Thursday, July 18, 2013

New York City

After getting back from the beach our tour of America continued.  On Monday we drove to New York City. We wanted to show the kids the greatest city in the world and visit some old friends.  Our friend Leila moved back from Denver to New York a year ago.  Her father owns a restaurant half a block from Times Square (Cafe Un Deux Trois), and he has a guest apartment across the street from the restaurant. Lucky for us, the apartment was available this week, and they let us stay there.  It's good to have friends with a spare guest apartment in Manhattan.

After arriving on Monday we met  Irish's friend Chris for lunch at the Shake Shack, where we had to fight for a table. Chris works at MTV just around the corner from our apartment, so he squeezed through the crowds of tourists to meet us. After lunch we went to the Toys r Us on Times Square because the kids could not miss the enormous Despicable Me sign across the front of it. Everyone got a toy and August spent the rest of the trip carrying around Iron Man. Monday night, we met up with Leila, went swimming at her gym because it was unmercifully hot, and then we went to her father's restaurant for diner.

Grace let us know it was the nicest restaurant she has ever been to, and I think she was right.  It's pretty remarkable that it has been open for more than 35 years, people going to Studio 54 could stop in to eat there. Leila's parents came by when we were finishing and August had a bowl of ice cream with her dad, George.  August is a very charming 3 year old when he wants to be, I think they enjoyed each other's company.

Grace, Riley and Ruby
George and August
Tuesday morning we started the day by walking a few feet out our door into a crowd of people at the door for the Good Morning America studio.  Irish lifted the camera and took a picture just so she could see who was coming out.  Standing on my tip toes I was able to see Bruce Willis.  Turns out Irish got a decent picture even though she couldn't see anything.
How much could we get if we sold this picture to People magazine?
After a quick deli breakfast and a subway ride, was the Museum of Natural History, one of my favorite places when I was a kid.  Irish was a little bored as we walked through the first rooms filled with dioramas. Then things picked up as we looked at meteors, and gems.  But one of the best parts of this museum is the whale- the full size model of a blue whale. While August had a tantrum the girls and I walked around.

From there we went up to see the dinosaurs, and then my children's attention spans were used up, and it was time to go get lunch.
acting like dinosaurs
Irish told me to look like I was learning things.  
That night our New York adventure continued and we headed off to meet Chris again along with his wife, Amanda- who is an illustrator for a children's cartoon called Team Umizoomi- and their 4 year old daughter, Penny. They live on Roosevelt Island and there is a tram that goes there.  When I was little I wanted to ride the tram but never got to- so, childhood dream fulfilled.  The views were amazing, and even better riding back later at night. We had a great time and by the end of the night all 5 of us were halfway ready to move to New York.
boyhood dream being fulfilled

August holding hands with Penny
I set the timer on the camera, and almost made it in time. (Amanda, Chris, Irish, me)

Riding the tram back
Finally this morning we had time for one last tourist stop: going to the top of the Empire State Building.  The views were amazing, but really there is only so much to see, so after 20 minutes or so we were ready to head down.

And then we met George to drop off the keys and headed back to Pennsylvania. My miles in the minivan this summer got closer to 3000, by the time we drive back to Denver next week it will be over 4000 miles.  If the three hour drive to NYC is any indicator the 24 hour drive to Denver will be challenging- Grace was very very curious about how close we were to our destination. Now Irish and I are ready for a few days alone- so we are off to Niagara Falls today.  Then Hershey Park.  Then a very long drive, and a very long plane ride back to Korea!


  1. It is wonderful to keep up with all that you are doing, Jim and Irish! Thanks for all of the effort of doing the posts. Safe travel!

  2. Oh my word the pictures from the team look exactly like the scene of Gotham City in the first Batman with Christian Bale. Do you know what I'm talking about?

  3. Jim and Irish, thanks so much for taking the time to visit Shake Shack. Hope you had an awesome vacation, and our team can't wait to see you again next time you're in the states!

    Brandy, Shake Shack