Kicking off the Holidays in NYC

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Hello New York! That is how we felt every morning as we made our way into the hotel dining room for breakfast. This is Happy Holidays, New York Style. To kick off the season this year GB, SB, and I traveled to NYC for Thanksgiving week. What a treat it was to get to visit GB’s family this year. And what a treat it was to get to stay right in the center of Time Square! We have always stayed outside of the city in the past, but this year we decided to go big.  Honestly, when I first heard we were staying here, I was not sure how I felt about it. Time Square is not exactly my favorite NY Neighborhood. A little more touristy and crowded than what I usually like. But we did find it convenient for getting around with so many things in walking distance of our beautiful hotel, and easy access to subway trains.

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Every day, we watched more and more people arrive in Time Square. And as they people arrived, the security around Time Square tightened. On our second day we noticed an increase in police parked in the square, the third day brought out the mounted police sitting tall and serious on top of strong horses.  And by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, lookout posts of armed cops with rifles had been set up throughout Time Square.  New York made it clear they were taking no chances this year, and we were all grateful to see the added protection. But at the same time it is a bit strange to see this much heavy armed  protection in the United States. I guess it is a sign of the times we now live in.

 Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

Thanksgiving day brought us an escape from the craziness of Time Square as we traveled out to Brooklyn to visit GB’s family for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Everyone loves going to Uncle F’s and Aunt S’s festive house for this amazing feast. After dinner this year Aunt S let everyone model her stunning hat collection. If you are familiar with Aunt S’s hat collection, you know how much fun that can be.  It was truly a wonderful time getting to catch up with everyone in GB’s family.

No trip to New York would be complete without a hot dog in the park. Why do they taste so good here?

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Skating at the Holiday rink in Bryant Park. 

 And  skating again at the magnificent Rockefeller Center Ice Rink

After Thanksgiving, we all filled our days wandering around the city doing some of our favorite New York things with GB’s family. Eating, shopping, and Skating! And a couple of visits to museums too. But one thing we did learn on this recent trip, we have no idea of what “expensive” really is. Only in NYC can the ice rink charge $45 for one adult admission plus skate rental at the  holiday rink!  As I stood snapping photos of SB and GB on the ice, I could hear the disappointment in the voices of the young couple standing next to me that could not afford to skate.

“The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World”. Taking some time to remember   the great values of our great country at Statue of Liberty National Park. 

This year the Statue of Liberty was high on our list of things to do. SB has been wanting to see it for years. When we showed up for our visit, we found long lines and tight security requiring two full airport style scans before being allowed to see her. But all the hassle was well worth it. Housed inside her base is one amazing museum. Here we learned all about how she came to be, as well as the reason why she is green (copper). She represents “freedom” to many, and at one time was one of the first things immigrants saw when they arrived.  I think we were all surprised to learn that women were not allowed to attend her dedication in 1886, a time when freedom mostly applied to white men in America. But reading Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus” enlightened us with the “hope” people must of felt when they first saw her standing brave.  After the museum, we spent the afternoon wandering around her base and taking in the views of New York.

Trip Tip: If you wish to visit the Crown of the statue, be sure to make reservations 6 months in advance.

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No NYC trip would be complete without a fancy night out. Dinner at the very polished Jean Georges.

After long days out in the city we spent our evening hanging in the hotel lobby, sipping hot chocolate and soda, and playing the occasional late night game of Connect Four as we made our plans for the next fun filled day.

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NYC Views like this really help to elevate the holiday cheer.

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