Sunday, May 8, 2011

New York City: Day Two, Part Two

As we were heading out of Central Park, we made our way over to the Plaza. Again, Alex and I have watched Home Alone 2: Lost In New York so many times...we just had to take a peak inside. It actually reminds me of the Grand Floridian in WDW. It's just a tad to frilly and gold and over the top for our tastes. But it was still fun to take a peak inside.

My kid is so weird.

After goofing around for pictures at the Plaza, we crossed the street to shop at FAO Schwartz. It was super crowded (like always...I've never been here when it wasn't crowded) so we pretty much just looked at the Big piano (Alex has also seen this movie) and decided not to pay to play on it. There were just too many people to really enjoy it. We found some cute NYC Duplo toys for Aidan and checked out some of the displays. Alex was a bit annoyed he couldn't find anything to purchase (I mean, he wanted some Legos..but why pay twice as much for the EXACT SAME LEGOS at other stores?). Instead, he decided to purchase a huge soft pretzel from a cart outside.

Our next destination was Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock. Just up a few blocks, make a right, and you're standing in front of 30 Rock! They were still ice skating at the Center and we people watched for a few minutes. The boys then decided to walk over to Nintendo World. Gaming isn't really my thing, so while they shopped for a few minutes, I walked around the area and people watched some more. I walked over to 6th Ave to get a falafel's sandwich from a street cart. I talked to the vendor for a few minutes (he was a friendly guy and recommended some places for dinner in the area) and happily munched on my falafel.

By the time I was finished, I met up with the guys in front of 30 Rock once again. We made our way to the entrance to Top of the Rock and purchased our tickets. I'd say we had to wait about 10 minutes to get the tickets and reach the top of the building. Such the opposite experience of the Empire State Building. I had waited once for hours and hours just to get the tickets. It was ridiculous. Anyway, we boarded the elevator to the Top of The Rock. I was nervous for Alex, as he had JUST recently gotten over his fear of elevators. He was still a little nervous about them, but he barely flinched when the elevator started to ascend. The cool thing about these elevators is that they are glass topped...and they light the inside of the elevator shaft. You can watch your whole trip up and see the sky at the end. It was really neat! Once at the top, we walked out to see the view of the city.

The first level you step out into is walled by glass with large gaps in between the glass. But we wanted to see it unobstructed, so we climbed the stairs to the top level...and the view was AMAZING. However, Alex started to cry at this point and wanted down NOW. I had no idea why he was so upset at this point. He wouldn't tell me what was so upsetting. He had never really had a fear of heights before, so I couldn't figure it out. I snapped a few pics....and we went back down to the first viewing area.
In front of the glass wall...he was still upset.

So, we took him inside the little waiting area inside the building and had a little talk with him. Turns out he was afraid that planes would crash into the buildings. Not that he was afraid of falling, not afraid of heights...he was afraid the tragic events of 9/11 would happen all over again, right here at Top of The Rock. I felt so bad for him. I pointed out some passing helicopters and how far away they were...that no plane was anywhere near our building. I explained that I wouldn't have taken him up this building if I had thought that something awful was going to happen to us. He perked up a bit and went back outside to see the view.

Again, with the goofball face.

After hanging out here for around an hour, pointing out the sites (we found Times Square, various buildings, our hotel in Hoboken, etc) we headed back down the elevator and out the doors. We decided to head back down to Times Square to do a little more shopping. It took only a few minutes by foot for us to make our way to a very, very crowded Times Square. It just so happens we stopped for a few minutes to get our bearings straight and I realized we were standing right in front of the EarthCam on 46th and 7th Ave. I called my parents and soon enough, we were waving to the cameras. I can only imagine how awkward and weird we appeared to other tourists....standing and waving at what appeared to be just a wall of a building. Anyway, talked to them via cell while they watched us on the Internet. We blew some kisses and said goodbye after a few minutes and walked over to the red bleachers in the Square.

We stopped into a few stores (including the Disney Store...which I was really disappointed with) and purchased some cute things for Aidan.

It was getting pretty late in the day and we were starving at this point. Our feet and legs were starting to feel the long day, so we headed back to the Path Train at 6th and 34th St. On our way we passed a Crumbs Bakery and I just had to go in for a cupcake! Alex didn't want one (he's strange haha), Stephen got a Oreo Cupcake and I got a Peanut Butter Cup cupcake to take back to the hotel.

This night, we easily found the Path train and we were on our way to Hoboken in no time. We had made plans to eat at Grimaldi's Pizza....but there was a pizza place right outside the exit of the train. Our feet couldn't walk even one more step, so we went into Roma Pizza instead of hiking it to Grimaldi's. The pizza was still phenomenal and was exactly what we were looking for: a NYC style pizza. It is so hard to find this style of pizza in Florida!!!! I kept promising Alex that this pizza would be the best pizza he's ever tasted. I was hoping I was right. And, indeed, I was!

It didn't take us long to gobble up this pizza....I had been dreaming of it for months! Dreaming of the thin crust that you fold up just so all the cheese and sauce and grease (yes, grease) doesn't slide off the slice before you can eat it. YUM. Now I'm back to daydreaming about this delicious pizza again!

Our walk back to the hotel was short and sweet and we all practically fell into the bed. We said goodnight to our city, and soon enough, we were all out like a light.

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