Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Six in the City

We left Turkey Swamp the Tuesday after Labor Day(8th) and went over to Quakertown PA to stay at the Tohickon campground.

It was the 1st time we had full hook ups for weeks.  It was such a treat! The pool, however, was being drained the day after we arrived(which was the hottest day on record in that area-94 degrees).  Total bummer.

Quakertown was a quaint little town that once housed the Liberty Bell in a haystack one night while it was on it's way to Allentown to protect it during the revolution. Sissy and I walked around and looked in the shops and had a great conversation with the director of an art studio there names Renee.  The studio works with special needs/disabled kids so we had a lot to chat about and could have talked a lot longer about everything and anything but had to catch our ride home( Hubby took the others to quick do some laundry).

Daddy got her to sleep!!!!!!!!!

It only took 9 months but Daddy finally got to relax with Little Girl sleeping on his chest

Potato Hash

view from our trailer.  There is a creek the kids fished in.  

Playing football.

We visited Philidelphia and NYC from there.  Philly was last Friday the 11th and then NYC on Tuesday the 15th.

I loved Philidelphia!!  Again, the history.  We saw the Liberty Bell(free), toured Independence Hall(free), and visited the Benjamin Franklin Museum($5).

Scenes from Philly


love the old buildings 

Independence Hall where the Declaration and Constitution were hashed out

Courtroom in Independence Hall

Amazing architecture 

Assembly Room where Washington himself sat

Princess was so enthused 

The building farthest away was where George Washington and John Adams were inaugurated

Bubba is smiling because for once something is broke and he didn't do it( or orchestrate it) lol

cobblestone path that leads to Franklin's Court

I was worried that the Franklin Museum would be boring for the kids but on the contrary! It was so interactive and hands on! We all had a blast and learned some really cool things.  What an interesting guy. We visited Ben and his wife, Deborah's, grave also.  If you want to actually go inside the cemetery it costs money(really?!) but you can see their graves easily from the outside gates.  So that's what we did.

We also easily found a parking garage and we even fit into it!  Woo-hoo!!

Franklin invented a great many thing even though he only had 2 years of formal education. This is a soup bowl he created for ships.  That way if the soup sloshes to the side it doesn't spill and get wasted.

Franklin's home was torn down by his grandchildren in the 1800's along with his printing shop.  But there is an outline of where the buildings once stood. 

and on each footprint is a layout of how the rooms were and descriptions and quotes about the home. (think 'a Clue game board')

The cement thing behind Sissy has  plexiglass where you can look down onto the original foundations.

Here was Ben and Deborah's gravesites

After the Ben Franklin Musuem we loaded up in the van and went to Geno's to try a Philly Cheesesteak.  Little Miss and Ethan  didn't like it but it was a hit with everyone else. I just got french fries then.  Geno's was double the price of the sidewalk vendors downtown though. Yikes.

We had wanted to go the the Mutter museum also( they have all kinds of weird anatomical anomalies) but we would have had only an hour there beforeit closed.  For the amount we would have had to pay to get in, it wasn't worth it.  Kind of a bummer.

Our last thing that the kids wanted to do was run up the steps at the Museum of Art( the Rocky steps).  Bubba and Sissy had done this while on their Urban Hope Mission trips to Philly.  But traffic was horrendous and the only parking was the garage which was quite expensive so we by passed it.

Another bummer.

Sissy wanted us to try some Lemon Water Ice at Rita's so we put it into GPS. We drove to an area and amazingly found parking right away.  Hubby jumped out to grab some for all of us while I fed Baby Girl real quick.  But as we sat there, we noticed that the people seemed mad at us and were looking around our van to peer down the street.

I quickly realized we were parked in the bus pick up area!  OOPS!

Hubby returned with no water ice because there was no Rita's there and we quickly got out of there before the bus pulled up or the crowd turned on us.

We eventually found a Rita's on our way out of town though.  Tasty and I could eat it!!

Our next adventure was NYC.  This trip loomed over the Hubby and I.  There was a lot of logistics to figure out when taking six kids to the Big Apple.

We finally decided we would do the Park and Ride in New Bergen New Jersey.  You can park your vehicle just outside the Lincoln Tunnel and take a bus to the other side.  It cost all of us about $33 round trip. We also didn't want to hit the tunnel during rush hour so that meant going super early(like 6am) or later(like 10am).  We voted for later( especially since NYC was 1 1/2 hours from us). We didn't have any traffic so it was a good choice.

