What can I say about New York, well it had the hottest day on record while we were there so walking around turned out to be a bit of a chore, and we were quite knackered by the end of the day. It took around 10 hours to get from Toronto to New York but we at least had stops every two hours or so, one was to the Corning Glass museum in of all places, Corning, would you believe. We started the day with a bit of a disaster really, we had to meet the subway to get to the bus meeting place by 6.15am, I awoke suddenly to find that the clock said 6.15am so it was then a quick bolt out of bed, throw what we thought we need in the bag that we couldn’t pack the day before and ordered a taxi, luckily it got us there in time. I had a second disaster in that while in one of the shopping precincts we visited, I went to the toilet and the zip on my shorts promptly disintegrated and left me with shorts I couldn’t zip up! So I then pulled my shirt down as far as I could and ‘casually’ strolled back to the rest area where I could sit down without embarrassing myself and had to wait till Rose came by so she could go to the bus and retrieve my spare shorts, Unfortunately the bus had moved and we had to wait till it came back again, all was well in the end when they were replaced! AND disaster No.3 (they all come in threes! We got to the hotel, The Heldrich which is in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and went to open the door to our room, well, the room unlocked but the door refused to open, something was jamming it shut. We called for help which took over half an hour to come and this large black guy then appeared and forced the door open. The door had apparently swollen so much the door didn’t close properly and when it was shut it was very difficult to open, I wasn’t about to force it open in case I broke it and that of course would mean that I would end up paying for it! We eventually managed to get another room and everything settled back down again.
We were up at 6.30am each day, the first trip was just an around the town affair, stopping at places like Times Square, Central Park and other locations, where we got off the bus and more or less fast walked to where we were going. We had one stop at Grand Central Station for dinner, where I lost Rose, We were sitting in the rest area and Rose went to the bookstall and then disappeared, I waited for around half an hour and No Rose, it was now 10 minutes till the bus left again, so I went over the Police kiosk and asked them to page her, they said they didn’t do it from there and I had to go upstairs to do it, I said that I was a little loathed to leave where I was just in case she found her way back again, anyway, the police and I then began searching for her, and after a few minutes one of them said does she wear glasses, she had turned up and was behind me! She had been to the toilet and couldn’t find her way back again, her lack of sense of direction is now legendary.
At 3pm we were dropped off at Macy;s dept store (we did this on both days) where we were then free to roam around by ourselves, I have to say by this time our feet were killing us due to the heat, it was in the 90’s. The second day it was over 100. It was actually hotter than when we left China. The bus picked us up again at 8pm for our return to the hotel.
The next day was very similar, except instead of the ‘downtown’ area we went south to the lesser parts of the town including Little Italy and Chinatown etc. (Yes China again!) We ate near the Brooklyn bridge and afterwards they dropped us near a subway in Chinatown, We took the subway to The Empire State Building, The subway was crammed and the carriages are a lot smaller than the ones we have in China and a lot dingier.
To get inside the Empire State takes a lot of queuing, and I mean a lot, you go through 3 queues to get in, one for security, one for the ticket and another when you get to the 80th floor to get in the next lift up to the 84th floor Observation deck. I, as a few of you may know, am not the greatest fan of heights, but I had no problem here, I don’t really know why that is, maybe it was the brick wall and high fence all round that made it seem more secure. We spend the afternoon up there taking photo’s etc, Rose wanted to stay till sunset but we had to catch the bus at 8pm and sunset wasn’t till then so we were unable to stay, or it would have been a bit of a pain getting back to the hotel if we missed the bus at Macy’s. I wanted to have a look inside the Chrysler building to photograph it as I had heard it was a bit special, but we unfortunately ran out of time.
The next day (yesterday) was our return home trip, much like the one coming to NY, except at the border the Canadians were more friendly that the young stroppy git we had on the way into the States and it costs 6 dollars to get in!! I was very tempted to ask for the 6 dollars back when we left, but I didn’t want to push my luck, we got back here around 9pm.
The trip on the whole was a ladies trip as 90% of it was shopping, shopping, shopping, All i bought was an IPod Nano and a bag of liquorice, I learnt that if I ever go back again it wont be on a tour! and I’ll book a hotel in the centre of Manhattan to save all the travel and rushing about.
I’ll post the pictures when I get back home.