OWTK was teetering on the brink of a crappy weekend. It was so very close to being a miserable waste of two gorgeous days.
On Friday night, I conjured up whimsical visions of a metropolitan weekend affair - Philly on Saturday and the Big Apple on Sunday. There's just something about mid-70 degree summertime temps that push me downtown rather than to a local park.
Our start on Saturday, however, was so damn late that my goal of being inside the National Constitution Center as they opened at 9:30am did not even come close to happening. We got to the city around noon and had a quick pizza lunch at Rustica in Northern Liberties. Olde city was packed, so we ditched the original idea and just popped over to Franklin Square Park for an hour - enough time for 5 carousel rides and some playground time for #1 and myself - while the Mrs. fed #2 in the car parked along Arch St.
Sunday was better. I made it to NYC - from driveway to parking garage near Battery Park - in 1 hr 45 min. I was pretty impressed with myself. It was an idyllic day in Manhattan, perfect for #2's first trip to the big city. Even better, she slept the whole way up and for much of lunch. That is quite a rarity. She, unlike her older sis at the same age, is not able to get comfortable for long stretches (say 10 minutes at a time...maybe). We ate at the pleasant, but grossly overpriced tourist destination Battery Gardens. Do you have to pay $21 to eat a cheeseburger with a view of the Statue of Liberty? No, you don't at all...but we did. It is places like Battery Gardens that make everyone who doesn't live in the city think that NYC is WAY out of their price range - which is completely false. In NYC, it is easy to have some of the best food and experiences of your life for the same price as a crappy Outback Steakhouse meal and a trip to the local multiplex back home. Don't let people tell you otherwise.
While in the city, we again rode the NY Waterway Lady Liberty boat around the East River, New York Harbor, Statue of Liberty and Hudson River. I spent the previous night dreaming of being on the water in NYC and was fortunate to be able to make that dream come true the following afternoon. After lunch we strolled up Battery Park, hung out at a cool little dog park so #1 could watch and giggle at the antics of the nearly dozen dogs playing together, and watch the bikers, rollerbladers and city kids playing freely along the Hudson. We also enjoyed gelato while looking out over a fancy boat slip.
I cannot visit Manhattan without wanted to start looking for a place to live. Luckily my wife is there to remind me how we have no chance of affording such a lifestyle. If only I could sell more tee shirts (hint hint...buy something!)