Thursday and the Three Hour Tour

Thursday was an awesome day because I got paid early as Friday was Good Friday.  We were also able to sleep in a little because our Circle Line boat tour didn’t start until 11:30.  Did you know Manhattan is an island?  Yeah, it is.  I knew that people called it an island, but I didn’t know that it was completely an island, like that you could go all the way around it.  In our City Pass, we had a Circle Line ticket for two hours around the bottom part of the city or we could upgrade to a three hour tour around the whole island for $4, which is what we did.  And it was a beautiful day, warm and sunny.  However, because of the flooding the previous week, we were told that we might not be able to make it the whole way around the island.  And we didn’t.  

But we did take a three hour tour, much like Gilligan but with better results.  The captain that did the audio portion of the tour was awesome.  He was old and had really great stories, like when that plane crashed taking off from La Guardia and his boat helped get people off the wing.  And on September 11th when they were part of the rescue effort when the area was evacuated and the people south of the twin towers were just standing by the water wondering how to get off the island.  Stuff like that I never really thought about because when you see it on the TV, you don’t get a feel for the logistics of it.  We also got to go by the World Trade Center rebuilding and in our guidebook we could see where the towers had been.  It was a stark reminder of what happened that day and the tragedy that it really was. 

World Trade Center Construction

On a lighter note, I’m an idiot.  We were sitting inside the boat because the top deck was already full when we got on.  When they opened the front doors on our level, I took off to get a good spot along the railing.  Everyone was going to the left so I thought I’d be smart and  go to the right in order to get a good spot; however, the only thing on the right was New Jersey.  No offense to New Jersey, but no wonder everyone was going to the left, what an idiot.  I could have gotten three hours of pictures of New Jersey, or I could go sit inside with Shelby and just come out for the good pictures, which is what I did.  Of course, I found out later that all my pictures sucked because there was a crack in my lens.  Luckily, we had Shelby’s pictures after the $39 to retrieve them.  

Here’s the Queensboro bridge from King of Queens:  

Here’s Shelby and grandma Linda:  
Here’s Shelby and our $4 refillable mug:   

Definitely worth the money

 So worth it, we both got one:  

Shelby was LOVING the pictures

After the boat tour, we took the bus over and walked to the Empire State Building, or as I like to call it, “The Granddaddy of all Lines”.  First, a little history.  The guy that built the Empire State Building wanted to make his building taller than the Chrysler Building because of a previous grudge against that guy, even if it bankrupted him, which it almost did.  In order to secure the funding, he made the observation deck, in essence building a tourist attraction.  And as I said in an earlier post, it’s nothing like Sleepless in Seattle.  So don’t go expecting to go straight to the elevator to find your Tom Hanks.  Not going to happen.  

The outside line was around the building.  Then the inside line to security, the line for tickets, which we got to skip because of our City Pass, the line for the audio tour, the line for the first elevator, then the second elevator, and then the down elevators.  But I skipped a bit of the story. 

Shelby's Waiting in Line

I highly recommend the audio tour.  I think it might have been included in our ticket, but it was well worth it even if it wasn’t.  It was voiced by Tony and he was born in New York and was so interesting.  Look how much Shelby liked it:  

Shelby LOVED Tony

We finally made it to the first elevator:
And of course, the view was spectacular:  

There's the Park

I loved getting the audio tour wherever we went.  Shelby and I would coordinate it so we were listening to the exact same thing.  And then on really interesting things, we would look at each other like, “that’s so cool”.  We had our “that’s so cool” look down pat.  Tony was fun and informative.    
And I couldn’t stop singing Hard Knock Life from Annie, “Make it SHINE like the top of the Chrysler Building”.  I was annoying.  

The Top IS Really Shiny

Here’s a group shot before we went to get in line to go down the elevators:  

Linda, Shelby, and Me

Bye, Tony:  
Thursday night we didn’t have a show and that was just fine by us because we needed a break. We went to Original Ray’s pizza and sat with strangers because there wasn’t enough seating. Then we walked home and by a Pinkberry:  

Pinkberry in Bed

We were back to the hotel early and in bed to watch more HGTV.  It was so nice to have an early night because we were getting to the end and pretty exhausted by that time.  I actually felt like I’d seen everything I needed to and would be okay if it was our last day.  But I was sad to come home too.  The time with Shelby was so wonderful and an experience that I know she’s going to remember for the rest of her life.  As will I.  



  1. “On a lighter note, I’m an idiot..”
    You crack me up. That totally sounds like something I would do, thinking I’m so smart too!!
    It’s been fun going through this experience with you, you’re a great Mom for making this happen!

  2. carikelley

    Oh, yes, I would have totally done that too…thinking I was smarter than everyone else at first, then realizing I was the only idiot…except for the other idiot that followed ME.

    I’m love, love, LOVE this trip and what it represents for you and Shelby! She WILL remember that special time with her mom for the rest of her life!

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