So the bus drops us off at the Port Authority bus terminal in NYC and I figure they have to have a map of the city right?  Nope.  I knew a bunch of things were right around that area from previous research but with out a map we had no idea where exactly.

Luckily, Hubby was able to pull a map up on his phone to help guide us.  Disaster averted.

We saw Radio City Musical Hall, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Time Square, and Central Park. By saw, I mean walked by.  Except Central Park.  We did sit down on a nice shady bench by the zoo for a little bit.

Time Square

Sensory Overload

 The kids wanted to eat New York style pizza too so we ate at John's Pizza near Times Square.  It is in an old church and was really neat.  They even had pizza I could have and it was GOOD!
John's Pizza made in the brick oven right by our table

stained glass ceiling

The kids loved seeing Radio City Musical Hall because they are big America's Got Talent fans

Baby Girl did great as usual. I had to feed her a couple times as we were walking around and then she just slept.

The kids thought Trump tower seemed evil lol

Chillin out in Central Park

Empire State Building

Empire State building to the right of the screen, Sissy and Bubba to the left

Then it was time to trek like 20 blocks back to decide whether we were taking the subway or a bus to downtown Manhattan.  

This was the worst part of the entire day.  We are from Indiana and therefore do not know anything about public transportation systems.  We had no idea if you could just board a bus and pay there or if you had ot have a metro card or ticket ahead of time.  So we decided to take the subway which the kids were excited to take anyway.

The first worker we talked to at the station told us we had to take the A and transfer to the E( or something like that). The word transfer sent ripples of fear down my spine so I asked if there was something easier.  He said to walk a couple blocks and get on the E line from there.

It was about 3pm at this point and the line started forming at 4pm for the free WTC Museum tickets.
So we get to Penn Station and talk t some more workers and finally figure out what the heck we are suppose to do.  We get our tickets and then can't figure out which train is the one we need to get on.  We asked a couple people and they weren't from the city so they didn't know.  We finally asked a guy on the platform who was very helpful and pointed us in the right direction.

It was so confusing!!!

 We get to the end of the line and had to walk a couple blocks to the WTC Memorial.  It was terribly beautiful as Bubba put it.  Terrible for what happened but the memorial itself was beautiful.  And being just after the anniversary, there were flowers in many of the names.

It was a somber experience.

And when we finally got there( there were delays on our train due to rush hour) all the tickets were gone and you couldn't even buy any.  So we after 3 weeks of planning the trip around going on a Tuesday to get in free, we couldn't get in at all.  I was so disappointed.  We did everything we could to make it there at 4pm to get in line right away but it just didn't work out.

I will say that when we got back to our van at 8pm we saw signs that said all cars needed to be out of the parking lot by 10pm that night or they would be towed.  We could have easily been in the museum for 2 hours which would have meant us being back after 10pm.  So perhaps a blessing in disguise.

New WTC building

This is the family I am praying for

This is looking into the museum.  It's one of the beams from the WTC tower(the brown thing).  The glass kept reflecting and catching my image when I would take a picture.

The museum. It looks really small but the collection itself is all underground.

People already lined up for the free tickets

 After the memorial we grabbed a hotdog and water from a street vendor and then walked down to Battery Park( what a lovely area!) and saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from afar.  We were going to ride the Staten Island across to get a better view of Lady Liberty(since the ferry is free) but everyone said they were fine seeing the statue from the shore and were ready to head back.  So that's what we did.

Ellis Island.  I really wanted to go here but the Ferry was ridiculously expensive. Sad.

Notice Little Miss laying down lol

End of a long day at Battery Park

Our trip back uptown via the subway was much better.  We were feeling like old pros lol

Glad I read this before I started...

It was a very long trip home though and we were all really sore from all the walking we did. I had a splitting headache and my sinuses were killing me(allergies and a bit dehydrated I think).  The bed never felt so good.

We all enjoyed the experience of the city but even Bubba, who loves the idea of city life, said he was in no hurry to return.  Life runs at a blistering pace there it seems and there is so much everywhere that it is overwhelming sometimes. You sure wouldn't get bored there!

I talked a little with the gentleman on the bus trip home.  He was just getting off of work and I found out his son  had just started college at Purdue in Indiana.  Another person, another unique story.

Many Blessings,
The Mama

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