Wednesday 15th November
Hi again, one month on, here we are just about ready to go. A lot has happened in the past month – a visit to Ireland followed by a visit home. Catching up with friends, tying up a last few details and then flying back to the good old US of A.
We arrived in New York on Tuesday 7th Nov, Malc has said he wasn’t really bothered about coming to NY, but that first night though tired, we dropped our stuff and rushed out to take our first bite of the big apple. Our hotel was just off Times Square so as we rounded the corner there it was, full on neon, buzz, crowds, noise, yellow cabs, and sounding horns. Malc was hooked and so was I. It was all I thought it would be, just like the pictures but now alive. Reluctantly we decided to take a quick look and then get to bed so we could make the most of our next day.
Wednesday turned out to be one of the wettest days we have had so far, nearly 4” fell. WET wasn’t the word for it! Suffice to say my free BBC plastic poncho came in very handy, though perhaps not the smartest and most chic item to be wearing in this fashion mecca! We chose to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island which proved to be a good idea as there were very few other visitors, we had been told to expect a 2 hour queue but instead we went straight in. The only downside was foggy views. We walked around the Southport area which is a rejuvenated dock area at the tip of Manhattan and ate “Gumbo” from there made our way to Chinatown. It was bustling, noisy and fascinating. (As I’m sure these two strange sodden Europeans were to them) They didn’t seem to mind the rain and by this time, about 7pm, we were saturated anyway so we couldn’t get much worse! Squelchy shoes are are so comforting- not! Next stop was Grand Central station; Malc knows how to turn a girl’s head!
It was amazing; again you’ve seen it in the movies…remember “The Witness?” Paddington and Waterloo are really a world away and it’s not about Beeching either.. Beneath G Central there is a vast food court with a delicious, mouth-watering array of food, we bought New York Cheesecake…what else? and decided to return to sample the Oyster Bar the following day.
Thursday dawned dry and sunny, in fact we spent the day in short sleeves! By 9.30am we were in the lift shooting skywards to the top of the Empire State having beaten the queues we felt pretty clever again.
This for me was the absolute highlight of our time in NY, we couldn’t have chosen a clearer day we could see for miles! The views were better than stunning they were breath taking. I was mesmerized and spent ages just soaking it all in. There is the main outside viewing balcony on the 86th floor but of course we had to go as high up as possible after coming this far so the next lift took us to the 102nd floor, now that’s a view!
Next we sauntered up 5th Ave, it’s so true that you see far more when you walk around a city. All the names came to life Rockefeller Centre compete with ice rink out front, Trump Tower, Central Park. The day was beautiful; New Yorkers were out in style. We walked up museum mile to the Guggenheim. As some of you know Malc has a thing about architecture and having visited the Guggenheim in Bilbao (spending nearly 2 hours admiring the outside!) he was keen to see this one. Sadly we were disappointed; it is nowhere near as spectacular as the Spanish titanium one. It has been nicknamed the toilet bowl and even if it hadn’t been shrouded in scaffolding…it’s undergoing renovations, and to top that was closed on Thursdays! Not so clever…
We made our way back to 42nd Street down Madison Ave; altogether another experience. There is certainly something about NY women… tall like 6’plus! Super slim, super polished, super poised. You know “born to shop” Don’t these women ever look normal? You know like have a bad hair day or crease their skirt, or have too much stuffed in their bag? There also seemed a high proportion of the super thin too, like not healthy but obsessed.
By this time the feet were beginning to tell us it was time for a rest, so we found a suitable watering hole.
On Friday morning we rode the free Staten Island ferry (yes free) to get some decent pictures of the lady of Liberty and Manhattan before making our way to JFK to fly back north to New Hampshire. The 45 minute flight ended up taking 3 hrs but that’s another story.
Ready to go
We collected the bus (our new home) on Sat 10th Nov and have spent the last couple of days making ready. It has poured with rain, making us all the more eager to get on our way. We did expect snow so this has been slightly better.
We have been parking a couple of miles away as we can’t leave the bus here over night, so each day has given us a little more practice. We have all the tow gear fitted and yesterday drove to collect the bus in the car, hitched up and towed the car back. Most of our stuff is now loaded and stowed, just clothes and toiletries to go.
We plan to leave on Friday and make our way down to Pennsylvania first.
Ready to come with us?