Friday, June 8, 2012

The One with NYC

NYC.  I think it's my favorite city.  And I really got to see a lot of it.  I wish I had been able to take more pictures...but when you're riding a bike through the city with 30,000 other people it's not always easy.
We had entered a lottery to ride in the 5 boro bike ride.

Once we found out that we were in, we started planning.  We rented an apartment in the Financial District so that we could ride down to Battery Park for the start. Driving was our only option since we needed to take our bikes.
I'm still amazed it all fit!

We started our drive early in the morning.  We stopped in Pennsylvania for lunch.  AB was looking for a bank on the GPS and found that we were only 10 miles from the Flight 93 Memorial.  We had to stop.

The Memorial was new and fresh and undeniably poignant.  It's in the middle of no where.  It's difficult to imagine what the locals saw or heard or thought or felt that day. Now it's just quiet.  It's so peaceful and to imagine a huge jet screeching to a halt into a mountain...well I just can't.  I can't feel or hear or see what they saw...I'm glad I don't have to..but I did try to imagine it.  I've seen the movies and the courageous decisions that the passengers made.  I've gone there in my head not fully able to process it all.  But that day, I saw a new perspective.  The locals, the rescuers and what they went through.  And the people still there planting trees and all the effort behind the Memorial.  It's touched so many people and will continue to touch them.  Our boys are too young to understand.  I'm not sure they will ever understand...until it happens in their generation.

We finally arrived in NYC late that day and we were ready to get into our apartment.  We rested and were up the next day ready to see the city.  We walked the entire day soaking up every morsel that we could.  The boys slept in the stroller and played on city playgrounds.  Max was so excited to ride the subway but it turns out he liked the cab ride better.  Friday nights at the Children's Museum are free.  It was a whole lot of chaos...but the boys loved it!

We visited Central Park and Times Square.

We took in Battery Park before the ride.

We wrapped our arms around the city and held on tight.  We explored and found yummy places to eat and walked for hours.  We collapsed every night in our apartment only to do it all again the next day.

Our apartment had this amazing view and it fed into what became our 9/11 Memorial trip.

This photo is blurry and couldn't possibly capture the view.


Freedom tower.  Max loved watching it being built.

We visited the 9/11 Memorial site.  It was crowded and the construction from Freedom Tower was noisy.  But it was moving.   Just a few years ago I stood on top of one of the Twin Towers.  They were commanding.  They were compelling.  They were dominating. And now in their place were two giant water falls that flow into a large, gaping pit.  It's difficult to explain the sadness.  I personally didn't know anyone but there were people grieving and mourning.  I saw the pain in their eyes. I felt their pain all around.

Race Day finally came and I felt like I had seen every inch of the city...but then you ride 40 miles and realize you haven't even scratched the surface.

The ride was fun until the last few hours.  Two little boys trapped inside a Burley, longing to get out and run around while we waited hours for a ferry to take us back to the city.  It was the longest wait EVER!  But we survived.  Until we got back to Battery Park and had to get back on our bikes to get to our apartment.  My legs were jelly.  I had gotten separated from Andrew and the boys at one point and they wouldn't let me ride ahead to catch up.  I had to wait about 15 minutes and so when they did let us ride...I gave it all I had.  We had been riding around 10-12 mph with lots of stops and breaks...(it gets crowded with 30,000 people riding) when I had an open road, I just gave it my all.  I paid for it later. 

Once we got back to our apartment it was dinner time and the boys still had a lot of energy.  Mommy & daddy however needed a nap!  We took the boys to another playground and had dinner.  I think I went to bed before they did.  :)

Our trip was so much fun and our boys were troopers.  I think they loved the city as much as we did.  I can't wait to explore the world with them!