Church Trip 2016

New York City and Connecticut

Day 2

A view of the city skyline and the bay from Staten Island
A view of the city skyline and the bay from Staten Island

Thirty-four. That’s not how many states we’ve visited, how many pounds of food we’ve consumed, how many miles we walked today, nor how much our lunch cost per person. Unless I neglected to count a few occasions, it is, in fact, how many times Mom used hand sanitizer during our trip to New York City today.

Joking aside (though that number was not a joke), our trip to New York was actually great, and we all survived (and had fun). We left our hotel at 7:00am and made the short drive from Edison to the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island.

Staten Island Ferry // Breakfast

We took the 8:00am ferry across the bay, passing by the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Island, and Ellis Island – not to mention seeing a great view of the lower Manhattan skyline. Upon landing, we walked briefly through Battery Park, and then stopped at a bakery a few blocks off of the financial district to grab a couple blueberry muffins and a cheese danish for breakfast.

After devouring our breakfast, we walked a few blocks to see the charging bull statue and the Bowling Green (which is basically a small fountain and some bushes – I think it’s just New York’s version of Jimmy Smith Park). Dad and I managed to get a picture with the bull, despite almost being trampled by a large tour group.

Bowling Green // World Trade Center

After leaving the financial district, we caught a Metro bus to the World Trade and Financial Center. We visited the new Liberty Tower and the World Trade Center memorial pools, and then headed on to the next stage of our adventure: Mom’s first subway ride.

Subway // Lunch // Wafels

Mom survived her first adventure on the subway (the real miracle is that it wasn’t her last). We hopped off the Metro at 49th & 50th to explore Rockefeller Center for a while. After meandering through the Rock. and seeing a few famous media-related sights and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, we decided it was time to grab an early lunch. We stopped at a pizza place in Midtown and each grabbed a slice of some excellent NY-style pizza–authentic, delicious, and *most importantly* sustaining.

After pizza, we walked over to Times Square. Dad and I both can’t stand it, but we figured Mom needed to see it at least once in her lifetime, so we stopped by for a few minutes. Once the few minutes finally passed, we hurriedly descended back to the subway and took the F-train up to 5th Avenue and Central Park. Mom rested on a bench while Dad and I walked over to the underground Apple store to kill some time.

Mom and Dad were still full from lunch, but I had been looking forward to a waffle from Wafels and Dinges since my last trip to NYC, so I ignored my full stomach and grabbed De Bomb Wafel: a hot Belgian waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, Nutella, strawberries, and melted Belgian dark chocolate.

Staten Island

After I conquered de wafel, we took a stroll across the south end of Central Park. Mom (and Dad and I as well) was nearly spent from the events of the day, so we decided it best to forego our remaining plans and start heading back towards the car. We took the Metro back to Whitehall Street and caught the Staten Island Ferry just in time to get back to our car around 3:30pm. Our exit route took us across Staten Island, back into Manhattan, and through Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, so we got to see a variety of different sights. Our drive out of the city provided some much needed rest and some nice views of the city’s various bridges.

New Haven

We finally made it to Connecticut (our 8th state!) and stopped briefly in New Haven to see the Five Mile Point Light, and the [very small and underwhelming] Southwest Ledge Light. The lighthouses and coast were beautiful, but I was appalled that the CT State Park Service charged us a substantial fee merely to park and see the coastline.

Dinner - Abbott's Lobster

After abandoning the greedy park rangers, we traveled a few miles down the road to Mystic (think Mystic Pizza–apparently that’s a popular movie from before my time). We found a place called Abbott’s – Lobster in the Rough that was down on the waterfront in Noank/Groton, CT. The food was absolutely incredible.

We were all famished, so we ordered a variety of dishes and split them three ways. We each got a soup and a sandwich, so we ended up with lobster bisque, New England-style clam chowder, shrimp and corn chowder with red peppers, a hot lobster roll, a hot crab roll, and crab cakes with homemade dipping sauce. That doesn’t even include the chips, oyster crackers, slaw, and in-the-husk sweet roasted corn that came with meal!

After dinner, we went to Abbott’s Dessert Shack and grabbed some homemade ice cream and strawberry cheesecake.

Note: this trip, Abbott’s earned two stars, but the next time we visited, it lost them. Our second visit was disappointing.


After supper, we headed to our hotel in Waterford and finally concluded the day’s adventure around 9:30pm. Tomorrow, we head to Providence (RI) and Boston.

Some things of note for the day:

  • Around 9:45am, Mom stopped to ask a lady in NYC where she got her taco (I guess because we ate District Tacos yesterday in DC). Turns out, the taco was actually a breakfast sandwich from Dunkin’ Donuts.
  • I was amazed that Connecticut has hills.
  • I would like to reiterate how disgusted I am that the CT Park Service ripped us off.
  • While I’m writing this blog, Mom and Dad both are already asleep like two worn out toddlers.
  • For those of you who didn’t understand earlier, Jimmy Smith Park is a jokingly tiny park on Rivers Street in Boone. It spans about 25 feet. “Jimmy Smith Park: 3 Rocks, 3 Benches”
  • Dad and I spent most of the day trying to spot places from famous movies and TV shows. I believe the leading work was Person of Interest.

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