The 900' View

This is what it looks like after going up 70 flights in what Alice calls "the spaceship elevator." 9:30am at Top of the Rock is the best place to be on a humid Sunday morning – no lines, no crowd, and the friendliest staff you've ever met. All those were a huge relief to me, who was sans husband, alone with the kids, and a tad nervous about the thought of navigating through hordes of people at a major tourist attraction, and juggling potty breaks, snack requests, potential demands to be carried, etc, alone. Turned out, it was an absolute breeze. 

I guess it helps that these two are practically grown ups already! And pretty decent listeners, too.

Alice kept pressing her face up against the glass so her cheeks were squashed, squeezing her arm through the tiny gap between the panes, and stretching it out as far as she could to touch the cornices. That girl has no fear. Meanwhile, Everett mostly stood behind me and asked if we could go back inside now.



I love this picture. The dainty position of the picture-taker's hand, the formal dress and pose of the model, the Empire State Building in the center... it kind of embodies everything I love about Japanese tourists.

"Look, there's the countryside!" Everett exclaimed. And when I said no, sweetie, that's Central Park, they both asked, almost in unison "Oh, where's Chestnut?!".

Back inside where some of us were more comfortable, the view is just as breathtaking.

After coming all the way down, we stopped at the Lego Store. I wish I could have captured the looks on their faces – the kids were blown away and so excited, their enthusiasm level higher than it was on the observation deck. Everett immediately picked out something to take home (how could I say no?): a pretty complex Spiderman suite of vehicles and buildings and characters. He then proceeded to pick something out for Alice. Really sweet, yes, but I was a little disappointed that he instinctively reached for a pink box. I – perhaps a little too aggressively – reprimanded him, scolding him that just because it's pink doesn't mean it's the one she wants. So even though I really didn't want to buy two things, we let Alice select her own present. I can proudly say that she overlooked all the typical, overly "girly" items and chose a pretty hardcore Spiderman car, complete with a villain ("a bad guy!") and fire rocket jet engines, that was the perfect complement to Everett's. Everett insisted on carrying the boxes up to the cashier and then carrying the bag out of the store.

"Everett, show the Lego presents! Want to take a picture of them."

Across the street, I handed out pennies to throw in a fountain, and when I said "make a wish!" they blew on them like they were blowing out birthday candles before they tossed them into the water. It was so cute I gave them each another just so I could see it again! And of course I blew on mine when they I insisted I make a wish, too. We couldn't agree between ice cream or a pretzel, so we got one of each (natch!) and counted taxis and double decker buses until Mommy insisted it was time to go.