Wake up time: 3:30am (you should know that about us by now). We finally smartened up and took the Amtrak to NYC instead of driving. Not having all of those time-consuming stops and kids arguing in the backseat was awesome! Once we arrived at Newark, our hotel was a few stops away on the PATH in Jersey City. From our hotel, we have partially (largely) obscured views of Manhattan, but a clear view of the Freedom Tower's progress. More on that tomorrow.
After checking into our hotel and scoring an adjoining room with my mom (HUGE when traveling with three kids), we went across the street to Cosi for a quick lunch. I haven't been to Cosi since working in Arlington, and I've missed their salads, so that was a treat.
On to Times Square. I thought it would be the perfect way to start this trip for the kids. Who isn't awed by the lights and crowds and craziness? We transferred from the PATH in the city to the Metro. What is wrong with those machines that 90% of the time don't like take credit cards? We're just using cash... you should, too... trust me. LOVE seeing that Times Square/42nd Street subway sign! It just makes my heart happy.
We first went to Toys R Us, B's favorite part of the day, where J took the three kids for a ride on the ferris wheel (after a VERY short line). B really wanted the My Little Pony car. Luckily for Z, they ended up in the M&Ms car. I think he would have cried if B had her way. A even loved the ride. We wandered the store for a bit afterwards, awing over the gigantic moving dinosaur and the Lego Statue of Liberty.
Afterwards, we moved onto the Disney Store, where there was a huge video screen playing promos for Phineas and Ferb. The kids were over the moon seeing that. We bought nothing there (yay us!) and moved onto the fun red bleachers above the TKTS booth. I LOVE the way that more loitering is accommodated in Times Square now... shutting down Broadway for a couple blocks (driving there was always a nightmare anyway!) and adding these bleachers. It was my favorite part of the day, watching and taking it all in. Almost right after that, we planned on going to the Hershey store, anyway, but Z, who was a bit cranky at the moment, saw someone dressed as a set of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, just like we saw at Hershey Park a few years ago. It was like he found a long lost friend. It was his biggest smile of the day. We stopped briefly in the store where each Z and B picked out a bag of Jolly Ranchers that we could have bought at CVS. No chocolate? Are these really my kids?
It was 4:30 or so by the point, and we decided to have an early dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner before it got too crowded. The servers all take turns singing here, between all of their other duties. Z actually named this as his favorite part of the day. I loved it, too. We couldn't do a musical this time around (KILLS me, you know) because A is too little, so this was the closest I could come.
We made our way back to the subway afterwards, going back through the madness just for fun. We got the kids their (freezing cold!) pool time and a decent bedtime.
I love NY.