We have never gone on a real family vacation. I know..we're terrible parents but we do live in Vacationland. Last March, Tim bought us Craig Ferguson tickets for my birthday. He was playing Carnegie Hall in New York City so we decided to turn it into a trip for us all.The day before we left, our only car needed major overnight repairs and then I discovered our luggage was ruined. Apparently if you never use it because you never go anywhere, don't store it in the basement by the litter box. It will absorb odors. We got the car back early Thursday morning and after a quick trip to Wal-Mart to buy new luggage, we were off. I have made the trip between Maine and New Jersey countless times so it's old hat for me.
I love getting to the Massachusetts Turnpike because they still dispense a toll ticket. I remember when I was little, my father would always let me pull the ticket from the machine and then I would figure out how much we had to pay once we hit our exit. I was easily amused on long car trips. Once, my brother taught me how to swear at truckers on the CB radio we had but that's a story for another time. He also taught me if you give the finger to the truckers then they will honk their horns. I was 5 at the time. I'm getting off topic but these are my memories from my childhood family trips. Anyway, I love that toll tickets still exist somewhere because I don't think they'll be around much longer.
This is another childhood memory of mine but you can't see it though the rainy window. On our trips between New Jersey and Maine, we would always stop at Queen St. just outside Hartford. They have one of every restaurant there and we would always pick one to eat at and to let the dachshunds out of the car. Now, Tim and I always try to stop there but it always sneaks up on us.
We had a first on this trip. Tim drove into New York City. We wanted to stay in the city but it's very expensive and I was freaked about bed bugs so we found a nice hotel right across the Hudson in Weehawken, NJ. To get there, we had to drive down through the Bronx into Manhattan and go through the Lincoln Tunnel. The Bronx is shockingly nice, at least the parts I saw from the road.
I never could have driven there. I would freak out. Small confession-I have never really driven outside of Maine. Tim always drives so I just never have to do it and I never get to go anywhere by myself. For this trip, we actually got a GPS so that might expand my universe.
We hit the city right at rush hour but people were mostly trying to get out instead of in. Except for the Lincoln Tunnel. It was busy and had all these construction barrels up without any construction actually going on.
We got to the tunnel thanks to the GPS and the traffic cops. NYC roads weren't as scary as I thought they would be. I think we will do it again. As long as we don't have to park there.
We made it into the tunnel and headed towards Jersey. The kids really didn't like the idea that we were traveling under the river. Grace wanted to check for leaks.
The hotel was right by the tunnel so we were there in no time. We stayed at the lovely Sheraton Suites. The Bedbug Registry told me it was pest free.
The room has huge awesome beds. I wanted to steal the thick white cotton comforters but they wouldn't have stayed white for long in my house.
It even had a sort of separate couch area. I don't think we've ever stayed in a room this big.
It also had 2 flat screen TV's although the one by the beds seemed to just randomly change channels whenever it felt like it. I told the kids it was ghosts.
This is the nicest bathroom we've ever had. They just redid the hotel so everything was new. Yes, that is my luggage in the tub. If you're a freak like me, then you know that you have to put it there while you check the room for bedbugs. We were all clear so I went ahead and unpacked.
I found the room rates posted on the door. We did not pay anywhere near these prices thanks to Priceline.com. This was a sign of how expensive New York was going to be.
The view out of our window. Straight ahead of us was an office building. Then there were these condos stretching out into the Hudson. Tim told me that some football player named Eli Manning or something like that lived there. If you moved way over to the edge of the window and leaned your head against it, then you saw our view of the city. Declan was amazed by it and is now in love with the Empire State Building.
Right in front of the hotel, is a waterside walkway so we headed out there to start taking our tourist pictures.
Downtown.. we figured the cranes in the middle were Ground Zero and we turned out to be right.
Midtown was straight across from us. I like the Empire State Building but I'm more of a Chrysler Building kind of girl.
The ferry docked right next to the hotel and they ran every 20 minutes. We rested up that first night and headed into the city on one the next day...