I'm pretty sure I mumbled something about writing daily updates about our trip to New York City... Well, this didn't happen - for this I blame New York City. Yes, sorry Mr. Big Apple but you filled our days with so much to do and take in that by the time we got back to our hotel, I was wiped out.
But today, I'm rested and recovered (now that I'm back in rather sedate Ottawa). So here goes nothing - a recap/round-up of what we saw, discovered, walked by, sat in and simply enjoyed.
Wednesday was a full day. A very good day. We decided to follow a walking tour of Manhattan that we found online. This was a great idea by mom - it allowed us to on a "self-guided" tour and take in what we wanted - moving along at our pace. Suffice it to say - we walked a lot that day. So much that by the end of the day - my legs were actually a bit tired!
We started our day by exploring Grand Central Station. I've been to a lot of subway/train stations and there is something different about Grand Central Station. For all of its busyness, there is a sense of calm in the place. After taking some photos we discovered that there was a Christmas fair taking place as well - very cool and we made plans to return on Thursday to take in the little stalls/shops. These photos don't do Grand Central Station justice - you'll have to visit yourself to get the full experience (remember to look up).
After visiting this impressive train station we walked back out through the Met Life building and continued walking. Our tour lead us by St. Bartholomew Church - we wandered inside but were quickly asked to leave as preparations were underway for a private event. (Very strange to see a churck without any pews in it...)
After a bit more walking along Park Avenue we made our way to the hustle and bustle of Fifth Avenue. At this time it was probably only 9:30 so this infamous shopping street was rather calm. (A few hours later we would discover the real meaning of "busy" and "packed".)
We walked along Fifth Avenue peaking in the windows of many fancy schmancy shops. It is interesting to see the people who can actually afford to shop in such fancy shops on a daily basis - many seemed to be older and had an interesting "look" to themselves.
On a recommendation from our friend, we kept our eyes open looking for Rockefeller Center and the famous tree - the tree was delivered on Wednesday and was being set-up and decorated as well. Well, Rockefeller Center is not hard to miss thanks to this guy out front:
And here is the tree, ready to be hoisted:
From here it was more walking along Fifth Avenue with stops in at FAO Schwartz to check out this massive toy store. We also stopped in at the Apple Store - honestly - not that impressive. The one in London is much nicer. The store on Fifth Avenue is cramped and very noisy.
The next major highlight on our walking tour was Central Park. Admittedly, my mom and I didn't have much of a "plan" for Central Park and we were starting to feel a bit of hunger... We wandered around this massive park, taking in the ponds and really just enjoying being in the peace and quiet. It is amazing how serene the park is.
We decided to walk down Fifth Avenue back to the Rockefeller Center for some lunch and to sit down for a bit. This is when we discovered the crowds. Turns out that most tourists and New York City folks come out later in the morning... After a relaxing lunch at a bustling burger joint in Rockefeller Center we were off to Top of the Rock. The Top of the Rock is all about incredible views of the city. Very impressive and well worth the time and money.
And good news - the tree is up!
At this point we had pretty much completed the walking tour. So we decided to go to Macy's. The New York City Macy's is the biggest Macy's there is. Well, it is big. And it is crowded. My mom and I browsed around but really we sought out a place to sit down and drink something warm and tasty. Good news is that the Macy's has more than one Starbucks...
Since we were going to see The Lion King that evening, we walked back to our hotel - battling more crowds and rested up for a while. Suffice it to say - The Lion King was fantastic. Our hotel was a mere two blocks from Times Square so we had lots of time to take some photos and relax before the show. Time Square is something you can't really understand until you see it. I've seen similar billboards in Tokyo but Times Square is over-the-top.
Inside the Minskoff Theatre:
The show was a great way to end a fantastic day. We saw so much and simply enjoyed the walking, the discovering and the talking. A really great day. (And yes, we were tired. But very happy to have done the walking. I was impressed with my mom's stamina for such a long day of walking.)
As for Thursday? Well, I'll tell you all about this day in the next post - I've got to get myself organized so I can go race my cylco-cross bike out at Upper Canada Village. Today is the second last race weekend in the Eastern Ontario Cyclo-Cross Series and even thought it is -5 right now, I'm going to go ride around in a spandex suit.