Isn't it funny how those dark, thick curtains in hotel rooms can make you sleep the day away? Remember next time you and I go out and spend the night in a hotel that I have been known to open those deceitful curtains to remind you we need to get going. I confess I did this to Sarah and Gail last Saturday morning at 9am. My mind was so full of all the things we wanted to accomplish that I could not resist.
The first thing on our list was The Statue of Liberty. You have to be very aware of the world around you to figure out how to see the Statue of Liberty....well let me rephrase that...it is easy to see it with your eyes but to actually touch it and walk inside of it takes a lot of previous planning. There were no tickets available to get into the base of the statue, and no tickets available to get into the crown of the statue clear until December so our goal was to just SEE the statue with our eyeballs. We decided to walk down to the Circle Line and catch a boat. When we got to the Circle Line we discovered that their cost was not what we had imagined it would be. We knew that there was another company that ran a boat from Battery Park to the Statue that was much cheaper so we started walking along the Hudson River towards Battery Park. I think now is the best time to tell you of my vanity and foolishness. You see I needed to be wearing black shoes since I had black pants on and the only black shoes I had at the moment were sandals. Which, when you are walking a million miles in New York City, are not such a good idea. I bore my pain without a complaint but I do have some monster blisters. After several blocks we pulled out our adorable popup map and realized we had a really long way to go and that we did not want to waste our whole day walking. So we decided to head back into the city and catch the subway. Oh how we laughed when we discovered that the street we just happened to choose to take was the street with the NYC Sanitation department on it...rows and rows of garbage trucks. We definitely took a street that you would not want to ever take in the dark. But we made it to the subway and easily figured out what to do and it felt so great to let the subway do our walking for us :) I added a picture of my foot with band-aids on it for your viewing pleasure :) Notice I showed you Aunt Sarah's face in the last blog and my foot in this blog? Not fair huh? :) I love having all the publishing power :)
When we got to the Liberty Cruise we were happy to find it was only $12.00 per person as opposed to the Circle Lines $30.00. So we purchased tickets and climbed aboard. I am so glad we decided to take the harbor cruise it was so amazing. They took us to the Brooklyn Bridge and all along the way pointed out buildings in the Financial District on the shore and told the history of them. Then at the Brooklyn Bridge the boat turned around and headed back past the tip of Manhattan towards the Statue of Liberty. The boat got very close to the statue so that everyone on the boat could crowd at one end and fight for space to take pictures that would hopefully not have a stranger in them :) I definitely have to take the Baird children back to experience the cruise. Maybe I should explain that the word "cruise" may be misleading it's possible that I made you imagine an amazing, shiny boat loaded with food and people waiting on you...ummm that is not the case. It was more like a boat that had been around the block a few times with no amenities. But even with the rough water in the harbor that day I felt perfectly safe just not pampered :)
When we were done with the boat ride we headed back to the subway, our new favorite way to get around. As we were getting on the subway we saw a man who made us wonder if his mom knew what he was up to that day, it was a man in nothing but a pink polka dot speedo with dollar bills tucked around the edges of the speedo. He got in the subway car next to us and I snuck my camera around the corner to take his picture. He really was not very muscle-y or good looking but definitely something you do not see everyday and that you want to tell your posterity that you saw :)
Our next stop was Canal Street. Do you know about Canal Street? It is the street that separates Chinatown from Little Italy. Do you know how to tell a real Gucci from a fake Gucci? What about a real Rolex from a fake Rolex? Do you know how to say no....or I guess you could want to say yes....to the 50 people that will accost you along your walk down the street with little laminated cards showing pictures of purses and watches that could be yours? It is the perfect place for an accessory-aholic to be. I am not an accessory- aholic so it was just some good people watching for me. I have heard Canal Street described as, "Barney's on a Target budget." It is FULL of guys, and some gals, with suitcases (so they can make a quick get away) full of all sorts of "gray market" goods. DVD's of movies that you know are still in the theater, Prada bags with the word Prada spelled Prahda and so much more. Everything is made in China or New Jersey not in Italy. I guess the word you would use is "knock-offs." I was bursting with questions when I left Canal Street. But the only way to find out the answers would be to go undercover. I was intrigued by the police tower standing high in the middle of the street with tinted windows. And next time I go there I will keep track of how many times I am asked if I want a purse :) I have heard that if you are really serious they will take you down hidden stairways and into back rooms to make all your accessory dreams come true. Thankfully it is one addiction I do not have. I will take my addiction to question asking any day...it is much cheaper :)
After Canal Street we headed back up to Central Park. We walked through the park and when we got to the other side we stopped at FAO Schwarz. Yes, I know we did not have any kids with us but you just have to go in FAO Schwarz when you can. This time what made FAO Schwarz worth it was two people on the second floor at the large piano that is on the floor. This boy and girl who must have been in their 20's have clearly been trained in the fine art of, "playing huge floor pianos." They mesmerized me with their ability to use their feet and even at times their hands to play Hungarian Rhapsody on the piano. I could have watched them for days. And I have a new "job I want" to add to my list.
After FAO Schwarz we got some religion in St. Patricks cathedral which is on 5th Avenue right across from Rockefeller Center. Of course it is beautiful inside and outside. But it is always bustling with activity. And since I do not know much about other religions I always have lots of questions when I visit St. Patricks and see people lighting candles and such.
After our religious stop we continued on our quest to find The American Girl Doll Store. Why I continue to torture myself with this store I do not know. Actually I do know...DETAILS.... I love details....I adore details. I mean don't just tell me you love me tell me every detail :) That is why I can not resist American Girl, they definitely meet my need for details. Little tiny Teva sandals, little tiny smocked dresses, little tiny camisoles...basically everything big you can think of made into something little tiny. Not one Baird child owns an American Girl doll. They own the Hopscotch Hill dolls that American Girl made for awhile, they own two Bitty Baby twins....(I guess I did not need to say "two and twins" in the same sentence huh? :) Believe me all 5 Baird girls wish their lives, in relationship to American Girl dolls, was different. My youngest just might be the lucky one to finally talk me into an American Girl Doll. I always leave the store with a sick, materialistic feeling. But I will save my opinions on American Girl for another day :) How do you love something yet hate something at the same time?
After American Girl there is only one thing to do...go back to the Magnolia Bakery. So we stopped and purchased and then headed to find a place to eat dinner. We ate lunch in Chinatown in a restaurant with ducks hanging in the window so we were not sure how we were going to top that. We finally found a Mexican restaurant and an Italian restaurant next door to each other and finally decided on Mexican. It was a great dinner. But as always when I get to the end of something fun and so not reality my other life starts to push it's way back into my brain and thoughts of the looming 2 and a half hour drive home, neglected Baird children, applesauce to can, lessons to prepare and a health care plan to oppose started taking over and I knew it was time to go home.
So I hope you are ready for me to write about something else because tomorrow is back to reality which is not near as fun :)
The picture on the top on the left is of this fun sign we saw when we were walking in case you can not read it it says"Sin will find you out."