Friday, October 21, 2011

New York

Before moving to Wyoming many years ago, my Grandma Leonhardt grew up in New York City.  I can't even begin to imagine how incredibly hard it would have been to pack up, head to Wyoming (first stop was Nebraska), leaving my family behind. She said goodbye to her mother, her siblings and moved halfway across the country with her new husband...and became a farmer's wife! ;) My Grandma has traveled back and forth for many years to visit her sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews and this last trip I invited myself to go along!  I am so glad I did.....   

Over the years I have been able to meet some of the "New York Family" members, but this trip I got to hang out with them all!  I have an amazing family out there!!  Not only did they welcome me into their homes and family, they fed me, they shopped with me, but they also gave me The Grand Tour of New York!  Here are some highlights (there are a ton of pictures....I am not even sharing all of them) Enjoy

We started on Manhattan Island ...Rockefeller Center, Sax Fifth Ave, Lincoln Center...
They were already icing the rink

30 Rock

St. Patrick's Cathedral...BEAUTIFUL!
Next we hopped on the Subway...(my first time on the Subway) and headed down to the 9/11 Memorial

My Grandma, her Sister Janet and Janet's daughter, Jannie
These are a lot bigger than you think, can you see how tiny the people across the way are in comparison?
Me and Grandma
The building behind us with the flag hanging on it, is the new Freedom Tower.

A view of the memorial from my cousin Jannie's office building

That is the Freedom Tower next to the memorial...they are so close

...This building is the building my cousin works in.  I don't know if you can see how extremely close her building was to the twin towers.  Everyday on her way to the office she'd come in through the tower and cross over a connecting bridge to her building.  The day of the attacks she decided to take the ferry instead of the train and was coming into the city as the first plane hit.  Her ferry comes in right behind this building and there was a very clear view of the Twin Towers on her ride...I can't even begin to imagine...

There was so much damage to all the buildings around, they are still working on some areas.  Living so far away from the actual sight I think we forget...or never fully understood the complete devastation that these people had to live through.  Being there, reading the names of people who lost their so sacredly sad.  Another thing we don't hear about being so far away is the havoc 9/11 is still causing.  My cousin Bobby was a 9/11 First Responder...he and an astounding number of First Responder men and women have been diagnosed and are fighting cancer...believed to be caused from being on the grounds at that time.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

My Grandma and her Sister Janet
They live so far away from each other...and they still have matching jackets ;)

After our tour of the memorial we headed to Time Square where my cousin got us a hotel room to stay in for the night.  After checking in to the hotel and eating a delicious dinner (at the Palm) we went to the Broadway Show, Wicked.  Amazing...the singers/actors and orchestra were great.
In Time Square

The next day we took our time getting ready, we were a little tired from all of our traveling the day before.  Once we were ready we headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  WOW! I love history, so I think I could have spent weeks in there.  I would love to go back-there was so much that I missed!  After a very crazy cab ride back to Jannie's office my Grandma and Aunt headed back to my Aunts apartment.  Jannie took me down to Greenwich Village, we walked through SOHO, Chinatown and Little Italy and everywhere in between.  What an amazing area!

After spending a few days in the city we headed to my cousin Jannie's beautiful home in Wyndham.  Their house is in the amazing Catskill mountains.  One interesting fact: The Catskill Mountains hold an incredible view called the Spectacular 5, in which you can see 5 states.  The White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Berkshire Mountain of Massachusetts, the Helderberg Mountains of New York, and the Connecticut Valley

While in Wyndham Janet's son Billy, his wife Patrice and their kids came to visit us on Saturday.  Sunday Bobby, (Janet's other son) his wife Karen and their boys came to visit.  It was so much fun to sit an visit with them and their family.
Part of my amazing family! So sad I didn't get a picture of Bobby's family on Sunday

My Great Aunt Janet and her husband, my Great Uncle Nick

On our way home from Wyndham we stopped at the Woodlawn Cemetery to see my Great-great Grandpa Kelly's handy work.  If I remember the story right, he was a mason and carved his family's headstone.  My Great Grandpa, also a mason, finished it by carving the family name in/on it.  Many Kelly family members rest back a very long ways.  I am such a history freak that I think this was my favorite part of the trip.  I learned so much about my history...loved it.  This cemetery has very old, gorgeous, mausoleums that house many of the famously rich..such as the Woolworth's. 
My Great Aunt Janet and my Grandma
Our last day in town took a ferry to Liberty Island and saw the Statue of Liberty.  Wow, she's big...bigger than I thought.
Can you see the tiny people standing around the pedestal?

From the ferry, Miss New York

My trip was amazing, and I couldn't have gone without the help I got from my family here at home.  My parents, husband and Mother-in-law were a huge help with my kids.  Thank you all so much for taking over and helping out so that I could do this.  I really appreciated your help and it was so relaxing to know my kids were safe and having fun without me.  In fact when I told Max that I missed him so much he replied, "Yeah, but we sure had a lot of fun without you."


Michelle said...

oh wow! How fun is that. I am still waiting on a trip to NY. I would love to go. It looks amazing! Thanks for sharing all the pictures. It makes me want to go even more!

Kim said...

NY is my dream trip, it looks like you had a great time.