Where in the USA is the CoCo Locomoto? travel blog

Time Square at night. The building that the ball drops from on...

Looking out from our hotel room on the 31st floor

At the Cake Boss Cafe

Tickets to several of the attractions we saw

Time Square in the day time

The girls in front of the fountain at Time Square


The Rockefeller Building and "Top of the Rock"

Where the Today show is filmed when they are outside

Halle with Mr. m&M

The Love Statue I have seen on TV

One of several Trump Towers we saw around Manhattan

The Dakota where John Lennon lived and was shot

Bill Clinton's office in Harlem

The United Nations Building

View from Top of the Rock

Girls at Top of the Rock Observation Deck

At the Broadway Play "Wicked"

Rendering of the 9/11 Memorial and Reflection Pools

The South Reflection Pool

The Freedom Tower (World Trade Center One)

North Reflection Pool

The "Survivor Tree" a Callery Pear

The New York City Skyline from the top of the Empire State...

The Oscar Meyer Trucks

The Naked Cowboy in Time Square

Parson's School of Design

The Statue of Liberty

Ellis Island

The Mighty Hunters

Leaving Gillette, WY on July 4th after the rallies, we headed on the fast train to Billings, MT so I could catch a plane at 6 a.m. on July 5th for a flight to Seattle where I met the girls and granddaughter, Halle at the airport for a flight to New York City...pooped but so excited, the day was a long one but filled with visiting, laughter, fun and making plans to see as much as we could in the few days we had. Mike and CoCo continued on to Dillon, Mt where he met the boys and grandson, Christian for their annual varmint hunting and fishing trip. Since Christian had turned 10 the preceding winter, he had been given his great grandfather's 22 rifle and this would be his first trip with the boys...excitement ran high there too and Christian turned out to be a real "dead-eye" Dick with his birthday present but wasn't much interested in sitting still long enough to fish...said it was boring! But boy he couldn't wait each morning to get out to the gopher fields.

