As i sit here and write this blog i realise that it is the last time i write a blog as New york is our final stop before heading back to the UK. the five months spent travelling has gone extrememly fast.
We awoke at 5am showered, changed and had a cup of tea before leaving at 6am to make our way to the airport. we got to the airport a few hours early and waited for Jetblue to open. whilst waiting we came across a man, a chinese man to be exact who seem intent on being an idiot. He decided to cheat the line by just leaving his suitcase whilst he sat down, Bloody typical and then he'd act like he was superior to everyone else and assume the right to get the man checking us in's help before anyone else. a bit of a jack ass one feels.
The plane was delayed by half an hour but still it arrived at the time meant to as the flight was only an 1 and a 1/2 so that was good. We also rejoiced that, that flight was the last domestic flght.
So we arrived into JFK which was a breeze, now to find the hostel...we had to get the airtrain to a station get off get onto the subway for 30 odd mins get off and get on another train to where we were staying. a total of about 2+ hours. Oh and also the escalaters decided not to work, so was very hard to get our bags around.
When we got to the hostel one thing sprung to mind...dodgy!! greeted by rough streets and grafitti on the walls made us feel a little uneasy about where we were staying. The hostel itself was nice, so that was of some relief. The room was very spacious think there's 14 people in here and several are foreign.
went to the local supermarket 10 mins away to get some food for the first weeks stay. decent but not a great deal we could make etc.
We got to bed early as we were pretty tired from all the travelling and getting up early. Although we went to bed early didnt neccessarily mean we got any sleep, thanks to some lads who thought it would be highly amusing to speak extremely loud putting the lights on and not caring about people trying to sleep. In other words ******ers. those that have a lack of respect for others, other than themselves. Oh and then they left the room, finally peace, maybe not again in they came yapping on about crap, Did their parents not teach them the word manners and what it means!!
the next day we got on the subway to down town manhatten getting off at the stop brooklyn bridge, walked for around 20 mins towards the diretion of the statue of liberty. Here we had to que for a ticket to go on the ferry to see the statue then once having the tickets you had to stay in a line for 1 hr 30 mins before getting onto the ferry. We didnt get off to look around the statue we instead stayed on the ferry and got off at ellis island. we'd got some good photos of the statue an didnt feel we needed to get off and look around. Once on Ellis island we looked around, this didnt take too long but it was educational - The place was very open - large areas inside and even the grounds outside were spread out. Inside were some displays on how the immigration scheme worked, many diagrams were put on display, so that it was interesting rather than boring to learn. I.e. nothing too strenuous for the brain. Therefore easy to understand and maintain.
As it was a beautiful day we stayed outside for some time, had some lunch and walked around the garden areas, looking out onto the river to see Manhatten in the background.
It got to around 3pm so made our way onto the ferry back to manhatten, we walked in the direction of ground zero. Unfortunately it wasn't hard to miss the space was incredibly huge both length and width. It was hard to take in. The area was fenced off with areas that had peep holes so you could look inside, all that it consisted of was rubble and it was hard as people that were missing may well be underneath that rubble. we didnt stay too long as it was upsetting, on the blocked our areas were pictures of the new bulidings they were building to replace. It asstonishes me how they make money off peoples misfortune and loss. They have a museum set up that cost $20+ and if you think how many people visit, the amount of money they'd make.
After ground zero we made our way to Soho, we looked around, but it was hard due to the extreme amount of people. It was packed full. so after an 8 hour day we headed back to the hostel, watched shrek and a bit of madagastar before getting some sleep.
The following day in New York was not as nice, this was merely because of the weather, it was horrible, I think it rained from when we left to when we got back! Our first mission of the day was to find the flat iron building. Which we found when turning round to check where we were, realising the building was right behind us. After a few snap shots we headed towards Times square, passing the Rockefeller centre.(this we will explore later in our time here) We picked up an umbrella and walked the blocks till we saw the big bright billboards. It was pretty impressive but we felt the rain but a dampener on the whole outlook of Times square so we thought only a brief look around and we'll come back when it's dry and also try and get some night snaps. We did however pop into Toys 'R' Us, The giant figurines of comic hero's was impressive, nothing compared to the dinosaur though, it was incredible, the person that came up with it must be a genius. It was so lifelike, the way they got it to move was amazing, you felt this could eat me haha.
We had almost finished our round of the toy store when we noticed what appeared to be two wax work figurines from the other side of the room, there was a lot of people crowded round and some camera men. So we checked it out and it turned out to be non other than Peter Andre and Jordan! One word….ORANGE! I mean come on why apply so much fake tan and Jordan was very slim but the amount of make-up was just nasty. I don't think the Americans knew who they were but wanted a photo anyways.
We made our exit from the toy store where we heard some music that appeared to be coming from across the road. There was a marquee set up with a band inside. No idea who it was but we did get up close and personal with a man from American idol, someone who had been in the show a few seasons ago, walked past us, you can see in the photos…any takers????
Showered, changed and full from breakfast, grabbed our belongings and headed for the subway. The weather was a lot more pleasant yet very cold. Where is the sun??? Think we'll see it when we get home. Hopefully. We got to see a bit of central park and I mean a bit, like a tiny fraction, just past where the Plaza was. We thought we'd save the park for another day. We tried to find a star bucks for a nice warm tea. Could we find one though!! Now that's a different matter. We walked for ages to find one or even a café, but had no luck. We were shocked as on every corner you will find at least one or two star bucks around New York but not when we wanted one, nope they had to go missing!
