First Trip to New York City!

My first trip to New York City was not the usual type. I went with the purpose of visiting religious sites. So I didn’t see the usual tourist sites. But the few hours we spent in New York was fun! We went with a tour group and it was funny because mom and I were scared little tourists. Could hardly leave the group, and was always back 30 minutes before anyone else.
Our first stop was Times Square. If you go to Times Square, go at night. When you go during the day it’s kind of boring. Many say that Times Square is over hyped, and it is. But it’s still worth seeing. When you go at night.
After Times Square we went to Little Italy. Which is very little, it’s mostly just China Town now. We went to a little Italian restaurant where I ordered Pasta e Fagioli. People always warn you not to expect the same tasting dish at another restaurant. I thought it would be better than Olive Garden’s, and it wasn’t. I love Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli and all I got at this restaurant was a plate of beans. I’m suspicious that I was given a different soup then Pasta e Fagioli but until I have it in another place other than Olive Garden how will I know? We shopped a bit and mom and I found a purple and blue scarf that came in handy later in the
We then went to Grand Central Station. While waiting for the tour group to group up before we entered, I ran over to the other side of the street alone and took pictures of places where the TV show White Collar had been filmed. Watch Season 1 episode 5, the scene where he goes and finds the hidden note, and sees Kate. I was there! Yes, I am a TV nerd. Sometimes. I was just happy to recognize a place.
After running off, and scaring mom because I crossed the street ALONE, the tour group followed me over because they wanted to know what was going on. Nothing over on this side of the street folks…oh besides the beautiful outside of Grand Central.

Grand Central Station
Into Grand Central Station we went. No one told me that the ceiling is blue with parts of the zodiac (i.e Aries the Ram and Cancer the crab) and constellations (i.e. Orion the Hunter and Pegasus the Winged Horse) painted on it. It is gorgeous. I have a video of mom doing a twirl dance on her tippy toes as she tries to video tape the ceiling. The Vanderbilt Hall-which is the entrance when you come from 42nd street-has big chandeliers and is rented out for special exhibits and private events. When we were there it had a fall/winter poem and photography exhibit. While mom and I hung out at the Grand Central Station, talking with others in our group, we found out that a section of our group ran over to the Chrysler Building. We had been invited to go but mom and I didn’t want to risk the time schedule. I offer this tip for ones in tour groups-just go. Don’t hold others up, but at the same time don’t be scared to just go on your own. Mom and I missed so much because we were to scared to go out alone. And the Chrysler Building is RIGHT THERE. You don’t have to wander far to see new stuff. Just go. Don’t be scared, just keep an eye on the time and walk fast.
We walked down the street to the New York City Public Library after that. I was expecting books upon books. Instead we were stunned with the beautiful interior. It was like stepping into a scene from Phantom of the Opera. I don’t even think we went up to the famous Rose Room because we had so much fun taking pictures of the lobby.

New York City Library

New York City Library

After that we headed down Fifth Avenue. Walking in a big tour group with everyone having their umbrellas out is very interesting. I’m sure New Yorkers just crossed the street to avoid us. Trying to keep to one side of the sidewalk, and wrestling with a broken umbrella is not that much fun. Bring, or buy, sturdy umbrellas. Mom and I had two umbrellas but when one of our friends umbrella broke we offered up one of ours and just shared. I don’t mind rain and usually just let mom have the umbrella. I had fun. Remember it’s attitude that makes an adventure. Tana 5th Ave New York CityWe passed the Empire State Building, which is so very high, and on a cloudy, rainy, day was hard to even see the top. After a number of blocks we went back to Times Square. Like I stated before, Times Square is best seen at night. Mom and I had fun spotting ourselves on the big T.V., then we wandered over to the Hersey’s Chocolate Factory where we only paid 5 dollars to have a message run on their screen. We people watched, but we didn’t see the Naked Cowboy or Indian.
The next day we visited the Met for a four hour long bible tour that took us into the depths of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Medo-Persia.

winged bull medo persiaTana met musemegyptian met museummaenad met museum

After the Met the bus drove through Central Park. It’s amazing how Central Park is engineered. To truly appreciate how they built the few roads in Central Park to not interfere with those enjoying the park you need to be outside in the park. But even though we didn’t have time to go to Central Park, just driving thru a quick section will make you appreciate it. We drove to Brooklyn, while passing the Empire State Building and the Flat Iron Building. We went to 25 Columbia Heights, where two of my friends are assigned, and took a branch tour.Empire State BuildingFlat Iron Building

That night we took the Staten Island Ferry.Staten Island Ferry

It’s a free 30 minute one way trip and the best way to view the New York City Skyline. We tried to take a picture of the Statue of Liberty as we passed by but it’s so small and far away that all the pictures came out blurry. I highly recommend this as something to do in New York City.
The next day we went outside of the city and I saw two of my friends and mostly spent the day with them. When we returned we were invited to go into the city and do whatever we pleased. Most in our tour group were going to a Broadway play. Mom and I debated what Broadway show to go to. I wanted to see Phantom of the Opera, but at the same time not. You know how you build something up in your mind so much you don’t want to ruin it? So we went with the others in the tour group and saw Memphis. After the Broadway show we drove around with our tour guide, who went above and beyond, and had the time of our life laughing. A perfect way to end our fun trip.


Hi! My name is Tana Buckminster and I am a travel writer for my travel blog, Road Trips With My Mom. I like to go on adventures, visit museums, and see new places. Come follow me on my adventures!


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