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Old 18 Feb 20, 09:52 AM  
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neilhd
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Rock(erfeller)ing Around The Xmas Tree - Day 2

Ah the first day. Yep, I woke up at 4 despite the reasonably late night. Managed to get back to sleep though and woke at a lovely 7am instead.

It seems the view from our room is actually the Avengers building:



It's actually the new The Edge experience at Hudson Yards, which wasn't open when we went (opens March 2020). It will be really cool – outside viewing platform:


We were all ready to leave by 8, and we headed south down 8th Avenue to Tick Tock Diner which was about a 5 minute walk away. Our hotel had a free breakfast but we had previously decided to eat here at least on the first day. I did investigate the breakfast at the hotel – it was rammed so in the end we never bothered with it.

Pancakes were the order of the day here – loaded with maple syrup and bacon. I had mine with poached eggs. Joe had his with scrambled. Ele had avocado eggs on toast and Jess had Nutella french toast. I think Jordan had pancakes as well. Coffee and OJ were consumed. It cost some money, no idea how much. It was delicious though!



Joe looks very happy!

We headed down to the Empire State Building.





There was a bit of a queue but it moved quickly. I had bought Explorer Passes to give us access to 2 things and we used one of the entries on this. We skipped a lot of the museum-type bits (it's all very different from when me and Ele last came) and went straight to the elevator.

We did take a picture of these 2 though:



We were quickly up to the 80th floor but the queue for the 86th floor (might have got these numbers a bit wrong) elevator was massive. A lady came along the queue saying we could walk up the stairs so we, and quite a few others, did that. It was 6 stories of stairs and asthma Ele had to take a break towards the top!

It was worth it though – probably saved 45 minutes doing that. Outside was rammed, but we managed to do a circuit and take a lot of pictures. I resisted the urge to take the selfie sticks from the morons that use them and throw them over the edge.







There were about 200 pictures taken, I will save you the pain.

There was a big queue for the elevators again to go back down to the 80th floor, so we used the stairs again, and were quickly in a main elevator down to ground level. We hit the gift shop, bought a fridge magnet, scoffed at the price of bottles of water, and got water instead from the Walgreens/CVS (forget which) that is literally next to the gift shop, still inside the building, for about half the price. We took some pictures at the main lobby (the "Elf" entrance) and then headed out up 5th Avenue, getting a Starbucks at the first available one.



Our first stop on the way up 5th was at a gem shop. It was fascinating in there. Loads of gemstones and fossils and stuff. Jess very nearly bought a gemstone thing for about $400 but in the end decided to "think about it".

We considered popping into the Library but there was a large queue so we instead went around back into Bryant Park. We found a Christmas tree which made Ele happy:




We browsed the market stalls but it was busy and we weren't buying anything so we carried on up 5th.

We soon got to Rockerfeller Centre – the reason for the trip! It was very busy, but we managed to get some reasonable tree pics. We were planning on coming back at night for better ones.



We crossed over and looked at the Saks Christmas window display which was Frozen themed, and headed up to Tiffanys, which Jess is not able to walk past. We went in and she actually did want to buy something, so Joe and I left the others and went to the Apple store as he wanted to spend his Christmas money on Airpods. We descended the staircase and it's huge in there! This is actually the first time I've been in this one. We found the Airpods and they seemed to be a bit cheaper than in the UK so he bought them and was very pleased with them. I think they help him drown out the noise of the city and therefore cope a bit better with it.

Jess in Tiffanys, her natural habitat:



We were peckish by now so decided to head up to Alice's Tea Cup for some cake. There are 3 branches. We've been to the Upper West Side one before, but we were East of the park so went to the Upper East Side branch. It was nice to walk through that neighbourhood as we've never really explored it before.



Jess was pretending she was in Gossip Girl, I think.

There was a 20 minute wait for a table so we nipped out to a Duane Reade for some essentials. Joe was impressed with the mouthwash:



The table was ready when we got back.

We all decided on grilled cheese sandwiches for some reason, and pots of tea. There was a bit of a wait for the food in the end, and the server was very apologetic but our weary legs were thankful and we didn't mind at all. The food was delicious when it came – they had some really nice fries with them too. We then had some coffee and shared some cakes and left thoroughly satisfied.







Suitably rested and refreshed we headed into Central Park, entering by the zoo. The zoo was closing soon so we didn’t go in, but made a plan to go back another day. We walked up to the Bethesda fountain, then over Bow Bridge. Many photos were taken. Darkness started to fall so we went in a little further, looping around some of the water, then headed back out again taking even more photos.











Again, this is just a very small selection of the hundreds taken.

