Monday, January 19, 2009

Taking a bite out of the Big Apple











After we left Las Vegas, I didn't feel quite so sad because our next stop was even more exciting. Yes... we were headed to one of the most fantastic cities in the world... New York!
I loved it from the minute we landed. Actually, it was even before that. As we circled the city from above, flying out over the water, to make a U-turn in the sky, I could see a few of the well known landmarks and my heart was practically in my mouth! We were in New York!! Can you tell I was excited??
Although our drive from JFK to the hotel was pretty hairy and long winded, it was good fun. We had paid for one of those transfers that picks up / drops off other people as well - so we saw quite a lot just in that single drive. The driver was pretty fond of his horn though. But then, over the next few days I would discover that ALL New York cab / transfer drivers are fond of them.
We had chosen a hotel that looked cool and contemporary, The Hudson. It was pretty cool - the entrance was jaw dropping. The rooms were not. To maximise potential, the developers squeezed as many rooms as physically possible into that space, which meant the room wasn't much bigger than my bathroom at home! But it didn't bother us, we would be spending far more time out and about than holed up in the hotel.
The city certainly disappoint. I loved everything about it and we crammed everything possible into those five days. The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty (although we just did a ferry ride, we didn't get off), Central Park - ice skating and a horse drawn carriage ride, Times Square - where we saw the Naked Cowboy (what a giggle that was!), Ground Zero, Broadway (although we didn't see a show), China Town, Little Italy, Rockefeller Centre.... it was all so exciting!
We had some fabulous meals - particularly in an Irish Pub & Restaurant called DJ Reynolds - super! There seemed to be a Starbucks on every street corner - good, because we had become suitably addicted to the Gingersnap lattes and the Peppermint Mocha Twists (I miss them already). We did the obligatory bus tours all over the city, although, disappointedly it rained on the occasion we decided to visit uptown so our visions of Harlem, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, etc were somewhat occluded by misty windows. Never mind... next time, we'll see it properly.
Since visiting New York, every time we see it on TV I get overly excited - as if I am now some kind of NY expert. We've been there... and there... I shout knowingly. Silly really (but, hey, that's me).
The recent plane crash in the Hudson is an example... that very ferry terminal they keep mentioning is the one we used to get a boat trip around Manhattan. Whenever they mention 42nd street, hubby and I nod to each other knowingly. We know what they're talking about.
Speaking of that plane crash... Wow. Incredible. That pilot and his co-pilot are real life heroes. It's amazing that they managed it so smoothly and without any casualties.
Next time I go on a plane, I want to hear that man's name as the name of our pilot.
On the subject of pilots, on our plane ride home from Gatwick to Faro, we had a female pilot. I smiled, knowing that we would have a great flight. Hubby, on the other hand, raised his eyebrows. I think he might have secretly prayed (and he's not a religious man).