We gave up the search and seeked warmth from the Apple store whilst we waited for old college friend of ours, Stuart Hayes. When he arrived he took us to the Rockefeller centre, (briefly explored) then onto his local pub for a nice lunch in the warmth. We must have been there for a couple of hours before heading to his and his girlfriends apartment nearby. After a brief stay we headed back to central park and looked around some shops. My feet were killing me and I was being a complete pain in the ass by moaning but if you want to walk but cant then its gonna bug you. Bloody blisters!! Oh and to make matters worse the clothes that I had bought a week previously had broken on me, the zip to my jacket had broke and there was a hole in an inappropriate place on my top. Oh and lastly someone stole my Celery lol. Thieving travellers!!!
After waking up at 7.15am by a certain boy slapping my arse to wake me up. I got bleary eyed as I walked down for breakfast. It was great having breakfast at this time as it wasn't crowded. I must explain. You come down for breakfast and it's a help yourself, a help yourself to the extreme where its just plonked on the table, a free for all, gannets come flocking in and taking all food, leaving little for anyone else. Oh and there's even que's for the toaster! So coming early has its benefits as you can sit down and enjoy your food without having to stand up.
Once showered and changed we made our way into Manhattan. Getting in at 8.45am, we headed straight for the Empire state building. Greeted by an 1hr 30 min wait to get to the top. By the time we reached the 102nd floor it was snowing, yep snowing! It wasn't even forecast. So some of the views from the top were blocked by fog but we managed to get some pretty good photos and the views were unreal.
After the Empire State we made our way for a tea to warm ourselves at Starbucks next door. We noticed how long the que had got since we'd come down from the building. We reckon the wait would be at least 2-3 hours wait! So we were lucky we got there early.
Nothing much to report for the rest of the day, we went for food again where Stuart took us, then I left the boys to watch the Liverpool V Chelsea game. I had no idea where to go so I just walked till I found somewhere interesting to look in. I nipped into Bloomingdales, Never felt so uncomfortable in my life. The place is immaculate, filled with classy men and women, clearly rich. There's me in my jeans that are baggy and a zip up hoody with bright orange crocs. Great fashion statement, lol. The stuff in there is ridiculously pricy and I can't get over how people will spend so much on things. Like a purse was anything from $85 +
We thought the weather couldn't get worse as it had been lovely at times and a little chilly, but no here came the rain!!! buckets of it fell from the sky!! our first stop was forever 21 as some of the clothes id bought a week previous had broken. However as i told the cashier about the damage and how i wish to get a refund, they refused, they said due to it not having the tags they couldn't issue me with a refund! so of i retaliated much to not wanting to. I merely said "what am i meant to go out wearing the clothes with the tags in?? not being funny but people buy clothes to wear them! i bought these a week a go and they are ruined, are you telling me that you have wasted my money by selling dodgy goods?? " They said it was their policy!! jackassess more like. I was fuming i wanted to be really nasty but i just grabbed my things and said thanks for wasting my money. There eager to sell you stuff but when it comes to refunds they'll say anything so they don't have to give it back. I was angry most the morning, they'd put me in a bad mood!! so Adam thought the best option was the toy store F.A.O Schartz which it did it was fun, you feel like a kid again, or if you have kids i imagine it'll be far more interesting. But we reckon Toys R Us beats it as it has more visual things to look at. Cheaper too.
We took a lot around the Rockafeller centre, this time properly, they have an observation deck with 360 degree views of manhatten, according to people we spoke to is meant to be better than the empire state building. But more costly. we took NBC before looking around 5th Avenue, designer shops galore, its ridiculous as as though you have the money to spend there. But wait a minute what is that, that we can see...it's only a H&M brilliant bit fancier than the ones back home so worth a look:)
The usual up for breakfast or whats left of it, return to the room shower and change, grab gear and head to the subway. We stayed on till 8th avenue this time and got off and walked in the direction of Greenwich village. Didn't realise how small it was as we had walked through it without realising. From here we went to the 'Friends' building, you could tell it was the building, but then again it was only a building, everything was filmed indoors in the studio. From here we made our way further south towards Soho. We stopped for lunch at a place called 'Park' highly reccomendable, the food was delicious. I even took half mine away as i couldn't finish it. My first experience of the doggy bag haha. The entire day was spent shopping in soho, we didnt even get around to going to little italy or brooklyn bridge. We ended up back at union square without realising.
The next day was gorgeous so we headed to times square and then onto central park. Adam stopped at a food stall to try a new york kebab style meal. We got to the park and walked around. The sunshine made the day a lot of fun. We saw these street entertainers that were just fantastic, never seen any group like it. This one man did press up with his legs up, then started using his legs too. Hard to explain but what he did was so hard yet he did with so much ease. After the entertainment we headed to the lake, we noticed the spot they used in big daddy and watched the people in the boats. it got a little late so we decided to head back to the hostel.
So we kinda lied about when we would be returning home and as your most aware by now, we are home, we surprised our parents by returning on the sunday 12th April. The final day we spent doing everything we'd missed. we walked for the majority of the day. Stopped at Madison square garden, which wasn't what we'd expected in all fairness. We stopped at an irish pub and had lunch, we here decided to celebrate our final day by buying a bottle of wine!! 3 glasses later and a little merry we made our way around some more stores before heading back to the hostel. We double checked our bags before getting some kip, well no sleep but could try.
Yep no sleep. woke at 2,3,4,5,6 and then up at 7.30am!!!! we hung around in the room before going for breakfast and catching a little of richie rich on the tv. We left at 11am and got on the subway. It was raining outside so the short walk to the subway we got soaked!! also trying to get through the twizzly barrier was tough, especially with the bags. with no luck we pondered about wondering how we would get through. A man walked by and kicked open the security door so that we could get through:) how kind of him. Once on the train it took 3 changes and an 1hr 10 to get to the airport. Checked in straight the way and waited for 6-7 hours until able to board the plane.