Adventure: New York City – Day Two (July 29, 2011)

The day started at 6:30am much to my grumbling. We all got ready, being sure to avoid the random cat-scratch post Kristy found for free out on a curb near our hotel the night before. She brought it back to the hotel room knowing I have plans to get a cat once I move to my new apartment. Bonus sister points. After the continental breakfast, we walked to the subway station and took a train into the financial district because we had strategically mapped out how we were going to tackle NYC the most efficiently.

We made the short walk to Battery Park and took some time to look at the sculpture that was once in the plaza by the two towers.

We got in line for the ferry to Liberty Island and made the voyage with a number of early rising tourists like ourselves. The ride over to the island was nice if you just made a point to enjoy the ride, and didn’t decide to battle with the other tourists for prime photography spots.

Once on Liberty Island there wasn’t much to do besides stare up in awe at the Statue of Liberty.

I amused myself with some photography and then we hopped back on the ferry to go to Ellis Island where we didn’t stay very long. We had a busy schedule to keep after all.

Once back on the mainland, we found a bike rental place nearby to commence or next task: biking across the Brooklyn Bridge. I’ve never been a very strong bicyclist (I have the scars to prove it) so I really wasn’t looking forward to biking through one of the busiest cities in the entire world.

The biking route to get to the Brooklyn Bridge took us all over the city. We caught glimpses of Chinatown and the City Hall building where scenes from some television show are shot. I was terrified throughout the whole ride, but once we got to the bridge, our biking path was obviously marked. Then the most daunting experience of my life began.

In pictures, the incline doesn’t seem all that extreme, but for a no-longer-in-shape-ex-water-polo-player-who-hasn’t-done-very-much-physical-activity-in-a-very-long-time, it was like Mount Everest. Mom had no problem with it seeing as she’s been working out three times a week for the past year and is looking fabulous after losing so much weight, but I took comfort in the fact that Kristy was having as hell of a time as I was.

We made it to the top of the incline huffing and puffing while covered in sweat. We made it down the other side into Brooklyn, unsuccessfully located a pizza place that was apparently “just under the bridge”, Kristy and I got incredibly hostile at mom for torturing us with all this bike riding, and had some amazing Brooklyn style pizza.

We took things much slower crossing back over the bridge, and were smart enough to take a quick pit stop for some air-conditioning at the Bodies Exhibition. Mom was brilliant in her trip planning and got us all NYC Passes so everything we went to was “free” (we paid $140 for each of our passes, but saved over $400 a piece with them by the end of the trip. So in any of these posts when I say we went to some sort of attraction, it was part of the NYC Pass). I wasn’t super trilled to go to this exhibition, but there was air-conditioning and Kristy was super excited since this is the kind of stuff she was going into.

I was right for not wanting to go! The concept and set up of the exhibition was amazingly informative and interesting, but I just couldn’t stomach the real bodies just being on display like that. I kept thinking about their families and how the body parts belonged to real people. I nearly passed out by the end of it and had to leave before anything more extreme happened.

Once out of the exhibition, we hopped back on our bikes, made a pit stop to buy some cliché I HEART NYC shirts, and returned the bikes back. Back on foot, we walked to the Charging Bull and mom and Kristy rubbed his balls for financial luck (for real, that’s a thing).

We then went into the big Century 21 Department store to see what all the fuss is about, and actually saw someone being arrested for shoplifting. The air-conditioned store was nice, but other than that, nothing all that spectacular and way too crowded. We then located the World Trade Center Tribute Museum close to Century 21. This place left us all speechless. It was riveting, moving, sad, and a completely perfect place to remember the brave and the fallen. The stairs to the lower level of the museum had these paper cranes that were apparently put on the fences surrounding ground zero. The whole place was beautiful.

We took the subway back to Jersey City to take a break before venturing to Hoboken. We had a decent dinner with steadily declining service quality and then found the bakery where Cake Boss is filmed.

We waited a bit to get some treats, but then ran out of time and had to rush back into downtown NYC. In the end the sailboat ride we wanted to take had to be cancelled because of a threatening storm, so we made our way back to the hotel and called it a night.

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