New York City
We arrived at our hostel in New York called Jazz On The Park, we had heard through the grapevine (Moulder) that the hostel itself wasn't the best but the location was perfect. So we were quite surprised when we rolled up (in a yellow NYC cab) to what looked like the middle of the ghetto! To say we stood out like a blind cobblermans thumb was an understatement! After checking in, we struggled with our luggage (well the lads did with mine and H's big bags) up the road and around the corner, up four flights of stairs to our dorm, which we shared with an old French lady who liked to wear just French knickers! Lets just say she wasn't shy and Carl, you know you enjoyed your view in the mornings!
We decided to head out straight away and caught the tube into Time Sqaure. After a walk around and many photos we made ourselves comfortable in TGI's where we ate greasy food and of course drank some intoxicating cocktails.
Unfortunately due to a bereavment in the family, Ginge was cutting short his trip to return home for the funeral of his nan. So the next two days were to be spent doing the obvious tourist attractions, so Ginge was able to see and share the best bits.
We firstly paid our respects to Ground Zero. Standing in front of where the Twin Towers originally stood we all could still not beleive what had happened and could not imagine the shear fright and panic of those who witnessed that dreadful day 9/11. We got to view the plans of what's being built in their place, the building will apparently be taller than the Twin Towers to make the statement that terrorists will never win.
Next we caught the ferry over to Liberty Island where of course the Statue of Liberty stands proud. We didnt go inside the statue but enjoyed walking around it whilst being fed all the facts on it by Uncle Ginge. From Liberty Island it was also the best place to get a photo of the Manhattan Skyline so of course we posed for a few pic's.
After a long walk, we made our way down to the F.A.O. Schwarz toy store -famous for the huge keyboard from the film 'Big', but arrived just in time to see them closing, bummer! The rest of us did return to have a look around and maybe a cheeky little go on the keyboard but there was too many children sliding up and down. I did at one stage over hear the lads plan to ambush their way on but managed to drag them away whilst trying to control H at the pic 'n' mix!
We sat outside discussing our next move when Ginge decided to bathe his tired aching feet in the fountain water feature. He was swiftly told by security to move on so a red faced Ginge and the hysterical rest of us did just that and stumbled on a very welcoming Irish Pub, where we rapidly decided to eat and like always have a few drinks. It ended in a traditional farewell party where we were all pretty much SMASHED and leaving us with a very extortianate bill of almost $700 (we had to say goodbye in style, as we would say "flashpacker style".
The following day was time for another tearful farewell, this time to Ginge (well tearful for us girlies), but before we did we went to visit the Empire State building. We had an eventful journey there as Carl decided to show us up and faint on the tube! Nice one weed! Unfortunately Ginge didn't go up to the observatory level as he didnt have enough time but he had plenty of photo's in the foyer! We went back the following day to the observatory level, which was an amazing view of the city and we had also paid to go on the very thrilling 'skyride' which was a 3D seat simulator thing, but it was that good, Blue fell asleep.
One of the days we took a 3.5 hour walk through central park where we saw Strawberry Fields - the memorial to John Lennon and walked over the road to where he lived and was also shot, the Dakota Building. During our time in NYC we also visited Canal Street, but managed to pass through without buying any 'moody gear' (we will be returning though as Blue has refused to return home without his Louis Vuitton manbag!). We walked through China Town and had a 'bevvy' in Little Italy. We visited the famous waxworks in Madame Tussauds, Tanq, Blue and Carl got a little too excited and started groping a few of the female figures, Jennifer Aniston comes to mind, H and I had to remind them more than once that they were not real!
On the Saturday we had sort of provisionaly planned the 'all dayer' in Greenwich Village. After Blue spotted Claire Danes walking through the square we found a nice place to line our stomachs before the marathon drinking session began. I dont think I need to explain it all as you can imagine, Tanq being the big man accepting the challenge to drink the most lethal cocktails ever and me being my classy self, falling over whilst wearing a dress. Nice pants! I think regrets were in the air the next morning with Tanq running to the bathroom, his body rejecting last nights intake and me covered in big brown scabs, ha ha fools!
The same morning we checked out our hostel as our visit to NYC was nearing an end (we do plan to come back though for a few days) and we had to occupy ourselves for the whole day as our greyhound bus wasn't leaving until the night. We went back to Time Square where we tried to cure our monster hangovers with a McDonalds and a couple of movies - Oceans 13 and Ratatouille.
After waiting in a huge queue we were boarding the greyhound bus, preparing ourselves for our 10 hour overnight journey to Toronto!
All our love.
Julie, H and the Lads xxx