In May of 2007 I went on a trip with my school to New York City. Four hundred dollars, a few months and a seven hour drive later we entered the amazing city. The architecture alone is enough to take your breath away. We left on a Friday, taking the day off of school, and would return late on Sunday. During the first day the most notable place we went to was the Empire State Building. Getting up to the observation deck is like going through a maze of stairs followed by an elevator ride that seemed like it took forever. The view made everything worth it – even the fear of being told the building swayed from side to side. After we went to dinner at this barbecue place, the exact name escapes me, that ended up making most of us sick Saturday and Sunday.
The highlight of Saturday was going to Medieval Times in New Jersey. Medieval Times is a place where you watch a reenactment of jousting and everything. You get put in a section with an assigned color that coincides with the knights on the horses and can even buy flags to wave around with their color to support them. During the show you get served a whole medieval style meal and yes, that meant no silver wear. Believe it or not the meal was actually pretty good, not the best I’ve ever had but definitely not the worst either. Also, on Saturday we went to the Toys ‘R Us in Times Square. This place was like the mother of all toy stores. It was three stories high with a ferris wheel. The carts on the ferris wheel were all cars designed after various things like My Little Pony, Little Tyke and other brand names of kids things. To ride the ferris wheel it cost fifteen dollars but they never stated the length of the ride. Two of my friends and I rode it and ended up almost getting left behind because we ended up being on it for an insane amount of time.
Sunday was a day that really hit home for all of us. It was a day full of history. We went to the building that was right next to the World Trade Centers and walked on the same steps that had at one point been littered with the debris from them. The same steps remain. From there we could see the building of the World Trade center memorial. This especially meant a lot for me since at the time my step-father was serving overseas. After that we took a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. We were supposed to go up but it was closed that day. Still actually standing there was amazing. Our last stop before returning home was Ellis Island. My ancestors came over from Ireland so this was also a major thing for me to see. To be on the steps they took, too look around the same walls they saw, to see America as they first saw it: the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline in the distance, it’s indescribable. I found myself trying to put myself in their shoes but it’s an impossible task.
New York City is an amazing place. There is tons to see, more than we could see in that single weekend. What we saw was just a taste that left me wanting to go back for more, to explore these areas and new one on my own time where I could take as long as I pleased.
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