State Nickname: The Empire State
Years of Family Trip: 2002, 2004, and 2007
Cities Visited: Niagara Falls, New York City
Can't Miss Tourist Attractions:
Niagara Falls, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Belmont Park
There is certainly no shortage of things to do and places to go in New York. Most of our Heflin family adventures took place around New York City, but as an NYC resident for over eight years now believe me when I say this state has SO much to offer.
Don't get me wrong though, it's not my favorite. Never has been. When we came for a family vacation back in 2004, I couldn't wait to get back home! After one of our expeditions through the subway system, I proclaimed, "If there are more people above ground than down here, I just want to turn around and go home." I'd love to say I've overcome that feeling since becoming a resident, but I still feel that way most days! Living in New York City is not for the faint of heart - it is busy and crowded and overwhelming and expensive. But it is a FANTASTIC place to visit!!
In 2002, we visited Niagara Falls. The Falls are stunning from any angle, but we spent time on both the American and Canadian side. And we took a boat ride - Maiden of the Mist - to see things close up. Big mistake! We didn't see nearly as much as we felt on that boat ride. We got soaked!
A Heflin Trifecta
On our NYC vacation in 2004, we stayed with my Aunt Mildred in Long Island. This required us to take the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) into the city each day. As a result, we saw posters advertising the Belmont Stakes. And Smarty Jones was running for the Triple Crown. Perfect timing! We barely made it to the racetrack in time to place our bets. We were ready to watch history be made. And then we saw the mass of humanity that we'd need to see through in order to watch the race. We tip-toed enough to see bits and pieces of the horses beginning their journey to the starting gate. And then we noticed Mom was missing. Where did she go? We soon found her gagging into a nearby trash can. The reason - too much cigar smoke. Needless to say, Smarty didn't have such a great race experience either!
We made a journey to the Statue on our initial trip to NYC in 2004, but weren't able to go inside at that time. In 2007, when all the Heflins convened on the city to celebrate my first winter in the Big Apple, we were able to climb inside. On one visit, Mom received a surprise from a little birdie friend as we waited on the never ending line to board the boat to Ellis Island, where lifelong packs were promised.
Happy New Year!!
On the chilly New Year's Eve of 2007, we took our place inside the barricade while the sun was still shining overhead. It didn't take long for the area to fill with people. It also didn't take long for us to get tired and antsy. Jen brought a book...smart girl! Mom thinks a couple was rounding the bases using her back as a makeshift wall. Dad and I played a guessing game of sorts...and wished we'd brought some chairs. We all couldn't have been any happier when the ball finally began to drop! Being there to ring in 2008 was certainly an experience, but not one any of us would likely repeat.
Have you ever been to the Big Apple?
What did you enjoy most?