Cruising the Island

If you are looking for a relaxing and unique way to see the city, I highly recommend one of the American Institute of Architects sponsored cruises. We booked the All Around Manhattan several weeks ago, and it was a lovely experience. We boarded the Manhattan around 10:55 for a 2 1/2 hour waterway tour of the entire island. Our guide, Joseph, was knowledgeable and charming. The cruises are pricey, but include complimentary drinks and light finger foods. The crew of the boat was fantastic, and it was an engaging trip. We all thoroughly enjoyed, and I would recommend highly! Some of my photos are not the best, because I stayed inside the yacht, and the wind and choppy waters sprayed the windows with salty water. The yacht is covered and heated (also has air for summer months), which was greatly appreciated. Our first full day in NY saw 60 degrees and rain, but the second saw a 20 degree drop in temps with wind gusts up to 30 mph-quite a change in just over 24 hours!

We keep finding little hints of Brazil in this city! The flag was flying at the pier near the dock for our boat.

Our fantastic guide, Joseph. He really was a joy.

Notice how choppy this water is, and you can already see the spray on the window!

Lady Liberty!!

You get both the Manhattan and the Jersey side. The tall building in the photo above is nicknamed the “Jenga” building!

The Brooklyn Bridge!

This one in the photo above has terra cotta plates on the outside.

The water spray was really bad toward the end. The poor window was just grainy. However, the whole experience was amazing, and I would do it again!

After the tour, we set off on foot towards the Empire State Building.

I love the touches of Christmas throughout the city. We did pay to go up to the 80th floor of the Empire State Building, and then Mauro and Olivia went to the open deck observatory on the 86th. Y’all, it’s an iconic building with an amazing history, and the views are amazing, but that pricing to enjoy it!!! They have gone a little high, in my opinion. It was crazy expensive for just floor 80. They offer no student discounts. If you want to go above 86, it is 20.00 more per person! Every little thing is extra! I am not sure it is worth what they are charging anymore, and Olivia said this as well once we finished.

As you can see, by the time we finished the sun had set, so we decided to walk over to see the Rockefeller Center tree. On the way, we ran in to a crowd situation that was unlike anything I have ever experienced! Olivia referred to it as “the Sardine Mob”. All of a sudden, the crowd became so intense that you could not move. Any movement you did make was simply inching, sliding, squeezing through whatever little hole happened to open. I have literally never been so up close and personal with total strangers! I could not get a photo, because I was afraid to take my phone out! It took us over an hour to get through this! The following images are what I did manage to take of the Saks light show and finally (once we managed to get there) the tree.

After dinner, and a subway ride, we were all peopled out for the day. We arrived back at our little apartment some time after 10:00 (over 13 hours of being out and about). We made a quick stop for water and snacks, and Olivia also wanted to add lights to our tree. I was not willing to purchase a full light string, so we compromised and blinged it out with a couple of campy Christmas novelty necklaces. I LOVE the effect-Olivia is not so sure…

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