Jess had to go back to Tiffanys to pick up her new necklace (she was getting it engraved) so we headed back down towards 5th. We stopped at the Plaza Hotel to get some pics of the giant baubles:



We waited a while in Tiffanys whilst they "finished" (or "actually did the engraving" as I prefer to call it). Jess was very pleased though. We had a nice sit down in their customer lounge whilst they finished.

Another tree:



When done we headed back South and watched the nighttime display of the Saks window display. It was absolutely rammed out there. We crossed over the road to go back to Rockerfeller, and literally couldn't move. It was just a huge mass of people. We finally made it to the side road and ducked down there, but then hit another wall of people by the tree. After many minutes we got into a reasonable position for some pictures. It was absolutely mental and probably because it was Saturday evening. A couple of days later we went back at a similar time and it was pretty empty!





It was brilliant though, and made Ele in particular very happy. The tree is seriously amazing – really shows how pathetic the Trafalgar Square tree is!

We headed down to the Rockerfeller concourse. We had a reservation at Bills at 9pm that I'd made earlier, but it was only about 19:30. We tried our luck but they just laughed and said no chance of getting in earlier. We decided to leave it – we didn't want to wait that long for dinner – so we cancelled our reservation and headed off to find alternatives. All the surrounding roads were also jammed. We tried Juniors but that was also an hour or more wait. We then came across Times Square Diner – an old breakfast favourite of ours – and they said about 15 minutes. Fine. It ended up being more like 30 though, but by this time we knew what we wanted, so we basically sat down and all ordered cheeseburgers. Service is super-quick in there and they came in no time, along with enormous portions of fries. They were delicious.


There were milkshakes and beers had and it was all lovely and the service fantastic. With that done we headed back to our hotel to bed. As soon as I turned the light out to go to sleep the fire alarm went off. It didn't stop, so we got up and started to get dressed again. Of course, then it stopped. 5 minutes later an announcement came over the tannoy to ignore it. 10 minutes later it went off again. We didn't get up!
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Old 18 Feb 20, 08:41 PM  
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You managed a lot for the first day! We must have been unlucky the year we went as the Tree was pitiful 🤪

The cake looks amazing - and the very british cup of tea pose by your kids is fab!
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Old 19 Feb 20, 05:02 AM  
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Nesbits
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Lovely photos.

Sorry to read you lost your new job. That was bad luck,glad you got sorted.
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Old 19 Feb 20, 09:18 AM  
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neilhd
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Originally Posted by Nesbits View Post
Lovely photos.

Sorry to read you lost your new job. That was bad luck,glad you got sorted.
Thanks - was a stressful time but luckily I was employed again very quickly. In the end it only took 3 weeks and I had actually got 2 offers, and had someone else who wanted me but couldn't afford me, and several more interviews lined up. And the company I was at before that one were trying to get me back as well.

Ended up with a decent pay bump too
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Old 19 Feb 20, 09:19 AM  
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
You managed a lot for the first day! We must have been unlucky the year we went as the Tree was pitiful 🤪

The cake looks amazing - and the very british cup of tea pose by your kids is fab!
Looking back we did get quite a bit done! NYC is a place you can do that, I think, and we've been a few times so know our way around.
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Old 5 Jul 20, 07:59 PM  
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What a fab first day
That building with the Edge experience was one we saw being built when we were at the top of the Rockefeller back in 2018, at least I think it's that one!

Ah Tick Tock diner, the best ever French toast was consumed in there. I'm loving all of the Christmas Trees , especially the Rockefeller one. I WILL get to see it one day.

Sam has a pair of Airpods too, does Joe ever take them out? Sam has them permanently attached to him like another body part

I'll try to remember Alice's Tea Cup for when I next go, looks a cool place for lunch.
You managed to fit loads in, you must have all been dead on your feet!
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Old 6 Jul 20, 09:31 AM  
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
What a fab first day
That building with the Edge experience was one we saw being built when we were at the top of the Rockefeller back in 2018, at least I think it's that one!

Ah Tick Tock diner, the best ever French toast was consumed in there. I'm loving all of the Christmas Trees , especially the Rockefeller one. I WILL get to see it one day.

Sam has a pair of Airpods too, does Joe ever take them out? Sam has them permanently attached to him like another body part

I'll try to remember Alice's Tea Cup for when I next go, looks a cool place for lunch.
You managed to fit loads in, you must have all been dead on your feet!
Love Tick Tock diner! Enjoyed it more this trip than on previous trips, actually!

Joe takes the airpods out only so that he can put is other headphones on and talk to friends whilst playing computer games.
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