Monday, May 21, 2018

Our Trip: NYC Museums

Days five and six of our trip were rainy! So day 5 we went to the American Museum of Natural History. That's the one from The Night in the Museum movie. Since there's so much to see, we decided to take a free guided tour. It said it would show us the museum highlights.

The first part was good. The guide showed us a display about volcanoes under water. Then we saw the big whale hanging in the hall, and she told us a little more about the sea animals.

But then she took us to the fourth floor and sent the whole rest of the tour talking about the dinosaurs and how each one was found and so on. I am not totally crazy about dinosaurs nor about evolution, so I did not enjoy it much. I would have rather had it be what it said it would be, the highlights.

So once the tour was over, we spent some time looking at things on our own.

We had planned to bike through Central Park after the museum, but it was still very dreary out. We also found out that the castle in the park was closed for renovations. I moped and pouted for a while, then we just bummed around and souvenir shopped for the others.

The sixth day was Mother's Day, and it was rainy again, so we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Two museums in a row probably wasn't a great idea. We were overloaded and didn't get as much out of it as we should have. It is a great museum though, and I think next year we'll do the free tour there.

Since it was raining, we went to the Manhattan Mall and finished up shopping.

So, what do you do on a rainy day or two in NYC? 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Our Trip: NYC at last!

As I mentioned in my last post, we returned our rental car near LaGuardia after dark in the rain. It was dreary, and we had to navigate subway stations under construction so had to go clear to 57/Rockefeller Center to catch the F train back to Queensbridge.

And I mentioned that there was no way I was going to be that close to Rockefeller Center and Times Square and not hop off the train and see things. Bright lights. Noise. People. Everything that makes Times Square unique.

Even though it was late, everything was still open. Almost. We got to the M&M store at 12:10 and it had just closed! So we went to the Disney Store to find souvenirs for the little ones, and it was still open. It closes at 1:00 a.m.

 Unfortunately I didn't take any photos that first night. But I did score the last Baby Moana in the whole Disney Store (it's huge with many racks of plushies) and a plushie Puah. The only reason I got a baby Moana is that it was stuck in the middle of a display of baby Lilo's and most people didn't notice it wasn't Lilo. They are similar.

We got back to our hotel near the Queensbridge station around 2:00 a.m. and finally got settled in for the night at 3:30!

We usually stay Sleep Inn in Long Island City to save money because I'd rather have the money for activities. We spend so little time in our hotel room anyway. It's a five minute walk from the Queensbridge station.

This was our view.

The next morning we headed to Battery Park with the intentions of going to see the Statue of Liberty. When we got there, the line was intimidating. Even if you'd pre purchased online tickets, which I hadn't, you still had to wait in line to get the actual ticket. 

We decided to go ahead and wait and were trying to find the end of the line when a family of three from France approached me and offered me their city pass books that had free Statue of Liberty vouchers! They had to catch their flight and couldn't use them. They gave us all three booklets. 

While we were in line I was looking for someone to give the third booklet too. I saw a lady holding money in her hand, so it was obvious she didn't already have a ticket. I approached her and said we'd been given free tickets, and I'd like to pass one on to her. She acted like I was trying to slip her drugs or something. I am not a scary looking person. So I offered it to the young couple behind her. That way they only had to buy one ticket. 

We were in different lines, but reached the front at about the same time and none of us had any trouble cashing in the voucher for tickets. I kind of hope that lady was watching and realized she could have saved $18.

It was crowded at Liberty Island, but we had fun anyway. A free audio tour is included with the ticket, but for some reason they gave Rick and I the children's version! LOL. I'd heard the adult one with both Jessica and Jasmine, but Rick hadn't.

My tripod and remote clicker got a lot of use this trip!

Couldn't go to NYC without getting ice cream.
 Adam had given us a TGIF gift card for Christmas, but I put it away for NYC. So we went to TGIF on Broadway Street near Battery Park. We shared an appetizer.

 That evening we decided to see if there were tickets left for Top of the Rock. There were, but not until 11:00, and it was only 9:00. Rick asked about a military discount, and it turns out that not only was it a 50% discount, but suddenly there was an opening for 9:45! Sure glad he asked.

That was a nice finish to our first full day in NYC.

How many of you have visited NYC? What was your first impression and what were your favorite places?

Friday, May 18, 2018

Our Trip: Rhode Island

One of our best days was our travel day through Rhode Island. We visited both Roger Williams park and the Cliff Walk. We used the tripod and remote release to take photos.

These pictures are all from Roger Williams Park:

These next ones are from the cliff walk. The walk is only 3.5 miles but it takes 2.5 hours, and we didn't have that much time. So I only walked about 2 miles of it. Rick walked a bit less.

Rugged beauty, but I bet it would be desolate in the winter.

From here we drove to Laguardia to return our rental car (which we rented at Newark) and couldn't find the rental return. It was dark and rainy, and it turns out that the airport return isn't at the airport at all!! So we were late returning the car. 

And where we returned it was not near public transportation, so we took a shuttle to the airport where we bought unlimited metro cards. Then we caught the Q 70 Laguardia transfer bus to Roosevelt/Jackson to connect with the F train, the only one that goes to Queensbridge. Of course the train from that stop was under construction so we had to take it all the way down to 57/Rockefeller and catch the Queensbound F train back. (this will all make sense to you if you've been to NYC). 

We'd dropped our luggage at our hotel before returning the car, so since we had to get off at Rockefeller to catch the Queensbound F train and didn't have our luggage with us, I thought it would be fun to get out and live a little!!!!! It was NYC after all. Rick was a bit disgruntled at first because he just wanted to go to the hotel and relax. But really guys, that close to Times Square and not hang out a bit??? LOL. Not happening.

And what a contrast from the above photo to Times Square at midnight!!!! I'll post about the NYC part of our trip next time.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Our Trip: Boston

Boston was fun, but we would have done it differently if we'd known more about it. We paid for the on/off trolley tour. I'd researched ahead which stops we wanted to get off at. I lost that list, but we knew we wanted to get off at Cheers Bar and the Public Park. One of my life goals (bucket list) was to see the bronze ducks from Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings in the park. 

We first got off at a free museum, and I was able to purchase the book there. So I had the book for the pictures.  Our second stop was Cheers, and then the park was right across the street.

We shared this, we didn't each have one.

The ducks!

There was lots more we wanted to see, but the tour ended at 5:00! We should have just stayed at the park and explored it more, but we jumped back on the bus. This driver was frustrated with the traffic and didn't do a very good job of telling us what we were seeing. Besides which, we were on the top, and the wind was really (!!) cold. Over the weekend I'd developed severe inflammation in two teeth, had an emergency dental visit Monday since we were flying out Tuesday. I was given some heavy duty antibiotics and pain meds. As a result I slept off and on during the flights, the drive and even the end of the Boston tour. I wish we'd had time to see things like the Old North Church, The Boston Harbor where the tea party took place and such, but we spent too much time on a tour bus stuck in traffic.

It was a good day, but frustrating at the same time because I didn't really get a feel for Boston. The next morning we left for Rhode Island.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Our Trip: Connecticut

Rick and I are on an early 30th anniversary trip. Our anniversary is really July 2.

Here is day one:

The first thing that happened was that we missed our first flight, so we went standby two and a half hours later. This put us into Newark late, so we ended up in rush hour traffic out of NJ and well into Connecticut. We took a break for some food in Riverside, CT.

We got  pizza at Pomodoro too.

Then we stopped at New Haven, CT at the wharf.

I brought along my tripod so we could get pictures together.

After Connecticut, we stopped in Rhode Island, but only at Walmart, and then went on to our hotel in Sharon, MA.