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NYC. New York City. The Big Apple. “The city that never sleeps.”

What brings throngs to New York? The sights and sounds of Times Square, Broadway, Rockefeller Plaza, the World Trade Center? The hustle and bustle, the big lights, the big buildings, the big, well, everything? Yes. probably all of that. If you leave the city without enjoying something, it’s your own fault.

I’ve taken my daughter to NYC, but never my son. Amber went for the first time at age 8 when Jacob was a toddler. I pictured having to carry him many city blocks or lugging the jogger stroller on bus trips. Now 7, he was ready to go with his sister and her Girl Scout troop.

First came the 5:30 a.m. wake-up call. Ugh! Where’s the coffee?! Eventually, we got refreshments while filling the gas tanks of our group’s two minivans. As for fatigue, it didn’t settle in for my kiddos en route to NYC. Save for later …

The troop leader, an NYC enthusiast, suggested parking on Staten Island and taking the Staten Island Ferry across the Hudson River into lower Manhattan. We would go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park and Central Park Zoo. Along the way, we saw plenty of familiar sites, including the Statue of Liberty, the Merrill Lynch bull statue and Trinity Church (an Episcopal church chartered in 1697 and the first Anglican church in Manhattan). My children and I also experienced our first ride on the city’s subway. Considering the hot weather, it was a steamy ride!

Jacob relished the ferry ride, waving to Lady Liberty and watching sailboats and a Coast Guard boat that ran parallel to the ferry. He walked well with the group, either holding my hand or his sister’s hand. I have to hand it to Amber. She was very watchful and protective of Jacob, especially in the subway stations. Other times, he walked alongside the troop leader’s son, who is about three years older.

Heading back to the ferry, the group longed for a Starbucks fix (the coffee shops weren’t hard to find!). Mission accomplished, we continued walking and went near the Freedom Tower, or One World Trade Center. In a word: Impressive.

Perhaps that word could describe my son’s first trip to NYC. He had fun despite lots of walking, and he never complained. Moreover, he wants to return to see more of NYC. It sounds like a plan.

Oh, yes. Jacob fell asleep rather quickly after a rest stop and some snacks. In my opinion, it was a well-deserved respite for a 7-year-old experiencing his first trip to New York City.