Taking Caleigh to New York City was no easy feat, but I think we accomplished a lot in the little time that we had in the city. I'll be writing about our tricks to getting around with a wheelchair in a later post because honestly it deserves its own spot in the sun.
We arrived in New York on the evening of Easter Sunday. The traffic was terrifying through the Holland Tunnel, Soho and Chinatown. We went over the Manhattan Bridge and checked into our hotel room in Brooklyn. We also parked our car which was a cheap $130 for the 3 nights stay. I chose Brooklyn because it is a little less crazy in terms of traffic and it moves at a slightly slower pace. We ordered in food and all passed out asleep.
The next morning we headed out to visit the World Trade Center Memorial first thing. We've always wanted to visit the site. That morning we talked to Caleigh in the best seven year old version about where we were on September 11, 2001 and what the bad men did to the buildings, airplanes and the people inside them.
The memorial is absolutely beautiful. They really did an amazing job on it. The North and South Tower reflective pools are just beyond words. We stood outside for a long time watching the water and reading the names.
We got in line to buy tickets for the actual museum and once we did that we were quickly pulled out of line to bypass the very long entry line. This has happened a lot on this trip and I'm thankful because it really has helped us cover more in the time we've had.
I will say that there are many areas of the museum that are difficult for a seven year old. We skirted by those.
The museum takes you back to that September morning. It takes you back to all the feelings of loss and helplessness and then circles you around to pride for our country. It's a quiet museum, the decor and lighting are dark and it is almost like you are attending a funeral. Everyone was extremely respectful and solemn. Rightly so. The museum and the 9/11 are things we will never forget.
When we were done with the museum we started walking west and found some food. The weather was gorgeous outside so we decided to walk down by the water for awhile. Awhile turned into more than 10 miles on that first day. New Jersey is in the background of the photograph above.
We made it to Battery Park and saw the semi-tiny Statue of Liberty from afar. Then we kept on...
We walked almost the entire bottom shoreline of Manhattan until we were at the Brooklyn Bridge. At this point we decided to keep going. So we headed up the stairs to the pedestrian walkway of the bridge.
When we got there we were getting ready to carry Caleigh and her chair up the stairs when a nice man offered to help out. He got a workout for sure. Adding a note here: There are still nice people in the this world.
The two mile, beautiful weather, rush hour walk was entertaining and faced paced.
After the bridge we made it to the Brooklyn Bridge Park where we watched the sun go down behind the Manhattan skyline. It was a breathtaking view. There are even accessible swings in the small park. We walked back to our hotel and called it a night and a very successful day in New York.