Empire State Building, Madame Tussaud’s, & the American Museum of Natural History

July 8th, 2009

Oh yeah! Can you say: “Tired tooties”? That would be my feet after 6.88 miles of just walking from one NYC attraction to another. I had to have walked at least 10 miles with everything I saw. However, it was a great day (thus far). Let’s see…

img_1812I started the morning heading to The Empire State Building (E.S.B.). Our Hampton Inn hotel is right down the way from the Flatiron Building. Walking to the E.S.B. didn’t take much time at all. As I said earlier, I have the New York Pass. For those that want to save A BUNCH on NYC attractions, you have to buy this little card. It saved me quite a bit.

I took the “NYC Sky Tours” ride in the E.S.B. I am going to act like Siskel & Ebert here: SAVE YOURSELF $ AND FORGET THIS RIDE. This is just like a Walt Disney World “Star Tours” ride. Seriously. It sucks. The amazing thing, they rip you off…I mean…they charge you $36 to ride it. This is one of the biggest rip-offs (besides having your wallet stolen) in NYC. If it wasn’t already included with my pass, I would have been extremely irate at the stupidity of the ride. Actually, I am laughing and I didn’t have to chuck out $36. img_1810

After the ride, I went up to the top of E.S.B. I didn’t have a pass to the very top level, but I was okay with that. I loved the view from the observation platform (I think it was 84th?). Memories of An Affair To Remember and Sleepless in Seattle came back to me. The view of NYC is absolutely breathtaking. I was so blessed to have a clear, warm day to experience the view. The platform allows you to see 360 degrees as it goes all around img_1816the building. The world looks so small from up there. The city below almost looks like a model from that height. The cars & people look like ants.

Did I mention before how many different languages I am hearing here? French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Australian…it is a virtual cornucopia of dialects and languages. Manhattan feels like you took people¬† from every corner of the world and threw them into a couple mile radius. Now I understand the term: “Melting Pot”.

From the E.S.B., I headed to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. If you know me, img_1827you know that I LOVE movies. I am not the type to be star-struck, but I do love the cinema. I thought that the wax museum would be entertaining. Do you remember that Twilight Zone where the wax characters come to life in the museum? After walking around the place, you almost feel like some of these things could blink and move. Seriously creepy! One thing that I did notice is that img_1835celebrities are tiny people. Not just by height, but by waist/hip size. Do they make a plaster cast of the real folks for these things? If so, there are some seriously skinny actresses out there (i.e. Angelina Jolie, J.Lo, Julia Roberts, etc.)¬†img_1846

I left the wax museum right at noon. That is 3 sites down in just 3 hours. Not a bad morning. I needed to get from 42nd to 77th street. My trusty Google Maps (Have I mentioned how much this thing has saved my bacon? I would be in outer Mongolia without it) said that I had to catch a sub and make a connection. As it was a beautiful day, I decided to walk to the Museum of Natural History instead of ride. What?! There’s only about 12 blocks to the mile. It wasn’t that far..geez…

I have to say that the American Museum of Natural History (M.N.H.) doesn’t look like they show it in Night at the Museum. Well, there are amazing exhibits, img_1877and such. However, the T-Rex in the movie isn’t at the front door. Nope. He is on the 4th floor.

Honestly, I wish I had planned to spend the entire day (or had more time to) in the M.N.H. This is an amazing place. There is SO MUCH to see: Animals, Dinosaurs, People, Gems, Minerals, Space, Ocean, Plants, Insects, etc. You really could spend the entire day there and never see it all. There were quite a few children’s groups in the museum today. It made me wish that my son were with me. I know he would’ve loved the ocean, space, and gem/mineral exhibits. You really need to go with someone and take a leisurely walk through the place. It is like walking through an encyclopedia. There is so much information there that it just hurts your brain and eyes.

I started to get really tired (who would’ve thought after all that walking) around 3:30 so I headed for the subway. The attendant at the station told me to take the “B” train. After looking quickly in my guide book, I thought it would take me close to our hotel. Umm…no. I realized that I needed to jump off past my stop and walked the 1.5 miles back to our hotel.

I am now sitting in our hotel waiting for my husband to get ready so we can have dinner and walk around Times Square. I haven’t seen it at night before, and am looking forward to the brilliant light show. I’ll make sure to tell you all about it later. Until then……

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