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Published: January 6th 2007
Two Little Dogs and Two Big Cities
Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today............We were both very excited at the prospect of spending 11 days in the Big Apple. Goodbye hostels, noise, bus journeys, chumps and general traveling life. Hello apartment living, Soho, cool bars, eclectic neighbourhoods, New Yorkers and a new little Puggle friend called Lupe!
We arrived late in NYC and jumped in a big black SUV and taxi'd to Santi & Andee's place in Soho which we were house sitting along with little Lupe. The NYC skyline by night is a sight to behold, particularly if it is your first time seeing it. The Chrysler and Empire State buildings stood above the Manhattan skyline, illuminated red and green like giant Christmas trees and we were both thinking that this place is gonna be COOL. NYC did not disspapoint......
The question we found was where do you start in NYC. With a population of eight million and 32 million visitors per year, New York has to be one of the most visited places in the world. The locals get on with their day to day lives and ignore the likes of us who look up at
Dom & YT, Christmas Day 2006
Top of the Rockefeller Centre
every building going ooooohhh isn't it tall!. The neighbourhods such as Soho, Greewnwich Village, Little Italy, Lolita, Noho, China Town an little Korea all have their very own distintive vibe and mix of locals. You are guaranteed to see all races, colours, creeds and religions in New York. Along with the very rich and the very poor. It has the image of a very Big city, although Manhattan was surprisingly manageable as we walked from one end of town to the other over the next few days.
We ticked all the big ticket items including Times Square, Broadway, Radio City, The Rockerfeller Christmas Tree, Saint Patricks, 5th, Park and Madison Avenues, Grand Central, the MOMA, Mamma Mia on Broadway (thanks Rod) and of course Central Park. Quite why John Lennon would swop Stanley Park in Liverpool (with the greatest football team in the world), for Central Park is beyond me... But seriously, it is all that you imagine whilst also being quite surreal as it is a piece of sanity in the middle of ordered chaos. We walked from one end to the other and also took on some ice skating which was serious picture post card stuff and
alot of fun too. Central Park rocked.
Having spent a few days ticking off the big ticket items, we decided to kick back and spend some time in Soho and check out the hood. Now Soho is so called as it is South of Houston St. Noho is North of Houston, Lolita is Left of Little Italy etc. We found a great second hand book shop, shopped in cool little shops that were cheap as chips, drank coffee, had a couple of beers, walked over Brooklyn bridge with little Lupe and generally soaked it all in. We also had a couple of friends in town (Tony & Jason) and hit little Tokyo for good food & Sake!
Christmas day we spent on the 'Top of the Rock'. The Rockerfeller centre was built in the Great Depression by John D. Rockerfeller and was a huge gamble at the time. It was the first multi purpose piece of real estate in the world, including office, retail, media and private dwellings. It also has 70 floors and offers unbelievable views of Manhattan. We spent an hour being wowed by the incredible views over the city and saw the city lights begin
to sparkle as the sun went down over Manhattan! An unforgettable sight for Christmas Day!
Now we can't sign off on New York without mentioning a little friend we made. Little Lupe who is the cutest little Puggle (Pug & Beagle) entertained us immensely for eleven days. Requiring 24 hour attention and sleeping with us most nights, she was like a baby......We walked her around the hood, picked up her poop and made new friends in the doggie run (which is the most ridiculous place I have spent any time - see the photo of the pink dog and you will appreciate why New Yorkers love their dogs). Lupe is the coolest dog you could wish to look after!
So overall, New York was all that we hoped for and more. For me, it is the number one city we have visited this year and we will back I am sure to soak it all in again. Rock on NYC, next stop, Chicago, the Storeys and Ernie the Pug.....
After an overnigtht delay due to 3 different technical faults on our planes (after we had boarded) we landed in Chicago, Illinois and were met by Mr and
Mrs Storey. For you guys who know Marc and Kristen, you will know that we were in for alot of laughs, great hospitality and generally a good time for all. I have to say that it is great to have friends in different places, who we may not see for a year or two and then just slot back into things like we saw each other yesterday. Kristen is looking well and Mr Storey was on great form. Being the most aptly named person in the world, he got down to business and told us a few stories. One included Marc proclaiming that he no longer went too hard on the beers and no longer took his friends down with him on big nights. He proved this to be a "Storey story" by promptly taking us out to many fine Chicago establishments and filling us with ale, ale and more ale...... We rolled in at 5am and duly wrote Thursday off in bed. However, we all had a great night indeed. We have also been to an Ice Hockey game which was awesome. These boys do kick the absolute sh*T out of each other, had a few more beers and
generlly hung out. NYE was spent at home with the Storeys and lot's of fun was had by all!
We also couldn't sign off on Chicago without talking about another little friend we made. Ernie, the Pug is the coolest little fella you could wish to meet. Handsome as they come, with a personality to match. Good work little fella! YT and I are now avid pug and puggle fans and may well be having our own little fella further down the track.....!?!
So it is 13:00 on the 3rd of Jan and we are sat in the New York State Library finishing our penultimate on-the-road blog. This is the 283rd day of our trip and sadly the last day of our adventure. Feelings are mixed to be honest but overall we have had the BEST year of our lives. This chapter is closing with a new one about to begin...... Sydney and Canberra in January, and then a big move to London on the 4th of February.
We will sign off with one final blog from Australia, to let you know we've arrived safe and sound and to wrap up this epic blog journey!
How cute is Ernie!?
Chicago's lovliest dog!
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that my favourite place in NY is the dog run in Washington Square too... Santi arrives in London tomorrow so will fill him in on all your goings on. NYE at Bondi with Basement Jaxx was "oh my Gosh" good. see you early feb!
akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! - Happy New Year! Wow you guys must be home or on a plane now?? Sorry im not in Aus to catch up as Im back in Tokyo!! But il be back in London before you know it (well 2 years maybe..) Congrats on finishing your trip! And YES you will be like me and start every sentence with "when i was in".
Heck - sadness
I don't believe it. I'm sad it is over for you two too. You have certainly deserved the experiences you have had - you clearly made the most of it!!! The sadness isn't lessened by the fact you are turning on your heels and heading straight to the UK either. I am beginning to feel like I have got it all wrong and I am the one living overseas!!! My exotic Australian adventure - 28 years and counting :)
you change me a lot from this blog~~, i learned a lot ..cause whenever i opened blog, i see place you went to~, which is really diffrent to expectation to the place to what i think before that place.. so many things you did well in newyork!!chrismas , horkey, little dog you made friends with ,etc,!!so many things always being with you anywhere!283 days???is that so long already??you are going to succed your trip you made^^you said best year in your lives!!how great is that!!!! im always here to wait for you to see you^^ shiori
Hey Yvette, Happy New Year! I wanted to let you know that it's been fantastic seeing your holiday memories throughout the year. I have loved reading and catching up with where you are and what wonderful experiences you are having. Lupe - Love him!! How cute! And the beaches in Mexico looked like heaven! Hey tell me more about this "move to London" in Feb? Just a quick hello for now chat to you again soon, Ciao for now, Love Rebecca.