Cathleen and Ray McKinney – Intergenerational Trip
My wife and I just returned from the most amazing four days in NYC that we have ever had. Based on our experience, we would highly recommend you talk with Kitt Garrett at Discover New York and Beyond before planning a family trip to see NYC.
For several months we had been planning a quick trip to NYC for our two daughters and our six and seven year old granddaughters. Initially, the trip was to only be a Gramma day with the kids at American Girl. Only one of our daughters has been to NYC and neither granddaughter has ever been to a large city. In fact, one of the granddaughters had not flown on a plane before this trip. Because we had been to NYC numerous times ourselves, we thought we could plan the trip. We investigated the day long experiences at American Girl and we bought great seats up close and on the aisle for Lion King. We thought we could just walk around the city to fill in the days. Our travel agent, Jayne Sharpe with Travel Experts, encouraged us to talk with Kitt Garrett at Discover New York and Beyond before we finalized our plans.
Talking to Kitt was an experience in itself. She was so thorough in her questions about our children and grandchildren and their interests and past travel experience. Based on our initial conversation, Kitt planned an intense and exciting itinerary for the children. Kitt surrounded our pre-made personal plans with fabulous experiences that gave them a fast and completely amazing introduction to life in the Big Apple. Just what they wanted, and it included an experience personally targeted to each child’s interest.
Kitt planned a ride through Central Park, private tours with kid oriented guides at a Museum (before opening hours) and activities at another museum and all oriented toward the children. We had our half day at American Girl, a trip to an iconic NY site, a harbor cruise to see lower Manhattan, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and a Ground Zero Memorial visit. The absolute highlight of the visit was a Sunday morning private visit in a dance studio with a piano accompanist and a seasoned (12 years) cast member from Lion King. Our daughters and granddaughters were thrilled and really felt special when the cast member worked out a secret signal to be given from the stage when she saw our girls. She signaled them three times during the performance! After the Sunday matinee, she took the girls back stage to meet the cast and try on Lion King costumes. Needless to say, my family thought this was on their list of most memorable life experiences!
Kitt and her staff made my job so easy. Their attention to detail and constant communication (texts and calls to ensure we were on schedule and everything working as planned) throughout the weekend removed any of my anxiety about reservations, transportation, tickets, directions, etc. They planned all the restaurants (which were excellent first class choices for all) and all the transportation modes. Kitt even met us at dinner the first night for a brief visit. This made everyone feel very special.
Kitt is an exceptionally creative travel planner. You can trust her instincts and recommendations for your family. No one has ever made my Grampa travel plans look better. The thing I learned from this experience was how to trust someone else to make your plans so that I could just relax and enjoy seeing the kids have so much fun. They loved every minute of this trip. And so did Gramma and I. Thanks Kitt!!
Cathleen and Ray McKinney
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