Kyle's sister, Kellie, has lived in Pennsylvania for the last couple years and is moving to Tucson in a few weeks. Before she moved Marie wanted to take her to NYC and to see some of the East Coast. The plan was for their sister Kathleen to join them, but when that didn't work out Marie asked if we would come along with them. We jumped on the chance and got my mom booked to watch the kids for us. The trip would be about two weeks long- 2 days in Tucson looking at rental houses for Kellie, 5-6 days being tourists, and another 5-6 at Kellie's house seeing the sites around her home. We drove down to Tucson on Monday, June 15th and picked up Kellie at the airport and headed down to Tucson. Chris and Kati live just outside of Tucson in a suburb and we thought it would be a great idea to pick Kati up and have her show us around the neighborhoods while looking at houses. Kyle is an awesome sport and volunteered to watch Chris and Kati's 6 and our 3. We spent the entire afternoon looking at houses, dropped Marie and Kellie off at a hotel, and then went back to Kati's to stay the night. We had planned to look at properties the following day, but we didn't have any left to look at. We went to the park for a little bit with the cousins and then drove down to Buckeye to drop off the kids. We hung out at my Mom's house for a few hours, put the kids to bed, and had Stormy drop us off at the airport. Our flight left Sky Harbor at 9:30pm and arrived in Newark, NJ at 5:30 am. With the time difference, taking off, and landing- we really only had like 3 hours of sleep that night. We were staying The Paper Factory on the very tip of Long Island so it took us a little while to get from New Jersey to the hotel and then over to Manhattan. We hit time square first and then realized that we needed to get over to the Freedom Tower to get there in time for our One World Observatory tickets. We hoped on one of the NYC sightseeing buses and quickly discovered we were taking the long way around.
I do have to admit that I totally fell asleep on the bus, like for more then just a few minutes. I got a pretty good nap in- it was well needed! We pulled up to the Freedom Tower and couldn't believe how huge it was! It's hard to grasp that we were going to the top of that really really tall building! We were about 2 hours late for our reservation time but confident Kyle didn't think it was going to be a big deal. He was right- they let us right in. They did an amazing job with making the whole thing a great experience instead of just going to the top of the building. The elevators have three sides that are screens and then the door is just a normal elevator door. As you are sitting on the ground floor of the Freedom Tower the screens show a jungle like surrounding. As the elevator starts to go up it there is a time line on one side of the screen with the evolution of the city scape. It is a pretty intense minute ride up to the observation floor. You are then escorted into a small room with a huge screen in front of you that is broken up into different sizes squares at different levels. They show a short video about the Freedom Tower with a sweet message attached and then they fly out the screens and you see the city. It was super unexpected and really cool. After the video you file out to the actual observation deck.
Kyle's favorite part of our trip was all 4 of the musicals we went to! The first one was Finding Neverland. I had the HARDEST time staying awake for this- only because we had been going going going, but it was amazing. It had simple sets and not these amazing costumes, but I think that's part of the point of the musical- using your imagination. Finding Neverland is the story of how Peter Pan came to be, it's about the author of the story and his life. If you get the chance to see it- definitely take it!
Something cool about Finding Neverland- Kelsie Grammar was in it! He made his way out the front of the theatre instead of the side and had a car waiting for him out there. He went right by us and Kellie grabbed his shoulder and told him great job.
Kellie and Marie were super tired and ready to head back to the hotel. We hit up Carlo's bakery on the way our. I wasn't super impressed but it was the experience we were looking for. I tried their famous Cannoli- and it was good! I think the best thing was Kellie's cupcake.
I'm pretty sure it was all part of Kyle's plan to just "go hang out in time square" and then "just check out the tckts booth to just see if there were any musical tickets left". Of course their were- how could I say no?! We got tickets to our 2nd musical- Matilda! I had gotten some pretty good naps in during Finding Neverland so I did better with staying awake for it. During intermission we got some snacks and that really helped with staying awake :) We were in the mezzanine for this one and it felt so much closer then the balcony for Neverland. The cast was amazing and I loved the show. We were 2 for 2 on picking great musicals! We meandered a little bit through Broadway and then headed back tot he hotel. It was a great first day in NYC!