New York City, Rhode Island & Connecticut - June 25 - July 13, 2018
This is our second trip to New York City this year. We expected to encounter beautiful weather - cool temperatures - in early summer, but that was not the case for a portion of this trip. However, we were still able to accomplish most everything we had planned. In addition to NYC, we ventured eastward to Providence, RI, Newport, RI and New Haven, CT. We checked off two new states for us, CT & RI. Riding the Amtrak trains was very nice. It was almost as good as in Europe.
[Monday] Today was a long day. We left home at 4:00 AM and took an 8:05 AM United flight from Bush Airport to Laguardia Airport in NYC. We arrived at 12:30 PM and caught a taxi to the Sheraton Times Square Hotel. After checking in, we purchased our 7-day subway pass. We ate lunch/supper at Pret a Manger right outside our hotel.
We then took the Red #1 line to the South Ferry Staten, where the Staten Island Ferry and Statue of Liberty Cruise we have Thursday will depart. We then rode the subway back to 50th and Broadway, and walked back to our hotel.
After a short rest in the hotel we walked a few blocks to the Carnegie Hall. We enjoyed a performance of Sandi Patty in the Big Apple with Varitas and the American Festival Choir. Our day ended at 11:00 PM.
[Tuesday] Today we took the subway to Lincoln Center and took the 11:30 AM Guided Tour. It was an excellent tour and the lady guide really enjoyed telling everyone about the Lincoln Center.
After we ate lunch at a Mexican Restaurant (it wasn't very good) we walked to the American Folk Art Museum for a visit. Then we went back to the hotel and took a nap. We ate supper across from the hotel at a deli and then went back down to Lincoln Center to see the Midsummer Night Swing.
[Wednesday] Today after breakfast at our favorite, Pret A Manger, we took the subway to Brooklyn and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to the NYC side. It provided excellent views of downtown NYC and Brooklyn, as well as a distant view of the Statue of Liberty and tour boats on the East River. The bridge was opened in 1883 and is considered one of the greatest triumphs of the nineteenth-century.
John Roebling, the brilliant engineer, died in an accident as the bridge was being surveyed. His son Washington was chosen to complete the structure, but was totally disabled in 1872, and his wife, Emily became the chief administrative aide and enabled Washington to finish the project successfully.
We then took a short subway ride to Chinatown, where we ate lunch at an authentic Chinese restaurant.
We then walked through Little Italy. We walked back to the subway and rode to Wall Street, where we saw the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as President, Trinity Church and the Wall Street Bull & Little Girl statues.
We rode the subway back to our hotel and rested a little.
We then rode the subway to the Florim store, where we met the daughter of our friends, Mario and Marina, who live in Assisi, Italy. Maria Elia works at the Florim store that markets Italian porcelain products. We went to a nearby coffee shop and enjoyed a very good visit with her for an hour.
[Thursday] During the night, we heard thunder and it was raining when we woke at 6:30 AM. We used our umbrella and rode the subway to South Ferry where we met our group for a tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The rain stopped and it was a beautiful day by the time we got to the Statue. We spent 4 hours on the guided tour and then several hours on our own at Ellis Island. We rode the subway back to the hotel and arrived about 4 PM.
It started to rain again after we got back to the hotel. We decided to eat supper at Cafe 53 because the food is good and we did not have to get outside except for a few steps.
[Friday] This morning went to the Empire State Building and went to the 86th floor and the 102nd floor observation decks for a good look over the city. It was a little smoggy, but we could see all the sites.
We left about 4PM to take the subway to Yankee Stadium. On the way, we stopped in Harlem and looked around a little. We walked past the Apollo Theatre.
We went to Yankee Stadium and watched the Yankees beat the Red Sox's 8 to 1. Our seats were at the last row in the top section, so they were not what one would call premium, but you wouldn't know that from the price. We rode a crowded subway back to the hotel, arriving around 10:15PM.
[Saturday] Today we walked down 5th Avenue and saw all the high end stores, ending at the Rockefeller Center, where we ate lunch.
We took the bus to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and spent the rest of the day. We probably only saw 5% of the displays, after spending about 6 hours there. It is enormous!!
