This past Saturday, we sponsored our third Christmas trip to New York City. Over 100 Trinity students and parents left Trinity at 5am for a fun day in the greatest city in the world! There is no agenda for this trip other than to enjoy New York City. We stopped at a rest stop somewhere in Connecticut and were in New York a little after 10am. The drivers dropped us off at the corner of Lexington Avenue and E. 50th Street, right in the heart of the city.
Each student was in a group with 1-2 adult chaperones and they all went off to do whatever they wanted for the day. I guess most of them stayed in the Times Square area taking in all of the sights, sounds, and people. New York City is of course a madhouse this time of year and the 60 degree weather brought in even more. For the second year in a row, I didn't have a group as most of the kids had a parent volunteer to be a chaperone. Dr. Murphy of our science department and Mr. Sheehan '79 of our math department also served as chaperones. I did meet up with a group of freshmen boys and their chaperone and told them I was heading down to the Staten Island Ferry if they wanted to join me. The ferry is free and goes from the tip of Manhattan at Battery Park over to Staten Island. Along the way you pass the Statue of Liberty and have amazing views of the New York skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. They joined me and we even got a free subway ride as the lady working there let people in for free. The ferry leaves every 30 minutes on weekends and is a 50 minute round trip. Once you get to Staten Island, you can get off and run right over to the departing ferry for the return trip. It's a great experience.
From there, the group went off to the World Trade Center while I hung around the area. I love history and love visiting National Parks and other historical sites. Very few people will go to these places with me (sometimes I will trick my kids into it!) so I used the opportunity to visit them. I checked out Castle Clinton, Federal Hall (just the outside as it was closed), African Burial Site, and the Brooklyn Bridge. I then meandered my way north to St. Patrick's Cathedral stopping at various places, especially for Krispy Kreme donuts at Penn Station!
All of us then met up at St. Patrick's Cathedral for the 5:30pm Mass. The cathedral just finished a major restoration and all of the scaffolding is finally down. We weren't able to sit together of course as there are so many people there but it was a nice opportunity to slow down and pray together in one of the most iconic churches in the world.
We were scheduled to depart at 7pm but our buses (which had to park in New Jersey) got stuck in traffic and didn't make it to us until 8:30pm. So it made for a late night as we got back to Trinity around 1:45am but it was very much worth it. This trip is one of my favorites and I so grateful for the many students and parents who were a part of it.