Thursday, September 20, 2018

Europe - Day 24 (New York, NY)

Back in the USA. We leave our floating home for good today. We are not entirely sure we want to, but the process of packing everything up has us all ready to move on.
The Magic is in NYC at Pier 88. We took a few pictures form our balcony of the sights.

I spy the Empire State Building!
Next to us... cool! 
We are glad to be late seating, as it means we get to sleep in a bit longer and go to the second breakfast seating. We were out of our room, with all our stuff at 8, and breakfast, back at Rupunsel's at 8:15 am. [Editor's Note: We had our final time change from the Atlantic to Eastern time zone, so 8:15 am felt like 9:15 am. It was still earlier than I would have liked, though.] A quick breakfast and final goodbye and hugs to our serving team. Maria and Marco were wonderful!
Once breakfast was done, all disembarkation groups were cleared to leave the ship, so we were able to walk off with ease. Suitcases were found and we moved through customs/immigration pretty quickly.
Now for the adventure of getting a taxi (or the like) to our hotel. This was my first real experience with the loud and fast pace of this city... oh, and the number of people!
At least 30 of us were all trying to cross the street to get to the taxi stands (all with suitcases). There were a few guys walking the crowd offering rides places. These guys had nothing indicating they were drivers for a cab company, or Uber or Lyft....just guys walking around... "hey, where you going?" [Editor's note: Some of them had printed out the Uber logo and were carrying it with them to make them seem more legit.] Then a nearby construction worker (hard hat and vest) started yelling at all of us "don't get into any car unless it's a yellow cab!" "Don't talk to those guys" "Keep walking to the taxi line".
Okay... so we all hustled across the street and queued up, but the taxi lane with filled with black SUVs.... more of these non-taxi guys. We waited for a bit and exchanged looks with others from our cruise. Then decided this wasn't how we wanted to spend the next half hour... so we walked about a block a way to give some distance from all the commotion, and hubby called a Lyft.
The other guys could have been Uber or Lyft drivers [Editor's Note: Probably not, since NYC requires Uber and Lyft drivers to have a special license to operate in the city], but we were more comfortable going the official route. Soon we were rolling to our hotel and getting checked in.
The Homewood Suites in Midtown Manhattan was prepared for us and several other families from our ship. The room wasn't ready yet (note: it's still before 10 am) but they tagged and stored our luggage so we could head out to see some stuff.

We headed to the American Museum of Natural History.

Funny, it's another museum with ties to the Night at the Museum movies. But we enjoyed the regular exhibits we were able to explore plus the Unseen Oceans exhibit we added on. Here come a ton of pictures.

This was the coolest! a huge kinetic sand table! with a dynamic projection on top, so as you move the sand... the color of it changes. (Video below) 

This was just what our young man needed... He really enjoyed it. 
The table was set up so people could visualize different ocean depths. They had a cool projector above that changed the color of things based on how high or low the sand was built up. So you could make islands, or trenches. They asked that you stay no longer than 10 minutes if people were waiting. [Editor's note: Lucky for us, there weren't too many people around so no one was waiting.] We want one at home.

After the museum, we took the subway back to the hotel and got into our room. We were able to take a hour or so break before dinner and our evening show!

This seems like real NY pizza to me
Tonight we have tickets to see Frozen on Broadway. We decided on Frozen several months ago and picked up the tickets. But this evening as we make our way around town to get to the show... the kids seem unsure of our choice.

But after the show, they were very glad we did it. Both enjoyed it. Our young man pointed out all the differences from the film and our young lady had the soundtrack on her phone before bed. 

One last stop before we call it... a glimpse at Time Square. 

A glimpse was all I could handle.... Apparently I am not a city girl. 
We had a short hop back to the hotel - now to unwind and get to sleep. Tomorrow home. 

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