Our Garden State Adventure Part 2

First, I am unsure which is the greater task, seeing as much as possible of New York City in one day with two preschoolers or blogging about it in one post. Regardless, prior to landing in the Newark airport, this 1994 Pace Picante Sauce commercial is as close as I came to New York City.

Not anymore. Chinatown, Little Italy, Broadway, and Central Park were all on the list as we spent a day traveling New York City with Ron’s godmother, “Momo” and her husband, Sal.

We were treated to the downtown loop of our Gray Line New York double-decker tour. Travel to and from the city on public transportation was the children’s most memorable part. Riding public transportation packed with commuters and complete with a slow drive through the Lincoln Tunnel was our kids idea of a good time in the city. What was not Momo’s idea of a good time was Ron and Emily’s failure to exit the bus when we did. Needless to say, this native New Jersey lady was needing a large cup of coffee when we met Ron and Emily a few floors down in the bus terminal.

Off to a memorable start don’t you think? Look at the worry in Momo’s face. Then note the sympathy in Ron and Sal’s. We all had a good laugh…everyone but Momo that is.

Next we had the pleasure of watching Sal heckle the bus personnel of the New York bus tours to get what he considered a reasonable price. Ron and I snapped pictures and recorded the comical exchange like the “country” folk we felt we were. I will not incriminate Sal by posting the video here. Needless to say, we were pleasantly entertained.

You can see the gentleman in the red jacket followed by Sal and Momo as he convinced Sal to follow him to the bus stop to purchase the tickets.  Cue Picante’s “New York City?”

Now for the shots of a few of our favorite spots. We primarily enjoyed the outward view of the buildings. The vast beauty and variety of the architecture in the city was my favorite part. Manhattan is rich with history and art. To experience it all within one day was a fast paced dream come true.

First up…the Empire State Building.


Followed by a quick visit inside Macy’s for some Starbucks and people watching. My personal favorite were the men turning over every price tag in the handbag section as they trailed their wives.


We traveled in the bus top for a few blocks and I was smitten with this store, but did not request to stop. Can you say NERD?

We accidentally missed the exit for China Town so we proceeded to the site of Ground Zero and the new Freedom Tower. Freedom Tower reached its 100th floor during our visit. On the way we passed one of my favorite buildings, the Flatiron building. It is built in the form of a triangle and so named for its resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron.

Much to Momo’s dismay, we turned around and walked the 10 blocks back to China Town as the bus only travels one direction in the loop. On the way we stopped and viewed the outside graveyard and architecture of one of the oldest buildings in Manhattan, St. Paul’s Chapel.


Next stop. China Town! Joshy’s most memorable portion aside from the city bus ride. He called out the next day as we were driving through New Jersey, “Look mom, China Town!” I am not sure what he saw, but it reminded him of China Town.

Sal persistently pestered Momo by attempting to cheaply purchase a Rolex in China Town. One such attempt ended in a standoff for my camera. I was filming Sal’s transaction when the store clerk quickly informed me that no photography was allowed. To which Sal whispered, “She works for Immigration.” As the gentleman’s temper grew, I deleted the portion of video in-front of him. No, even that would not suffice. He came toward me and said, “I know how you people work!” To which Momo quickly told me to get out of there.

Sal, Sal, Sal, I cannot believe you would try to get me into trouble all for a Rolex. Immigration!

It was time for lunch in Little Italy.



We ended our tour at Battery Park, Central Park, and the final stop before loading the bus home…the M&M store.

This stood in the entry of one of the World Trade Tower’s and now is a monument in Battery Park.

The view of Lady Liberty from Battery Park.

Our 20 minute tour of Central Park. My desire is to one day return to the city and spend an entire day in Central Park.

Two 2 pound bags full of M&M’s, not to mention, $34.00 later,  and we were purchasing a bus ticket back to Elizabeth.

The following day we visited Liberty Science Center and Liberty State Park were we viewed this final shot of the city.

Thank you Momo and Sal for this wonderful adventure!


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