So we are well due for a blog update, currently writing this on the bus as we make our way up to Niagara Falls.
So winding the clocks back to when we were in Cusco, we had the morning free before we had to go to the airport. That morning we had decided to go to the Museum we had a ticket for and made our way there… Turns out they are only open in the afternoon on Sundays… So that was annoying, I asked a couple of they were planning on coming back to go in – they said yes – so I gave them our tickets to the Museum. They wanted to pay, but we were happy to have someone use them.
We ended up going back to the main square and watching the parade happening and people’s very colourful costumes and outfits. After a while we decided to go find somewhere to eat to have an early lunch before going back to the hotel… We had a nice lunch and watched some soccer that was on in the restaurant… The owner/chef was also watching so we would both be cheering or commenting about the game even though he didn’t speak much English.
After lunch and back at the hotel, we had a nice seat in the sun and we were going to just wait until we had to go… Our friends Tom and Nancy were going for lunch across the road (where we had dinner a few nights ago) and asked us to join them while they ate. So we had a nice chat with them as they ate their lunch.
After their lunch, we went back to the hotel and Cindy and I had a game of Quirkle as we waited for the luggage truck to arrive. We got on the mini bus and the the truck took our bags.
On arrival at the airport, we checked in with no troubles to Lima and Cindy and I had seats together. They changed the gates once for the flight but we got on the plane with no problems. Flight was fine and short
At Lima, we all got our bags and we started to say goodbye to some of our new friends. Most were going back home to the states but some were staying a few days in Lima before going elsewhere in South America.
We were the only flying with United Airlines and our Check-in was open so we joined the long queue – couldn’t use my status here (If only Virgin Australia was part of Star Alliance still).. and waited and waited until finally it was our turn. We checked in no problems.
We went to meet the rest of the group, but we must have got our wires crossed as we thought we were meeting after security… So they were outside security and we were already inside. As our flight was leaving soon, we found a restaurant to have dinner. We thought the prices were in Sol and had a delicious meal – turned out it was in USD and made it a bit more expensive.
At this point, I had developed a small cough…
The flight left at 11pm and was rather uneventful, Cindy fell asleep early on and slept through some turbulence… I actually managed to fall asleep after a few movies as well and got a decent amount of sleep.
We landed in New York Newark Airport around 7:30am Monday morning. We only needed to fill in one arrival/customs card (1 per family) and zipped through immigration with no problems. They have our fingerprints though on file now.
Took awhile to get our bags (we went to the bathroom while we waited – we were happy that we could flush toilet paper again!) After we got our bags, we went though customs quick and went to find the train.
Just as we were about to buy our tickets, a staff member announced that the train had broken down or something. Next option – the bus, so back down the stairs, back to the are with the buses. We got our tickets and then went outside to find our bus.
One thing I didn’t expect was the humidity! It was extremely muggy and reminded of Brisbane summer. (Yuk)
The bus goes to three places in Manhattan, we chose Grand Central Station as that looked the closest to our hotel, we really should have jumped out at Byrant Park (New York Public Library)… But we walked with our luggage for. Fair few blocks but found the hotel.
Check in here is like 3/4pm and we got there at like 9… We hoped we could check in but wasn’t holding onto to too much hope. The Lady checking us in was lovely and said we could check in then and there but get a low floor or wait for a higher floor (we requested a high floor). We were exhausted and didn’t really want to wait so we opted for the 3rd floor.
Room was very nice and was happy with the size. We decided we go for a bit of a walk around. Our hotel was nice, next to the Rockefeller Centre. Between 5th and 6th Ave on 51st Street. So we walked up 5th Avenue and saw some fancy stores (Tiffany & Co) and the Trump Building which had cops everywhere and nodoubt secret service… We kept going till we got to Central Park, walked for a little bit in but then headed back out down 7th Ave and found Time Square, MnM World. We grabbed a small bite to eat and then made our way back to the hotel.
We had showers and then rested and started to plan our week… We went for a walk and found a Great little Chinese restaurant and got a good feast.
When we woke up on Tuesday – we both felt like a train had hit us. Cindy was the worst. I decided I would go out and find fruit and drugs (the legal kind). I found a place 2 blocks away and bought some nice strawberries, pulpy orange juice, vitamin c and cough medicine.
We decided we would have a rest day today and try get it out of us. So Panadol, Sudafed, cough medicine and vitamin c in we found out that we had a great TV selection. I went back on and luckily there was a place close by and got a couple of slides of pizza. Cindy couldn’t eat much so I had one slice for lunch and 1 for dinner. Cindy was coughing so hard she actually made herself vomit… Our abs were getting a workout and were sore plus we were using alot of tissues… We were feeling amazing!
