A couple of years ago, we decided it would be fun to take our kids on a trip of their choosing, without their sibling, when they turned 10. Chloe wasn’t sure where she wanted to go. She narrowed it down to “the mountains”, “the beach”, or Hoboken, NJ. Since Hoboken, via NYC, was the only specific location she mentioned and also the least likely location we’d visit with her brother any time soon, it seemed like the right choice.
We tried to fit as much into our time in New York City as we could. I had never been, so selfishly, I wanted to cross some items off my list too! We got in mid-afternoon on Saturday, settled in our Airbnb in Jersey City, and then Uber’ed into the city. (Sometimes I felt guilty about spending money on Ubers, but it was a balancing act between saving money and saving our sanity!) We headed to a restaurant that had been recommended to us because of their mac & cheese cones – which were delicious – but I was thrilled with the location. We were on a patio next to the river and could see the Statue of Liberty in the distance. When we were done eating, we walked over to the 9/11 Memorial and the One World Observatory.
At the 9/11 Memorial, I thought it was really special that they take the time to put a rose in someone’s name on their birthday. Since we were there on C’s birthday, we read the names of some of those who she would have shared a birthday with. Then as we were heading up to the top of the One World Observatory, there was a really powerful animation shown on the sides of the elevator that shows the changing skyline. It starts in the 1800’s and ends in the present day. If you have the chance to go, the twin towers appear, and disappear, on the right hand side, as you’re facing the back of the elevator.
On Sunday, we had tickets to see Aladdin on Broadway. We spent the morning and early afternoon exploring the area near Rockefeller Center and Times Square, before heading over to the theater. FAO Schwarz, the M&M and Disney stores, and a slice of pizza – folded in half, of course – were highlights. After the show, thanks to the friend of a family member’s nephew (thanks 6 degrees of separation 😉 !) we were able to go backstage at the theater. It was interesting to learn about their sets, props and costumes and Chloe wasn’t even a little shy when it came to checking things out!
Monday was the big day! You might think that a Broadway show would be the highlight, but no. Carlos Bakery, the bakery featured in Cake Boss, was THE REASON we traveled to NYC. During our trip, we also managed to visit several other bakeries connected to TV chefs – Sprinkles, Jacque Torres Chocolate, and Milk Bar. And because the trip may as well have just been a tour of desserts, we also enjoyed treats from Devon & Blakely (solely because of the name!), cheesecake from Junior’s, a waffle with cookie butter from Wafels & Dinges, shakes from the Shake Shack, and cookies from Levain. The lobster tail from Carlos and Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie from Levain were probably my 2 favorites – although I really wanted to add several others to the list as I typed this out! Chloe’s favorites were the lobster tail and cheesecake and Aaron, who wouldn’t have gone to nearly as many bakeries, if any, on his own, liked the Chocolate Peanut Butter cookie from Levain and the strawberry shake from Shake Shack. We walked a total of 35 miles in 4 days, so we felt totally justified in all the yummy food we ate!
When we weren’t eating, we rode the Staten Island Ferry, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, visited Grand Central Station, and explored Central Park. We looked liked tourists and I didn’t even care. I know that we barely even scraped the surface of what there is to do and see in the city, but I feel like we had a successful trip!