. The statues below are of Hans Christian Anderson reading to a ducking and Alice in Wonderland. If you have the opportunity to get a guided tour of Central Park, I suggest you jump on it. I have a new-found appreciation of this oasis in NYC.

After walking back to our hotel, the students changed their clothes are prepared for their performance at St. Patricks Cathedral. This magnificent church was built-in 1898 and is open to the public. It’s decorated with arches and stained glass covers the side of the walls. The choir director jumped through hoops to get Hebron High School’s Choir to perform at this prestigious church. I could tell the students were intimidated by the grandness of the church but you couldn’t tell by their performance.

After the performance, we celebrated the choirs performance by eating at Ellen’s Stardust Dinner. For those who haven’t heard about his restaurant, it’s located near Times Square and it’s home to the future stars of broadway. The waitress and waiters are all inspiring to become famous or to get a lead role off Broadway. Until then, we get to hear them sing songs while enjoying our tasty dinner. Again, Green Light Tours did a great job accommodating such a large group. We had the bottom level to ourselves and the students were even part of the act. Some of the waitresses enjoyed serenading to our students and since these were Choir kids, THEY LOVED IT!

After dinner we walked over to the Majestic theater to watch The Phantom of The Opera. This has long been on my bucket list and I could hardly wait. I had explained to my son Christian and some of this friends the premise of the show. But, they were still a tab bit confused especially the Phantom appeared. The production did a great job with the chandelier and I heard the kids gasp when it fell down over the crowd. After the show was over, the students were invited to stay for a Q and A with the cast. We were told before hand that the main actors wouldn’t join us since they were exhausted but were surprised when they changed their mind. The students were great at asking questions and  I appreciated the honestly from the cast. The main character Stephanie told the students not to worry so much about their grades but to make sure they have perseverance.  She had tried out for the lead part 4 times and was rejected every time. It took her 10 years to finally land this dream role and she almost gave up her acting career before they finally called her back. I have told Christian this many times in his life but it made a difference when someone on stage told him. I’ve always said if you spend hours doing an assignment and you give it 100% I don’t care if you get an “A” on it, as long as you put your 100 into it. I’m grateful these actors and actresses took time of their schedule to make a difference in our students lives.

Day 2 was amazing and full of memories that I will treasure a lifetime. I was able to experience The Phantom of the Opera with my oldest son Christian, and he gained a new-found love for the theater. Come back tomorrow as we take a double-decker bus tour of NYC, visit the 911 Memorial and take a cruise around the Statue of Liberty-Dot


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