I have a better name for this post: New York City in August during a heat advisory from the perspective of a 37-week pregnant woman.
Thankfully the heat wasn’t as bad as it sounds, except for waiting for the subway. That was absolutely horrible. Below ground was like an oven because the subway stations just held the heat. The subway cars themselves were air conditioned but passing to and from them was like walking through an oven.
This day started early. Very very early. Before 6am is super early when you are accustomed to getting up around 10am. Our neighbors graciously agreed to let Dixie out a couple of times throughout the day, so we piled into the van and were on our way. After an hour and a half we arrived in New Haven, CT where we boarded a commuter train bound for NYC and after 2 hours on the train we arrived at Grand Central Station! Once there we waited in line to buy subway tickets and then hiked to the New York Public Library. It took us forever (and lots of stairs) to find the children’s section of the library but we finally found it. The kids loved the Lego lions near the children’s section.
Then we walked a few blocks to Times Square where the kids got pictures with a man in a Transformer costume and Kevin commented on the armed guards in front of the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. While force protection was most definitely in place around the city it was as subtle as armed guards could be and really did not inhibit our movements throughout the city, and we did not mind knowing someone was keeping an eye out for everyone.
Next we boarded the subway and headed out toward Battery Park where, once passing through a security check point, we got on a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. Of course shortly after we got off of the ferry it started pouring down rain. We all got soaked. Kevin does not really enjoy being wet but I didn’t mind the soaking rain and the kids had a blast! We did not go into the statue (tickets were already sold out when we got ours online) but we did stop and discuss its significance with the kids.
After the Statue of Liberty we went to Ellis Island. We especially liked the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration and thought it was very informative. We listened in on a National Parks tour guide detailing the historical immigration process and conditions. The air conditioning was nice too and we were almost completely dry when we left there an hour and a half later.
Once back on solid ground we enjoyed some NY thin crust brick oven baked pizza and went to Ground Zero. The kids had us tell them an abbreviated story of Sept 11, 2001 several times while we were there. It was hard for them to wrap their brains around it and they had a lot of questions. Kevin had been to Ground Zero in March or April 2002, when rubble was still being removed from the site and the large hole in the ground was still surrounded by chain-link fence plastered with posters and missing person notices. It was a very different site on this visit.
After that we were all wanting a break, so we stopped at Magnolia Bakery to grab some desserts, and then went to a nearby playground where the parents got to rest by actually resting and the kids got to rest by running around and climbing and digging in the sand.
Key Lime Pie Deliciousness!
Next we did a whirlwind of walking which included the “Charging Bull”, Broadway, Gershwin Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, NBC studios, and the Rockefeller Center. By this point I was just following along (and trying to keep Bug from inadvertently running into the street.)
Before we left for the trip to NYC I had been admonished by my midwives to be careful, to rest, and get cooled down whenever I needed to so as not to go into labor in NYC. Most of the day even though I was tired and it was hot and we walked 11 miles, I felt invigorated with all of the walking and did not have too much trouble keeping up with Kevin’s long stride and never once felt like I might be ready to go into labor. The day actually went quite a bit better than I had expected and I went much further than I had expected to be able to do.
When we were planning the trip to NYC we decided very early on that we would take the train into the city to avoid even attempting to find parking in NYC. I knew it would be a problem. As we walked through the city I found some interesting solutions to the parking problem, including this interesting parking, uh, garage? I hope nobody has to leave early or stay late without advance notice!
We finished the day with a visit to Central Park and the Balto statue, where I grabbed a picture of the kids with a Pokemon Go character. On the way out of Central Park Kevin was using his phone to figure out which train we needed to catch, but kept receiving tips from passing strangers as to the location of Pokemon Go characters around the park. Apparently Pokemon Go is a pretty big thing around the country.
We were then headed back to Grand Central Station where we grabbed dinner from the food court just prior to it closing and ate our dinner while sitting on the floor of the terminal. From Grand Central we boarded the train to head back to New Haven and eventually home.
We were so tired on the train ride home that I did not even get any pictures of the kids totally conked out and sprawled across the train seats. This picture of Pie asleep on the floor of the RV when we arrived home at 1am pretty much sums up how we all felt.