New York City Bus Trip

On Saturday, Joe & I took a bus trip from our church to New York City.  Since Sunday was our one year anniversary, we figured this would serve as a nice quick getaway to celebrate.

Our main event of the day was the Southern Welcome Tour in Central Park.  The bus dropped us off at Bryant Park, so we decided to walk the 19 blocks to where the tour would begin.  We had two very friendly and knowledgeable tour guides who took us around to several important park landmarks between 59th and 65th Streets.  They also gave a lot of history on how the park came to be.  The picture at the top of this post is of the Gapstow Bridge, which was part of our tour.  It is popular for weddings, and we did in fact see a bridal couple getting pictures taken there.

After the tour, we spent a bit of time climbing on the rock outcroppings and enjoying the views in the park.  Then we made our way back down to the theater district. (I told Joe that next time we should plan to see a show – I think that would be a lot of fun!)  It was 1 o’clock by this point so we went to get lunch.

homecarminesnew3We ate at Carmine’s, which is an Italian restaurant that was recommended by Joe’s sister.  Fun fact: Joe’s dad’s name is Carmine.  The food was amazing, although there was way too much of it for us to possibly eat.  They serve their dishes family style, with what they say is enough for 2-3 people.  I am convinced we could have fed 5-6 from the huge platter they brought us!  We had rigatoni with meatballs, and it was really wonderful.

After lunch, we decided just to wander around and do some shopping.  We went in a few stores, but ended up spending most of our time people watching.  There was an event that day in Bryant Park, so that was all cordoned off and we couldn’t hang out there, but we found some other places to sit and take everything in.

All in all, it was a very nice day.  We could have planned at least one more specific thing to do to fill more of the time, but it turned out okay anyway.  We also spent some time catching Pokemon, so that was fun too.  (My son doesn’t have a smartphone so he has a game on my phone and I try to catch some on weekends that he is away with his dad.)

For those of you who have been to NYC, what are your favorite places to visit?  We will probably go back again, so we are always looking for ideas.


Places I Want to Visit

This post is going to be updated as I come across new places or make it to somewhere on the list.  Some of them will be more realistic than others, but I am hopeful that eventually I will make it to all of them.

  1. Pennsylvania Grand Canyon/Wellsboro
  2. Bushkill Falls
  3. Colonial Williamsburg
  4. Walt Disney World
  5. Niagara Falls
  6. National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial (we have already visited the World Trade Center and Flight 93 memorials)

I am totally open to suggestions, so please feel free to leave me a comment with your ideas of where I should go.

A Day in Dover

Last weekend, Joe and I got to spend the weekend with his family at the beach in Delaware. Being that we are not big “beach people,” we decided to spend our Saturday exploring nearby Dover. It turned out to be a good thing that we had made our plans, since the beach wasn’t too accommodating due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Hermine.

We chose to visit three sites over the course of our day – the Air Mobility Command Museum, the Delaware Agricultural Museum, and the John Dickinson Plantation.  All three turned out to be good choices.


Air Mobility Command Museum

First stop was the Air Mobility Command Museum, where we learned about the four different missions of this particular command: cargo hauling, in-air refueling, presidential detail, and conveying fallen soldiers.  Our tour guide was an Army veteran who had flown helicopters in Vietnam, and he was full of great stories about both the planes and the service.  Admission and the tour were free.

The picture above shows the inside of the hangar; they have quite a few planes outside the building, as well.  None of the planes were open that day due to the impending hurricane, but we were able to walk around and read about them.  This was Joe’s favorite of the places we went to that day.


Delaware Agricultural Museum

Our next visit was to the Delaware Agricultural Museum.  This includes some indoor exhibits along with an outdoor village comprised of several old buildings that have been brought to the location.  The village included a church, a school, a barber shop, a general store, and a wheelwright/blacksmith shop, as well as an old farmhouse with a few outbuildings.  You can walk in all of the buildings, and there was a blacksmith on the premises when we visited who gave Joe a nail that he made while we watched.

Indoors was an assortment of old farm implements, a collection of wood carvings, a miniature train display, and the log house shown in the picture above, along with a variety of other exhibits.  It seemed a little bit jumbled to me, but I think it would be a good place to introduce children to some history in an interesting way.  Admission was $5 each with our military ID.


John Dickinson Plantation

Our third and final stop was my favorite of the day – the John Dickinson Plantation.  It started at the welcome center with a short video about John Dickinson, who was a signer of the US Constitution (although he abstained from signing the Declaration of Independence because he didn’t think the timing was right).  Following that, we were sent up to the house where a couple of guides in period clothing were waiting to show visitors through the house.

The main house was originally three stories, but was rebuilt as a two-story after a fire in the early 1800s.  The section in the middle was a large dining room, which was added on and used like we would a family room.  It was later divided to include a pantry and an office.  The smallest section was yet another addition that was originally a summer kitchen.  The volunteers currently have it set up as a workroom with a loom and such.

The house was charming, and the grounds were very pretty.  The guides were also very knowledgeable and engaging.  Even better, admission was free.

mcglynns-pubIn between our second and third stops, we made a slight detour for lunch at McGlynns Pub, where we had a couple of great burgers and fries (mine were sweet potato, yum!).  All in all, it was an enjoyable and informative day in Dover.

How do you like to spend your summer holidays – relaxing on the beach or exploring like we do?  Leave a comment and let me know.