Since Stephanie has clients in NYC she had been there many times and was an awesome tour guide and vacation planner! Arriving late in the afternoon at our hotel in the Theater District, Nicole, Halle and I were anxious to get started so after settling in and getting a shower, off we went to Time Square which was just a couple of blocks from our hotel. Teaming with people no matter what time of day or night, it was a sight to behold with all the building signs blinking with advertisements for just about any business you have ever heard of. Talk about sensory overload! We had a yummy dinner at a neat little Mexican Restaurant that Steph knew about...guacamole with green apples and pomegranate seeds was a new experience and real treat for us all. Finally walking back to the hotel, we got to bed around midnight and I have to say after stating at 4:30 a.m. Mountain time, I was more then ready for a good nights sleep. Up and at it the next morning, we didn't want to miss anything so off we walked towards the sights and sounds of downtown Manhattan...everywhere you looked there was some famous landmark that we had seen on TV: Cake Boss, Broadway, 5th Avenue, Park and Madison Avenues, Rockefeller Center, Time Square, NBC Studios, Radio City Music Hall, The NY Times Building and the biggest M&M Store in the world with more than 100 flavors of M&M's and many more. While we were out we had lunch at one of the most famous burger joints in downtown Manhattan called Bill's. Late in the afternoon the girls decided they wanted to go shopping at the largest Macy's in the world...8 floors to temp your senses and you wallet and a visit to Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum. Since that didn't interest me but a nap sure did, I went back to the hotel. We were all happy with our choices! We had a late dinner that evening at a wonderful French Bistro and walked home through the Theater District and fell into bed. We had gotten a 3 day "Hop-on hop-off" city bus tour pass so we hopped on for a tour of Uptown, through Midtown, the Upper West Side where Jackie O and John Lennon lived and was shot(Yoko Ono still does), Central Park, Strawberry Fields, Lincoln Park, American Museum of Natural History, Ulysses S Grant's tomb, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Apollo Theater, Harlem, Former President Bill Clinton's office, Metropolitan Museum of Art. We got off the bus and walked down 5th Avenue where all the rich and famous shop but sadly it was a Sunday and all the shops were closed. Stopped for a bite of lunch and to rest our weary feet! Our next stop was the "Top of the Rock" Observation Deck on the 70th floor (850 feet up) to get a 360 degree view of NYC...wow is it a beautiful sight to see. The Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower, Central Park, New Jersey, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Hoboken, The East River, The Hudson River, Queens, New York Harbor and Staten Island were just a few of the awesome sights to see from high atop the city and the skyline was breathtaking. We then hopped back on the bus for a tour of downtown which took us by the Chrysler Building, Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, Waldorf-Astoria (where all the Presidents stay when they are in town as well as lots of famous people), Macy's, Empire State Building, the FlatIron District, Union Square, SoHo Chinatown/Little Italy, Battery Park, Wall Street, One World Trade Center, United Nations, Lower East side, East Village, Garment District, Chelsea, Tribeca, Penn Station, Greenwich Village, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Financial District. Everywhere you looked there were famous sights to see. Then it was back to the hotel to get dressed in our "finery" to see the Broadway play "Wicked." A wonderful play and the sets and costumes were absolutely amazing. After the play we had a late dinner and a stop at Junior's Cheesecake's which according to the Travel Channel is one of the "Top 10" dessert places in the country. Well let me just tell you whoever did that show must not get out of New York as the cheesecake (only 4 flavors) was HORRIBLE! What a huge disappointment and they certainly have never eaten Nicole's cheesecake which is to die for! Boy could she teach Junior's a thing or two! The next morning we were up bright and early for a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty. The scariest cab ride I'd ever been on stating off with our cab driver almost hitting 2 women crossing the street then about getting run into twice by trucks when he was merging in to traffic on our way to the ferry terminals at Battery Park for our trip to the Statue. Happily all in one piece and glad to have our feet on the ground, we walked through Battery Park (an area made from the fill dirt as they excavated for the new World Trade Center buildings) and a beautiful trip to The Statue of Liberty. Sadly they and Ellis Island received a lot of damage in Hurricane Sandy and the Visitor Center and ALL of Ellis Island is closed and will be for sometime due to the heavy infrastructure damage they received. Halle and I both so wanted to go to Ellis Island and find the records for our grand and great grandparents but that will have to wait for another trip! Walking around the incredible statue, one can only imagine what our ancestors must have felt as they came into New York Harbor...an emotional day to be sure. Back in Manhattan, we hopped back on the bus through the downtown area again and back to the hotel. The girls did some more shopping while I stayed at the hotel and it was out for a late dinner again. Our last full day was a trip to the new World Trade Center site, the Reflection Pools in the footprint of the Twin Towers, almost 3000 names engraved in bronze. A sad, somber and most haunting and hallowed ground in the world, it is a sight every American should see so we never forget that tragic day. They have done an amazing job honoring all those lost on that fateful day and one to be proud of as Americans. The Freedom Tower is almost complete and stands 1776 feet and will be the tallest building in the U.S. Once again there will be seven buildings making up the World Trade Center, 3 of which are in various stages of completion and the other 4 not started yet. Part of the tour took us through the renderings of the site when it is complete. Security is very tight and you are not allowed in without a pre-purchased ticket. A Callery Pear Tree was found in the rubble and had been broken down to just an 8 foot tall stump but had survived. It was moved to a local park and nursed back to health only to be uprooted and blown over in March of 2010. Once again it survived and has been moved back to the 9/11 Memorial Grounds where it is thriving today...truly a "Survivor Tree" which gives everyone who visits the area, hope that we too shall survive. In a small building off the grounds a 9/11 Tribute Center has been set up with many artifacts, history of the Twin Towers, personal stories and authentic experiences who recounted the events of the first attack in February 1993 and September 11th. It also features the rebuilding process. Tours are given by family members who lost loved ones, survivors, residents and rescue workers who share their personal experiences. One of the new buildings within the footprint will be a Museum and everything in the 9/11 Tribute Center will be moved to the Museum once it is completed. It is by far the most beautiful and breathtaking area I have ever been. It being our last full day, the girls once again went shopping while I went back to the hotel (can you tell I'm not a shopper)? That evening we had a wonderful dinner and then went to the Empire State Building for the "Nighttime Magic" of seeing the city in a 360 degree view at night from the 86th floor. No words can describe how it takes your breath away to see the skyscrapers all lit at night and for miles and miles...you just couldn't get enough of the view or wrap your mind around where you really were. Sadly it was our last night in New York City so we enjoyed the sights and sounds on our walk back to the hotel. Steph had to fly out early the next morning and our flight didn't leave until late afternoon so we walked over for one last look at Time Square, NASDAQ, FOX and ABC Networks buildings, and 6 Oscar Meyer Wiener trucks just a block from our hotel and a trip to Cake Boss for a treat and some New York pizza and our one and only look at the Naked Cowboy in Time Square! Pinching ourselves over and over during the week and about our trip, it was a dream come true for Nicole, Halle and I as we sadly packed for our flight home, which once again was organized as was our entire trip, by Stephanie. Flying home to Seattle, tired and happy the trip was spent reminiscing about all the awesome things we had seen and done and the excitement of the city that never sleeps, is never quiet and filled with water towers on tops of most buildings, it was a once in a lifetime trip.

I can't tell you much about the guys' trip as it is 'for men only' and Christian was told when they invited him to go that "whatever happens in Montana, stays in Montana!" So we may never know what happened but they had a wonderful time and plans are already in the works for next year's trip.

Getting Mike to NYC will NEVER happen. The closed in city streets, the hustle and bustle, wall to wall people and the noise would have him in the 'looney bin' in a hurry! So for now I have the wonderful memories of getting to see that amazing city with the girls and am content with that until Stephanie plans our next trip!

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