Saturday, April 23, 2011

New York City, Day Two, Part One

Day Two!

We had originally set our alarms for 7am, but Stephen and I were both up before they actually went off. I guess we were just too excited to get the day going! The TV news promised us a sunny, warmer day and we wanted to take full advantage! We had plans for lots of outdoor time today.

We were quickly changed and ready to go! The walk to the PATH station was quick and simple, and before we knew it, we were at the 9th St. Station. There were sooooo many stairs though to street level...we were all out of breath and needed a tiny rest on a stoop. Seriously, there must have been 6 or 7 flights of stairs. We are so not used to stairs. haha.

We got our bearings straight and started heading towards Waverly Place, walking by the famous Gray's Papaya joint. I wish it had been later in the day;  I would have tried the "recession special: 2 hot dogs and a papaya drink for $2.99". Anyway, we spotted the Waverly Restaurant at Waverly Place across the street.

A is a TAD obsessed with Selena Gomez, star of Wizards of Waverly Place on the Disney Channel. The TV show is about a family in NYC running a restaurant at a sub station at Waverly Place. When he heard there was an actual Waverly Place that had a restaurant...well, we just had to go! No, it looks nothing like the TV show, but it was fun to pretend. We didn't see any wizards, but plenty of people! The place was very busy. It's a small restaurant, and there were no tables available this beautiful Saturday morning. We were allowed to sit at the counter though, and it actually made it a little more fun for us!

Our food was prepared fairly quick, especially considering how crowded the restaurant was that morning! A had chocolate milk and the breakfast fries. It's vacation...who doesn't want fries for breakfast? LOL He did say they were delicious, so that's all that matters. :) Stephen had a breakfast skillet, which included sausage, eggs and cheese. It also came with a side of toast. He happily ate his in a matter of minutes. Guess it was good! I had the eggs benedict with Canadian bacon. Can I just tell you that it was the most delicious eggs benedict I've ever tasted? Oh my word, it was beyond yummy. I highly recommend the Waverly Restaurant in the Village if you are ever down that way!

Right outside the restaurant is the subway train we needed to catch, and soon enough, we were headed uptown to Central Park! I had been dreaming of taking A here for so long, and it was finally coming true! I was so super excited, I could barely stand it! Within a few minutes we were at our stop, and we headed upstairs. This particular station sits directly below the Dakota, the former home of John Lennon where he was shot and killed.

There is an entrance to Central Park directly across from the Dakota, so we ventured in! There were a ton of pedi-cab drivers begging us to take a ride at the entrance. I guess the camera gave away the fact that we were tourists from a mile away! LOL We declined and walked into the park. Strawberry Fields is near this entrance (with a memorial to John Lennon) but we decided to skip it this trip. Stephen and I had both seen it in the past and knew A probably wouldn't be interested. Instead, we took a left down a pathway to see the Bow Bridge. You might have seen it in a bunch of different movies.

See, I was there!  (I hate my photo being taken)

It was still pretty chilly out, but the boy really wanted a drink because he was "so hot and sweaty." He was totally lying, but I wanted a drink too. We found a nearby cart at the Bethesda Fountain and grabbed a few drinks and snacks. 

From the fountain, it was a short walk to the Conservatory Water. A and I had read Stuart Little by E.B. White together a few years ago, and we've seen the movie a thousand times. If you aren't familiar with it, Stuart and his brother go to this pond to race model sailboats. One of the draws for coming to Central Park for A was being able to rent a boat just like the fantastic scene in the movie and book.

The Conservatory rents the boats for $11 for half an hour at the boathouse, and it was one of the best well spent $11 ever. A had a ball, and we had a great time watching him. A launched his sailboat #22 into the water and he quickly learned how to sail his boat. The remote controls the sail and the rudder of the boat.  It took a few minutes of getting used to, but he got the hang of it pretty easily. I could have sat there all day long watching him laugh and sail the boat on the pond.

While Stephen and A were sailing the boat, I was able to call home and check on Am. All was well in Florida, and Am seemed to be having a lot of fun with his grandparents. I missed him so much though, especially in Central Park. I could just see him having a blast at the playgrounds, the carousel and the zoo. Next time, Am! I promise!

After our time was up, we walked around for a bit  (A refused his picture being taken at the Alice In Wonderland Statue) and tried to find Pale Male...a red-tailed hawk that has been living near the Pond. Unfortunately, we weren't able to find him after looking for a few minutes. The walk was quick, though, to Literary Walk and the Mall. Again, I'm sure you've seen it before in movies.

Every time I visit here and see the beautiful elms, I think about Kramer Vs. Kramer, the movie starring Glenn Close and Dustin Hoffman. I picture the little boy running from his daddy's arms into his mother's after a long separation. Is there a movie that instantly pops into your head when you see this area?

We stopped to listen to a band, people watched and viewed the different street vendors' goods as we took in the sights of Central Park. It really was a dream come true of mine:  to take Ato Central Park. I'm not sure why I've always wanted to do this, but I'm glad I was able to make my dream come true. It's a day I'll always remember. The moment that will stay in my head forever? This.....

The views from the cliffs behind Wollman Rink are incredible!!!! We sat there, on the cliffs, for a long time watching the skaters below and taking in the beautiful sites of midtown Manhattan. Truly breathtaking.

The last thing we had to see in Central Park was the Gapstow Bridge at the Pond near 59th St. It was featured in Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. Does it look familiar? It's where Kevin meets the bird lady for the first time and at the end of the movie. It was really a beautiful, quiet spot with lots of ducks and geese.

From here, we exited Central Park at Fifth Ave. Up next: Top of the Rock, Conquering fears and a night in Manhattan.


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