Of course the highlight of this tour is the thing that everyone has been talking about – The City that NEVER sleeps, The Big Apple, The one place that should never make salsa, NEW YORK CITY!!!!!!

It’s today folks! Today was a day full of oohs and aahs as we approached the city from the Jersey side. Of course we had tons to time to take in the skyline because the backlog to go through the Lincoln Tunnel was like something you’d find in…well, New York. But as you exit the Lincoln Tunnel onto 42nd St. there is no doubt of exactly where you are, as it seems like the throngs of people just appear out of nowhere. Soon we were pulling up to our hotel where we had our first test of the city.

Remember how I told you yesterday that we had some time with Bemo and the sponsors to talk about how to have a safe and fun tour once we arrived in the city? Well, some of those skills were put to the test right away. We had to unload our suitcases off the bus amid what seemed like a never-ending river of pedestrians. So, we got to practice keeping accountability of our stuff and our persons, and you’d have thought they were old pros who do this all the time.

Some of the other things that we discussed in our preparations for NYC was how to deal with street vendors who were going try to hock their mix tapes, street art, and other sundry junk.  We discussed how to make your dollars go as far as they can because often places will charge for things that us Midwesterners take for granted should be free – like refills. But the most important thing we stress will be extremely effective for keeping everyone safe and having a good time is never being alone and staying in their groups of at least four (It’s kept hundreds and hundreds of New G singers having a great time in NYC for over 50 years).

Another way that we are practicing that this year is by breaking everyone down into “pods” of 8 or 9 kiddos and assigning them to a sponsor.  We are using these pods because we want to ensure accountability as we take the subway around the city tomorrow and Sunday. Sometimes, the subway can be a little crowded, and if you’ve ever been on it before, I’m sure you could imagine that trying to jam nearly 70 people in a group onto the subway at one time could be an inefficient way to move around. We broke down into these pods so that we can spread out in the subway cars and sponsor couples can make sure that their group all stays together and the whole group can meet up at the destination. The coolest pod (the one Emily and I are in charge of) named ourselves Howells Owls.

Once we were settled in the hotel, the evening began with a little practice of just that concept as we broke up into our pods and all followed Bemo as he gave us a walking tour of the city around Times Square.  We saw Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We finally landed in the Duffy Plaza section of Times Square and released the singers in groups of four or more to shop and eat in Times Square for 2 ½ hours.

So here we are, halfway through tour and the first night of New York City under our belts. Everyone is pumped for tomorrow and heading through the city to Little Italy and China Town. Everyone except my feet, who are already mad at me for agreeing to come on this trip.

Click Photos Below for more Pictures

*Note: Same Album for the 3 Days in NY

**Note: Pictures are from the Singers!

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