When we left from the west coast a few months ago, one of the motivating goals we told the kids was that we were going to see the Statue of Liberty. And finally now we are in New York City. Well, actually New Jersey but you know what I mean.
As you might know, this definitely does not look like another Elks Lodge. That is because it is not. This is my cousin’s house in Tenafly, New Jersey. They have been anticipating us for a few months and now we are finally here and are breathing a sigh of relief. That is mainly because of the traffic we had to endure to get here.
My cousin was born and raised in New York. He lived in Queens all of his childhood and moved to the city after college. Just recently did they move to New Jersey to get a bigger house with more space now that he has two kids. Lucky for us, he has a big enough driveway to accommodate us for a few days. That however did not come easy. He had to make sure the city gave him approval and it went all the way up to the Mayor’s desk. In the end, we got the green light.
While we are here, we have some plans to see some of the pretty touristy spots but also some that might not be on everyone’s radar. First thing first, we got out and earned the kids another NPS Junior Ranger badge.
This is the Thomas Edison National Historic Park.
Located in West Orange, New Jersey, this is where Thomas Edison had his laboratory and manufacturing facility.
It is now operated by the National Park Service and some of his famous inventions are on display.
Like this phonograph. One of the originals ever made.
It is here right here in this test lab where many of his inventions were born.
One of the original Edison batteries. Many of them still work! I can’t say the same about the batteries I’ve gone through in the Airstream.
This photo above was one of the world’s original recording studios.
The building right next door to the park was once part of the Edison complex. It is now in private hands and in severe disrepair.
The badge ceremony was a big hit with some other tourists as well.
The next spot is Morristown National Historic Park. This is Ford Mansion. This was George Washington’s headquarters between 1779 and 1780 when his Continental Army endured one of the worst winters in a nearby encampment.
That winter was so cold that the troops had no supplies and resorted to eating leather off of their shoes. If you ask the kids, that is pretty much all they remember of that place. That is enough for me.
From Tenafly we are able to hop on a ferry across the Hudson River right into the heart of New York City.
We did the usual touristy things like the 9/11 memorial.
Saw that new World Trade Center towers.
And of course we had to hop and a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty up close and personal.
I mean as far as the kids are concerned, this is why we are on the road. Now that we’ve done this, we can go back to the west coast.
You can’t really tell from Mila’s face but they were really excited.
This of course if another site run by the National Park Service so that means another Junior Ranger badge and another swearing in ceremony for copycat Luka.
Taking the ferry into NYC is a lot of work with kids. They get tired quickly and don’t want to walk for too long.
So of course that means we will have to take them in there to torture them a second time. My cousin-in-law Ceci will join us with Olivia as our tour guide one more time.
This time we will start in Central Park. Ceci has also lived here all her life but today she is playing tourist in her own city.
We got to go to FAO Schwarz and saw a replica of Zoltar from the movie Big. They didn’t get a chance to make a wish to be big before Zoltar started talking and scared the bejesus out of them. Good, we don’t have any room in the Mish for them to be big yet.
Of course the Big Piano had to be done.
Emmet and Lucy.
We got to go to the Lego store in Rockefeller Plaza. They each got to build and buy a mini to take home.
What is NYC without taking the subway. One of the places we wanted to see was the original Paul’s Boutique.
Here are the kids posing in front of the Beastie Boys’ mural at Paul’s Boutique.
We also had another Instagram friend what wanted to meet us while we are in the city and we decided that the easiest place to meet us was in Grand Central Station.
Right? What better place to meet someone we’ve never seen before but with several thousand other unfamiliar faces buzzing around?
Well, it worked out in the end. We met Soren Rose who is a furniture and interior designer currently working on customizing a vintage Airstream for a trip around the world.
Before we call it a day, we made our way through Time Square on our way back to the ferry. Now we’ve officially seen all of the crowded and touristy spots in NYC.
As much as we are totally worn out from the few days we were here, we really enjoyed our time.
We especially enjoyed having our kids spend some quality time with their cousins whom they’ve never meet.
Here are a couple of Statue of Liberty sculptures of our own as we begin making our way south along the Atlantic coast.
Next up, back into Pennsylvania to see Philadelphia.
over and out,