Day 1. Drive to New York City   (24 Dec 2005 Saturday)
7:00am depart Norwood for New York City (200 miles 3 hours 15 minutes)
10:30am to 3:30pm Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is home to the single largest collection of dinosaur fossils in the world, with more than 100 specimens featured in its halls. The Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs examines the branches of dinosaurs that possess the trait of a grasping hand, with fingers that differ in size and shape.
The opening of the Rose Center in February 2000 represented one of the most exciting chapters and most ambitious achievements in the Museum's long and distinguished history. It is a center for scientific research, a technological marvel, New York's latest architectural icon, and a powerful educational resource— in short, a singular facility that sets a new standard for museums and planetariums worldwide. Exhibition halls explore the vast range of sizes in the cosmos; the 13-billion-year history of the universe; the fascinating nature of galaxies, stars, and planets; and the dynamic features of our own unique planet Earth. Not only has the Rose Center received international acclaim for its exhibits and state-of-the-art technology, but it is considered one of New York City's most recent and boldest architectural landmarks. Its striking design includes the largest glass curtain wall in the United States, constructed of the clearest "water white" glass, and a thrilling interior space with a ceiling higher than that of Grand Central Station.
The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Hall of the Universe presents the discoveries and explorations of modern astrophysics. This 7,000-square-foot hall is divided into four zones featuring exhibit islands rich with astronomical imagery, rotating video displays, computer interactives, and more. The Universe Zone probes the limits of our powers of observation, while exploring the ways in which our universe is expanding. The Galaxies Zone celebrates the exquisite beauty and diversity of galaxies, while providing information on their formation and evolution. The Stars Zone links supernovae to the elements created by them, the chemical building blocks of our own human bodies, reinforcing the notion that we are made of "star stuff." The Planets Zone illustrates the formation and evolution of planets, with an examination of major collisions that have occurred on Earth, as well as possible future impacts.
The Museum's holdings in Asian ethnology constitute one of the finest such collections in the Western Hemisphere. This extensive collection provides the foundation for the Hall of Asian Peoples, the Museum's largest cultural hall. The hall explores such topics as prehistoric Eurasia and the rise of civilization, early Asian cultures, and Asian trade, and includes such vastly different and diverse regions as Korea, China, India, Armenia, and Siberia. The hall also documents the rise of the great world religions of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Confucianism.
The Hall of Biodiversity is a groundbreaking exhibition devoted to what many scientists believe is the most pressing environmental issue of our time: the need to protect and preserve our planet's biodiversity, the variety and interdependence of Earth's life forms. The 11,000-square-foot hall, which opened in 1998, represents an important step in the Museum's efforts to expand public understanding of Earth's diverse and often endangered life forms, while painting a vivid and inspiring portrait of the breathtaking beauty and abundance of life on Earth.
"Darwin" Most comprehensive exhibition ever mounted on renowned naturalist opens November 19, 2005 to May 29, 2006. Darwin, the most in-depth exhibition ever mounted on this highly original thinker, botanist, geologist, and naturalist and his theory of evolution. This exhibition continues a series of exhibitions the Museum has developed on great thinkers, explorers, and scientists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Ernest Shackleton, Albert Einstein, and now Charles Darwin. This exhibition will explore the extraordinary life and discoveries of Charles Darwin, whose striking insights in the 19th century forever changed the perception of the origin of our own species as well as the myriad other species on this planet and launched modern biological science.
Open Daily 10:00am to 5:30pm Admission Adults $14 Children 2-12 $8
Central Park West at 79th Street
source: http://www.amnh.org/
4:00pm hotel check-in
Travell Inn
515 West 42nd Street
New York NY 10036
(between 10th and 11th)
Phone (212) 695 7171
$125/night plus tax Total of $290.44 for 2 nights
  includes on-site parking
Confirmation # 14305
http://www.reservationpage.com/C00148/H00042/guest_history.aspx
5:00pm til late Around and about Manhattan
Times Square 195 W. 43rd - When the New York Times erected a new building on 43rd Street at the turn of the 20th century, the neighborhood took on the name "Times Square." In celebration of the new building, the Times publisher threw a New Years Eve party. In the early 1980s, the city made major efforts to restore the neighborhood to its former, more wholesome, glory. Now it is the site of the most famous New year's Eve countdown in the world. The famous ball drop atop One Times Square has been a tradition dating back to 1906.
