New York City - 2009
We had 113 parents, grandparents, and children with us on our first trip to New York City. Most of us met in Lancaster, SC, or arranged to be picked up in NC and VA along the way. Families who didn't live along our route arranged for their own transportation and met us at our hotel.
The weather was wonderful - in the 70's and low 80's for the most part, and very little rain. The long bus ride (15 hours or so, including meal stops and breaks) allowed us to get to know each other before arriving in NYC.
Everyone seemed to be pleased with our hotel. The rooms were spacious, clean, the beds were very comfortable, and the abundant free breakfast was enjoyed by all.
Some of the sites we visited were the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Ground Zero, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, Tenement Museum, Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock), and we saw the Lion King performance on Broadway. Since we had free time scheduled, we were able to visit various other sites, too (Sony Wonder Technology Museum, Times Square, Wax Museum, American Girls, Saint Patrick's Cathedral, the Brooklyn Bridge, shopping, shopping, and more shopping were some of the choices).
Many families enjoyed the Lion King, Top of the Rock, and the Tenement Museum the most. Other families said their favorites were the Natural History Museum, Met, Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island (especially with the audio tours).
A common theme in all the emails was everyone's enjoyment of the group (including our wonderful bus drivers) and our flexibility - families could stick with the group, or go on their own at any time. The children, especially, enjoyed touring with other homeschooled children. I received many "thank you's" from the children (as well as pleas to talk their parents into future trips).
Meeting all the great families and watching the children make friends was my favorite part of the trip. Several families said they would like to go back next time so they can explore more of the city.
A big thanks goes to all the families who traveled with us on our first trip to New York City. It was absolutely a pleasure spending time with you and seeing the sites together. Several families have already asked about future trips to NYC, so I'll probably plan another one for May 2010.