[Sunday] July 1 We attended the 9:30AM Contemporary Service at Calvary Baptist Church. The audience was about a 50-50 mix of white and blacks. The sermon was serious and Bible based. The title was "Is God all good?" Tackled some really difficult questions.
Afterwards we took a taxi (some of the subways we planned to use were closed) to South Ferry to ride the Staton Island Ferry to the island. We enjoyed a smoothie on the Island side and caught the Ferry back to Manhattan. There was a good view of the Manhattan skyline on the return.
We rode the subway to St. Patrick's Cathedral where we attend an organ concert by Brian F. Gurley. It was short but wonderful. The great organ and the acoustics of the great cathedral were outstanding.
We then walked back to our hotel, after stopping along the way to eat supper at a Mexican restaurant. NYC Mexican restaurants don't really understand Mexican food.
[Monday] Today its supposed to get to 95 degrees, but we thought we might get a bike ride in before it got too hot. We were wrong. We had to abort after about 15 minutes and walk the bikes back.
After a rest at the hotel, we went via subway to the NYC Public Library and took a tour of the historic building. We walked through Bryant Park, which is adjacent to the library.
Tonight we attended our first Broadway Theater play this trip. We saw The Phantom of the Opera at The Majestic Theatre. It was good, but I think the best best performance is the one that is in London, England.
[Tuesday] This morning we rode the subway to Greenwich Village and walked around the interesting old neighborhood of classic apartments with their outdoor fire escapes and eating establishments from all around the world.
We went south of Houston Street into the SoHo district and walked around some more and ate some yummy Chinese food, prior to taking the subway back to the hotel.
We relaxed in our room until about 6:00PM, then we rode the subway to near The High Line on 23rd Street and walked about 5 blocks on this elevated park, which used to be a train track elevated 30 feet above Manhattan. A rain had cooled it off and the park was beautifully designed and landscaped. We watched the sunset over the Hudson River.
We walked back along 23rd Street and stopped at the Dallas BBQ and ate supper. It was pretty good BBQ.
Afterwards we walked up the street to the Donut Plant and had dessert. We arrived back at our hotel a little before 10:00PM.
[Wednesday] Today we left NYC for a short time. We caught a taxi to Pennsylvania Station and took the Amtrak 2250 Acela Express train to Providence, RI. We departed Penn Station at 12:05 PM and arrived in Providence at 3:00PM. We took a taxi to the historic Providence Biltmore Hotel.
After relaxing in our room for a few hours, we walked north of the hotel, past Burnside Park to the oldest Baptist Church in America, which was founded by Roger Williams. It was still hot here, in the low 90s.
We ended the day by watching fireworks from the 18th floor. There must have been up to 50 distant sites that were shooting all around, and some went on two hours or more.
[Thursday] Today we walked to the Rhode Island State Capital Building and took an excellent tour that included a history lesson on Rhode Island and its founding by Roger Williams. RI is the smallest state, but it has the longest official state name: Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
We spent the afternoon getting a rental car. The rentals near the hotel didn't have any cars, so we had to take a taxi to Massachusetts (only 4 miles away) to get one.
[Friday] This morning before the rain storm moved through, we drove to the John Brown House and took the audio tour. He was the founder of Brown University.
We went back to the hotel and toured the sections we had not seen yet, as the rain moved through. After the rain ended, we walked next door to the Providence City Hall and looked about the historic building.
We ate a late lunch in the hotel and then we walked about a half mile to Brown University and walked through the campus.
[Saturday] We finally found the cool weather again!! After we walked out of the hotel this morning it was cool and the humidity was gone.
We departed Providence this morning in our rental car and drove to Newport. We arrived at our Bed & Breakfast, the Yankee Peddler Inn, and after dropping off our luggage, we walked to the Visitor Center where we took the Best of Newport Trolly Tour.
After eating lunch, we took the Newport Harbor Shuttle around the 55 minute loop through the harbor and to Goat Island.
After we returned from the tour, we checked in to our B&B and enjoyed cookies and coffee.
