Week #14 should be a doozy, even by Cancerpalooza standards. We’ll be in New York City for numerous events, fun, and excitement that include helicopters, rock climbing, roller coasters, speedboats and more. And the Pickerings, my mother’s side of the family, have a big reunion.
To top it off, we are dining at one of the worlds finest restaurants and beginning a Green Day extravaganza. Hold on to the roll-bar, this blog is going off road!
Off to New York
Downstairs, Trish and I have dinner with our close friend, Angela (Lumira) from the video game Warhammer Online. We’ve been friends online for a few years, and Trish met her where she lives in Austin last spring.
We try to get a headstart in the morning, but we never get out early for road trips. Plus, I have to tie the girls bikes to the back of our little Forester. They want to learn how to ride without training wheels while at Grandmas. I’m a little nervous about the long ride up I-95 with the bikes on the back.
The roller coaster family
‘Are we there yet?’ The 4 hour ride goes as slowly as it ever does on the boring-as-hell ride from DC to New York.
Six Flags Great Adventure is a aging park. It reminds us of Euro-Disney, somewhat: lots of smoking, mixed languages, pushy people and smells. But the roller coasters are pretty damn good compared to ours in DC. Once night falls, and it cools off, the lines get a bit shorter and we hit the roller coaster side of the park.
Trish and I split up to take each kid on their favorite coaster over and over. Lily is on a 42″ height coaster. It’s smaller, but definitely not a kiddie one. And Emma rides El Toro, the 3rd fastest and highest wooden coaster in the world. She’s absolutely breathless with energy after each ride, and talking a mile-a-minute. Emma says it’s the greatest day of her life.
On her way out, our 7-year-old, Lily hears the “Puh-puh-puh-poker-face-puh-puh poker face” of Lady Gaga on the park loudspeakers. She says to me “Oh gawd, I hate this song. I discovered Lady Gaga and told all my friends. Now they play it everywhere!”
She’s a Creekmore allright.
Ink48 – home away from home
We close the park at 10pm, and drive quietly to Hell’s Kitchen, NYC, where our favorite hotel, ink48 is waiting. Ink48 is a Kimpton, and is incredibly affordable for NYC. We got an amazing suite overlooking the Hudson for about $325, and kings with beautiful city views were $225.
It’s on 11th and 48th, not near a subway, but since that’s the taxi district there is one waiting outside at every hour of the day. And 10th/11th avenues are drag-strips compared with the inland avenues, so you can get up or downtown quickly and cheaply.
It’s about 1am and we all pass out from a long day of driving and roller coasters.
New York by air
And in 1998 Trish got multiple helicopter rides over wild Morocco when she covered the Eco-Challenge there during the Discovery Online’s ‘Kontent is King’ days. (lololol)
The vertical take-off of a helicopter feels a little jerky, but it smoothes out as we head over Govenor’s island toward the Verrazano bridge, and back toward the Statue of Liberty. Past the ground zero construction, we can see the construction of the two pools that will be at the momument. We fly up the west side of Manhattan and the haze begins to clear a little for us as we fly over Inwood and circle the new Yankee Stadium.
New York is an amazing city to see from the air. Nothing in the world is like it and it’s definitely worth the (not insignificant) cost to see it.
New York by Sea
Back out in the heat, we wait for our ride on the ‘Shark’ speedboat, operated by the same people that do the snoozy ‘Circle Line’ tour all the way around Manhattan. I wonder if this is going to be fun…
Those of us that have hair (Oh Snap!) get it blown back behind our heads. The girls squeal with delight to the blasting music. The wind cools us off entirely, and for good measure the crew hits us with water guns. The combo of Helicopter and Speedboat is really, really, really good. I can’t believe how much fun I’m having being a tourist in the city I once called home.
Our appointment to learn wall rock climbing is an hour away, so the family camps out at the registration desk. Trish falls asleep on the couch, exhausted from the intense day. More than one person pulled out their camera to snap the street-family camped out in the posh New York Gym. I guess we looked funny.
It was great fun watching those girls fly up and down that rock wall, and I bet we will do that more in DC.
Continued, so read on!