I should have bought the t shirt "I love New York". The hotel "The New Yorker" was great - just what we are used to of course - revolving doors, bellboys, conference happening, right in the heart of Manhattan. We can't thank Blackwood Hills enough for the wonderful present. Of course we have to have some drama everywhere we go, and in the rush of getting bags off the shuttle bus from the airport, my bag got left on the bus and we had to ring the driver and get him to come back with it. After dumping our stuff in the room we went for a quick walk around the block before crashing. Our breakfast was served in the other tower of the hotel so we had to go down the 19 floors to the lobby and then up the 39 floors to the breakfast room. It was a really windy day and the windows were shaking and rattling. Aaahh Scary. We had a real Seinfeld experience when we went to the Post Office - which took up nearly a whole block to send some gear home. After buying a box from a semi literate man, we were sent to a lady whose job was to help people. She told us to fill out 2 green customs forms and then join the line of people waiting to be served at 2 counters. When we eventually got to the counter, we were told that because of the size of the poster box we had to fill out a red form and that there was no surface mail. We filled out that form and took it back to find that we needed an American address so we gave the hotel address, but then got sent back again to put on more detail. She reminded us of the soup Nazi. After that we discovered it was going to cost nearly $100 to send the 2 small parcels, so after 1 1/2 hours in the PO, we decided not to send the parcel!. It would make a great episode on a sit com. We bought an open topped hop on hop off bus ticket and spent the day travelling New York. We stopped off at the Ground Zero site and looked at the memorial at St Pauls church right next to the site which had no damage, partly due to a large tree that fell at such an angle that it protected the whole church. It was an inspiring place to visit. That night we walked to Soho to find some music in pubs and ended up in a comedy bar, which was a rip off and the comedians weren't great but was an experience and you could see how comedians get started in these kind of places. We found a Cuban café for coffee with music - not live unfortunately, but great anyway and then walked home again as we were too scared to catch the subway at night!! On Saturday we walked to a theatre to get cheap tickets to see Hair but you needed to get there only just before the show and put your name in a lottery to get the really cheap tickets so decided to do that later - which we never ended up doing as we got caught up doing other stuff but that was OK. We caught the free ferry to Staten Island and saw the Statue of Liberty, wandered around near the terminal to a ball park and a 9/11 memorial there and then caught the next ferry back. We then braved the subway back to Union Square and wandered around the market there, visited a museum and walked home. On Sunday, Ryan and Eve picked us up to go to church with them at The Journey church which is held in a school and is one of 4 meeting places for the church. They have 4 or 5 services in a day and the sermon is televised live to the other sites but each has their own worship team. It was pretty much like being at home and we really enjoyed it. After the service Ryan took us back to the hotel to grab our bags and we went apple picking in New Jersey with them and some friends of theirs. We drove for a couple of hours to an orchard where you buy a bag for $20 and go and pick your own, eating as many as you like. There was quite a crowd there doing the same thing, and food and wine stalls. It was a glorious day and then we had the excitement of being in a Grand Prix as Ryan tried to get us back to the airport in time after being caught in a traffic jam for about an hour. We just made it thankfully, although they gave us the wrong tickets and we had to rush back when we tried to go through the security check and they discovered the mistake, so had about 5 minutes to breathe before we were boarded. I can see why Beth loved New York, and Eve and Ryan so much. It was a great experience.