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Sunshine, Snow & 'A Steady Rain' the Report. (Nyc & New England)

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Nov 22nd, 2009, 04:42 PM
  #1
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Sunshine, Snow & 'A Steady Rain' the Report. (Nyc & New England)

I've been a bit slow getting started. As always it’s busy when you get home, plus Dh perforated his ear drums (yep both) on decent, so has had extra time off & we had to make the horrible decision to put our lovely Lab/Retriever, Max, to sleep. A massive part of our family for 15 years. So all in all a bumpy return but am now determined to get this started.

Firstly for those that I haven't annoyed over the last 12 months a bit about us, 47 year old couple from Brisbane Australia. This trip was to do something special and memorable for our 25th wedding anniversary & I also decided to retire just before we left. (Actually taking a year off, Dh will join me in May next year for a year of trips and a break before deciding the next phase of our lives in 2011).

So after saying our goodbyes to our two daughters, 21 & 22 (21yr old still at home, will be looking after the house and the dog) we got our car service (compliments of work) to the airport. We flew B/class Qantas using points. The lounge at Brisbane airport is ok, but having flown B/class with Emirates last year it had a lot to live up to. A great flight, couple of movies, a nice dinner and a sleep and we touched down at LAX. We had an 8 hour wait for our flight to Nyc. Now, I'd researched and decided the best thing would be to try and get an earlier flight if possible. So we hung around the lounge and the gate with no luck. It was a horrible 8 hours. I'm not sure what the answer is, but leaving the airport was not an option for us. Although our bags were checked through to NYC, we were too shattered after the 131/2 hour flight, to think about site seeing etc.

So finally at 3.30pm we took off for NYC, an uneventful flight as we slept most of it. As with all our flights on this trip our seats were not together. But no problems as fellow passengers were more than happy to swap. I can't say we were thrilled with American Airlines, lots of 'attitude' from crew. We felt like we were really putting them out. Not friendly at all.

I'd booked a car through Carmel.com and it was a lovely easy convenient way to get to our hotel considering it was just after midnight. After a quick phone call once we had our bags a lovely young Russian guy met us at the designated area & drove us the 25 minutes to our hotel. The Tudor Hotel at the UN. I won this on priceline, we were really happy with the location and the standard of the hotel was great, friendly helpful staff, a great bed, good shower, but all in all as was suggested to me after I won it, the room really is too small for two adults with two large suitcases for 5 nights. But no complaints.

As always on the first couple of nights after arrival into the US our sleep was all over the place. Our days didn't really start 'till late morning. But we hit the ground running (well, walking) the first day. We just walked, Grand Central Station was just down from the hotel. So we went in and had a good look around. Had brunch at one of the bars, very handy for people watching. Walked down 42nd street to 5th Av then to Macy's ( a brief look around) then back along 7th ave to Time Square. Sat on the 'new' chairs (they weren't there last time) and had coffee. I've heard you locals say your not big fans of the pedestrian areas in T/square, but for us tourists it was nice to stop and rest and just people watch. Met a fellow Aussie couple and we took photos for each other, which was nice.

Got a couple of souvineer T Shirts for DD's at the MTV store, then walked up Broadway to Central Park. By now our feet (ok, my feet, DH can walk for ever) were pretty tired. So we hired some bikes and rode through the park. What fun. Rode to Bethsheda Fountain, around the lake to Strawberry Field, to the Dakota Building then to Columbus Circle and back. A great way to see the park. Found a lovely Whisky bar in Trump Plaza and had a well deserved drink. Walked back up 2nd ave to the hotel. Decided on dinner at a Irish pub across the road from our hotel, McFaddens. Just ok, but there was a football game on and the atmosphere was good.. We were hoping that the excercise might help us sleep. No go, we fall asleep ok, but can't stay asleep. Grrrrrr

Next, yes we did go to the Met!
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Nov 22nd, 2009, 05:21 PM
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Glad you liked the hotel. Honestly, most NYC hotel rooms - unless you upgrade to a larger room really don;t have room for 2 large suitcases - the property is just too expensive for regular rooms to have that much room.

