It's a creekmore world

Week # 14: The Creekmores take New York City by land, air and sea


YYYEAAAHH!  Double blast goes up and down.

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

Kids from Mars
Our daughters say good-by to their summer friends and come home early for dinner on Tuesday night, July 27th. They won’t be back for several weeks and school will begin shortly after they return.  They go about packing their bags for their three week visit with grandparents.

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.

Tink and Lumi are willing to smile for one shot.
It’s a surprise to Trish.  Angela and I planned weeks ago for the surprise. She is in D.C. for some work training, and kept her visit a secret.  It’s a hilarious dinner, and we are as comfortable with one another as we would be if we lived next door.  And we do, so to speak, just virtually.

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

Lookin up the Ferris Wheel
Everyone in the car knows we are going to NYC, but they don’t know that I’m about to announce a stop-off at Six Flags Great Adventure, near Trenton, New Jersey.

‘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.

The wooden El Toro Coaster at sunset.  Emma's favorite ride EVER.

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.

The view from our hotel
We found the service to be great, truly great, not fake great where they carry your bag for five feet and hold out their hand for a tip.  The restaurant was a little pricy for what it was, and the spa was very expensive.  But neither is uncommon for hotels.

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

Trish and I have been in a few helicopters. We once withstood the full force of a desperate three-hour timeshare hard-sell in Hawaii to save a few hundred dollars off a helicopter ride over the big island. I can still picture that ride vividly in my head, 6 years later.

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)

Did you like it kids?
Lily and Emma look excited at the surprise, but they don’t know the full extent of what they are getting when I announce that we are going for a helicopter ride around New York City.  Trish does, though, and her eyes light up.  Our cab driver takes us to the wrong heliport and we run late, but the reserved time is just an estimate.  The small 7 person copters take off every 6 minutes and they fit us in easily.

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.

The new Yankee stadium
It’s over in about 30 minutes, but it seemed longer.   It’s not much of a ‘shared’ experience because we can’t talk over the rotor noise.  But the girls look like they had fun didn’t they?

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

We walk a few blocks up to the seaport and climb inside the little mall.  It’s cool inside and the food isn’t gross, shockingly.  I find a little place that serves really fresh fish (swordfish, salmon) from the fish market for $9 a plate, grilled with rice and vegetables.

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…

2. Much. Fun.
The boat probably seats 80, but it’s barely a quarter full and we get seats right up front.  There are water-proof speakers every few rows, and they blast one cheesy rock anthem after another at high volume:  ‘Eye of the Tiger’, ‘More than a Feelin’ etc…   The boat backs up into the East river and POW! takes off toward the Statue of Liberty at really high speeds.

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.

Rock climbing

Wow, Lily!
We grab some $4 waters from the deli at the edge of the pier, and hop in a cab heading north west to the Cheleas Piers sports center.  This complex was barely finished when I left, so it’s new to me and I’m surprised at how big it is.

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.

Looking proud
The girls were like little spiders on the giant rock wall.  Lily and Emma both scrambled up and down 45 foot rock walls multiple times.  They put the adults to shame.  Trish got dizzy, probably from chemo effects.  I made it up and down a few times, and it was fun.  But my wrists cramped so much that I couldn’t even sign the sheet at the end of class with a pen.

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!

One thought on “Week # 14: The Creekmores take New York City by land, air and sea

  1. Corey

    The company was totally worth the lack of raw fish. And I fully support (and may campaign for) a Creekmore move to NYC…and not just for the cheap babysitting. Congratulations on making it through the last chemo treatment. Much Love.

Leave a Reply