Wednesday, still not feeling great but drugged up we had to change plans. We bought a 5 day New York City Pass which gives you access to a range of things. As part of this, we got those bus tour things. We upgraded and got a two day pass. The first day we jumped on the mid-town loop and we were going to go to the Intrepid Museum… But we weren’t feeling well so we just stayed on the bus… The bus ended up going close to our hotel – so we jumped off and I grabbed some pizza again and we spent the afternoon back at the hotel to rest as we had Lion King on that night! Lion King was amazing! We had amazing seats, we didn’t cough all that much, the costumes were so incredible! It was a fantastic performance. As we were staying next to the Rockefeller Centre, we decided we’d go up to the Top of the Rock! A view of Manhattan all lit up! It was awesome to see and there were fireworks happening in Central Park!
Thursday, feeling slightly better and this was the day. We jumped on the bus to go downtown – heading to the statue of liberty (Liberty Island) and Ellis Island. The guide on the bus was really good and we heard some interesting things. The queues were crazy… To get tickets, to go through security, to get on the boat. When we got there, it was really cool to see. Unfortunately, tickets to go to the crown and pedestal were sold out months in advance. (I remember looking in January and they were available and thought I’d book but decided I’d hold off… I re-looked in March and Sold-out)! When we had a look around – we jumped back into a queue to get back on the ferry to get to Ellis Island. We were in this queue the longest, over an hour…
Ellis Island was good, we had lunch here and then went exploring the museum. It’s quite interesting to see the trends in people’s mindsets over the years when it comes to their fears over immigration. People werent happy with Jews, then Asians, now it’s Muslims. Anyone who is seen to be ‘different’ I think it’s silly and stupid, but to see the process they went through for people to get into the US.
After we had finished exploring Ellis Island, we got the ferry back to downtown Manhattan. I knew we wouldn’t be coming back here, so we had to keep pushing through, we walked to the 9/11 memorial and museum.
I’m glad I had tissues for my runny nose, as I needed them! It was a powerful museum that was for all four planes that crashed and the people and emergency service people who lost their lives. They had audio clips of people on the plane to their loved ones or people in the two towers… It was an amazing tribute to the victims.
After the museum we went back on the bus and went back up town and back to the hotel. I wasn’t feeling good now, I had a fever and didn’t want to go for dinner so Cindy organised food to come to us. We got Chinese and dumplings delivered which was tasty.
Friday, we woke up feeling a bit better but the weather wasn’t great. We went to Grand Central Station to take a look inside which is very very impressive! Then around the corner to the New York public library which was also very impressive! We like it even more as it stars in the day after tomorrow so it was cool to see inside.
We knew the view wouldn’t be great, but the forecast for the rest of the trip wasn’t going to be good…so up we went, the Empire State Building. A lovely building but the outlook wasn’t great… The building is so tall it was kinda in clouds lol…
After the Empire state building, we went back to times square where we went to madam Tussauds. Good (funny in parts) to see famous people as wax figures. We then went and got Cindy a jersey for our baseball game that night, she fit the children’s jersey and save like $15USD and I got a ball cap.
We went back to the hotel to rest before going to the game. Cindy was excited to see that the housekeeper had left a note saying thanks for the tip!
We had to get on the subway to one stop before Flushings (reminded me of the nanny). Cindy grabbed some popcorn and I got nachos and we shared a giant softdrink. They do Free T-shirt Fridays, where they give everyone a free T-shirt as they come in.. unfortunately they are one size, one massive size… I still wore mine but it was like a dress!
The game was okay, unfortunately the Mets went down 4-1 against Washington. We saw 4 homeruns! On the way out, we grabbed another t-shirt and other goodies that people left behind.
Saturday, we walked through Central Park to the American museum of Natural history – it was a great museum and cool to see so many animals and dinosaur bones. We had planned on walking to the Intrepid Museum afterwards but it was pouring… So we spent longer in the museum so we didn’t haven’t to go out in it. When it had died down a bit we caught the subway to times square. I bought a new padlock as US security had chopped mine off to have a look in my bag… We think at the aerosol cans. We grabbed lunch at a pub and I had a local beer (1st for the US) which was good.
Sunday, we walked to the Intrepid Museum of sea, air and space. We spent about two hours walking around checking out a Submarine (USS Growler (?)), the giant aircraft carrier (USS Intrepid) and different types of planes (there was a cool stealth plane) then the one I really wanted to see – The Endeavour Shuttle. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go in but seeing it was awesome. I found a squishy toy here!
After the museum we walked down and partook in a 1.5 hour cruise of the city, this was good but it was very busy. We heard some interesting things about the city from this guide.
After this boat ride, we decided we’d go for a late lunch in little Italy, so we jumped on a ‘water taxi’ and went down to the financial district and went for a walk to find little Italy, having to go through China town.
Lunch was good, I had a yummy chicken parmigiana and pasta and Cindy had carbonara. I tried a Brooklyn lager here (my second beer of the US trip). It was pretty tasty. After our extremely late lunch (and dinner), we took Cindy’s left overs and jumped on the subway to go back uptown to the hotel where we packed and got ready for today.
Although we didn’t do everything we wanted to do, we still got to see the main things. I’m glad we are feeling better for our last week of holidays.