The theaters of Broadway and the huge number of gaudy animated neon and television-style signage have long made it one of New York's iconic images, and a symbol of the intensely urban aspects of Manhattan. Times Square is the only neighborhood with a zoning ordinance requiring tenants to display bright signs. The density of illuminated signs in Times Square now rivals Las Vegas.
Rockefeller Center is a fascinating combination of contradictions: at once futuristic and classical, with soaring buildings and underground tunnels, inspired by both hard-headed commercialism and philanthropic idealism. Below street level, the Center's buildings are linked by a pedestrian shopping concourse. This is an oasis of order in the heart of the busiest city in the world, a city within a city, functionally efficient and aesthetically elegant.
Day 2. Christmas in New York and with the Ventanilla's   (25 Dec 2005 Sunday)
morning to mid-day Central Park
Central Park is one of the major attractions of New York City, comprised of 850 acres with 36 bridges. With 25 million visitors each year to its 843 acres, Central Park is the most frequently visited urban park in the United States. Central Park is one of those places that make New York such a great place to live. Its design is an example for city parks around the world. The park boasts several lakes, theaters, ice rinks, fountains, tennis courts, baseball fields, many playgrounds and other facilities. It is also home to the Central Park Zoo and the Metropolitan museum of Art. Especially during the weekends, when cars are not allowed into the park, Central Park is a welcome oasis in this hectic city.
The Wollman Rink was a success from the day it opened in 1950. Today over 4,000 use the 33,000-square-foot rink daily. Wollman hosts skaters day and night. But nighttime is a New York City moment. Music plays across the ice as skaters find their own rhythm circling the rink. Its picturesque location between the Dairy to the north and the Pond to the south make it popular not only for skaters, but also for any visitor who appreciates the romance of the New York City skyline. Phone (212) 439 6900
source: http://www.centralparknyc.org/
1:00pm to 2:30pm drive to Ventanillas (55 miles 1 hour 10 minutes)
Ventanilla Residence (Gerry, Ruby, Kristin, and Patrick)
2 Christie Way
Branchburg NJ 08853 Phone (908) 369 7244
2:30pm til late Christmas with the Ventanilla's
10:00pm drive back to Manhattan
Day 3. One More Day in New York   (26 Dec 2005 Monday)
9:00am hotel check-out 9:00am to 1:00pm Museum of Modern Art
Founded in 1929 as an educational institution, The Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world. From an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing, The Museum of Modern Art's collection has grown to include more than 100,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects.
Painting, sculpture, furniture, film and more comprises the largest art collection spanning the 1880's to the present. The permanent display features such masters as Picasso, Mondrian, and Matisse on the walls with works by Rodin presented in the sculpture garden.
From an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing, The Museum of Modern Art's collection has grown to include 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects. MoMA also owns some 22,000 films, videos, and media works, as well as film stills, scripts, posters and historical documents. The Museum's Library contains 300,000 books, artist books, and periodicals, and the Museum Archives holds approximately 2,500 linear feet of historical documentation and a photographic archive of tens of thousands of photographs, including installation views of exhibitions and images of the Museum's building and grounds.
Henri Rousseau's The Dream 1910
Open 10:30am to 5:30pm Phone (212) 708-9400
11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019-5497 (bet. 5th & 6th Aves.)
Admission Adults $20 Children (16 and under) free
website: http://www.moma.org/
4:00pm to 8:00pm drive back home to Norfolk, MA
8:00pm Home Sweet Home

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