NYC Day 3

Thursday morning we awoke and found ourselves to the bus stop where we would be taken directly to Pier 83 and the Circle Line Cruise we had purchased months ago. We had worried for weeks that it would rain this morning, or be too foggy to see the "best of NYC" as our tour was named. Happily, the weather kept holding off holding off until finally all chances of rain dissipated and we had a cooler, overcast day upon us. Victory! 
Some of these next pictures just speak for themselves. SO cool to be there that morning, SO cool to see certain landmarks up close and others just far enough away to be awe inspiring. We cruised down the west side of the island, rounding out at the south by Lady Liberty herself (affectionately referred to as "the GREEN LADY!" by Soren for the rest of the trip) then moving uptown on the east side by all the famous bridges. Usually the tour circles the island, but because of high tide we made a big U from west to east then turned around and retraced our steps, allowing us a second glance at all we'd seen and heard about from the tour guide. I of course remember nothing of the informative tour, but the scenes sure were pretty. :) 
 Zane and Brandon were actually the ones who snuck down (away from Soren) to the front of the ship and captured all these beautiful pictures (the rest of us were upstairs and inside, out of the wind, looking through big glass windows). What a gift to your wife/mother, boys. Thank you!
 Bridges are some of Brandon's favorite things. :)

 On the way back around the U, first Emily and Annie, then Soren and I joined the boys outside for some additional (phone) pics. Had to capture and share immediately, and these did the trick! 
Oh how I loved (as I always do) hanging with this dear friend of mine. She is a treasure.
How about one more shot of the Green Lady, shall we?
 Hooray for the Circle Line Tour! When asked later about his favorite part of the NYC trip, Zane remembered this tour FIRST. He loved all the information given as we cruised by the numerous sites. He gets that from his dad (who gets it from grandma and grandpa) (see why this was the perfect way to spend a morning with this family?). 
After the cruise, we started in on my "our time is almost out and y'all NEED to see a few more famous landmarks before we can leave" list. Really there could have been a dozen items on this list, but we settled for Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Station, via Times Square.
Here we are on the bus over.

Everyone was a champ as we walked (and walked and walked and walked) (reminds me of a song). We went first to Rockefeller Plaza. Girls and Grandpa went into one of my favorite places, the Metropolitan Museum of Art gift shop. Growing up, my grandma Mimi would always send us little presents from this catalogue, and walking into the store I always feel awash with memories of her. Special moment for me and for Annie too, as Grandma helped her find a great souvenir for her trip: a coloring book of beautiful costumes and ball gowns with some accompanying sparkle pens. Score! After our find, we went across the way into the LEGO store, where the boys had been enjoying themselves.
Zane, bless his heart, has been entirely too influenced by his parents and couldn't find anything to buy that seemed "worth the money." Never did, actually. His "money for NYC" is still tucked away in his wallet. Maybe next time. :)
After the Lego Store, we attempted our ONLY group shot of the entire trip. I found someone I thought wouldn't mind helping us in our quest, handed her my camera, and rushed my family into the spot on the Plaza with the iconic gold statue behind us. We all smiled (I strained, you can tell!), the woman took exactly two photos, and I hurriedly grabbed it back from her with a big thank you! "Aren't you going to check it and make sure it's really what you want, then make us do it again?" asked Brandon. "No, in fact, I'm not!" Well guess what I should have. When I looked at the pictures later, I did a double take. Sure, there we are at the plaza, but do YOU see the iconic gold statue?!?! OF COURSE YOU DON'T! She's just off camera there, to the left! It's like when I took a drive by shot of the White House years ago and only got the flag flying on a tall pole above it in the actual frame. I continue to be myself, folks. Therefore, I'm going to need you to imagine the Gold Statue this time. For both pictures below.
Oh look, there she is! Thank heavens for happy dances and willing children, a few minutes before the attempted group shot. Thank you children!
Okay, everyone was a little tired at that point, but I insisted on walking (and walking and walking) over to Grand Central, because I've been dreaming of that ceiling ever since the last time I was here. Perfect shade of teal I tell you! Perfect! Swoon! (Should have used a real camera!)
The next hour went somewhat array, as we should have gone downstairs for PROTEIN but went for CUPCAKES instead. 
Not my finest hour, and we had a few tears thanks to the exhaustion-mixed-with-sugar overload. But we got it mostly worked out (thank you philly cheesesteaks for a second time this trip) and THANKFULLY because of Emily knew about the shuttle between Grand Central and Times Square, and so hopped on it and easy peasy got ourselves back closer to home. Everyone went into the Disney Store while I waited in line at the TKTS booth.
 I decided on Les Miserables (so much to choose from though! gotta go back for Bright Star, Hamilton if tickets ever stop being $1500 a piece, Waitress, Stomp, and on and on and on), got everyone else home and fed (can't even remember with what at this point!) and set off for the theatre, B, Z, and me (just like the old days, when I started my mbzross blog).
It might be one of the older shows on Broadway, but it was stunning. Epic. WELL worth our time and money. (Hopefully Zane learned that lesson that night!)
Afterward, we found ourselves in Times Square with our almost 12 year old! I could not be happier with this kid. HE is stunning. Epic. WELL worth our time and money. So happy to share that evening with him (just overlook my weepy Les Mis eyes, please).
We ended the night with a BIG piece of raspberry swirl cheesecake from Junior's after Brandon typed in "cheesecake near me." Thank you again Google maps! Perfect way to end another remarkable family day in the city.