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And out came the sun

Finally the sun it out, even if its our last day here. We visited Radio City Hall, which is a pretty fabulous old building.

It was then onto the Brooklyn Bridge, which we have never managed to get too before !!!

Next on our whirlwind last day was Central Park.

Then one last stop at Times Square before some quick last minute shopping then home to pack.

 

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Ellis island

Today we got off to a slow start after getting a good nites sleep

We headed to south ferry to join the craziness that is statue of liberty and Ellis island tours. With a queue that never seemed to end we eventually made it thru the line thru the rude arrogant n not very careful handling of other peoples stuff security .. Not major Bloomberg these people are outright rude pigs!!!!!

Then with the clouds hanging lower n lower or maybe fog we headed out into the harbor towards lady liberty . Seriously what is it about us n NYC tree times now we have tried to see her in sunshine but no last two times rain today well thankfully she is green so she kinda stood out from the grey that was alllll around us

As they are currently working on her we opted not to get off on liberty island n head straight for Ellis island especially given the queues. We arrived just in time for a ranger guided tour that was far more informational then any audio guide m one of the older gentleman on the tour actually arrived at Ellis so that was neat. The ranger took us into a few areas off limits which really have a good idea of both what was needed to be done to restore it and also how much they have already done.

Really luv that it took $160M of private bucks to restore but govt now super happy to reap the tourist money .. That’s a seriously generously bunch of private benefactors!

It was interesting hearing about how the arrivals n departures n quarantine happened and also even thou many were from countries where they would have feared uniforms they seemed to mostly understand that the guards were there to help them. Overall an interesting afternoon.

We then headed back to bowling green n past the big balled bronze bull that also had a seriously line in the middle of the road .. Mm not that desperate for another picture 🙂

We had hoped to catch up with a Yankee mate we played rugby with but that didn’t quote work out .. However as I write this her flight has been cancelled n she is back at hotel so breaky maybe on the agenda 🙂

After the bull we wandered up wall st then grabbed the sub to Flatiron building – that is one super cool building I luv it.

Then it was up 5th avenue for a bit of shopping at Macy’s if you don’t mind before some g-d awful dinner at Sbarro at times sq. we had one of those moments of oh this will do .. Yep bad mistake .. Should hav stuck with my foursquare recommendations they have not failed us yet n in fact have been some of the best meals we have had .. Luv my foursquare 🙂

So then to make sure dinner wasn’t a total write-off a macca d’s sundae was in order then it was home .. Our boots have taken a beating n aren’t holding up so well towards the end so the ole feet are feeling the pinch … Hmm if i ditch them in joburg is it acceptable to wear Thongs for the plane ride to Sydney 🙂

 

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Shopping in the rain

We didn’t get a very a good nights sleep due to the madness of noises outside our hotel n a stinky AC we had opened the window to get a breeze n some fresh air. The hotel is on queens boulevard in queens which is a busy busy road n also right next to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) which is as noisy as hell.

We headed into the city for the 9/11 Memorial. When we were here last it was still a big gapping hole n it was 9/11 so we were hoping to see the new reflection pols n where the building was up to .. Yesterday it again reached the height if being the tallest in NYC

The clouds n fog were coming in so we weren’t sure if we would get wet before we walked thru the memorial as the queues were quite long but moving quickly which was good. We pretty much made it around the memorial grounds before the rain arrived. It’s funny how a few trees n the two reflection pools really make it very peaceful n not so confronting n sad as the big hole used to do. The new building looks very cool with its mirrored windows n funky shapes n matches in well with the memorial park area.

With the rain seemingly set in we went in search of inside things to do .. There were no more tours for the day at radio music city which was a bummer. So we headed over to times sq for a bit of candy shopping at M&M World n into the sports shop to find tash her giants Manning shirt n hat.

We managed to find her tshirt but the hats are all those basketball like ones quite square very big n look ridiculous on us so we will keep searching for that one. With a few other purchases under our belt we wandered around times sq a bit more then hit the subway to canal st in search of Chinatown food goodness 🙂

We arrived in Chinatown n managed to find us our hats, strolled thru Little Italy, and found us a yummy Vietnamese restaurant that was very good. Then it was time to head home with our bags of shopping n sore feet.

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Pack it up and head to the Rock

We awoke at the hotel to a nice pancake breaky and then gathered our stuff that we had sorted thru before gong to bed .. Man it’s easy to accumulate a lot of crap. We ruthlessly tossed maps n information pamphlets n anything else we thought we didn’t need whilst somehow still managing to keep quite a bit of stuff. We checked out n headed back to one of the shopping centers we had seen driving around yesterday. We hit staples (kinda like officeworks at home) m picked us up a nice shipping box n some tape n good old sharpie (black marker pen), then it was off to the post office to see how much it all weighed and if there was still room to send some clothes home that we wouldn’t be needing in NYC or South Africa …. Hopefully :-/

After filling the box n shipping it home to dad 🙂 we headed towards queens n the hotel to drop our stuff .. We had figured this was just as easy as carting it all in the train. The traffic in those 10 miles was horrendous why people drive here I hav no idea! After what seemed like an eternity we made it to the hotel, checked in dropped our stuff n headed back to the airport into even more traffic. We dropped out little car without a drama hopped aboard the enterprise shuttle to the airtrain.

Now this airtrain is supposedly free however when you get to the gate if you don’t hav an airtrain ticket … Which costs $7.25 … U hav to pay 5 bucks .. What the that ain’t free!!! So we navigated our way thru the free train gate down to the subway got our pass for the next few days n got on a train that we hoped would get us to the right place .. Yay for the apple subway app 🙂

We found our way thru the subway, then over the railway overpass to the hotel to kick back for 5 or 10 mins whilst we figured out a plan of attack for the night.

With somewhat of a plan hatched we jumped a subway n headed for times sq, Rockefeller centre n the observation deck at the top .. Top of the Rock

Joining the queue we managed to get to the top just as dusk was breaking but boy were there some people up there, some had located there spot to watch the evening lights turn on and they weren’t moving or sharing for anyone. We managed to get some hopefully good pictures before it got to dark n our tummies couldn’t hold off any longer

We grabbed a gyro from the street truck hoping that it might resemble a kebab which had been kinda craving but alas whilst being meat in a pita pocket not quite what we were wanting but still not bad.

We then wandered around times sq blocks some more n then headed home.

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Two days in the city of love

Whilst tash was on her morning breaky run for us she was able to confirm that not only do the greyhounds wander the lobby but they also sleep in the rooms .. Oh my l-rd no!!! That is so not cool so glad we only here one night.

We left the somewhat undesirable hotel in the quaint town of. Gettysburg behind us and headed for the city of love or Philadelphia for two days.

We arrived to glorious weather n quite a few hours of sunshine remaining so we headed to the liberty bell hoping the queues would not be too bad .. We were spot on we barely had to wait at all. We then wandered around outside independence hall n the surrounding squares until our bellies told us it was time to eat. We referred to our trusty foursquare app for a referral n were pointed in the direction of Han Dynasty .. Oh my word it was superb! N definitely well worth the hour wait for the table 🙂

Our second day in Philly we headed for the tour of independence hall n the surrounding buildings, then a walk across Benjamin Franklin bridge n a great skyline view .. I even got questioned by he police for my photography .. Photographing structures like bridges in the states draws attention very quickly but this guy was quite polite n friendly n once I showed him my pictures he was fine

From the bridge we wandered to city hall n then thru Chinatown before heading to another foursquare dinner suggestion this time a little pizza bar n again we were not disappointed!