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NYC Trip

NYC Friday

Today is our last full day in NYC so we plan to make the most of it. Although we didn’t make it out of the apartment by 7:30 am like we had discussed, we did make it out by 8:15 am…not too bad.

Given the earlier time, the subway cars were packed full. We skipped getting on the express train (which takes fewer stops) because everyone was jammed (quite literally) on it. Even when we got on the next local train, we all had to stand.

We got off at Times Square and found out bus stop. The first bus to stop was nearly full. We got on the next one which was empty…So we all got nice seats on the upper deck. Nice weather and nice view!

Joanna, Jeffrey, Nicole, and Victoria on the tour bus. Click photo for full size.
Joanna, Jeffrey, Nicole, and Victoria on the tour bus. Click photo for full size.
Sarah, Tim, Jeri, and Joanna on the tour bus. Click photo for full size.
Sarah, Tim, Jeri, and Joanna on the tour bus. Click photo for full size.
View from the top deck of the tour bus. Click photo for full size.
View from the top deck of the tour bus. Click photo for full size.

Coincidentally we got the same tour guide as our first one yesterday! He’s black with a foreign accent, informative and entertaining. We saw a lot of NYC landmarks…Empire State Building, Madison Square Gardens, Macy’s.

Passing by the Empire State Building. Click photo for full size.
Passing by the Empire State Building. Click photo for full size.
View the Flatiron Building (directly ahead). Click photo for full size.
View the Flatiron Building (directly ahead). Click photo for full size.

We got off downtown at the World Trade Center. We went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. But then we realized that our Explorer Pass was good for something else…the 9/11 Tribute Center and Walking Tour. Initially we were disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to see the 9/11 Museum…I suppose that we still could have done it if we were willing to pay $18 to $24 per person and wait in a slow moving line.

So we headed to the the 9/11 Tribute Center and Walking Tour which was next to the fire station closest to the World Trade Center. Turns out that a tour was about to begin in 15 minutes. Paul, a former NYPD officer, led the tour. He had a passion to share what happened to our country on that day. We greatly appreciated it.

Sarah, Joanna, Jeffrey, Victoria, Nicole, Jeri, and Tim with the One World Trade Center behind us. Click photo for full size.
Sarah, Joanna, Jeffrey, Victoria, Nicole, Jeri, and Tim with the One World Trade Center behind us. Click photo for full size.
One World Trade Center (aka the Freedom Tower). Click photo for full size.
One World Trade Center (aka the Freedom Tower). Click photo for full size.
Jeri and Tim with One World Trade Center behind. Click photo for full size.
Jeri and Tim with One World Trade Center behind. Click photo for full size.

There are two World Trade Center Memorial Pools with waterfalls. Each sits where one of the two original WTC towers stood.

At the 9-11 Memorial. Click photo for full size.
At the 9-11 Memorial. Click photo for full size.

Afterwards we walked towards the Brooklyn Bridge and the bike rental location. We were each given a bike and directions. We only got “lost” a few times. Thankfully our cell phones could give us directions to get us back on track.

On our (rental) bikes, Joanna, Victoria, Sarah, Jeri, Nicole, Jeffrey, and Tim. Click photo for full size.
On our (rental) bikes, Joanna, Victoria, Sarah, Jeri, Nicole, Jeffrey, and Tim. Click photo for full size.

The bike shop recommended that we cross over the nearby Manhattan Bridge to get to Brooklyn and return via the Brooklyn Bridge. So that’s what we did. Our goal was Julianna’s Pizza near the base of the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn. Again the beautiful weather and great views made for a pleasant journey. About 40 minutes later, we arrived at Julianna’s Pizza between 1:30 and 2:00 PM. The line of people waiting to get seated only increased our anticipation and appetite.

Sarah, Nicole, Jeffrey, Victoria, Joanna, and Jeri waiting in line outside of Juliana's Pizza in Brooklyn. Click photo for full size.
Sarah, Nicole, Jeffrey, Victoria, Joanna, and Jeri waiting in line outside of Juliana’s Pizza in Brooklyn. Click photo for full size.

Of course, we enjoyed the pizza!

One of our pizzas from Juliana's. Click photo for full size.
One of our pizzas from Juliana’s. Click photo for full size.
Jeffrey and Joanna at Juliana's Pizza. Click photo for full size.
Jeffrey and Joanna at Juliana’s Pizza. Click photo for full size.

Then we began the journey back across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Jeffrey on his bike in front of Juliana's Pizza. Click photo for full size.
Jeffrey on his bike in front of Juliana’s Pizza. Click photo for full size.
Full of pizza and ready to bike back. Click photo for full size.
Full of pizza and ready to bike back. Click photo for full size.

We stopped halfway to take pictures.

