Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Break in NYC

To make the most of our Christmas break, Kacey and the girls flew out of Jeddah a week before me and then we reunited in a frozen New York City. Before I arrived, they saw the New York Botanical Garden, Santa at Macy's, and the Rockettes. We also visited the Statue of Liberty and took our 7-year-old daughter to one of the last performances of Roald Dahl's Matilda on Broadway.


New York Botanical Garden
It was between chilly and freezing for most of our trip, so many of the activities needed to be inside. That was really for the adults, though because the kids kinda liked how different the weather here is from what we live with in the Saudi desert.
Ice skating at Rockefeller Center

Penn Station




A Concorde!

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Macy's Santa Land
Of course, we had to see the window displays at Macy's before seeing Santa. We braved a snowstorm to see it the last time we visited NYC, so this time felt a little more like Christmas and a little less like the dead of winter.



And after Santa, Radio City Music Hall! As Greg had stayed back in Jeddah for a few days, he only arrived at the hotel just as everyone else departed for the Rockettes. It was bitterly cold, and our plans for dinner changed when the "standing outside in a line" became an issue. We opted for take-away and eating in our hotel rooms.
Ready to watch the Rockettes

Statue of Liberty
The next day, Kacey's parents took our younger daughter and her cousin (the boy you've seen in many of the pictures) back to his house in Virginia. We then spent the day with just our older daughter, and as it happens, a friend of Kacey's from college that was in town for a meeting this morning.
We planned to get on the 1pm ferry, but after rushing from the metro through battery park at 12:58, we learned that 1pm reservation was for when we would start standing in line to enter the security pavilion. I mentioned it was cold, right? Well, if you never have to breathe in freezing air after eating a Chipotle burrito, count your blessings. I was wheezing from the cold and a bit nauseous from the burrito sloshing around in my belly after the jog. We got on the ferry and rode to the island on the upper deck. I will say that the super cold day yielded a beautiful blue sky and great lighting on the statue.


After visiting the Statue of Liberty, we headed to Broadway to see Roald Dahl's Matilda with our older daughter (FWIW: the minimum age for entry was 6, so our little one didn't make the cut off, which is why we sent her back with her grandparents). She'd received the book at a birthday party earlier in the year and thoroughly enjoyed it, so why not see it on stage? We arrived a few minutes early, popped in to Starbucks to stay warm and caffeinate, then came back to a line down Shubert Alley. No pics allowed, but they did a great job with Ms Trunchbull and the song "when I grow up" with swinging choreography. I also liked how they painted the box seats with blackboard paint and decorated it with colorful chalk doodles. Some of my favorite numbers:

The three of us departed NYC the next day on a train from Penn Station destined for Virgina. We ended up in the quiet car, and were pleasantly surprised at how well our daughter managed with the iPad and some headphones. We wouldn't have made it one stop if we'd also had our younger one with us. A couple of microwaved all-beef franks, a bag of Doritos, and some skittles later...we arrived in Virginia. An hour late, but we slept well that night. Unfortunately, Kacey's flight to FL the next morning got delayed. So, our full family of 4 was driving from Virginia to Florida from with one set of grandparents and the same cousin who was in NYC with us. That's 7 people in a 7 passenger van: luggage space was maxed out.

So, yeah, there's a lot to do in the city that never sleeps if you know what you want to do. To help out with that, you can also check out this other travel blog's list of things to do in New York with kids.

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