In August I randomly asked my rural sophisticat mother if she would like to go to New York City in November.
Much to my surprise she said yes!
Having been to Manhattan twice prior and having two months to plan this was guaranteed to be an epic trip! I especially wanted my mom to have an enjoyable time.
It was good that I re-read trip advisor, google and yelp reviews as a lot had changed in the seven years since I last visited. I went to my local library and rented all the New York City Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Not for Tourist books. Hopefully no one else in Oshawa was going to Manhattan because I had pretty much every book on the subject for six weeks.
All my research pointed to an unlimited attractions pass at a discounted rate. This included the Hop on Hop off bus which is a ideal for those not digging the subway. You have options to buy a one, two, three or five day pass. In the so little time fashion we decided on the cheapest one day pass and jammed it all in.
It took about ten hours driving straight through with a quick truck stop nap on the way. We arrived in the morning and were able to park the car and check in early to our Midtown Manhattan hotel.
We walked about ten minutes to the Visitor Center near Times Square to redeem our Hop on Hop off bus pass. There was a long line to pick up bus, tours and musical tickets but it was moving fast. We were solicited to purchase a time share. We declined and were on our way to the bus.
Hop on Hop Off Bus
The Hop on Hop off is a perfect starting ground to get your bearings and learn the area. It was also perfect start for us after the all nighter driving through the night. You have two options of seating; inside and downstairs with poor visibility or upstairs facing the elements and low hanging street lights and branches.
It was cold but the views and commentary were well worth it.
For best use of your time plan your route and use your pass as transportation hopping off at the attractions you wish. Each full bus loops takes approximately two hours depending on traffic. The route options are: Midtown and Downtown, Uptown, Brooklyn and the Night Tour.
We took the bus to downtown and enjoyed the One World Observatory and shopping at my favourite shoe Century 21. The exit for One World is just moments from the 9/11 memorial where they lay a white rose for every deceased on their birthdays. The 9/11 Museum had a ridiculous line and we were already tired so we opted to get back on the bus and head back to our Midtown Manhattan hotel.
Intrepid Space Museum
This was likely the highlight of our trip because we are nerds and we got to see a NASA Space shuttle.