The story begins last summer, a couple of days after I had booked my home leave to NYC for September. Anna Grace said, “Awww. I want to go to New York, too.” Her friend Sara happened to be visiting at the time, and she said, “I’ve never been to New York.”  And so the plan was hatched; within a couple of days we were all booked for the half-term break.
The flights were smooth; the 90 minute connection time through CDG was its usual pain in the ass.  Immigration at JFK was dreamlike; though we are US citizens, Sara is not, and so the incredibly kind Immigration officers ushered us together through a “special” line. Passports were stamped, we were welcomed home and Sara was given a, “Welcome to America!” Throughout the week nearly every encounter we had with a New Yorker, be they a transit worker or regular citizen was so positive that even Sara commented, “We are not in Vienna.”
For the week we had rented an apartment in Midtown, about 10 minutes from Times Square. Each day we had a sightseeing plan (and we still managed to walk 110km!); and each evening we would stop at the bagel deli on the corner to pick up morning provisions. The bagels were so delicious they almost brought tears to my eyes. 
During our visit we were treated to record cold temperatures, snow, spring-like weather, and a day of torrential rain. The weather did not deter us, however,  from checking off a rather long list of, “When in NYC…”
✔️Times Square. Too cold for the Naked Singing Cowboy, but there’s always other  “characters” wandering around.
✔️Rockefeller Center. 
Admiring the flag of her homeland, Slovenia.
✔️The American Museum of Natural History, a perfect choice for one of the coldest days of our visit. Here, the girls are posing with a celebrity from, “Night at the Museum.” We spent the better part of a day here; the hall of birds and mammals, and the Ocean Life exhibit were among the favorites for their SnapChat MyStory selfies.

✔️Riding in a NYC Yellow Taxi en route to Bloomingdales.

✔️Chinatown. By good fortune (pun intended), we were in NY to see Chinatown’s New Year’s Parade. Though it may be the Year of the Monkey, the parade abounded with dragons.

What’s a Chinese New Year’s parade without the Scotsmen and their bagpipes?

 Or the oh-so-American Fortune Cookie?

✔️Grand Central Terminal.

No, the girls aren’t on a time out. They’re testing the corners of the Whispering Gallery. Because of the domed curves of an intersection within the terminal, anything someone whispers into the corner will travel diagonally across the gallery. Fun!

✔️Riding the New York subway. Bonus points for even having seen one of the famous NYC Subway rats, too!

✔️ A NYC Icon, the Empire State Building. Impressive views from the 86th floor, though none of us were convinced they warranted the $32 ticket.

✔️Riding the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Ticket cost? Absolutely free!

 ✔️Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. Another of the rare free activities in New York.

 More to come…