Saturday, January 4, 2014

December in New York City Part I

It has been about a month now since I flew to New York City for a week of sightseeing and fun. My sister-in-law currently lives there and my husband had a business trip scheduled during the week. So we elected to fly out the weekend before to spend time with family. I was lucky enough to stay the week, sightseeing on my own after everyone else had to return to work. 

The fall semester was a tough one for me, probably the most difficult semester I've ever had in school. Nothing seemed to go as planned. Add in the stress I felt from several different aspects in my life and I wasn't in the best of places. In fact, I almost decided against going on the trip even though the tickets had been purchased. A week before I was scheduled to leave for New York I couldn't decide what to do so I chose to throw caution to the wind, take control over my anxieties and follow through with my trip that I had been thrilled about only two months before.

I am so glad I did! The moment I arrived in New York I knew it was the right decision and every worry I had about the trip, school or life in general all melted away. New York City is such a fantastic place and I just soaked up all of its glory. 

 Saturday was our first full day of vacation and we couldn't wait to get started! My husband is studying to be an engineer so he is fascinated by structures like the Brooklyn Bridge. Walking across the bridge was a must for him and due to rain, we missed the opportunity on our last trip in May. Although the weather was cold, the sun was shinning and we had a beautiful walk across the bridge and learned some interesting facts about the construction along the way.

Brooklyn Bridge
After our scenic walk across the bridge, we had lunch in New Jersey then took the subway back to Manhattan. In the afternoon we took a tour at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. The museum hosts several different walking tours that recall experiences from 19th and 20th century immigrants. We weren't allowed to take photos inside the museum, but the Hard Times tour was fantastic. Our guide told a compelling tale of two families that lived on the second floor before the building code laws forced the owner to close the residential portion of his property.      

Sunday we explored a different part of the city. On my must see list was the Christmas tree and skating rink at Rockefeller Center. Over the weekend we stayed in the West Village so we took the subway up to Times Square, walked through the Christmas market at Bryant Park and up Fifth Avenue to 30 Rock.

Ice skating rink at Bryant Park
Ice skating rink and Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center

After we checked out the tree, we bought tickets to the top of 30 Rock to check out the view of the city which was pretty spectacular.

View from the top of 30 Rock

We then continued our walk north on Fifth Avenue all the way to Central Park to check out the famous window displays and Christmas decorations. We finished the day by walking the High Line all the way back to the West Village. 

Fifth Avenue shopping

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