As for the pedestrian area - yes, locals hate it because it's so tacky. If they put in a real park - like Bryant Park - or even one of the nice plazas near a large building - but as it's constituted now - with those awful plastic chairs - it just looks like a mistake. And, it really blocks traffic - which will be all the more noticeable in the after Thanksgiving rush.
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Nov 22nd, 2009, 07:13 PM
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I've been waiting for this report--great beginning!
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Nov 22nd, 2009, 07:40 PM
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yk
 
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Sorry for all the trouble back at home after your return. Looking forward to more!
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Nov 23rd, 2009, 12:38 AM
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Add me to the I wanna hear more about your trip.
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Nov 23rd, 2009, 04:03 AM
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Nice start Aus, keep it up. Hope DH is mending nicely.
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Nov 23rd, 2009, 05:23 AM
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Sounds like you're having a tough time after your trip, I hope your DH is better soon and I'm sorry to hear about your dog!

Jet lag is hard for me too. Does it affect you on your return home as well? Looking forward to more of your report!
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Nov 23rd, 2009, 08:14 AM
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Enjoying your report so far. Where did you rent the bikes? And can you tell us how much it cost? Thanks!
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Nov 23rd, 2009, 11:48 AM
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t
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Nov 23rd, 2009, 01:34 PM
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Just to answer a couple of questions. I agree the seating area in T/Square could be so much nicer, but I was happy just to be able to have a seat and people watch. DH is getting better, it can take up to a month to heal properly. He actually tore his eardrum enough to cause bleeding. Very painful and its effecting his hearing and balance. So be careful if you fly with pre existing congestion.

Jetlag on our return this time was fine. Leaving LA at midnight, arriving home at 7am seemed to work. Albeit we 'lost' a whole day in between.

We think (sorry didn't write it down) the bikes were about $10ph each we paid $15 (we think) for 2 hours. We just used one of the guys standing on the corner holding a sign. He walked us back about a block to a parking garage where the bikes were stored. Really nice to deal with, we were to have them back around 5pm but they showed us where to drop them 24 hours if we were late with no penalty. They also offered helmets and 'insurance' which we declined. Great fun.

Back soon.
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Nov 23rd, 2009, 10:16 PM
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After another terrible nights sleep we made our way back to Grand Central and 'worked out' the subway. After a couple of false starts we made our way to The Met. (we found printing directions from the MTA site really helpful, gave you all the subway info plus the walking directions once you leave the train).

We got to The Met about 10.30, really ready of something to eat. Cafes there don't open 'till 11am, so DH had a hotdog from a vendor to see him through. Just as a side note, don't go there hungry, the food was ordinary at best.

No lines, breezed through. Went to the American Wing, Egyptian wing, points in between and up onto the roof. All in all enjoyed it a lot. Walked along Central Park heading back downtown, with no real direction in mind. Unfortunatly my feet were killing me, so we jumped on a D/decker tour bus, with the idea to hook up with the bus going to Brooklyn as we didn't go there last time. Unfortunately we missed the last connection of the day. As we were pretty tired, we decided to stay on and relax while looking around. Bad Idea, the only real rain we saw on the trip. Got pretty wet, got off at Battery Park and got the subway back to T/Square and then the connecting shuttle to G/central. Coffee and sandwhich and fell asleep for a couple of hours.

Woke and headed out to look for somewhere for dinner. DH chose this lovely little Bistro, Don Veitia- 860 2nd ave. What a lovely place, the service was impeccable. Very friendly older gentleman served us, as we dined at a window table with views of my new favorite building in NYC, The Chrysler. We had Clams in the half shell (note to self, I don't like clams) crab cakes which were beautiful and DH had lamb shanks, had a lovely bottle of wine and then the waiter bought us complimentary Tiramasu (devine) and coffee. (total $94.75 with tip)

Walked back with silly grins on our faces after a lovely night, and slept like babies.

Caught the subway (we got quite good at this thanks to everyones encouragment) to Chelsea markets for our tour we'd organised. We'd left the hotel without our morning coffee ( a must for us) and by the time we got there I'd nearly talked myself out of doing the tour. What great fun, Kurt our guide was awsome. There were only about 10 of us and the website said you may not need to eat lunch after....bit of an understatement..so much food to taste. I'll try to remember some of it.......

