Growing up in a small town has its perks. It also leaves a lot to be desired if you’re born with a strong desire to travel the world.
When my brother and sister started families of their own I knew in my heart that I someday wanted to have the chance to travel and adventure with them each individually. Seeing my oldest niece’s 12th birthday fast approaching I took advantage of my time on the east coast and planned a trip to NYC exclusively for her and I.
We left early one morning for the 6 hour drive from Somerset County, Pennsylvania to NYC. Since we are both the animal lovers of our family our first stop was the Bronx Zoo.
Afterwards we traveled by car [during rush hour] to our AirBnB in Brooklyn. I only got lost twice before finally making it across the right bridge to get us over the East River. After a quick check-in we were back out the door for Emily’s first culinary adventure of the trip – and one that should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me – sushi!
We arrived back at our homestead around 8:30 and started readying ourselves for bed, but before we made it there Em informed me that she was plenty awake to take a late night trip to Times Square. After a quick check of the subway map we found ourselves on a train bound for Manhattan.
It was nearing 2am when our heads hit the pillows and we both dreamed of lights that night. In the morning we found ourselves bound for Battery Park.
We took a boat to the Statue of Liberty.
Then found my grandmother’s (Em’s great-grandmother’s)name on the Memorial Wall at Ellis Island.
When we returned to shore Em had her first taste of Starbucks (have I ever mentioned it’s a really, REALLY small town we’re from),
and faced the raging bull.
On a previous trip to NYC the 9/11 Memorial was still under construction. Being from Somerset County, Pennsylvania – not far from where Flight 93 found its resting place in a field – it was important to me that Emily and I visit this place and read the names along the memorial fountain.
While we were there I watched this man weep over a name and captured this image. I choose to share this picture to remind us all that although it’s been nearly 17 years since these attacks, the horrors of that day and the memories of those lost are still very fresh wounds for some…
Needing a mental break we walked to our next destination to clear our heads. Doh was a much needed treat to pull us back into a happier place before dinner with my friend Ty.
On Wednesday morning we packed our bags and set our sights back on Pennsylvania. Little did Emily know that her adventure did not end with our return home. While waiting for her family to get back we walked around the land enjoying all the animals, especially the baby ducks that had recently hatched. Em received an early birthday gift she’d been wanting for so long. Enjoy your time with Mo!
**It should also be noted that while I did take my nephews on a special day trip with just them and myself, they have also requested I take them on ‘an awesome overnight trip like their sister’s trip when they’re old enough.’ Ben would like to drive an RV to Hawaii and Aron has set his sights on Hollywood. I better start saving (and figure out how to drive an RV to Hawaii)!