Last weekend was a dream come true, because my Mom and Claire came to NYC to visit and Joe came up from D.C. to join us. It was both my Mom and Claire’s first time in the city so we had a lot of ground to cover, and cover we did. Each day ended with a step tally that consistently topped 20,000 with 10 miles of walking. We more than made up for it with delicious food in between sightseeing of course.
Friday evening David came down from upstate before my Mom and Claire arrived at the hotel. With barely a break taken to change and sit down, we left the hotel in Chinatown (one I had stayed in prior to moving), and walked down Canal and through Little Italy and Soho. After seeing my work building, we took the subway to Chelsea and walked the high line. Miraculously not as crowded as a Monday morning subway, it was beautiful to see in full Summer bloom at dusk. Afterwards we had Los Tacos in Chelsea market and headed up to Time Square for the obligatory visit. As predicted, seeing it for a moment was enough, and we went back downtown for gelato in Little Italy as we headed back to the hotel. Joe arrived later and we all went to sleep immediately, anticipating a full day.
Saturday we hit the ground running after a hotel buffet breakfast (my favorite part of any hotel stay). We started with the Financial District, seeing Wall Street, stopping for a bagel, and heading to see the church and graveyard where Alexander Hamilton is buried (Claire is a massive Hamilton fan). We spent a lot of time wandering the graveyard, before going to see the One World Trade Center and surrounding memorials. Beautiful and sad, I love the garden surrounding the monuments. We headed to the Oculus after taking a moment to catch the 1 to Battery Park.
One of the few specific things my Mom wanted to see was the Statue of Liberty, but not wanting to spend too much time on just one thing we opted out of a formal tour. We strolled through the park with ice cream instead, looking out from the tip of the island. Once satisfied with the view we headed up to Bryant Park by way of Grand Central. We walked through the library, seeing a free exhibit on Walt Whitman, before having street cart hot dogs at a table in the park, one of my favorite places in the city to hang out.
After we had finished filling up on Nathan’s, we visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral to admire the architecture and a wedding that happened to be in attendance at the time. We left to wander north along Fifth Avenue to Central Park, walking the main promenade and sitting by the lake to watch the turtles that were begging (like puppies) at the water’s edge. We took some pictures on Bow Bridge then headed to the West Side to refresh ourselves with pastries at Magnolia Bakery. Splitting cheesecake, banana pudding, and a blueberry shortbread bar, we were all quite full as we headed back to the hotel to contemplate dinner.
After freshening up and developing an appetite, we went to one of my favorite burger places, Five Napkin. The veggie option and french fries were delicious and as if there were any room left to be hungry, we got Milk bar on the way back to the hotel. Needless to say, we were very full and tired and ready for rest.
Sunday began with the hotel buffet of course, fueling up before we walked the Brooklyn Bridge. The views were amazing as always and the breeze over the bridge a refreshing respite from the heat. We went on to see my apartment before heading to Smorgasburg in the park for an array of food including chocolate banana, chicken sandwich, sesame peanut noodles, and a brisket sandwich. Very full once again, we went off back to Manhattan and walked around Tribeca, stopping at Starbucks for a caffeine boost. We made our way back to the hotel to start sending groups off to their respective transportation home, already planning the next NYC family weekend.
It was beyond incredible to show everybody around NYC, especially it being the first time in the city for my Mom and Claire. I enjoyed every minute and it goes without saying that I’m already looking forward to the next time.