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Day 2 - 12th September 2008 - First full day in New York.

picture of a big apple

Day 2: Greyhound Tour of Manhattan

Letting the bus take the strain whilst we received a guided tour of Manhattan with a knowledgeable tour guide.

Personal Commentary

Day Two

I woke at 2:30 in the morning and for some reason could not get back to sleep. From the heavy breathing to my right I suspect my father did not have any such difficulty although I suspect that my mother was awake. I took the opportunity to take come pictures from outside my window. It's surprising how much activity there is in a city at that time in the morning. The Fairway market opposite our hotel was accepting deliveries and the street was filled with the sounds of vehicles engines and the barking of orders.

We all eventually got out of bed at 7:30am and were washed and dressed by 08:30 in time for breakfast. The hotel had a restaurant (slash diner) next to it to it called the Viand Cafe and we ordered a large breakfast to sustain us. Now there is one thing you have to understand about American breakfasts... there is apparently no such thing as a small one. We ordered an omelet. I expected a two egg omelet. What I got was a two egg omelet, four pieces of toast, some potatoe things, some bacon and multiple refills of coffee. All I can say is that by the time we left the table we were waddling rather than walking out! We went back to the hotel to relieve ourselves of excess coffee (ewwwww) and then made our way to the subway.

picture Gray Line tour ticket

Once again we had problems with the metro card, much to our annoyance and frustration. We took subway Line One to 50th Street and walked two blocks to 48th Street and 8th, where we queued for a ticket for a Gray Line hop on hop off bus which was scheduled to take us on an uptown and downtown loop of the city. The tickets cost $51.00 each, were purchased from a roadside agent call Alfredo and were valid for 48 hours. We managed to find seats on the top of the open-top bus. I have to say that this is a brilliant way to see the city.. The language of the tour seems to be limited to English, which has to be a problem for some of the non-English speaking tourists. But it was wonderful to hear someone knowledgeable wax lyrical about their city. Needless to say, I took a lot of photographs.

We got off the bus at South Street Seaport which gave us a bit of time to stretch our legs and to wander around this seaport. Yet more photo-opportunities! The one memorable moment was when I desperately tried to find the flusher on the toilet, only to realise that it flushed automatically. How embarrassing! We managed to get a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge and then went back to wait for the next bus to continue our journey. This, I am afraid to say, is where the trip went downhill. It began to rain...and I am not talking about drizzle, but rather a downpour of biblical proportions.

At first we tried to brave it out...listening to our guide whilst desperately trying to ignore how wet and cold we were. The guide handed out plastic ponchos which helped to a certain extent. But the rain was just too heavy. Dad went below first and mum and I followed. By now we were more concerned with getting back to the hotel than listening to the guide. At this point I made a critical mistake! I saw the road sign for 69th street and told my parents that this is where we had to get off. Unfortunately we were on the wrong side of central park. it was dark. We were wet. And there was no way in hell that I was going to walk with my parents through Central Park!!

I tried to hail a taxi. It worked in the movies! However it was rush hour and I was competing against hardened New York veterans who had honed this skill to perfection. I was no match for them! Some pitying soul informed us that we could get buses 66 or 72, either of which would take us to the other side of the park. Miracle of miracles..we managed to get one of the buses, using our metro card to secure passage. Within 20 minutes we arrived at the other side of Central Park, about two blocks from our hotel. We trundled like drowned rats into the hotel, and refreshed ourselves with a hot shower. The rest of the evening was a bit of a blur. We had a meal of chops and kebabs, with mum having salmon and then went back to our hotel room. I can just about remember Dad lecturing me on the virtues of gargling with salt water, before I fell asleep.


Fact 1: When it comes to New York weather, hope for the best but plan for the worst. Take an umbrella!

Fact 2: The hop on hop off bus is a great way to see the city. However do some research first. Establishing an itinerary in advance will help you decide whether to hop off, or continue on.

Holiday pictures (37)

01: (link)  Jerry Orbach Theatre.

02: (link)  West 45th Street.

03: (link)  Mum and Dad on Broadway.

04: (link)  Mum and Dad on Broadway

05: (link)  SkyScrapers.

06: (link)  Towards West 39 Street

07: (link)  Tower Block (pretty).

08: (link)  West 42nd Street.

09: (link)  Empire State Building.

10: (link)  Empire State Building.

11: (link)  Flatiron Building.

12: (link)  New York Cabs.

13: (link)  Archetecture.

14: (link)  Archetecture.

15: (link)  SkyScrapers.

16: (link)  SkyScrapers.

17: (link)  SkyScrapers.

18: (link)  SkyScrapers.

19: (link)  SkyScrapers

20: (link)  SkyScrapers.

21: (link)  SkyScrapers.

22: (link)  Empire State Building.

23: (link)  Mum and Dad - South Street Seaport.

24: (link)  Mum and Dad - South Street Seaport.

25: (link)  Mum and Dad - South Street Seaport.

26: (link)  South Street Seaport.

27: (link)  Brooklyn Bridge - Through Dad's eyes.

28: (link)  Gray Line Bus.

29: (link)  Gray Line Bus - top deck in wet weather.

30: (link)  Gray Line Bus - Dad the drowned rat.

31: (link)  49th Street and Park Avenue.

32: (link)  New York Traffic.

33: (link)  New York Rush Hour Traffic.

34: (link)  Radio City.

35: (link)  Wet New York.

36: (link)  Broadway and West 49th Street.

37: (link)  Broadway Traffic.

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