The weather joked with us during our stay. Everywhere we went, our first leg was cloudy while the last day would dawn with merry sunshine. Some say the sun was celebrating our departure – I say it wanted us to see the places in every shade it created, clear skies being saved for the last!
Monday was warm with the temperature reaching 60s and the prospect of Central Park was inviting. It is almost a 2 hour train ride from Raritan which we spent catching up on sleep.
Rows of yellow, auburn, gold and brown welcomed us into their warmth and we pretty much let our whims guide us as we rambled through the park over bridges, stony formations and tree houses. Deeper and deeper we went, catching glimpses of cyclists, joggers, artists, dreamers and lovers. The diversity represented different parts of the country and perhaps even the globe. Perfect setting for people watching.
We grabbed honey-roasted nuts (for me) and a hot dog (for D). Side note: We make the perfect combination of herbivore (me) and carnivore (him) balancing the gastronomical wants.
Munchies done, we walked down the Mall with elms forming a canopy above us. Artists, jugglers, musicians, couples and children lined the benches as the statues on each side looked at us gravely. The iconic Bethesda Terrace and Fountain opened before us with the dim gush of the water. Boats slipped down the lake, couples kissed at the benches, dogs rambled past and babies crooned at the sight of the cherubs.
We grabbed a place near the lake where the ducks were having breakfast. Timeless were those moments spent sitting there. A couple was posing in their wedding trousseau complete with bow-tied bicycles. The fall colors would have made a perfect picture as they kissed underneath an old tree.
Our next stop was Strawberry Fields – the memorial for John Lennon. A group of performers were playing his songs and we listened to a beautiful rendition of Imagine. After that I let the bookworm in me take over and we walked chasing squirrels to the Alice in Wonderland monument. And it was gorgeous! It is surrounded by some memorable quotes from the books and I was reading them aloud to D. I think this was the first time I have seen him getting bewildered – in a nice manner. Ever the practical one, he had already made arrangements for my tummy as it had loudly started demanding food.
Wistfully, we made our way to the Zoo and the exit. I spied a mother and her young daughter playing on a blanket of fallen leaves, wearing matching hats – that was a perfect send off! That and Delacorte Music Clock. It was exactly one o’clock and the chime of a nursery song started with the animals rotating with their musical instruments. Outside, we saw the Confounding Clock with its rotating face and the sun gleaming behind it.
Wolfing down pizza and falafel, we covered a part of Fifth Avenue on foot with D firmly pulling me forward as I stopped a million times to gape. I was tempted to go inside Tiffany’s with its gorgeous holiday decorations, but D saved me from possibly bankrupting us. We had time to wonder at the constellations of Grand Central Station (and sample cupcakes) as well as visit the NY Public Library and see the Gutenberg Bible. Our night tour guide Tina had made a great pun on the library standing between the lions as “reading between the li-o-nes!” 😀
It was goodbye to NYC – who knows if we will ever see it again. But Miami and my sister were around the corner 🙂 So it was not very hard to say goodbye!
Birthday in Miami coming up next 😀