Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Times Square, 30 Rock, Lunch @ Junior's

Our second day in Manhattan was a little less energetic. It involved walking in Times Square, which evidently did not impress me as I took no photos. It was mostly other tourists walking around and street performers hoping for tips. I think I'd already seen too many live shots and photos of the area to be duly impressed.
Before we ever left home Mark had said we would probably have lunch or dinner with Juliet's parents - possibly causing me the most anxiety other than the driving in NY traffic. I had worries about what to wear, what to talk about if they looked down on us rubes from the Midwest, etc. etc. It turns out the only other person more anxious than I was Juliet - she was afraid we might not like her parents!
It could not have gone any better. We liked them and they liked us. It was a very fun lunch and I would enjoy seeing more of these two totally comfortable, down-to-earth east coast denizens. Juliet's younger sister, Chloe, who is an actress, was also there. Yep, liked her, too. Now the family member I really hope to meet someday is Linda's, Mom, Juliet's Grandmother.
Our lunch was at Junior's in Times Square - noted for their cheesecakes and desserts. Before eating I really planned on having some honest-to-goodness New York cheesecake, but I was too full after eating. Smarter heads prevailed and we got one piece of cheesecake and shared it among those of us who love cheesecake. It was perfect; just enough and I'm so glad I had the NY cheesecake experience.
Rockefeller Center was the afternoon destination. I told the kids I probably wouldn't go up to the top because of my fear of heights. But I also told myself I would try it - maybe!
One of the building's art deco motifs: "Wisdom and Knowledge Shall be the Stability of thy Times."
The bling that caught my eye while waiting in line for the elevator to take us to the top - a several storied chandelier.
A view from the top (69th floor observation deck). That tan building right in the middle is the one that impressed me - so ornate on top. I'm still hoping to discover the name of this building.
Bud's very good photo of the Empire State Building. Our time in NYC was coming to an end. After this we went back to our hotel, bid the kids good-bye, organized our suitcases and loaded what we could in the car ready for leaving in the morning.
Which turned out to be the wildest part of the whole weekend. Bud set Susie to take us to some town in New Jersey - which is REALLY where I lost any faith in Susie - I could have charted a better course out of town. I knew we were in trouble as soon as Susie took us back into Manhattan. Technically rush hour was over but that's when all the delivery trucks take over the streets. After many times of 'recalculating' and redirecting we finally made it to the Lincoln Tunnel and into New Jersey.
That hour plus getting out of New York and into New Jersey almost made me physically ill. It's a nice place to visit when you want to see your son, but I could not live there.

New Jersey was our next to last of the lower 48 states to check off. Technically I had been there once since I landed in Newark on the way back from Ireland in 1994.
We would dip down into Delaware in order to check off our last state and even that turned into an adventure due to less than ideally marked roads. I wish I had taken a photo of the narrow two-lane Susie (her again!) had us following. But we made it. In thirty years we have been to every one of the lower 48 states.
On the way to York, PA to overnight before going on to Gettysburg, we passed many scenic Amish farms. I was most interested in the pulley clotheslines.
One end was at 'normal' height while the other(s) lifted high up on a pole or the side of another building. Does the height help them dry faster? Or just keep them out of the way? It was something I'd never seen before and found it perplexing.
We also saw both boys and girls operating what looked like bicycles that were made into scooters which they were standing on with one foot and pushing with the other. Why don't they just ride bicycles? Ahh, when I google that question I find that some Amish in central PA are not allowed to ride bicycles. And who says traveling isn't educational?

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