I HIGHLY recommend clicking over to Billie's blog to get her version of the trip and more pictures (of course she has a much better writing style than I do): http://myoverstreetfamily.blogspot.com/
Here is my run-down:
1) Get up around 3:30 a.m. and get to the airport by 4:45 a.m. for check-in
2) Board the plane to Atlanta-Belle enjoyed the plane take off, but not the descent or landing. Her ears were popping and they hurt...bad enough for her to cry! We assured her it would not hurt as bad on the next flight (of course she didn't believe us when we started our descent into NYC...however, she could see NYC so it made it better). I thought "good, Belle is occupied but then I had to deal with Billie having a freak-out session when it literally looked like we were going to land in the water at LaGuardia Airport. Several of her fears were realized. Belle got in on the action and said "Momma, it looks like we are going to land in the water"! She was not helping her mother in this situation, but at least we were all laughing when we landed!
3) We got our rental car and made it to the hotel unscathed!
4) Belle and I headed out to the pool...it was about 85 degrees outside a great day for swimming. At least that is what I thought, until I got in the water! WHEW! It was chilly. I had to brave the cold water because Belle just jumped in and wanted me to swim.
5) Around 6:30 p.m. we went in, ate supper, took showers and were all in bed by 8:00 p.m. We were some tired puppies!
We started the day fairly early because Billie had to check-in for work and get her badge. After that we headed to the train station for our first trek to NYC. We made it to Penn Station (which is under Madison Square Gardens) and had to hike 16 blocks to our bus tour. We got to ride on the top of the double decker bus. We took the express route to the Staton Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Something happened on the ferry, and Belle became really grumpy. I had a "Nana-to-Belle" talk and found out she was tired and worn out and didn't realize New York was mostly outside. She ended up giving me and her mother each a "collection of smiles". We had to use the collection a couple of more times on this trip due to lack of a nap and lots of going that 4-year-old is not used to. After the ferry we jumped back on the bus and saw the 2nd half of the Downtown Loop (Chinatown, UN, Carniage Hall, Central Park, etc). We ended up in Times Square where we ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Belle was excited about that and Times Square. After we ate we walked back the 16 blocks to Penn Station and caught a train to Seacoucus where we got on another train to NJ and our hotel. We had dinner there and other cool dip in the pool! Billie left us around 8:30 p.m. to work the over-night shift. Belle and I did a load of laundry and went to sleep.
After Billie got back from working and changed clothes we were off again to NYC. This time we took the bus tour from Madison Square Gardens through the part of the tour that we missed on the Express route the day before (Empire State Building, Little Italy, Chinatown, SoHo, Tribecca). We got off at Chintatown/Little Italy and had lunch at Casa Bella Italian Ristorante. Belle was asking us why everyone used her name for stuff. We had no real answer to this other than it is a pretty name, just like her! After that and the crazy walk through Chinatown, we got back on our bus and rode the rest of the way to Times Square. Since we had seen most of this the day before, Belle decided it was time for a nap. Billie needed one too as she had been awake for 34 hours at that point. When we got back to Times Square we made our way back to Penn Station, Seacoucus, and back to NJ. It was too late for a swim, and Billie had to get back to work in a few hours. Once again Belle and I slept in the nice big King-sized bed as Billie went back to work around 8:30 p.m.
Billie did not get away from work as she planned so by the time she got to the hotel to get ready to go see "The Lion King" she had about 20 minutes to get ready. Belle and I were all but dressed. We left our hotel room at 11:00 to get to the train station and catch the bus at 11:14 a.m. Good thing we were about 5 minutes tops from the train station. Belle and I jumped out of the car and started toward the ticket machine as Billie parked and RAN to catch up with us. We made it just in time to get our tickets and get on the bus. By this time Billie was going on about 55 hours without sleep! Bless her heart...the things you do for your friend and child! She tried to sleep a little on the train but Belle kept waking her up. We made it to Penn Station and then caught the Subway to where we needed to be for our Broadway show. We didn't want to walk in our heels so far! The show was AWESOME! I am not sure I could describe it in words. If you ever get to see it...GO! Pay the $115 per ticket! It is WELL WORTH IT! However, if you do go to the Minskoff Theatre in NYC...take a sweater. I was cold and Billie was a popsicle! We made our way to a souvenir shop and then back to the subway to get to Penn Station. We got on our train which was held up by congestion...which caused us to miss a train from Seacoucus to Ramsey Route17 so we spent 40 minutes waiting on the next train...which got us to our hotel about 7:25. That was too late for supper there so we went to get gas in the car and eat at a diner close to the hotel. We got home, got showers, got packed and hit the sack.
We woke up at 4:25 a.m. to get in the car by 5:00 so we could get to National Rental Car by 6:00. The signs in Jersey were not properly labeled so we missed the I-80 merge because we were looking for I-95 (I-80 becomes I-95...but how were we to know). There are people that will tell you where to go. Billie got out and a nice gentleman on his way to work told us how to get back to where we were headed. We did and made it to National Rental Car at 6:05 a.m! Success! We had a nice breakfast in the airport and then we had to part ways. I was headed back to Little Rock and Billie and Belle had to head to Detroit. David's grandmother (Belle's great-grandmother) passed away on Sunday the 12th and the funeral was in Detroit area. David, his parents and Luke drove up to Michigan on Wendesday and picked up Billie and Belle on Thursday. I made to to my gate in Atlanta and look back and saw my dad. He was going home from Baltimore and had the same flight as I did from ATL to LR! It was nice to see someone you love! Anyway, we stopped off at Jason's Deli for lunch and then he took me home!
I am so glad to be home in the quiet, slow-paced life of the SOUTH! New York is a great place to visit and I'll probably go back again, but for now, I just want some sweet tea and my nice quiet apartment!
Check out my pictures at the following link:
Once Billie gets her pictures loaded in her new Kodak Gallery site, I'll add a link to her pictures as well.