Most people have on their bucket list something they want to do or see . Well, beside travel the world, there are few things more specific that I want to do. One of them was crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, but I didn’t want just to cross it I want it to know the history behind it.
Thanks to the New York Passes (www.newyorkpass.com) we took two different tours that were included with the price. The first was the Night Bus Tour with City Sights NY (http://www.citysightsny.com/nyc-double-decker-night-tour) it gave us great information and we were able to see the Brooklyn Bridge at night from the Manhattan Bridge. I highly recommend this tour, you will learn things from NY City that you probably don’t have idea of.
The second tour that we took was the The Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Neighborhood Tour, that was a walking tour crossing the bridge and ending at the Dumbo Neighborhood. The tour guide do several stops giving the history of the bridge, telling us all about the difficulties that the people in charge went through and all the casualties that happened during the construction. I had no idea of any of the things that happened during the 14 years of construction. Some times we take things for granted, the only thing I knew is that the Brooklyn Bride is an icon of NY City, that is a beautiful landmark and that I wanted to cross it. I never imagine that more than 20 people die constructing the bridge, I didn’t know that a woman was the one able to complete the project and much more. I don’t want to give you all the information so you can get motivated and go and find out for yourself! It’s a great tour and you will WALK a lot, so be ready to so some exercise.
Here is a video of our two experiences. I hope you will enjoy it!
“I am tired” “I want to hang out with my friends!” “The summer is going to be over and I haven’t had any fun with my friends.” “My back hurt!” “When we are going back home?” “I am hungry…” ” Uff I can’t be sitting on that van for 6 more hours!” ” Ohh my feet hurts!” ” My stomach hurt, I am breaking my eating routine.” ” Can’t wait to sleep in my bed!” ” But how it come that you don’t know where we are going? I thought you knew!” ” Is this way or that way?” “I want to go home! I am tired!” After hearing this and more from every member of my beautiful family, for a week and half, over and over again you want to go home too. Traveling with family has its awesome moments of bonding, laughter, fun, memories and more, but also brings the responsibility of feeling responsable for the group, especially if you were the one doing all the planning.
Our road trip was a completely success no matter what! We enjoyed everything we did. We had plenty of laughter, learning, discoveries, exercise, fun and more. Thanks God I had everything plan, but still things did not run smoothly and perfect like I would it like it to be. This was our first road trip and with it, came a lot of lessons for the next time. In general was an awesome experience, we all did and saw things that we never had before. But definitely what is fun for me, not necessarily is fun for teenagers. The way I appreciate things is not the same for teenagers. The endurance that I could have for the day, it’s not the same for everybody in the group. I love learning about different places, I have travel inscriptive in my mind and soul. I want to see everything here, close to home and around the world. I like to take time to see and learn new things, I want to continue even when I am hungry or tired… but not everyone in the group have the same mentality as me or the strength to keep going no matter what. So, big lesson for me, I have to take it easier when I am with other people. Not expect so much or want it to do so much. Anything like that happended to you ever? Or its just me?!
Next time when planning a road trip that includes so much walking and physical activities, it will be good to plan for some days off and/or relax days. Like sitting by the pool, or go out only to eat in a good restaurant, something that doesn’t require a schedule. Also for next time, I would take in much consideration to save more money to get better hotels closer to the areas that we want to visit. For example, even though it was an awesome experience learning to take the metro in DC, and also it was the first time ever for the kids to take the metro, we could it save a lot of time on the riding back and forth to and from the hotel. Because hotels in DC are expensive, we got one hotel a little far to the east of DC. Taking the metro was only about 15 to 20 minutes, but waiting for the metro, finding what station was the appropiate to get off takes a lot of time and still there was a lot of walking involve after getting off the metro. In the morning we didn’t care much, but at night we were so tired that all the trouble of going back to the hotel it was like walking barefooted through rocks with fire, like each of us were caring thousands of backpacks in our back. Once back to our room we were 5 tired complaining individuals, all wanting to use the bathroom at the same time. Understand this, we all wanted to take a shower and go to sleep as soon as we could, but we only had one room with only one bathroom.
-______- Can you imagine?
Wifi and the DVD player on the van were great tools of entertainment on the road. We rented movies using Red Box and when we were done, we used the Red Box App to find another Red Box on the road. We returned movies and rented some more. Between the two major cities that we visit, kids enjoy much better NY City than DC. On DC the kids finished watching and “exploring” the museums in two hours top, while we, the adults still wandering in the same area for the same two hours. After that the “I am board! What are we doing next?” came right along. In NY the drive was much better, the excitement and constant movement of the city was enough to keep us busy. Still we did so much, we took 3 different bus tours around the city, we walked, took the subway, and try to keep with a schedule and still we didn’t do everything we wanted.
In both places DC and NY City we stayed 2 1/2 days in each place. In both places after leaving the hotel or friend’s house (in NJ) in the morning, we didn’t come back until night, we didn’t took much free time, only for eating and keep going. I think here is where my biggest mistake was.
After NY city we were supposed to drive to the Niagara Falls but everybody was so exhausted that I thought it was going to be better if we headed back home. I couldn’t imagine eight more hours driving north and then having to drive all the way down to Florida. So, the decision was made… We went back home with no Niagara Falls experience. I will sit and meditate better our options for our next family vacation. I have to think in less heavy schedules, more relax time, and even more fun… That is for sure.
Any suggestion for family vacations with teenagers and grandma? If you have one please feel free to share it!
Finally we are on our way! We left Orlando around 2:30pm, we don’t want to drive today more than 7 hours. At this moment we are close to Jacksonville. Our rest destination today is Florence, South Carolina. After resting, tomorrow, Washington DC!
When planing the trip we were not sure what kind of car to rent, in my desire of not spending too much gas I wanted it a small car. Thanks God that we decided it a mini van! No matter the planning and how much I try to pack smart, we are 5 and everything seems to multiply by 10.