The time had come for our first family trip and we wanted to share the magic of New York City during Thanksgiving. The long Thanksgiving weekend is a special time in the Big Apple. There is a different energy about the city – with the backdrop of crisp late fall weather you can feel a heightened sense of anticipation and celebration.
On Thanksgiving Eve afternoon we made our way to the American Museum of Natural History to watch the Macy’s balloon inflation. The narrow streets surrounding the Museum were lined with helium filled tractor trailers waiting to release their air into the deflated balloons lying trapped under netting, anchored to the earth. As the helium slowly made its way into every crevice of the multi-stories tall balloons they began to rise and strain against their restraints. I remember our Grands watching in amazement as SpongeBob, Snoopy, Ronald McDonald, and others began to take shape. That night, as they lay on their mattress palette at the foot of our bed, our first three Grands talked excitedly about the parade the next morning.
The Salisbury Hotel is located at 123 West 57th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue. We selected this hotel because of its proximity to the parade which would wind its way out of Columbus Circle and then down 6th Avenue, a half block from our hotel. After getting dressed and purchasing a light breakfast and coffee from the Starbucks across the street we stood on the sidewalk on West 57th and watched the balloons soar overhead as they passed on their way to Times Square. The Grands were in awe and excitedly jumped up and down as Snoopy passed overhead.
Following the parade we walked the few blocks to Central Park and as we crossed the street to head into the park Grand #3 joyfully exclaimed in Spanish, “El Caballo!” as a horse drawn carriage pulled past us. We entered the Park and made our way to the beautifully situated Wollman Skating Rink where we donned skates for turns around the ice at the foot of the stunning Manhattan skyline. After a few spectacular falls and much laughter we purchased hot chocolate and wandered back to the hotel before taking a train to Brooklyn to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast with relatives in their brownstone.
Sated and tired, we climbed into our waiting Towncar for the ride back into Manhattan and before the back doors were closed all three Grands in the back seat were soundly asleep – a joyful exhaustion had overtaken them.
The next evening we hired a limo for a tour of the department store windows. As we wound our way through Midtown, we periodically stopped, everyone piled out of the vehicle to peer into the festively decorated store windows after windows before finishing up our trip on top of the Empire State building.
Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.