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Sights and the City

    On our first day in New York City, we took a walking tour of the financial district.  The tour was hosted by the Downtown Alliance. It was led by a guide from Big Onion Tours and was free (except for tipping the guide).  We assumed that the tour would be about how the stock market and banking system works.  I would be completely bored, while Jason, who likes trading, would be pumped up.  Instead we were told about the early history of New York, and the significance of the architecture and statues.  It was awesome, and revealed a rich history of the city that we wouldn’t have know otherwise.  The tour took us down Wall Street, past Trinity Church, through the landmarked buildings, and past the iconic “charging bull”.











    On day two we found ourselves in a line to board a boat bound for The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  I would suggest purchasing your tickets in advance at Statue Cruises.  You save a lot of time, and you know that your tour time won’t be sold out before you get your tickets.  All of the lines for the boat and the statue have airport style security, so having some coffee in hand won’t hurt.  The ferry takes you to Lady Liberty and Ellis Island before dropping you back off.  Make sure to sit on the starboard side (the right side for you non boaters) of the boat.  You will have a great view of the harbor and the statue as you approach it.  There are audio and self guided tours available for the statue.  Expect a 30 minute wait to get your chance to enter the pedestal and statue.  It is worth it though, as the view is amazing.  Whenever you are ready hop back onto the boat to check out Ellis Island to see the path many immigrants took into the country.







    Later we checked out The Empire State Building.  Expect airport style security here also, but the wait isn’t nearly as long. The elevator to the top is very fast, and has you up to the observation deck in no time.  It is very cold and windy up there, but beautiful.  You can see the entire city! 







    Ground Zero was a very sobering stop on our trip.  There is an unsettling void that is felt around where the towers once stood.  A beautiful memorial is currently being built to forever be a reminder of the loss suffered on September the 11th.  Across the street St.Paul’s church still acts as a shrine to those who were lost that day.  It brought tears to our eyes to read and see all of the letters to loved ones and children’s pictures that were displayed.  Standing there in the midst of where this tragedy occurred is overwhelming.  There is a also preview center there that gives a glimpse of what the memorial will be like when it is complete.

 

 



    Later in the trip the boys took in a Knicks game at historic Madison Square Garden.  While the boys were watching their sports, the girls saw “Chicago” starring Ashlee Simpson-Wentzel on Broadway.  The boys thought that the basketball was awesome, and “Chicago” was great. 





    The last notable was the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes!  I know that it’s past Christmas, but this is worth mentioning.  The show is amazing!  There are amazing props and costumes.  Also, there are several different acts to keep you entertained including 3-D.  They also had a portion dedicated to portraying the biblical Christmas story complete with a live nativity scene.  I thought this was awesome especially in a world that constantly tries to take Christ out of Christmas.







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