Thank you guys so much for putting up with me through my journal of our time in NYC. This was seriously a once in a lifetime trip for us, and we had such a great time. I want to remember all that we did and experienced together on such a special trip as husband and wife! I'm almost finished, I promise!
On our last full day in NYC, we had several things on our list that we wanted to accomplish. First off, we had tickets to get a behind-the-scenes tour of NBC Studios. This was fun---not as informative or "behind-the-scenes" as I would like, but I guess they have to be very careful about where they bring tourists. We got to check out MSNBC News Headquarters, a Sports Broadcast area (I don't watch sports, so I don't really remember much about that part), the set of Saturday Night Live, and some of their hair and make-up stuff. I'm glad we did it, but I wouldn't do it again.
After NBC Studios, we took the subway to the Natural History Museum. Wow!!!! Seriously, you could spend a week in that place. There are so many amazing exhibits and so much information and knowledge and history in one building. We were there for a few hours and barely skimmed the surface of all that is in there. After spending lots of time in the first few exhibits reading all kinds of information and looking intently at all the displays, we realized that we wouldn't get past the first floor at that rate, so we decided to just browse the four floors and really look for the things we wanted to see. So fun!
After the museum, we made arrangements to meet up with my sister near FAO Schwarz toy store since we wanted to go in there. Instead of taking the subway back, we decided to walk through Central Park to get there. Um....let's just say we under-estimated how long of a walk THAT was. I mean, it wasn't terrible, but we were treking it and were on the verge of getting lost. PRAISE GOD FOR THE iPHONE! I was able to track our path since it seems to be easy to get lost in Central Park with all of the streets and running paths, etc. We exited the park right onto 5th Avenue where we got to see a very nice part of town and even got to see the outside of Central Park Zoo.
Jonathan and I browsed through FAO Schwarz while waiting for my sister, and even though we had planned to get Nora and Liam something from there, we decided against it. Seriously, they don't need anymore toys, and they won't know the difference. We decided to get them some matching M&M pajamas from the M&M Store since they were seriously the cutest things in the world and my kids really needed some new pjs. Win-win!
We met up with Emily and settled in at a yummy sandwich place called Roxy's where we split two HUGE sandwiches between the three of us. And, we naturally split a delicious piece of NY cheesecake with fresh strawberry topping! YUM!
After lunch, we bid Emily farewell and then JB and I made our way to the World Trade Center (Little did we know that just a day or so before we were seriously like 2 blocks away from the WTC. If we only knew!!!!). We walked around and went to St. Paul's church which is directly across the street from where the two towers stood. There is an amazingly beautiful cemetery in front of the church that seemed to be hundreds of years old; you couldn't read any names on the tombstones. We then browsed through the sanctuary which has pretty much been turned into a memorial of 9/11 and a tribute to all of the police officers and fire fighters that gave their lives and dedication to rescuing people after the terrorist attacks. It was very touching to be there, and I am so glad that we went. I was a bit disappointed about the WTC site, but there is a BUNCH of construction going on as they work to rebuild it. You really can't see anything because there are huge fences all the way around the property. However, having the church there really gives you a sense of what went on during such a traumatic time!
We then ventured over to Wall Street. Every tourist who goes to NY needs to say they walked down Wall Street, right? We walked past the New York Stock Exchange, Donald Trump's building (I know he has tons of them), and we went into Tiffany & Co. (leaving empty-handed, naturally). Let me just say, by that point, we were EXHAUSTED!!!!
However, it wasn't even supper time and we had BIG PLANS for dinner!
Jonathan and I ventured up to our hotel to get freshened up for dinner. I don't think I have mentioned previously, but one of Jonathan (and I's) best friends from Dental School, Danny, lives in Brooklyn where he has been doing a dental residency program and working. We haven't seen him since graduation from LSU Dental, so three years! While there, we really wanted to see Danny, so we made plans to meet up near his place for some dinner. Danny chose a local and authentic Italian place where we shared some of the most delicious pizzas I have ever eaten! And, we got to meet Danny's fiance, Megan! In just a few months, Danny will be leaving NY to go into practice in Lake Charles, LA, and later this year he will be getting married! It was so great to finally meet his girl and hang out with them. Danny was such a precious friend to us and has always been like a little brother to me.
After dinner, we walked around and made our way to the East River. My feet were literally about to fall off so instead of walking back, Jonathan suggested we take a cab! Praise the Lord! We were so tired and still had to go back and pack before getting up at six a.m. to get dressed and get to the airport!
What a wonderful day!!
We made it to the airport the next morning (Thursday) with no drama. We landed in Knoxville around noon and were picked up by Mr. Paul and Nora. The kids did so well while we were gone, and I really don't even think Nora realized how much she missed us until she saw us. The whole next few days she was really affectionate and wanting to be held. We ate it up! Also, Liam looked at us like strangers for the first 10-15 minutes we got back, but then it was like a lightbulb went off in that little head, and he was so happy to see us. We missed our babies so much, and as much as we loved NYC, we love being home in Knoxville more.
We were so blessed to be able to take such a trip. I am so glad we did it, and even though I initially had a hard time convincing myself to leave the kids for so long, I am so glad we did. As a friend told me, "For every minute you are away from the kids doing something with your husband and for your marriage, you are making yourself a better Mommy. You are showing your children that your marriage come before them, and that is exactly how God designed it to be." Jonathan and I definitely benefited from being together and alone for so many days, and I am so grateful to my in-laws for caring so wonderfully and fully for our children while we were gone! It blessed us so much!
So long, NYC! It was great! Can't wait till next time!