Published: November 30th 2011November 23rd 2011
We were in New York City before we knew it, and literally moments after stepping off the bus we were greeted by a crazed woman screaming for the police – welcome to NYC!
We hailed ourselves a yellow cab to take us to our boutique hotel that we had booked into for 5 nights – and we were pretty chuffed when we realized how great a location it was, just in the shadow of the Empire State Building! We couldn’t wait to get out and experience the atmosphere of the city so we dumped our bags and made a beeline for Times Square. It wasn’t long before we were walking with our Starbucks coffee’s in Manhattan and we were loving it! Already we knew New York was going to be pretty special, there were iconic yellow cabs everywhere we looked and once our walk up Broadway took us onto Times Square we were blown away. With all the billboards and bright lights that hit you the atmosphere is pretty electric. We then settled for a wee Israeli Kosher restaurant for dinner and then we then ended up walking for miles just soaking up the Big Apple!
The next morning
bright and breezy we were up with another 3 million folks to take in the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. The crowds were so massive that it was quite hard to find a spot, but we somehow managed to squeeze ourselves into the corner of 39th street! It was pretty cool to see the parade, endless floats and giant inflated balloons of Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear and Sonic hovering above the crowds. Even funnier though was the New Yorkers in the crowd – any time anyone tried to push their way to the front or blocked the view they weren’t shy about screaming in their faces!! We then made our way to the Empire State Building and after endless queues and security checks we finally made it to the top for the breathtaking views of the city. That night we found a great little Indian restaurant and for only 35 bucks had one of the best Indian’s we’ve had. To top off a great day we stumbled across a German bar that was decked out in over the top Christmas decorations . . . Christmas was coming early this year!
One of the amazing things about New York is that
it has so many different areas that are worth visiting so the next morning we hopped on to the subway downtown. When you are walking along the streets you can actually hear the subway trains thunder along below you as they are so close to the surface, and there is smoke coming out of vents in the ground – unmistakable New York! Downtown is where the financial district is based so we took a stroll along the now skint Wall Street and then afterwards visited Ground Zero. It was surreal to stand in the area where the twin towers had once stood. We were able to visit the poignant 9/11 memorial which had just opened this year, the memorial is two reflecting pools which sit in the footprints of the old towers with all the victim’s names inscribed around them. Just off the coast of downtown is where a famous lady stands so we hopped onto a ferry out to Liberty Island to check her out. We made it just in time to see the sun go down just behind the Statue of Liberty, not bad! Once we were back on land we made a quick pit-stop in one of
the many many Irish pubs then walked over the Brooklyn Bridge – it goes without saying that the views of the city were pretty amazing! On the other side in Brooklyn we ate out at ‘The Pizza’ and were served with the biggest pizza we had seen – not a crumb was left!!
With Tina giving Paul a gentle nudge we started the weekend off taking the ‘Sex in the City’ tour. Tina was buzzing to see all the locations from the show, and we were even treated to a cupcake and a cosmo cocktail, how very Sex in the City! Afterwards it was Paul’s turn to get a bit of celebrity indulgence as we headed to Central Park to check out the Strawberry Fields area which is dedicated to John Lennon. Across the road was the Dakota Building which again was quite surreal to stand there knowing what had happened on that spot. Since this was officially our last Saturday night on our travels we thought it would be quite fitting to end on a high – champagne in our hotel room (not like us eh) before heading out for a night in the East Village!!
kicked in the next morning so it was a challenge to drag ourselves away from our cosy bed. We just about managed to visit the Rockefeller Centre which like everywhere else in the city was decorated with the most beautiful Christmas decorations. For our ‘final supper’ we went for a Chinese meal which ended up being a meal you wouldn’t give to your dog – quite fitting we thought to end things how they started in South East Asia!! For the rest of the night we walked about in a bit of a daze coming to terms with the end of our travels!
New York was the perfect place to end our trip on, it’s been the icing on the cake to a brilliant year – from Bangkok to New York it has been some journey. We’ll be back hame to Bonnie Scotland in a week’s time, after a couple of pit-stops in London and Ireland.
Where has the last year went?!!
There are more photos below