Kent and Carol - Mobile travel blog

New York City skyline with cruise ship in port.

From the top of Rockefeller Center - Empire State Building in blue.

Times Square - New Years Ball (back center).

Inside Radio City Music Hall

Rockette with four of our group.

Rockefeller Center - Getting Ice rank ready for winter season.

Gray's Papaya - Some of our group outside eating Hot Dogs.

Statue of Liberty

Trinity Church as seen from Wall Street.

Tenement Museum - Very narrow building holds 10 apartments.

Inside Katz's Deli - Harry Met Sally table marked by round sign...

Main Hall inside The Met.

Our Carriage Ride through Cental Park.

Dinner at the Tavern on the Green - Our Guide in Red...

Friday, October 2, we drove the RV east across New Jersey via I-78 into Jersey City, NJ. We arrived at the Liberty Harbor RV Park about noon. It is not a very attractive RV Park because it is just a gravel lot, surrounded by a field of weeds, a boat storage lot and a car parking lot for passengers that ride the commuter ferry to New York City. What makes it desirable is that it is the closest RV Park to New York City. If you look around all the boats you can see the top half of the Statue of Liberty. They charge $60 a night, because location is the calling card. The cost of the parking was in the total package we paid Winnebago for this third and last tour that Carol and I have purchased for this travel season. As soon a Carol and I got settled in and had some lunch the tour activities started at 2:00pm with an orientation meeting. At 4:30 the tour bus with step-on-guide, picked us up and we headed into the “Big Apple”. We stopped at an overlook area on the Jersey side, to view the skyscrapers from afar and then took the Lincoln Tunnel into the city. We drove through the city and down to lower Manhattan to “Little Italy” where we had our opening dinner. The bus then took us to Rockefeller Center so we could view the city lights from atop the Rockefeller Building. We then made a quick photo stop at Times Square to see all the lights and then back to the RV Park. That was just the first day.

Saturday morning the bus and guide took us to Radio City Music Hall where we had a behind the scenes tour of the huge theater and the hydraulic stage system that is still working since it was built in the 1930s. We then learned about the Rockettes by meeting and talking to one of the lady Rockettes. We were then given some free time to explore Rockefeller Center and eat lunch. After lunch we were given a tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The bus then took us to the Brooklyn Bridge where the guide wanted us to walk across the bridge but it started to rain. All of us old folks decided to take pictures and eat ice cream instead. Then a tour of Grand Central Station where we had dinner and then the bus took us to the pier along the Hudson River for a 90 minute Twilight Cruise around the southern end of Manhattan. It had stopped raining and cleared by this time.

Sunday, the bus took us to Grey’s Dog and Papaya Shop where you can have two hot dogs and a Papaya drink for $4.45. It was supposed to be the place that is seen on the Sinfeld TV program. The guide then wanted us to experience Central Park on a Sunday and to see how it is used, so we walked across the half-mile park to witness the lakes, fountains, people and the street entertainers. Then bused to Grant’s Tomb followed by a bus tour of Harlem and Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan’s oldest house. From there the guide taught us to use the subway on our way to Times Square, where we had a great dinner at the Center Stage Café. We then had some free time at Times Square with only a short walk to the theater for the Broadway Show, “Mamma Mia”. That was a great show and we had seats on the third row center.

Monday, we took the boat from the Jersey coast to The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island Immigration Museum and then boated over to Battery Park on the southern most point of Manhattan. Our faithful bus driver picked up our group and our guide and took us to the Wall Street area where we walked down Wall Street. We then visited Trinity Church and then to St. Paul’s Chapel which was the little church that all the emergency workers used for rest and relaxing while doing recovery work after September 11th. Our guide then took us to the second floor of the World Financial Center, which overlooks the Ground Zero area. She told us what that day was like, what area buildings were damaged and about the future plans for the area. Then dinner on the lower floor of the World Financial Center at the Southwest New York Restaurant. The bus then took us to the Broadway Theater for the show “The Phantom of the Opera”. The show had some fabulous stage effects and scenery but Carol and I and some others of our group decided that opera is not our most favorite entertainment. Some parts were hard to understand when four singers are singing at the same time.

Tuesday, more bus tours of the city. We made a short stop at the UN building. We than had a stop for lunch at Katz’s Delicatessen. That is the place where “Harry met Sally” was depicted and lady at the adjacent table said, “I’ll have what she is having”. We then went to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. It was not a typical Museum but was a recreated site of an authentic restored tenement where ten apartments were crammed into a narrow five-story building. Our group was divided into three groups and then given instructions on how to become actors. We were to be recent immigrants to New York City looking for an apartment. Our “agent” took us to this apartment where this marvelous young actress was to show us around the apartment to see how they live and see if we would be interested in getting the apartment that just became vacant in her building. It was really fun and interesting. The bus then took us to Chinatown for a Peking Duck Dinner. Then a bus trip across town to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for our evening Broadway Show, “South Pacific”. It was a great show even though Carol and I know the show and most of the songs.

Wednesday was a free day. We were encouraged to visit anyplace of our own choice. I had already made contact with one of my previous students. Jill produces the noon hour news program at Fox Business News. I took the subway five blocks from the RV Park and changed subways and arrived across the street from the Fox building. Jill showed me around and then took me into the control booth where she ran the show. She writes the script, plans which guest will be on the show, sets up the live “on location” interviews and controls five people in the control booth. She talks to all there people and makes “on the fly” changes to the order of events. It was an extremely interesting visit and to see how fast a 27-year old girl has moved up to such a prestigious job. She was a go-getter when I had her as a student.

Thursday, our last full day of this tour. Our bus made a stop at a Hungarian Pastry Shop and then a tour of The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the largest cathedral in the world. Then we spent several hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The “Met” is one of the world’s largest art galleries so Carol and I sort of just flew through the main areas. I then hunted out the Modern Art section which is always interesting, to see what some people call art. Our bus then took us to Central Park where the guide had scheduled and paid for ten horse-drawn carriages for us to ride through Central Park. We loaded up two couples per carriage and had a nice peaceful ride to the Tavern on the Green, where we had a marvelous closing dinner to complete our tour.

Friday, morning (October 9, 2009) the group gathered for donuts and coffee and then everybody took off for their own destination. Carol and I headed strait west on I-78 for a short drive to Kutztown, PA, a town near Allentown, PA.

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