Its Sunday. Attend Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, go for brunch, bike Central Park and just relax a bit.
Today! Today was wonderful! After three days
we finally feel kind of comfortable in this amazing city! Regardless of whether you are travelling over a Sunday or not, I would high recommend building in an "easy" day amongst the heavy sightseeing days. You need to replenish.
For us, that means Mass and keeping Sunday a little less hectic and a little more holy. We walked over to St. Patrick's Cathedral to catch the 10:15. St. Patrick's is the parish church to the Americas, which means all are welcome and meant to feel comfortable there. It attracts a ton of tourists, both mass-going and not. Very interesting to try to maintain reverence and still get a spot for the 10:15, since the 9am Mass finished only a few minutes before the next Mass began and people were basically walking right into the ongoing Mass, standing along the sides of the pews, in order to score a seat. Eventually, we succumbed too. We did wait till the closing hymn but even then we were still in the church proper.
The cathedral is beautiful to say the least, but it is currently under construction so we were amongst all the scaffolding. We really enjoyed the Mass.
We scooted over to the larger gift shop across the street and bought a few little goodies. Then, off to catch our 12:15 brunch reservation at Brasserie 8 1/2. Another online reservation by Brittany, and it was scrumptious! We really enjoyed this fabulous brunch. Haha, Brittany was pretty sure she read online that the cost was $20/person. I never checked. It was $32. That made for a pricey brunch, but it was actually reasonable considering where we are. We treated this as our main meal of the day and ate our little hearts out. You name it, they had it. It was quiet, classy, spacious and lovely. A real treat.
The next plan of action was to take in some of Central Park. Our New York Passes included a 3-hour free bike rental so that's what we did folks, we biked central park. Central Park Bike Rentals is located just off of 7th avenue and Central Park. We were set up with 4 bikes in good working order. You can also get baskets, helmets, and locks for the bike if you wish, very convenient.
As we biked the 1-hr loop, I kept thinking how necessary it is for NYC to have Central Park. Its acres and acres of beautiful nature where you really can escape the city that consumes you. And for us, it was necessary for our mental health. There are some gentle slopes that are deceiving because they give you a pretty good work-out! The weather for us was perfect, kind of misty/drizzly and not too hot. The path is shared by pedestrians on the left, bikes in the middle lane, and vehicles (like the horse-drawn and bike-drawn carriages, the occasional car) on the far right. Room for everybody. You can't take your bikes onto the inner walking paths though, so keep in mind the bike path is just more of a perimeter affair. You can stop and enjoy the views though! We LOVED Central Park. Loved it. And parents, if your kids are normally plugged into their phones and ipods and such, do yourselves and them a favor and unplug. Just for one hour. Let them take in the nature that is around them. Its natural refreshment. You won't regret it.
Living on the edge - helmets cost extra.
This is the lake in the middle of Central Park. Its a pretty gray day but I bet this is gorgeous in the sun.
After returning our bikes we leisurely made our way back to the hotel, but on the way this caught our kids' eyes: a giant M&M store. OK teens love this kind of stuff, so in we went. There are THREE FLOORs of deliciousness!
And when your teens insist you accompany them into the Photo Booth that you also loved when you were a kid, you go. You go!! This is what memories are made of people!
Tonight, we went for our ritual complimentary wine and cheese at the hotel, and later dinner at the hotel restaurant. We also watched the movie Sleepless in Seattle, picked from the several hundred DVDs to select from here at our hotel. Aside from a bit of language, we felt this movie was ok for the kids, and is a nice precursor before heading up to the top of the Empire State Building in the morning.
If you missed Part 1 of New York in 5 Days with Teens, find it here.
Part 2 can be found here.
And Part 3 of New York in 5 Days with Teens is here.
And Part 5 is found here.