We started our first day, after checking to the world's smallest 4 person hotel room. If you're familiar with the joke about having to go outside to change your mind, this is it. Really nice, clean, good breakfast but very tiny. We drove the car, a slick Mazda 6, to E. 90th and walked the 6 blocks to Central Park where we had our first New York hot dog (not bad but not worth the fuss all those TV people make about them. We decided to take a quick peek at the park and 2 1/2 hours later, emerged out the bottom. Well worth it though. Very cool park and felt very safe as it was packed with thousands of friendly people. When we emerged out the other end, we saw a) the world's largest Apple store with the coolest glass elevator which plunged you into the depths of New York, and b) the world's largest toy store. Needless to say, we split up.
This is the day we ended up walking about 100 blocks. We walked through Times Square, went to the American Girl store, which is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. $110 bucks for the doll and $35 for an outfit (more than I spend on an outfit and look how nicely I dress). People actually line up to pay $20-30 to have their doll's hair done. Anyway, after a very long day, we had about half an hour to rest till it was time to leave for the fireworks, the biggest ever because they commemorated the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson sailing up the Hudson River (pretty cool that he actually found a river with the same name as himself). Worth it....not really. Fireworks are fireworks but seeing big trucks back up through streets clogged with people was pretty cool.
Day 2 it was an early start to go see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We also experienced the subway for the first time...not scary, just a few odd people. The statue was very cool and worth the trip, even though it we couldn't go inside. The view of Manhattan was cool but really missing the Twin Towers. Also, the Empire State Building and Chrysler Buildings were unimpressively in the back. Headed hope after lunch and got ready for the big Broadway show (Janice and Makena were going to Little Mermaid). Isaac and I dropped them off and headed down though Hell's Kitchen to the water to tour the USS Intrepid, a huge aircraft carrier which is now a museum on the Hudson. Very cool planes, helicopters etc.
After the show and tours, we headed down to Little Italy for dinner. Hundreds of restaurants and very Italian looking. It was really hard to pick but we finally did and had a great meal. Isaac and Makena were busy trying to entice other customers into the restaurant. After dinner, we did a bit of tourist shopping. The only thing about all the street vendors is that they all have EXACTLY THE SAME STUFF. I guess it's nice that you don't have to walk too far. It's hard to believe though that a cheapo t-shirt dealer or knock off perfume dealer can afford NYC storefront. Must suck in a lot of tourists. Another late night and we all crashed hard.