We checked into our hotel Friday afternoon. We were treated to a very fancy hotel in which we had 2 adjoining rooms. Mark's brother had free vouchers and was going to join us but at the last minute couldn't make it. Someone had to use the vouchers, and though it was a tough call, we volunteered to be that someone.
Parking cost a fortune at the hotel, but we turned the keys over to the valet anyway because we didn't know any better. Later we saw other parking options that were cheaper, but the penalty for taking the car out of valet parking and moving it elsewhere would have been greater than just leaving it there, so we just chalked it up to Lesson Learned for Next Time. Because I witnessed this kind of parking option in action on The Amazing Race a couple weeks ago, I was fascinated to see the real thing.
After we got settled in our room, we decided to head out into the frigid, gusty wind. We fought our way through it to Times Square.
On the agenda for Times Square: ToysRUs on steroids.
An enormous ferris wheel sits just inside the revolving doors.
And there is a section called Candyland which hocks, you guessed it, candy.
Having grown up in a third world country, I always experience a mixture of emotions when I observe overdone things like this ToysRUs. There is always still just a tinge of amazement, almost like a little culture shock to see so much. There is also disgust at the indulgence of Americans, the way everything must be over-the-top and way more than necessary. Last, there is just a little bit of amusement as I imagine the reaction of any African over such, well, what can only be tagged absurdity.
Following Times Square, we walked further to Rockefeller Center
where the kids visited the Lego store, and I enjoyed the tranquility of St. Patrick's Cathedral.
And following our long walk back, we searched for a place to have dinner. Clearly New York City is not made for families our size because there seemed to be few eating establishments that would accommodate us. We finally settled on a place that looked larger than the others and that offered some familiarity for us as well. It was called Southern Hospitality, and it served BBQ. Not the best BBQ in the world, but we did remind ourselves that we were in NYC, not Atlanta, plus we got to enjoy fresh brewed sweet tea with our meal.
The next day, we spent the morning at The Sea, Air, and Space Museum followed by our taxi drive to 59th and 3rd where we visited Dylan's Candy Bar.
The kids were permitted to pick out one item. With so many choices, it was a tough decision to make.
After our subway trip back to Times Square, a walk back to the hotel, and a few moments to catch our breath, our tummies were growling. Time for the dinner hunt again. Around the corner from our hotel is the Hell's Kitchen area, so there were a lot of choices, but again, such tiny little restaurants. We noticed driving in 3 Thai restaurants, all with the same name but with 2-4 storefronts separating them. We found that odd but later heard from our concierge that they are indeed the same restaurant and probably share a kitchen underground or in back somewhere, but they just couldn't get enough property all clumped together. So we went into one, made reservations for another, and then went back to the hotel to wait for our reservation time. It was worth the wait - the best Thai food we've ever had! A great way to end the evening...
...and to end our trip. Because when we woke up leisurely the next morning, it was time to head back home to the country. By contrast anyway.