What a great day and I got to see a sight that always amazed me when I've seem it on tv or in a book - Central Park from the air - WOW just stunning.
So let's start at the beginning, we eventually got our Starbucks coffee and slowly got ready for the day, we then set off to find a place round the corner call 'liberty's' for breakfast which was like our version of a greasy spoon but oh my word tasty cheap food that really hit the spot I had a 'Liberty special omelette' and I didn't actually feel hungry again all day which I found quite strange!
At ten we were met by our Apple Greeter 'Ariela' it's a voluntary thing and she spent half a day with us, we started off at Grand Central station which is the first NY thing I've seen so far that is better than on the tv, and our guide told us how valuable the clock was because of its opal faces and we admires the beautiful barrel-vaulted ceiling which is speckled like a Baroque church with a painted representation of the winter night fly, it's 2500 stars shown back to front - 'as God would have seen them'. She pointed out a dark patch in the corner of the ceiling which was apparently its the colour that the ceiling was when out guide was a child when they didn't realise that beautiful artwork was there until a massive clean up restoration took place. Apparently 90% of the black was cigarette smoke!
Next we walked to see the christmas window display at Lord & Taylor which is a department store, then briefly took in a couple of Christmas markets.
It was good having Ariela with us because she took charge and decided where we were going and at the same time telling us a bit about where we were. Next we took our first subway to Chelsea and walked to see the High Line which is an ambitious urban renewal project that spans the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea. It really is a clever transformation of a disused railway, constructed between 1929 and 1834, that once moved goods and produce around lower Manhattan, then spent years rusted, overgrown and threatened with demolition and locals saved it. In the hustle and bustle of New York it's fabulous to have this elevated promenade-cum-public park some 30ft in the air. Before we leave I'd like to walk the length of it which is about 2 mile.
Of course there's always time to interrupt a tour for shopping and Katie and I both treated ourselves to a pair of Uggs for a third of what we would have paid in the UK so I can finally stop going to work in my sandals!
We ended our tour in Union square where the second Christmas fair was and caught a bus back to the hotel. We tried to tip Ariela as we said goodbye on the bus but she refused, said she did it voluntarily and she'd enjoyed herself so as we hugged, I pushed it down the front of her top and jumped off the bus ;-). She was fab, we'd had a wonderful morning and a great insight into NY so we wanted her to go treat herself to something nice.
After a pit stop at the hotel we went to Rockefeller centre to go to the top of the rock and this was where I got my first glimpse of Central Park, we exited the lift on the 67th floor a ride that took 43 seconds and there it was spread out in front of my eyes the most amazing park in the middle of a concrete junction. I was beaming, it was the first time I'd really got excited and so impressed - another ambition realised, the views from up there were as magnificent as you would expect and because it was so dry, bright and sunny you really could see forever.
We realised when we got down that if we rushed we might get to watch the sunset from the top of the Empire State Building, it was a good few blocks away so we were sweating by the time we got there. We were told by a chap outside that unless we had express tickets we'd have a two hour wait, I was just thinking we have tickets, we'll be fine. It wasn't until we walked in we realised he wasn't lying then thanks to an attendant with a sharp eye she grabbed our tickets and said, "hell girl, you got express tickets you don't have to wait or no one!" and we were fast tracked all the way to the top (I'd bought them so long ago I'd forgot I'd paid a bit extra - worth every penny!).
We arrived at the 86th floor very warm from our rushing about so Vicky took her coat off, so funny an American said to her, "hell girl, put your jacket on its freezing out here" what can I say us Brits are tough!
We got to watch the sunset over New York from the 102nd floor (1454ft in the air) and as anyone who knows me knows I love the sky this was the second thing that made me beam with appreciation.
So the three of us are stood admiring the Manhattan night sky when Vicky says "Was it hong kong that was on the top of the empire state building. Katie replied "yes". And I'm not quite fully present in yr moment so all I heard was hong kong on top of the empire state building so I'm like "huh!?" the only thing that came to mind was politics or something i was totally confused and in unison they both said,"You know hong kong, the film,the big gorilla thing". I just started laughing, "You mean king kong you daft bitches". How funny because neither of them had spotted Vicky's mistake. We laughed and decided it was time to
Return to the ground and go cash in our buy one get one free cocktail vouchers that came with our tickets.
We had two cocktails each and a good long chat to an couple who were visiting from Florida. I couldn't believe it was 8pm and we hadn't eaten since breakfast, we weren't fussed about eating out so on the way back to the hotel Katie grabbed a slice of pizza I picked up some Chinese noodles and Vicky opted or dumplings.
In true Sex in the City style (not!) we were all in bed and asleep by 9.30!
It's now 7am and I've been awake since 4, just had coffee and the girls have both decided to try and I back to sleep.
We've got Sunday brunch booked this morning at ten at the Waldorf Astoria - how posh is that! I reckon if we eat enough we won't new feeding again today ;-)
There are so many cute dogs walking round this city, it keeps making me think of Alfie, I hope he remembers who I am when I get back.
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