My oldest granddaughter turned 7 this year. She’s not one who plays with toys a lot, so her mother urged me to do something else with her; give her an experience. We decided to spend the weekend after her birthday in New York City. I made plans ahead of time for several things and as things fell into place, we elected to leave home early on Thursday so we could do some things in the City that day.
We stayed at the Embassy Suites on 6th Avenue and 37th Street. This was a great location as it was just a couple of blocks to Times Square, Herald Square, the F train, and the #7 train. I bought 48-hour tickets for the Top View Hop-On Hop-Off bus and there was a stop at Macy’s, so that was where we went first. It was fun for her to see the pace where the parade we watch every Thanksgiving takes place.
We got on the bus pretty quickly at this stop, but that was the only time it worked like that. The tickets ended up being a waste and we used the subway. We took the bus down to the stop where we had sightseeing cruise to view the Statue of Liberty that was included in the bus tickets.
Getting up that early to leave, Boo ended up sleeping on the bus.
The sightseeing cruise was fun. We went by the Statue of Liberty and took a few pictures. We also grabbed something to eat on the boat. Two hot dogs, two small Pringles, two cans of lemonade, and two bottles of water were $35. It was a bit expensive, even for NYC.
After the boat ride, this was where the Hop-On Hop-Off bus faltered. It became painfully obvious they sell too many tickets and/or do not have enough buses. The sightseeing cruise is part of the same company, so they know how many people were on that boat and would be looking to catch the bus. When we walked back to the bus stop, there was already a pretty good line. The first bus came and about 10 people got off and maybe a dozen from the line could get on. The next bus took 15 minutes to arrive and was just as packed. I think 5 people managed to get on it. At that rate, we would have been there all night. I ended up calling a Lyft and we went to the Harry Potter Store in NYC.
We did some shopping here. I had a butterbeer ice cream and Boo had a cupcake. We walked from here back to the hotel. It was about 12 blocks uptown, and not a terrible walk. We were fortunate that the weather wasn’t too hot, either. The next day was going to be busy so we needed our sleep!
This is the best kind of birthday gift – memories made and new places to see and new things to experience! Happy Birthday to Boo!
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