We then drove to Shepherd St and walked along the Cliff Walk near the Breakers historic mansion.
After returning to the B&B again, we walked down to near the wharfs and ate seafood at The Gas Lamp Grille.
[Sunday] We started the day off with two tours at The Breakers, the Vanderbilt summer home. The first was Beneath The Breakers, which took us under the mansion to see the state of the art heating, electric and plumbing that supported the 270,000 sq. ft. house. We then took the audio tour of the inside, which was just indescribable.
We are lunch there, then drove nearby to see The Marble House. This mansion was also a Vanderbilt home and was almost solid marble, inside and outside. We ended our visit to The Marble House by taking tea in the Tea House out back near the ocean.
When we left, we drove along the ocean and stopped to see a large number of kites flying in practice for an upcoming contest.
[Monday] Today we left Newport and drove west toward New Haven, Connecticut.We drove through Jamestown, Narragansett and Westerly on our way out of RI. We stopped and ate lunch in Mystic, CT and saw some of the sailing ships.
We continued through Groton and managed to go by the General Dynamics Electric Boat Division just as a shift change took place and a continuous string of workmen crossed the road in front of us while we waited and waited. Signs were posted all along the fence around the place forbidding photos.
We arrived in New Haven around 4:00PM and checked into the Omni Hotel at Yale.We washed some stuff at a nearby laundromat and ate supper on the way back to the hotel.
[Tuesday] This morning we turned in our rental car and walked to the Yale University Visitor Center and took the campus tour. It lasted about an hour and was very interesting. Our tour guide was a recent graduate that has a job in Houston.
After eating lunch at the Atticus Bookstore and Cafe, we went next door to the Yale Center For British Art and spent several hours seeing three floors of British art. We ate supper at a Thai restaurant.
[Wednesday] Today we walked to the Grove Street Cemetery. We saw the graves of Charles Goodyear, Noah Webster and Eli Whitney.
We walked to the Yale Electrical Engineering Building and went inside. We met the professor who was the head of their wafer fab and he told us about the use of this fab as a teaching tool.
We then walked to the New Haven Museum and visited it.
We ate lunch and walked to the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments and viewed it.
We then walked down the street and stopped at The Church of Saint Mary, which is on the Yale campus, and went inside. We returned to the hotel after a short coffee break.
[Thursday] Today we walked to New Haven Union Station and took the 11:06 AM Amtrak 2159 Acela Express train to NYC Pennsylvania Station, arriving at 12:46PM. We were in a Business Class Quite Car and the it was a great ride. We arrived a few minutes late because there was a lot of track maintenance between New Haven and New York. Pennsylvania Station was very busy and crowded with people going and coming.
We took a taxi to the Carnegie Hotel, where we checked into room 1901. It was a nice room overlooking Carnegie Hall. We could look through the windows to the practice room and see the musicians preparing for the concert.
We walked down the street to the Hello Deli and ate a late lunch at Rupert's shop.
We came back to the hotel and looked on the Carnegie Hall website and found that they were having a free piano recital tonight in the Weill Recital Hall. It was featuring Dr. David Glen Hatch, Concert Pianist and a group of young artists. They were performing Piano as Orchestra: Music from Around the World. We walked over to the box office and got the LAST TWO TICKETS!!!
We enjoyed refreshments in the hotel and relaxed for a while, then walked next door to the Carnegie Weill Recital Hall to hear the recital. The performance was excellent and after it ended, we walked next door to the Russian Tea Room and enjoyed tea and a dessert.
[Friday] This morning after breakfast in the hotel, we walked to Central Park and wondered around for about 2 hours. It is such an amazing escape from the world a few blocks away. There are so many scenic areas, with all the tall buildings lurking in the background. We returned to the hotel about 11:00AM and took a taxi to La Guardia Airport.
We took United UA833 back to Houston at 3:30PM.
This draws to a close our brief trip to New York City, Providence, Newport and New Haven - our New England Adventure. We hope you enjoyed the photos and brief descriptions of our activities. God willing, join us again soon for another travel adventure.
Goodbye for now,
Lawson & Kay
Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing. (Isaiah 40:26 NKJV)