Stopping on the Brooklyn Bridge. Click photo for full size.
Stopping on the Brooklyn Bridge. Click photo for full size.
Joanna, Victoria, and Nicole with the Manhattan Bridge in the background. Click photo for full size.
Joanna, Victoria, and Nicole with the Manhattan Bridge in the background. Click photo for full size.
Selfie of Tim and Jeri on the Brooklyn Bridge with downtown Manhattan in the background. Click photo for full size.
Selfie of Tim and Jeri on the Brooklyn Bridge with downtown Manhattan in the background. Click photo for full size.
Biking back across the Brooklyn Bridge. Click photo for full size.
Biking back across the Brooklyn Bridge. Click photo for full size.

After dropping the bikes off, we walked back to the bus stop. On the way, we came across a candy store called It’Sugar. We had to stop. They had many unique offerings.

Jeri and Joanna at It'Sugar. Click photo for full size.
Jeri and Joanna at It’Sugar. Click photo for full size.
Sarah in It'Sugar. Click photo for full size.
Sarah in It’Sugar. Click photo for full size.

Here’s a box of Colon Blow. Looks like wood shavings.

Jeri with a box of Colon Blow. Click photo for full size.
Jeri with a box of Colon Blow. Click photo for full size.
Colon Blow. Click photo for full size.
Colon Blow. Click photo for full size.
Jeri and Tim outside of It'Sugar. Click photo for full size.
Jeri and Tim outside of It’Sugar. Click photo for full size.

Joanna couldn’t resist getting some ice cream.

Joanna got ice cream at Häagen-Daz. Click photo for full size.
Joanna got ice cream at Häagen-Daz. Click photo for full size.

We got back to the tour bus pickup location. Unfortunately a traffic problem caused the buses to be behind schedule. So we had to wait a while. But finally we returned to midtown Manhattan with a tour up the east side.

Nicole, Joanna, Jeri, and Jeffrey waiting (forever) for the next tour bus to pick us up. Click photo for full size.
Nicole, Joanna, Jeri, and Jeffrey waiting (forever) for the next tour bus to pick us up. Click photo for full size.
Sarah with a "happy" face. Click photo for full size.
Sarah with a “happy” face. Click photo for full size.

The unique building in the back is called the Frank Gehry Apartment Tower. Note the curved lines.

The Frank Gehry Apartment Tower. Click photo for full size.
The Frank Gehry Apartment Tower. Click photo for full size.

The tour guides were very knowledgeable (or very good at making up facts). We passed by the inn where George Washington once stayed. Here’s a picture of our guide Friday evening.

Tour bus guide with red shirt. Click photo for full size.
Tour bus guide with red shirt. Click photo for full size.

Here’s a picture with the famous Chrysler Building in the background.

Famous Chrysler Building in the background. Click photo for full size.
Famous Chrysler Building in the background. Click photo for full size.

Back in Times Square, we used another of our Explorer Passes to get a free meal at Señor Frogs, a Mexican restaurant/bar. The “music” (aka noise) was very loud. We counted it a cultural enlightenment experience (which we have no desire to repeat).

Victoria and Jeri at Señor Frogs. Click photo for full size.
Victoria and Jeri at Señor Frogs. Click photo for full size.
Joanna and Sarah at Señor Frogs. Click photo for full size.
Joanna and Sarah at Señor Frogs. Click photo for full size.
Nicole and Jeffrey at Señor Frogs. Click photo for full size.
Nicole and Jeffrey at Señor Frogs. Click photo for full size.
Jeri and Tim at Señor Frogs. Click photo for full size.
Jeri and Tim at Señor Frogs. Click photo for full size.
View towards the dance floor at Señor Frogs. Click photo for full size.
View towards the dance floor at Señor Frogs. Click photo for full size.

After dinner, we head to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium that was close by. Having read a number of their books, we weren’t sure whether or not we’d enjoy it. But we certainly did!

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium. Click photo for full size.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. Click photo for full size.

Here’s Sarah’s head sitting on a table.

Sarah's head sitting on a table at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Click photo for full size.
Sarah’s head sitting on a table at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Click photo for full size.

Can you find the jars with Jeffrey and Sarah’s heads?

Jeffrey and Sarah's heads in jars at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Click photo for full size.
Jeffrey and Sarah’s heads in jars at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Click photo for full size.

Here are multiple Victorias!

Multiple Victorias. Click photo for full size.
Multiple Victorias. Click photo for full size.

My favorite was the “Black Hole” which was a room designed like a cylinder. You felt like you were walking down the middle of a dark tube. Moving dots of colored lights were projected on the walls which gave you the effect of being in a spinning tube. Once inside of the tube, I would stagger back and forth holding on to the railing for support. In my head, I knew that nothing was moving. But my brain was telling me otherwise.

Finally we headed back home a little after midnight. So here are pictures of Times Square around midnight.

Sarah and Jeri in Times Square outside of Ripley's Believe It or Not! Click photo for full size.
Sarah and Jeri in Times Square outside of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Click photo for full size.
Tim and Jeri in Times Square. Click photo for full size.
Tim and Jeri in Times Square. Click photo for full size.

Waiting for the subway to take us back to the apartment.

Jeffrey, Victoria, and Joanna waiting for the subway train. Click photo for full size.
Jeffrey, Victoria, and Joanna waiting for the subway train. Click photo for full size.