Tuesday, August 3, 2010

There and back and round again...

Wow...this is a ridiculously long post... just a warning!

Two weekends ago I had the opportunity to fly up to Buffalo, NY to meet my Mama, Mom, sister and brother to have a quick vacation! I started off by flying up to Buffalo after work on Friday and after a delay in Philadelphia and partaking of my first "real" Philly Cheesesteak and embarrasing myself I made it to Buffalo around 945 that night. We went back to the hotel (Mama and Karli had been there since Wednesday) and went to bed because we had to be back at the airport by 730 in the morning to pick up Mom and Kenneth!

After we picked up mom and Kenneth we ate at the place yo ualways have to go to while on vacation, Denny's, and headed out to Niagara Falls! We were able to go on the Maid of the Mist! It was amazing! The falls are so majestic and beautiful! After the Maid of the Mist we walked around the park for a little while, bought some souvenirs and headed out to Palmyra!










Unfortunately we missed the pageant by a week but we were still able to go and do all of the church history sites. Palmyra was beautiful! My favorite was the fields of flowers near the Smith Homes and Sacred Grove.
An intersting fact was that the original Smith home is in one county and the Newer Smith home is in another county and the fire codes are different. So we were able to go up into the 2nd floor of the smaller house but not of the much larger one.  Anyways...










After spending time at the sites there we headed off towards New York City! On our way there we got stuck in a huge rainstorm. You couldnt see the car in front of you it was raining so hard! We saw several accidents on the other side of the road and we were so thankful that wasnt us! We finally made it out of the storm an hour or so later! That one hour had everyones nerves tight as could be though and it took us all a while to wind down!

We finally made it to our hotel at abot 1 in the morning. That was of course after the 30 minutes we spent driving past our hotel because there was a concrete barrier dividing the road! So we had to go and find somewhere to turn around and somehow the crazy rain caught up with us again! There was a ton of traffic and we were on a state highway so there wasnt really a place to turn around! We were so glad to finally have made it there!

Sunday was also crazy! We started the day off early (530am) because we had to get to Liberty park to take the Ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty by 8:30 and there were 5 of us and 1 shower and 1 mirror.. 4 of us were girls by the way! We left the hotel and made it to Liberty park...only getting lost    misguided a couple of times... Ellis Island was amazing! it is unbelievable the amount of history and the people that went through that one building. Also it was crazy all of the "tests" and exams they had to pass in order to stay in the US. From 3 piece puzzles to other strange things. Then we took the Ferry to the Statue of Liberty! She is miraculous! I would have love to have been able to go up to the top and take the Crown tour but it is extremely hard  to get tickets for it.






We took the Ferry back to New Jersey and headed back to our hotel! We had to be back by 11:15 in order to make the shuttle to get to Manhattan. We got back at 11:15. The bus was getting ready to leave and we made it just in time! I didnt have enought time to change my shoes which was unfortunate but I survived!  We went throught the Lincoln Tunnel and were right in the middle of Manhattan. we passed Bryant Park, and some other cool buildings. The driver of the shuttle bus...was insane! I am still not sure how we did not crash or topple over! We were dropped off in the center of Times Square! Thats where the fun started!

We walked up Times Square, saw the Naked Cowboy, ate Pizza, got Dad a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co T-shirt, bought sunglasses from a street vendor, and found the subway! We took the subway to the Natural History of Museum, it was fantastic and huge! It might be bigger than some of the Smithsonian museums in DC, and those are also huge! We spent a couple of hours there. It was packed. They had lots of cool exhibits and it was cool seeing some of the things from the movie Night in the Museum.
Dum Dum me want gum gum....
anyways...







We got a fantastic custard shake from the shake shack and I drooled over there burgers but the line was out the door for the burgers and I was quite hungry yet. They smelled and looked so good though! Karli, Kenny, and I walked through Central Park and saw a crazy turtle lady.. usually in movies yo usee the crazy pigeon lady.. well this lady had probably 20-30 turtles surrounding her and she was feeding them leftover shrimp and chicken. It was a little insane. She had the funniest accent and kept telling the turtle "I a good girl, dont bite me" (in some eastern european accent). Central park is beautiful. it was so serene and crazy to think you are in the middle of a bustling city. You wouldnt know it while you were in the park. Except for the 1 rat I saw... they dont live in normal parks...









We headed back towards Times Square and had a little trouble figuring out the subway since the train we needed to take was closed and no one seemed to be able to give us a straight answer. After 30 minutes in the hot subway we got to a shopping center in Lincoln Center that was about 10 minutes away from closing. It was Sunday afterall and even in NYC things close early I guess. We took the subway again and made it back to Times Square where Mama hung out in red lobster while we searched for Rockefeller Center... which we never found! We did get to buy some classic I <3 NY T-shirts though.



At 9 we got back on the shuttle bus and headed back to our hotel. Ate Wendys for dinner, since it was right next door, and buoght donuts for the next morning. We did not get lost that time...

We got up even earlier Monday morning. We had to head to DC and left at 530 so we didnt get stuck in any traffic. Traffic was clear until we got onto the 495 or was it the 295... who knows... We were heading to visit the DC temple. There were power outages and trees down everywhere because of an awful storm they had the night before. We made it to the temple and I was glad we did.  We were able to walk to grounds and they were just beautiful.

After the temple we headed towards downtown. We drove around the national mall, ran about 5 stoplights, and took some quick pics of the monuments. I still want to go to the Jefferson Memorial, I was atleast able to see it this time! We then headed to the National Zoo. Ran a couple more red lights... We had to hurry to see those cute panda bears you know! We walked around the zoo for about an hour and a half. It was the hottest day and very humid outside. Which I am used to now but no one else was.




After we left the zoo we had a little extra time before we had to hit the road so we went to go find Georgetown Cupcake.. We found it.. We passed it.. There was a line down the street... I did not need a cupcake that bad!  We got lost again trying to find the highway and took a 30 minute detour through Arlington accidentally of course. We did eventually find our way again and started the journey home!





We made it back safely and Mama told us stories of her childhood on the way back down which was fun.

It was such a fun, whirlwind of a trip! I love spending time with my family and my brother and sister. They grow up so much each time I see them! I am so grateful for mama for planning this trip. It was so much fun!

1 comment:

Brooke and Kent said...

sounds like fun. i know, its always good to see the family!

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