We arrived in New York on Tuesday afternoon. We were excited because we were actually ahead of schedule; but when we left DC, my daughter had told us…” I think I’m getting an ear infection.” Yikes. Definitely not in the plan! So we went back and forth with my daughter on the subject. Do we take her in somewhere and risk the chance that it’s NOT an ear infection? Do we wait? The next day was the 4th of July. We knew if she got worse that a holiday was not the time to try and deal with something.
So – she decided to go in and be seen. She wasn’t feeling terrible, but having on and off again pain. We were staying on the New Jersey side outside of New York. Got directions to an urgent care clinic nearby from our motel and here is where the saga begins. Our gps could not find it for starters. It took us a lot longer and a phone call to discover we were given the wrong address. We arrive to a fairly full room and about a 2 hr wait. I had no idea we’d be waiting that long. It was so cold in there, I was a popsicle. Finally got in and got her seen and found out she had gotten swimmer’s ear from the motel in Texas. So we got her prescription and planned to get it filled at Wal-Mart up the road. Grabbed Subway for a late lunch and headed up. I ran in to drop it off only to find the pharmacy closed. What? Really? Found out they wouldn’t be back until 2. It was 1:30.
So we eat lunch in the car and I run back in just before 2 so as to get front in line. They open and the gal tells me they are out of this medicine. Great. She suggests going next door to Sam’s Club. I ask if they have it because I don’t want to run all over town. She calls them and they too, are out. Really? I begin to see how this is going to go.
I wearily go back out to the car and inform everyone. We finally decide to just go into Manhattan and find a drug store in there. It’s been about 4 hours now and we don’t want to waste anymore time. Turns out this was a good plan as once we arrived into Times Square we immediately saw a Walgreens. Sooo thankful we got it filled! And the decision to go to the doctor was a good one because my daughter started hurting a lot more by evening when we could start using the ear drops.
Anyways…..that was our introduction to New York healthcare. HA HA
We LOVED Manhattan and Times Square. Sooo fun! We walked around, shopped, went into the edge of Central Park where we saw a rat and a butterfly that loved to land on my youngest (to her delight.)
We walked by Rockefeller Plaza and saw the Today Show studio from outside. We walked and walked and walked.
On July 4th, we headed back into town and went up to Grand Central Station. We rode the subway. It was funny as we tried to figure out the ticket system and when I swiped mine, my turnstile didn’t open. I thought it opened automatically. My whole family was already through and my youngest says, “Mom, you just do this,” and she rotates mine. Now my card wouldn’t work because it thought I’d already gone through. So I had to climb over the turnstile.
We went down to Ground Zero. I think the thing that got me the most was seeing the new towers in the sky. So similar to before. Getting so tall. But the fountains and memorial were very nicely done, as well.
We went down to Battery Park and saw the Statue of Liberty. Ate at a great local deli that a security guard recommended to us. Went down Canal Street with vendors. Some were so pushy I’d leave the stores. Others hilarious. But you could barter and get some good deals and even though it was super hot, it was fun. My oldest daughter made some sweet deals and was having fun with her “gift” of bartering.
Went down 5th Avenue, Madison Avenue, saw the Empire State Building, and Brooklyn Bridge. We had a couple street side window seats where we ate which was also fun.
We tried to go to F.A. O. Schwartz but they closed at 7 and we arrived shortly after. We also didn’t make it to Macy’s or Wall Street. But the city is so alive, that everything is fun to walk by, photograph, look at, and smell.
We decided to watch the New York fireworks in the evening. We didn’t want to get stuck in a crazy situation but a couple of nice NYPD police officers told us things were spread out and it was really good. So we went down early evening to find a place to stake out. It was already filling up. Find a curb only to have a lady leaking ice which promptly poured down into our seats getting them all wet. So we moved. The second spots were in the sun. Our tushes got so hot from the hot sidewalk we had to stand once in awhile because they were burning! And we were getting miserably hot. So we moved again.
This time we felt we were in a fairly good spot. As the crowds kept filling up they made people move forward and start to squish. I get a little claustrophobic when I don’t have room to move but we were back by a half wall thing and people were starting to sit and stand up there so my husband helped me climb up. I was happy. I didn’t feel like I’d get trampled (after my feet had gotten walked on so many times, I can’t count) and I could see better. Well, we were only there maybe a half hour – 45 minutes when the whole wall was full of people and the cops come on a loud speaker and tell us all to get down. I know they want us safe – but honestly, I felt safer up there than down below!
By the time fireworks started, we were pretty squished. Once they started, they were awesome even though a building blocked a little of our view. And then people started saying , “Excuse me” and coming back through because they wanted to move and couldn’t see. That was irritating.
But all in all it was a great experience and lots of fun. The fireworks were awesome and we waited about 15-20 minutes to leave so that I didn’t panic amidst all the pushing and shoving to get out. It was busy, but a roomy busy getting out at that point.
I think overalll, despite the fireworks crowd and the medical experience we had, we loved Manhattan. Times Square is awesome. I could have spent another night down there just looking at all the people and lights. So glad I could finally visit!