My husband and I decided to visit New York during Christmas and New Years Day. The city is filled with so much personality. We couldn’t decide on one thing to do because we wanted to do them all in one day.
Here is a photo of our plane reservation to New York for Christmas and New Years day:
The first place we went to visit on Christmas day was the Rockefeller Center to see the beautiful Christmas tree. Here is the link about the Rockefeller Center: https://www.rockefellercenter.com/ The place was completely packed with people from all over the world. The ice skating rank was also packed with people. The whole scene got me in the Christmas mood with the music, christmas tree, people hugging and kissing, and people ice skating. Here is a photo of us in front of the Christmas tree in the Rockefeller Center:
The next place we wanted to visit was the Time Square. We also decided to not be at the Time Square on New Years day, which I will explain later. The Time Square reminded me of Tokyo with all the lights and huge televised commercials displayed on the tall buildings on every corner of the street. Here is the link about the Time Square: http://www.timessquarenyc.org/index.aspx
Here are photos of us at the Time Square:
The other places we wanted to go right away that was on our list was the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the 9/11 memorial museum. When we were planning our trip to the Statue of Liberty, almost all the seats on the ferry were taken. We should have known better, but we didn’t and we were in luck to get tickets last minute to be able to get on the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island. Here is a link for more information about both places: http://www.statuecruises.com/
We spent a majority of our time on the Ellis Island learning about the history of immigrants that arrived to United States. It was very emotional to see how so many immigrants sacrificed everything to come to a new land. I had a new found appreciation for my parents who traveled to United States to provide more opportunities for our family. When we went to see the Statue of Liberty next, we asked if we can upgrade our pass to enter into the Statue of Liberty, but they were completely sold out. I recommend that you reserve these passes to get into Statue of Liberty early on unlike us. You especially want to reserve it ahead a time during the busy seasons. When we saw the Statue of Liberty, it was bigger than we thought. I could not even imagine how the engineers were able to design such a huge statue with thin copper plates. I wish we could have went inside of the Statue of Liberty along with staying outside in front of the statue, but it was raining very hard. We were soaked wet when we returned back from the ferry.
Here is a photo of us in front of the Statue of Liberty:
The 9/11 memorial museum was more difficult to find because they had so much construction around the area. We were told that they were constructing a new building next to the memorial site. You don’t need to worry about that when you go to New York now because they already finished building. We had to find the location where they distributed the tickets for us to get into the memorial. There was a long line and high security to get into the memorial. Here is a link: http://www.911memorial.org/
The history of how they chose the design for the memorial is very fascinating. The architect that was chosen to design the memorial had in mind a grand waterfall. It was an emotional experience to see all the names on the memorial. Each and every person on the memorial was a friend or a family member to someone. It touched me that people were placing roses into the engraved names of the memorial. The rain also made the experience even more moving. Here are some photos of us at the 9/11 memorial.
Of course there were other famous places we had to go when we were in New York. The places we went to were Grand Central Station and the Empire State Building. I was surprised at how many things were inside the Grand Central Station other than the obvious subways. For example, upscale apartments, food courts, high end restaurants and food markets. Here is a link on Grand Central Station: http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/
Here are photos of the Grand Central Station we took:
For New Years eve, we decided to run in a marathon instead of being at the Time Square. Many of our friends and family didn’t understand why we wouldn’t want to be there because the whole world watches the televised Time Square count down. When we first planned on going, we were told by people that you had to save your spot from 12pm to be able to see the count down at midnight. Also, once you move, you lose your spot. If you need to go to the restroom, you need to have a diaper on because all the restrooms are closed to the public in the Time Square. It also takes hours to get out after the count down because everyone wants to leave at the same time. The best way to see the count down is from the window of someone’s apartment near the Time Square. We did not know anyone that lived close enough to the Time Square to see the show so we decided we needed to do the next best thing. What we decided on was running a marathon at midnight. We thought what a great idea to start the year in a healthy way. We did not have a clue what to expect, but the excitement of having something planned for New Years day was enough. You can go to this link for more information:http://www.nyrr.org/
We had to go to a different location before going to the start point of the marathon. They provided us with a T-shirt and bracelet as part of our package. Unfortunately, we were not dressed to run in a marathon. We both wore clothing that was comfortable enough to at least fast walk in. It didn’t matter though because we were going to have a time of our lives!
Here is a photo of our reservation to the marathon:
Unfortunately, we didn’t have any photos of us running the marathon because we were busy taking videos. We had such a fun experience having people cheer us on all the way to the end. They also provided us with hot cocoa at the end of the race, which was amazing! There were apples and bagels, but they were rock solid so we had to warm them in our hands until they softened. They also provided us water throughout the marathon, but most of the water was slushy because of the temperature outside. We didn’t realize how cold it was because we were taking off our clothes from running hard. I almost forgot to mention what happened before the marathon. They had a band perform for us hours before midnight. It was not a famous band, but they played all kinds of music, which got us even more excited running at midnight.