A Festive Day in New York City


The crew from Varekai is taking a two week break from school, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to blog about our recent trip to NYC.

On Sunday, December 17, 2017, we finally made it to New York to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.  The boys had been wanting to go for awhile, but we just never had a good day where we could make the trip.

We parked in the Bronx, as we always do, and rode the subway to Grand Central Station. We had several things that we wanted to see.  We had, just a few days prior, watched a documentary about St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  So, we knew that we wanted to visit the place for ourselves.  There was a pretty Christmas tree in the courtyard of Lotte New York Palace Hotel just before we got to the cathedral.

Entrance to the courtyard
Christmas tree in the courtyard
Liam and Glen just outside the Lotte New York Palace Hotel
Erik just outside the Lotte New York Palace Hotel
Erik wanted to touch the tree

From the tree, we headed over to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  Mass was currently going on, so we were told to stay near the back with the other sightseers.  Mass ended while we were still there, so we did get to walk around a bit.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral just across the street
The ceiling in St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Cathedral ceiling
Stained glass walls all up and down the sides of the cathedral
One of the many confessionals inside the cathedral – The Altar of St. Brigid and Bernard
The nativity scene inside the cathedral
The High Altar just following mass
At the back of the cathedral – over 9,000 pipes that are said to be used daily
Just outside the front doors
Just outside the front doors
Beautiful detail just outside the front door

The walk to Rockefeller Center was not too far from the cathedral, and we happened upon it by chance.  There was a line of people, that we were trying to avoid, that encircled the city block.  Within that line of people was the tree.  We never really figured out what the line was for…ice skating, shopping, etc.  We guessed that it was ice skating, so we chose to not even think about attempting that activity.  We zig zagged our way through the many people to see the tree up close.

Erik wishing the line to ice skate wasn’t so long

When we got there, there was another line (much much shorter) to take your own picture with the tree in the background.  We figured since we had come this far that we could stand in this short line for a few snapshots.

The tree
The tree at Rockefeller Center
Saks Fifth Avenue the other direction…so festive
The boys huddled together for a photo
John and I looking chilled
Liam happy to be done with the line to get a photo
Glen is all smiles
Erik was happy to see the BIG tree

We took a break from sightseeing to have lunch at an Irish Pub that was very near Central Park…our next destination.  We had been to New York several times before, but we had never walked through Central Park.

A frozen pond as we entered Central Park
The ice rink inside Central Park

John pointed out that Big Bird was sitting on a park bench in the Central Park.  The boys are not fans of the show, but John and I thought it was conversation worthy.  And, it made an interesting picture with the color contrast.

Big Bird in Central Park

We did not take a carriage ride but many people did.  There was carriage after carriage after carriage carrying bundled up people through the park.

Liam felt cold in Central Park

Liam and I stopped and watched a lady getting her portrait drawn.  The artist was incredible.  The drawing looked just like the lady.

Glen thought Central Park was crowded
Erik liked all the statues in Central Park

Liam and Erik saw a sign stating that if you adopt a tree, you get your name on a paving stone that will be placed in the park.

Liam and Erik walking and talking about the trees and paving stones in the park
The leafless trees in the park
Erik telling John about all the things in the park that he had seen
Stairs leading down to Bethesda Terrace

As we entered the terrace, there were tons of people, but there was also a guitar player.  The boys were very impressed with his playing.

Bethesda Terrace ceiling
At Bethesda Terrace
The view at Bethesda Terrace
Bethesda Fountain in the park – the water that was left was frozen

We entered a section of the park that was mostly trails.  There were very few people, and the boys could run and play.  They made up games to play on the trails.

Mostly deserted walking trails
Erik walking the trail and looking for more squirrels
A little bit of snow left from the snowstorm on Friday
Liam enjoying the lack of people in this part of the park
Empty trails everywhere
The boys dreaming up games to play on the trails
Frozen Central Park Lake
Loeb Central Park Boathouse overlooking the lake

We marveled at the beautiful homes that lined 5th Avenue.  Most of them were decorated for the holidays.  We all thought it was interesting how they were sandwiched between much larger buildings.  At first they looked out of place, but then we saw the pattern and thought that it made perfect sense.

We had very recently completed the audiobook From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and the boys really wanted to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see some of the things that were mentioned in the book.  We were too tired and it was getting late, so we opted to wait for another day to tour the enormous museum for that would take an entire day in itself.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

We walked a few blocks to get to the subway station, chose the wrong entrance, rode further south, got off, and got on the right train to the Bronx.  When we got to the Bronx, it was dark.  Luckily our truck was parked nearby, and we began our drive home with hopes to return soon to see the museum.

The boys giving me their best West Side Story snapping as we enter the correct subway – Glen and I had recently watched the movie, and he had mentioned it several times on this trip.

The next day we had a visit from some of our Houston friends.  They stayed the night with us, and we went to lunch and had pretty milkshakes for dessert.

The boys had a Peanut Butter Cup Milkshake

One thought on “A Festive Day in New York City

  1. Was such fun to see St. Patrick’s, Rockefeller Center again through your blog. Jim’s office was in Exxon Building in Rockefeller Center. Central Park is fun but just wait to see how beautiful it is in the spring. Enjoy your time in the chilly weather. Hugs.


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