My family finally came to visit this past weekend! I had been counting the days until I saw their faces again. My manager was kind enough to let me duck out of work a bit early for the holiday weekend and fit in more family time.
My sister had just wrapped up college orientation and flew in the evening before my parents were set to arrive. They arrived at the hotel and proceed to call us a dozen times to make sure we were still alive (haven't I been living here a few weeks now?) and on our way over.
Our first stop was lunch at Il Corallo Trattoria, just a few blocks from our hotel. It was my second time at the restaurant for lunch and I highly recommend it to anyone in the area! Their menu is incredibly extensive, with almost all options being vegetarian and having the choice of added meat.
All of the pasta at the restaurant is made fresh and from scratch each day. It is hands down the best Italian food I have ever had. Personally, I recommend the Goat Cheese Ravioli.
After lunch, we headed to Times Square to stand in line at TKTS for Broadway tickets. TKTS is an awesome way to get steeply discounted same-day tickets to Broadway shows. The line might look painfully long when you get there, but it moves surprisingly fast and is worth sticking it out. We ended up picking Mamma Mia!
I had never been to a Broadway show before this one, but now I understand the fascination! Live theatre is truly in a class of its own, making you laugh and cry on cue. The performers brought so much energy into the theatre that it felt as though we had been transported to Greece and were experiencing Sophie and Donna's emotional roller coaster ourselves.
For day 2, we headed to Battery Park to see Lady Liberty herself. The sun was shining brightly, making it the perfect day to be out on the ferry and the island itself.
Pictures will never do her justice. It is impossible to understand the grandeur of the Statue of Liberty until you have had a chance to visit Liberty Island and take in her beauty. It was amazing being able to experience a bit of what many immigrants must have felt as they arrived to New York decades ago.
To finish off the evening, we made the long awaited trip to Ground Zero.
There are no words that truly describe the emotions that followed. Simply put, visiting the North and South Pools was a powerful experience. My parents, who had once seen the Twin Towers in all their glory, now looked downwards in remembrance of what had once been. And upwards, to the sole tower that now stands as a reminder that we will never forget the events that devastated our country.