After a good night's sleep and some awesome bagels, we were ready to tackle our first day. We knew that our first stop would be Jacques Torres' chocolate shop where we were hoping the Easter treats would be half off.
No go on the bargains but the kids loved spending their money on sweet delights. Maggie made the bold and awesome move to go for the 2 pound chocolate bar so large that tools are required when breaking off a piece.
From there, having no solid plan, we decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
I would describe this as "fun" while some children I know deemed it "boring." Silly children.
We did some free-ranging here and I have to admit, it was anxiety provoking. Morrigan and Eion wanted to run ahead so we let them go and told them to wait at the other side of the bridge. (Mags preferred to stay with us and complain about the activity and its lack of excitement.) Sure enough, they were both there when we reached the other side but I had genuinely worried about what I would tell people if I lost two kids in one day.
Next we saw a sign for the 9/11 Memorial. I had heard it was excellent so we went there. Now the memorial itself was spectacular. It is two large pools that are at the locations of the North and South tower. They have waterfalls that spill into a hole that seems to have no bottom.
The artist's vision was that it would represent the outpouring of emotion and the emptiness felt after the attacks. It might be the first time ever that I read an artist's statement and felt they really achieved their vision, and on a grand scale. It was well worth the visit.
The wait and security to get there, however, was bullshit.
Just one of the many lines we enjoyed.
First, you have to go to a separate location and get tickets. You wait in a line to get into the ticket office. Then you wait in line in the ticket office. They are free so tickets seem a bit silly but whatever. Then you walk a few blocks and get into another line to go through security.
This was a little unnerving as there were four prohibited items and Tim was carrying one of them, a pocket knife. By now we had invested at least a half hour in this so he figured if he got pulled, he'd meet us after. Seeing as they were scanning bags and we were going through metal detectors, Tim was upfront and told them he had a knife. No problem, said the cop, go right through.
So what the f-ity f f f was all the security for anyway. Maybe part of the memorial process was to remind us how 9/11 made air travel a nightmare. But after that it was only one more line and we had arrived.
After lunch, we took a harbor tour. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were closed due to damage from Hurricane Sandy so this was the closest we could get. And we needed this picture.
It's a Doctor Who thing.
By then, we were cooked and went back to Brooklyn, having much more success on the subway. Morrigan and Eion were happy with a slice of pizza for dinner but Maggie wanted to join Tim and myself for a dinner out. She was a complete champ. She tried (and hated) escargot but even after her initial failure, tried (and loved) calamari, cheese ravioli, and falafel. I may never have been as proud as I was at that meal. It is so lovely to eat out and have a child who will eat something other than nuggets.
It's 8:16am and I am currently the rate-limiting factor for the family so I'll sign off and start NYC, day 2!