In June we took a family trip to the New York / New Jersey area. We were really wanting to visit Derek's brother and his family, and wanted to show the kids lots of historical sites too.
We flew into Newark, and took a train into Manhattan. We were headed into the city dragging all of our luggage right as all the commuters were headed out, so it was tricky making our way through the crowds. The line for a taxi outside the train station was huge, so we decided to start walking to our hotel thinking that we could probably catch a taxi somewhere on the way. And then it started raining. After walking a half hour in the rain, dragging all of our luggage with us, we decided to stop and get get dinner. We found a yummy pizza place and were happy to eat some warm food. The rain finally slowed to a drizzle and we decided to just walk the rest of the way to the hotel. We were SO glad when we finally got there!
We were able to get changed into dry clothes, and take a breather before heading out for dinner and a night in Time Square.
The next day we took a water cruise around Manhattan and saw the Statue of Liberty up close, along with the New York skyline.
We loved it!
We took a taxi and saw Grand Central Station,
and then took the subway to ground zero.
Freedom Tower was very cool. It wasn't open yet, but the contruction on the outside had been completed.
on the subway
Next we hopped on the subway and made our way to Central Park.
the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park
After an afternoon in Central Park we stopped back at the hotel to change our clothes and headed to the broadway musical of Wicked, grabbing a bite to eat along the way.
Ethan and Julia went to Wicked with me, while Chase and Derek went to visit the former FAO Schwarz, now a giant Toys R Us.
The next day we visited New York's Museum of Natural History.
That night we walked over the the Atlantic Highlands marina and saw the New York skyline across the bay.
We spent the night at the Greccos' house, and Chase enjoyed playing with their grandkids for a few hours the next day before we left.
We did a little driving tour of places Derek used to go as a kid.
First stop was Henry Hudson Springs.
And of course we had to visit the Sandy Hook beach.
That night we headed to Mark (Derek's brother) and Jill's house. Their kids had a fun night already planned with a group of youth from their church, so Ethan and Julia tagged along.
The next day we all headed to Ocean City, New Jersey for a fun day at the beach.
After we'd had enough time in the water and sand we headed over to the boardwalk and ate dinner, and let the kids go on some rides.
This was the most relaxed day of our trip, and probably our favorite!
ice cream on the boardwalk!
The next day we all drove to Philadelphia to see the historical sites.
seeing the Liberty Bell
This wasn't super exciting for Chase, so thankfully he occupied himself with some coloring, and some look and find books.
We all had lunch at the Reading Terminal Market before Mark and Jill and kids had to head back home for a few hours.
We drove to Washington DC and walked all around the national mall seeing the Washington monument, the new World War II memorial, and the Lincoln memorial.
Mark and Jill drove to DC that night, and the next day we all went to the National Air and Space museum.
We visited the National Archives and saw the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, among other historical documents. (No photos are allowed inside.)
That evening we were able to see the White House and the Capital.
seeing Chinatown, which was right by our hotel
The next day we visited Ford's theater where Lincoln was shot, and then visited a Lincoln museum across the street where he spent the last days of his life.
Next up was the Museum of American History.
Harry Potter costumes!
the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz
the Sun Stone
And Chase's favorite part of the day... getting a Ninja Turtle popsicle from a street vendor!