So Friday's trip to Fleet Week was a big let down. We waited on line for 40 minutes, didn't get anywhere near the ship and had to leave otherwise we wouldn't make it back to school by dismissal. We did get a picture with 3 sailors on their way off the boat. Next year, we're going to the ships at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, hopefully that will work out better.
To make it up to my kids for sweltering in the city for nothing, we're going on an impromptu trip this Friday. If you're in the NYC area and you need a fun free trip to start or end the year, try taking the Staten Island Ferry. I've done this trip a few times, and it's actually pretty fun. The ferry leaves out of downtown Manhattan (or Staten Island if you're in that borough). To get to the Manhattan site take the 1 or R to Whitehall South Ferry, the J or Z to Broad Street or the 5 to Bowling Green. Then just walk over to the terminal and wait for the next departure. They ferry leaves every 1/2 hour from 930 into the early afternoon.
The ride itself is the trip. It takes about 25 minutes to cross the harbor and you get amazing views of Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Verrazano Bridge. There are plenty of decks with outside viewing space so the kids can take a million pictures. There is nothing to do on the Staten Island side but eat and get back on the ferry. If you give the kids time to eat and use the bathroom in Staten Island, the whole experience takes about an hour and a half. And it's a really nice day.