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There is so much to do in New York City with kids… and we are sharing the highlights of our 72 hours in New York City!
This was an awesome visit for us… short, but still awesome.
I still can't believe how much we packed into those few days. Two days after we flew back to San Diego from Florida we were back on a plane heading to New York City! We chose an early morning, non-stop flight so that we would have as much time in NYC as possible. We flew into JFK, landing at 3pm and met our driver moments later… since we were traveling with carry-ons only. I think that's one of my number one travel tips if you are traveling with kids or adults only. You don't have to worry about lost bags or waiting for them to arrive on the conveyor belt. It's the best way to travel for shorter trips. For longer ones we bring 1 or 2 checked bags for our overflow clothes and liquids. That way if one does get lost we still have enough clothes to wait it out or buy more.
Back to NYC…
Emmy was very excited to be in New York… and dressed for the occasion!
The drive from JFK to midtown NYC, (where we were staying) took about an hour. We checked in and started to explore! We walked up and down Lexington and some of the side streets, and then we stopped for dinner at Beyond Sushi on 14th St. It's completely vegan and it filled us up for more exploring.
The girls all wanted to go to Times Square so we went multiple times while we were there.
Pete and I had both been there before. Pete said it was the same as all the other times he was there… but for me it was completely different. I was there on New Year's Eve, 1995 and there was freezing (literally)… so this was totally a new experience for me.
It's much better when you aren't freezing!
We walked up and down the and in and out of stores…
We even went to the most awesome Disney store ever…
We stopped in Toys R Us… (which has since closed), and just had a good time being tourists. I mean, we really acted like tourists and it was awesome. We try to go off the beaten path on our travels, but this day we wanted to have the total visitors experience and I'm so glad we did.
Emmy, Ash and I had one thing on our minds .
Street food. We don't have anything like this is San Diego. We had ice cream, pretzels, potato knish, cookies and more throughout our visit. The one thing we didn't have that I'm kinda sad about was a NYC bagel. But that just means we will have to go back!
We also took a picture outside Radio City Music Hall.
Explored Rockefeller Center…
Bought ice cream at a drug store and enjoyed it at a corner park with the local kids! It was right by Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. We stayed awhile and let Emmy run around, until the police and FBI came and shut down the street next to us for a double homicide. It happened while we were sitting there and we had no idea. Big cities I tell you.
For transportation we used Uber. It was much more reliable, cost effective and had quicker service than trying to hail a taxi (which we tried a couple times). The only time we had to wait was when we, and multiple other people were trying to relocate after the whole murder thing. 100% of the Ubers that picked us up were private drivers that work in between booked clients with Uber. So we were driven around in Suburbans.
Maddie did some research for us, and found Ellen's Stardust Diner!
We were worried that there would be a long wait for dinner… but we were able to walk right in and be seated in seconds. It was so fun. The food was good (with huge portions) and they even had vegan and vegetarian options. The waiters and waitresses sing throughout your meal and they all had amazing voices. It was the perfect family dinner choice!
One of the days Emmy and I spent working.
We were here on a secret mission with Motrin to film a commercial with Kelly Ripa! We had a blast and while we were working, Pete and the older two were off having fun of their own. They even had lunch at Chef Chloe's restaurant, which was one of Maddie's NYC goals.
Back to seeing the sights… We boarded the boat to Ellis Island with a stop to see the Statue Of Liberty. This is a paid tour, but there is a ferry from the New Jersey side that is free. It doesn't have stops like this one does, but if you just want to get close to The Statue Of Liberty, and enjoy a ride consider that one.
The skyline view from Liberty Island is the best around. It's hard not to feel sad even with all the beauty because the Twin Towers are missing, but seeing One World Trade Center from this spot was breathtakingly beautiful. Liberty Island features the Statue Of Liberty, benches to relax on and a little food stand with snacks and coffee.
Pete and the girls went on the Statue Of Liberty tour. There are different ones available and the one all the way to the crown sells out months in advance… so they took the one to the pedestal.
This picture sums up how we felt about our entire visit!
My favorite part was stepping foot on Ellis Island just like my Great Grandma Did many years ago.
We took a self guided tour throughout the building and saw the many steps it took for each person that arrived to finally be able to step foot into New York City. We did a search in the official records for both my great-grandma and Pete's Great-Grandfather and we found Pete's Great-Grandfather!
The next day was “go home day” and we couldn't believe how fast the days went.
New York City is so alive… at all times of the day. We loved the energy of the city and the people and we decided to see it from a different view before we headed to the airport, with a tour of the Empire State Building.
We got there early in the morning and there wasn't a wait at all. Don't buy your tickets from the people on the street. It's just as easy, (and safer) to buy them inside the building. We ended up spending about 2 hours from entering the building to leaving so plan a bit of time.
This view of the city is something we will always remember.
As you exit the Empire State Building be sure to head left and then turn left on the next street… that's where the world famous Macy's store is!
We loved New York City and we can't wait to go back!