After enjoying our breakfast at our hotel, Corey from Green Light tour arranged for a double-decker tour of Lower Manhattan. Tip #1: Bring a warm jacket if you’re going to NYC in May. I had on a light jacket but was still freezing while on the bus tour. Our driver stopped and I was able to grab a “I love NYC” sweater from a street vendor. Once the sun came up, it made the tour more enjoyable. Tip #2: bring layers when traveling. Of course, right after 3 hour tour, the sun had come out and I was hot!
After our world wind tour we headed for Hudson Eats for lunch. It is located inside the Brookfield Place and it’s not your typical “food court” in a mall. This is a Foodie’s paradise. They offer skinny pizza, sushi, BBQ, and Cambodian‐influenced sandwiches. I was craving BBQ so I went to Mighty Quinns for some NY style barbecue. I ordered the sausage, burnt ends baked beans and sweet corn fritters. The sausage was tender and it came with a roll so I was able to make a sandwich out of it. The sweet corn fritters were my favorite. It’s deep-fried so the outside was crunchy while the inside was tender. The honey chili dipping sauce that it came with was a little spicy so it was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. The burnt ends in the beans gave it a woody flavor and it tasted like it was marinated for hours. What also makes this a unique experience was the location. Brookfield Place overlooks the North Cove Marina. So, we were able to grab our lunch and enjoy the beautiful of the Hudson river and the Statue of Liberty.
After our lunch, we walked over to the 9-11 memorial and visited the One world Observatory. Christian was just a couple of months old when the 9/11 attack happened. But, we have spoken often about it so he was familiar with significance behind this event. The names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 are inscribed in bronze around the twin memorial pools. The 9-11 Memorial is a powerful tribute to our country and the people lost. It reminds us how quickly things can change and how we as a group can recover! My favorite part about the Memorial was learning about the “survivor tree”. Just because the roots were torn our of the people of America that day, doesn’t mean we can’t survive! You can read about this tree below.
A Callery pear tree became known as the “Survivor Tree” after enduring the September 11, 2001 terror attacks at the World Trade Center. In October 2001, the tree was discovered at Ground Zero severely damaged, with snapped roots and burned and broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. After its recovery and rehabilitation, the tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010. New, smooth limbs extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible demarcation between the tree’s past and present. Today, the tree stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival and rebirth.
After visiting the 9-11 Memorial we went upstairs to see the One World Observatory. You get inside an elevator and go up about 100 floors. The building is actually 1,776 feet tall. I didn’t do any research on the building before arriving to NYC so I was surprised what happened next. You are escorted off the elevators into a dark room that has a blind over a large window. After everyone is settled in, they open the shades and you can see an astounding view of NYC. I thought, “that’s nice”. But, no, that isn’t all. You then go through some double doors and are on the 100th floor with a 360 degree view of Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey. As you walk around the floor, the view changes at every corner. It left me speechless and in awe of this beautiful city.
Unfortunately, we had to get to our next tour so off we went! I would give yourself at least an hour for the One World Observatory, you don’t want to miss anything! We walked to our next stop, The Brooklyn Bridge. Corey, reminded us not to walk on the left lane since that’s the lane designated for “bike” riders. Don’t worry Corey, I’m not going to tell them what happened to you. Let’s just say he learned this lesson well. LOL
Tip #3 don’t forget to bring your umbrella every where you go. We had just walked to the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge when it started to rain. I came prepared and brought 2 umbrellas this time: 1 for Christian and 1 for myself. Christian and I took a selfie before we ran back to our group. The rain was coming down sideways so by the time we got back to our group, we were soaked wet. The kids were laughing as they ran through the rain. Another memorable moment on our trip.
Time really flies by when you’re having fun! As you can tell by my blog, Green Light Tours does an amazing job creating all these experiences for the kids and adults. Even if I tried, I couldn’t have planned such an amazing trip to NYC for 116 people and not once did the kids say “I’m bored”. That to me is priceless.
I have been to NYC three times and each time we have run out of time to see the Statue of Liberty. So I was especially excited to take a nighttime cruise around Lady Liberty. We boarded the Circle line Sight Seeing boat and had the opportunity to sit inside or on the top deck. The tour last a total of 1 hour and it takes you past the majestic skyscraper of downtown Manhattan and Lady Liberty. You’ll see the sun falling down on the city and get some once in a lifetime pictures. This was a perfect way to wind down after a busy day of touring NYC. Tomorrow we plan to visit Chelsea Market and High Line Park, so don’t forget to come back!- Dot