New York, New York

Tuesday 7thAugust 2018

We planned to get on the hop on / hop off bus today. We googled the welcome centre and headed down there – near the World Trade Centre. We got there and realised that Google was wrong! We were completely at the wrong end of town. We ended up getting some McDonalds for breakfast (it was 10:30am) after searching all around Westfields for some restaurants – that we couldn’t find. We assessed what our options were and decided to take advantage of the fact that we were at Century 21, which Marc and Carol had told us was a fabulous discounted designer store. I am concerned that we might not be able to find what I would like to get the boys (and we discovered that we can each bring 2 bags on our flight to Honolulu tomorrow and then home to Sydney). We took it as destiny.

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This shop was amazing. We loved it! We found lots of things for the boys. Phil got some shorts too and we bought another duffle bag so we could take it with us. Obviously we couldn’t get all of this on the shuttle bus, so Phil booked us an Uber to stop off at ‘home’ and then continue on uptown to the official welcome centre. We got a great driver and he was lovely. We enjoyed chatting to him as he drove around New York. We got to the welcome centre and got our ticket.

We decided to go on the downtown loop. It was fabulous and we got to see sections of Manhattan that we hadn’t seen yet. We went past the Greenwich Village, SoHo, Canal Street, Chinatown, the civic area and Tribecca. Sadly, we didn’t get to explore these areas too much – this time (there are some definite areas we want to see next time). We got off at the Circle K cruises as we had the option to go on a cruise out to the Statue of Liberty. Our last opportunity to see her before we leave, so we jumped on the boat (which was very happily air conditioned) and out we went.

It was really nice to be on the Hudson River and seeing Manhattan and New Jersey from the water. It was gorgeous. It was also much cooler on the water, which was a welcome relief from being in the top of a hop on / hop off bus – that didn’t have air conditioning! It was lovely. Phil was hungry so he got a hot dog and pretzel. I had one bite of the hot dog and it was so nice, I ate it all. I was obviously much hungrier than I thought I was. He bought himself another one. What a great husband. The cruise went for an hour, which we really enjoyed. We hopped back on another hop on/ hop off bus and headed up to Times Square.

We decided to have dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co in Times Square. Our last dinner in New York. This was a fabulous choice. Phil had three different kinds of shrimps (prawns) while I had fried chicken. We had a summer drink – non alcoholic – Prosecco is super expensive here. It was lemonade and watermelon and so refreshing. It was gorgeous.

As we were enjoying dinner and all of the movie memorabilia from Forrest Gump, the weather seemed to be deteriorating. Phil checked the weather and there was a storm warning in place for New York City. We decided to try to get a cab or Uber out of the city back ‘home’ even though it was only 7pm. We needed to pack and have an early night as we need to get a cab around 5:00 am. Our flight to Honolulu leaves at 8:15 am.

We’ve really enjoyed New York, although we have been on the go the whole time. We definitely want to come back to this city. I love all the excitement, the purpose, the architecture and the hidden gems all over the place. That’s even before we mention Broadway and the shopping – oh the shopping – but not on 5thAvenue.

We got ‘home’ before the heavens opened, and enjoyed a massive lightning show on the way.  We had a chance to talk to Marc and let him know what was happening and then packed all the bag. We sorted our bags and had an early night.

Off to Honolulu tomorrow. Final stop on our Grand Adventure!

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