Another of my life’s dreams was accomplished last Memorial Day, but since we were plotting a cross-country move, I didn’t get a chance to journal about the experience. My apologies up front – there are a LOT of pictures in this post. I couldn’t help myself. It might take a while to load.
I requested of my family that we spend our holiday forsaking the picnics to which we’d been invited (all lovely offers) and trekking to New York City to see with my eyes what I’d only imagined for years.
I grew up hearing about Coney Island, complete with the boardwalk, amusement park rides, and the ocean; however, being the daughter of two teachers and living in small town Nebraska didn’t bode well to me ever vacationing in New York City.
Moving to Connecticut made that wish a closer possibility.
The first time we traveled to NYC, I was in awe. The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Madison Square Garden, a Broadway show, Times Square, etc. All of these had been other peoples’ realities, they had been the settings for novels, the backdrops for movies, but never once had I imagined myself being inserted into that world.
The first Christmas that we ventured into NYC to look at Macy’s and the Macy’s Santa Claus, all of the beautifully decorated display windows, ice skaters and the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, carriage rides around Central Park…it all felt like I was stepping into someone else’s reality. What I was seeing with my own eyes had been, to me, in the realm of legend.
Over the years of living in Connecticut, we became tourists at many of the hottest NYC destinations; however, one of the places I’d always wanted to see was Coney Island. Because it isn’t directly in the area of the traditional NYC tourist spots, we had never ventured over to Brooklyn to experience it. On this day, we made a special trip.
I was giddy. Not the skipping around giggling kind of giddy, but the quiet, I-can’t-stop-smiling kind of giddy. I walked with my family just taking it all in.
We walked down the boardwalk…
on to the long pier…
through some of the shops…
…and then on to the rides.
Coney Island is known for its huge ferris wheel, called the Wonder Wheel. The following pictures were taken of the ferris wheel, or while on the ride. The views were amazing.
What made it really intense was that it was packed due to the holiday. Far from being mainly for tourists, this is a local hot spot for families and singles to inexpensively play in the water.
The way we wrapped up the day was to sample the goods of Coney Island: the corn dog. The reputation of the corn dog eating competition, and the claim to fame of the world’s first corn dog, was enough for us to stand in a long, long line to secure one for ourselves. All but the most dogged vegetarians in my family took a small bite.
It was a hot, hot day, and the beaches, boardwalks and shops were packed. Whereas that might normally be a detraction for me, the noisy, busy crowd only added to the mystique of the place.
Now that we have moved from the northeast, the possibility of returning here is slim; however, having truly absorbed the experience, I don’t feel the need to return.
I guess we’ll have to go explore the Alamo!