A 3 Hour Tour

Trip Start Jun 03, 2008
Trip End Aug 12, 2008

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Where I stayed
Wannamaker's Driveway

Flag of United States  , New York
Saturday, July 26, 2008

It was another early morning for us.  We were going into the City with the Smithersteins.  With a little effort and some juggling of people, all eight us fit into the 7 passenger car.  If any of the kids were bigger, it wouldn't have happened.  Our destination was the Circle-Line.  A 3 hour tour by water that takes people around the entire island of Manhattan while Paul Harvey narrates the history and background of what you're looking at.  Kind of an outside-in view on New York City.  We are not sure that Paul Harvey was on board the vessel, but the sounds of his voice and the nature of his commentary and the brilliance of his sense of humor, we were all convinced that this was his second job.  Whoever it was, we enjoyed the 3 hour tour due to him and of course the scenery and company. We heard about Trump and his fight with Cronkite when he built a 90 floor building that obstructed his view. We heard about the neighborhoods including Marble Hill and how they woke up to find themselves as part of the Bronx.  The Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson that created four giant waterfalls in the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn this summer in a public art project commissioned by the City of New York. Of course there was story after story but we won't bore you with the three hours of information we were given.  Paul Harvey spoke the entire time.  The only time he stopped talking is when we went under some bridges because of the noise.

After our 3 hour tour (we made it back....we didn't end up stranded) we were going to go to a New York City icon called Zabars, a fantastic kosher grocery store with house wares above that apparently only locals know about.  Part of the adventure we were about to embark on is looking for a parking spot in the streets around the area.  What our friends didn't know about the Griswolds is we always get parking spots and they usually really good ones.  Sure enough we round the corner in front of the store and 2 cars pull out leaving a choice for Mr. Smitherstein to pick from. Thank you Griswold family. 

The kids were hungry so we decided we were going to eat before shopping.  We don't even know the name of the place we ate at, but it was a typical NY diner.  Like a scene out of Seinfeld.  (In fact, we were right in Seinfeld's neighborhood).  The food was great.  The kids each had a pot pie that would have fed the entire family.  Everyone was happy including Clark who had ordered the quintessential pastrami sandwich.  That was no sandwich, that was a manwich.  It was huge!

Off to Zabars where they allow you to sample olives, cheeses, meats, sauces and other specialty items.  The store was busy and packed full of delectables.  Mr. Smitherstein took off with the kids including the Griswolds to the fish market.  I don't think they will be the same again.  The other 3 went upstairs to housewares where you could find almost anything you would need to cook with.

When we returned to the Smithersteins it was off to the pool with the kids.  It doesn't get any better than that!  Besides, this one even had a diving board!

We returned home where the rest of the evening was spent sharing stories and good food with good friends.
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