Destination 14: New York City


We left Delaware around 10:30 a.m. on July 5th and drove directly to Jersey City. We had anticipated some holiday traffic but thankfully, we encountered almost none. We got into Jersey around 1:30 p.m., where we were scheduled to take the 2 o’clock ferry around Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I purchased the tickets in advance, which turned out to be a great decision because we were able to bypass the long line that wrapped around the ferry station. We saved about an hour and a half of standing in the hot, hot, hot weather and jumped right to the front! We got some dirty looks but none dirty enough to make us feel bad about it :)

Before I begin, have you ever seen “500 Days of Summer,” where a split screen shows the viewer what Gordon Levitt Smith expected to happen and what actually happened? Well, that’s how I’d like to preface our trip to New York. What was supposed to happen and what actually happened are two very different things. Ideally, we would have jumped on that ferry, looked around Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and then jumped off at Battery Park in New York. We would have then walked around Central Park with Mark’s dad and sister, Tom and Kaylen (NY locals), and through Times Square. For dinner, we would have made our way to a Korean restaurant for a delicious meal of bi bim bap, soon doo bu and gal bi. After dinner, we probably would have walked around a bit more before jumping on to the metro back to Jersey City, where we’d get into the car and make our way to the hotel.

Well, we did get on that ferry and we did tour Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. However, we made a last minute decision to go back to Jersey City and leave the car at the hotel so that it wouldn’t be sitting in the parking lot all day. We would then take the metro from the hotel into the city. Tom and I texted back and forth and decided that it would be best to meet at 5 for dinner. Perhaps we could do Central Park after.

[It was way too crowded to take a picture! haha]

[I promise you that Robert is a happy person...he's just horrible at taking pictures]

[I love this family photo...we all look so happy]

Unfortunately, the hotel was much farther than my parents thought. They anticipated it being 5 or 10 minutes away but it was, in fact, 30 minutes away. Once we finally got to the hotel, we all jumped into the shuttle that the hotel provided and drove to the nearest metro station. When we got there, we were very surprised to find that the metro had closed early! Frustrated and disappointed, we made our way back to the hotel with no idea on what to do. And I let Tom know that we may not even make it to the city at the rate we were going.

Although everyone, including the hotel concierge, warned us against driving into the city, Dad decided to do it anyway. He knew how much it meant to me (NYC is one of my favorite cities!) and we had delicious dinner plans to make. The GPS navigator said it would only take 20 minutes to drive. Although we knew that was highly unlikely, we stayed hopeful.

Driving into the Lincoln Tunnel, we held our breath. Tom warned us that it could take up to an hour just to pass that tunnel. Well guess what? We breezed right through! Just like the GPS navi promised, we made it to Penn Station in 20 minutes! We parked and met Tom and Kaylen for dinner at 7 p.m. Yes, we were 2 hours late but at least we made it!

Dinner ended up being delicious and relaxing (who woulda thought after the day we had?) I’m not sure if Tom and Kaylen could tell that we had just gone through a day of sweat, tears and angst, but at the end of the day, it worked out and we were all smiles. After dinner, the family walked through Times Square while I found a quiet place to have a phone interview for a job in Korea (I got the job by the way!). Then, I met up with the rest of the gang in Central Park. Since it was dark, the family couldn’t see just how beautiful Central Park was but they got to see Times Square lit up, which is better at night anyway. At around 11 p.m., we called it a day and said our goodbyes.

[The Bethesda Fountain in Central Park at night...still pretty right?]

Within minutes, everyone passed out in the car. I think everyone was just emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted from the day’s adventure.

At first, I was pretty disappointed that the day didn’t go as planned. But after reflecting on it, I realize now that the chaos and madness of that day made our taste of New York very unique to us. We were a family of six, navigating the city at a rapid rate, without a moment to breath. It was very “New York” of us to do ;)


Simply Tanya said...
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Simply Tanya said...

Congratulations on the job!! That is so exciting! New York is even beautiful at night. I still can't get over how amazing it is that your family took SIX weeks to stop everything and experience this country. I am also very happy that I got to read this post to Married Life... it makes me want to watch Up this second! :)