* Elenis, the biggest cookie I've ever seen!
* Ronnybrook Dairy, chocolate milk
* The Lobster Place, huge cup of Lobster Bisque YUM!!!!
* Sarabeth's, Scones with jam & cream
* T Salon, herbal tea
* A'Arte, Gelato so YUM
* Buon Italia, anti pasta served at a communal table, just great.
* Chelsea Market Baskets, cheese & quince paste, yum
* Macelleria, a table was set for us & we had a beautiful plate of pasta.

Phew, like I said, don't eat before hand and you certainly wont need to eat after. We also were shown through a couple of restaurants, Del Posto & Morimoto. Awsome. Then as we still had some time left Kurt took us to a B&B run by a friend of his for a quick tour. http://roomstolet.net/ a lot of fun. He then took us for a walk on the Highline.

Just another magical day, you may have noticed us? We were the silly looking pair with permanent grins on our faces.

Used our bus tickets from yesterday and just sat and watched the world go by. Got off at T/sqaure and started looking for dinner options.

(sorry this is long winded, can't stop once I get started.)
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Nov 24th, 2009, 05:11 AM
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Very nice - the more detail the better, IMHO.
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Nov 24th, 2009, 05:16 AM
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Love that you give us the reviews of your food options, keep it up, thanks!!
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Nov 24th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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Nice review, we were in NYC for 3 nights at The Plaza and had a wonderul time! ***kim***
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Nov 26th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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Apologies for taking so long.

The bus driver had mentioned that there were a lot of dining options on 9th Av, so we walked there and ended up on 46th st at Swing 46 Jazz & Supper Club. Sat outside and had their Prix fix menu. Me - Caeser Salad, Hanger Steak with mash ( a Hot Choc Brownie. Him - Mozarella/Tomatoe salad, Roast Chicken (beautiful and succelent)veg & mash. It was also happy hour so we enjoyed Corona & Scotch. Very nice meal total $95+tip. Walked back to T/Square (not my favorite place, but a good land mark) jumped on another bus to use up our ticket and did the night loop to Brooklyn. Really enjoyed it and great views back to the city. Off again at T/square and walked to Magnolia Bakery. No lines as we had seen earlier in the day.

Grabbed a great coffee and cup cake, hailed a cab (you'd think we were locals) and got out near the UN, wandered around for a bit, then back to hotel for a well deserved rest.

Unfortunately we slept in the next day, not getting started 'till about midday. Subwayed downtown for brunch at Les Halles. I really like this part of the city. Didn't really enjoy our meal, our own fault. Bodies were telling us to have breakfast, but lunch menu was on. Me - grilled chicken sandwich Him - lamb chop with mash. Couple of juices total $55 with tip.

Walked to the Brooklyn Bridge, only walked half way across and back, a lot of people doing the same thing. Walked back to the Law Courts, took some photos (big Law & Order fans) back to St Patricks (very moving displays)over to Ground Zero. Its our second trip back since 9/11 but I get very moved by it all. I can't begin to imagine what an horific experience it was for all.

Spent an hour or so in Century 21, just too many people. Not enjoyable at all. Subway to Penn Station to collect our tickets for the train to Boston. (needn't have bothered as it took 2 minutes, but didn't know that at the time). Spent some time in Macy's, cabbed back to hotel. Feet are very very sore.

Dinner at Cibo, which was nice and handy to hotel. Just lovely, sat in a corner window seat and had a great waiter. Me - Leek soup, Duck Confit and a yummy yummy chocolate soufle Him - Anitpasta, steak and mash. And a great bottle of wine Pavilion Chardy (Napa) Just a lovely lovely night. Total $149+tip. Wandered back to our room very happy and content.

Off to Boston, but not finished with NYC yet!!!!!
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Nov 27th, 2009, 05:28 AM
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Thanks for coming back and keeeping us informed, waiting for the next segment.
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Nov 29th, 2009, 08:06 AM
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yk
 
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Glad to hear Cibo is still decent. My friends and I used to go there regularly and we really enjoyed Cibo then (at least 5-10 years ago).
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 07:38 PM
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aussiedreamer,

It's so great to read about your trip. I can't wait for the New England portion!
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Dec 5th, 2009, 12:35 AM
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please aussiedreamer, keep typing away your report. I am longing to her the New England portion as I too would love to visit next year.
waiting in anticipation
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Dec 5th, 2009, 11:19 PM
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What did you think about Highline Park? Living outside of NYC, I ventured in one day this past summer for a look at Highline and I just loved it.
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