Wrapping up the Christmas week with a day in New York

The Tree at Rockefeller Center 2018

The Tree at Rockefeller Center 2018

We’ve all been (mostly) off from work and school this week, and it has been pretty relaxing. Sure, Nums had some work to catch up on and I had all these online classes to take at the last minute to earn some much needed Continuing Professional Education credits, but it’s been a relaxing week overall. The kids slept in every day (teenage Josh especially), and I slept in on occasion as well. The kids and I also had a few Nerf battles in the house using some of our new toys.

We decided it would be nice to head to the city at the end of the week to see the tree at Rockefeller Center. We also considered other things we all wanted to do. For example,

  1. Lily wanted to visit Trinity church down in the FiDi and check out the gravesites for Alexander Hamilton and other American Revolutionary War notable figures.
  2. Nums wanted to grab dinner or dessert at Serendipity 3 up on the Upper East Side and see the tree at Rockefeller Center.
  3. Josh wanted to visit the Nintendo store (again.)
  4. I didn’t have any particular needs, but would not have minded finally visiting the One World Observatory.

We considered going to New York on Fri but it was cold and rainy. We pushed the trip back a day to Sat Dec 28 instead.

We were running late trying to find parking in Newark, and then there were train delays as well. The Trinity church cemetery supposedly closed at 4 PM and we were running a big risk of missing our window. Once we got to WTC, we hustled up and out and arrived at the church by 3:55 PM. Would they deny us entry? No, we were worried over nothing. We walked grounds for 45 minutes and no one said anything at all. By this time, I needed a coffee and we had a 5 PM time slot to visit the observatory.

Coffee and cheese danishes now in hand, we walked over to 1 WTC. Now I have some advice to share. When booking the tickets that morning, i was offered an opportunity to upgrade to Priority tickets. For around $4 extra per ticket, you get access to the ‘Priority’ lines when entering and exiting the building. I couldn’t find too much guidance online and while I didn’t want to waste $16 on a dumb upgrade, I remembered long lines attempting to exit Willis Tower in Chicago many years ago. I opted for the upgrade.

Best $16 I ever spent.

The regular line? A long line outside in the cold. Priority line? Much shorter! We soon went inside and downstairs to some Priority security checkpoint. We soon took the elevator upstairs to the 103rd floor, then the 101st. Nice views. We stayed for about an hour, then made our way to the exit. Huge line snaking around the entire floor. But aha! There was a priority exit line. Super short.

Best $16 I ever spent!

Dinner at Anassa Tavern

We took the train to 59th St to try for dinner at Serendipity but there was a 2 hour wait. We walked down the street instead to eat dinner at a Greek restaurant called Anassa Tavern. They had seats and a bar!

After dinner, we walked all the way to Rockefeller Center. Huge crowds. We saw the tree… and the crowds, and some audio/visual show at Saks. The kids checked out the Nintendo store for about 30 min and we took our seats along the window in Purgatory with the rest of the parents.

And that was it for the evening. We took the train back to 33rd St, walked to Penn, took a crowded train back to Newark, then drove home.

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Big afternoon and evening and we got most everything done (75%). Nums made reservations for Feb at Serendipity so we’re gonna try again.


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