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Old 16 Aug 17, 05:46 PM  
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i love jack
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A sneaky little New York trip - August 2017 - Day 2 - Central Park & TOTR

A sneaky little New York trip – August 2017

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Day 2 Thursday 10th August 2017

I slept better last night. I think the neighbours got in at 3am! I woke up at 4 but went back to sleep until 5.50. Dan woke up in a bad mood as when Josh turned over in the sofa bed the springs were noisy and it woke him up! (I’d told the boys they could have a lie-in today).

I went online and booked tickets for Top of the Rock for 6.55pm that evening. This was $148. I couldn’t print the tickets obviously, but when the confirmation came through by email it said you could show the email and have the QR code scanned.

Dan and I decided we would be on breakfast duty and take our tray up and bring breakfast back to the room. Andy went up at 6.45 to get a tea and coffee and came back with pastries. Breakfast was already out! So we went up with our tray to get some bagels and juices and sat at the table in our room.



We decided today we would go to Central Park and Josh suggested hiring a bike which we all thought was a good idea. I had a look online and in my guidebook and found one called Bike & Roll which looked good.

We left the hotel at 8.45 and decided to use the subway again. There was a sign on the lamppost by the entrance which Josh started to read and thought the station was shut, I had a quick look and saw it was to do with the weekend so we didn’t need to worry about it...We took the R train up to 57th Street and when we came out of the station headed in the direction of the trees! I checked again where the bike place was and realised it was nowhere near us. So I did a quick Google and found another one which was a couple of blocks away. We passed loads of touts trying to sell bike hire but I decided to carry on to the place I’d found online.

The bikes were $20 each to hire for 2 hours plus $2 each for insurance and $2 for a basket. They gave you free locks and a map. We were charged $66 and told we could have 2½ hours which would take us until 12:00. I was worried for a moment because they asked for photo ID and of course I hadn’t taken the passports but Andy had his driving license with him which they kept for the duration.

I definitely did not fancy riding to Central Park on the actual roads! So we pushed the bikes up 9th avenue and across 60th and entered Central Park at Columbus Circle. We were a bit confused as there were signs saying do not ride on the paths! But we realised there was an actual road to cycle on. Where we joined, it was split half for cars and half shared between cyclists and pedestrians. It was a one-way system which was great.

We had the map from the cycle place which showed a perimeter road with lots of paths off it and the main sights were annotated. We thought we would set off and stop en route to see the sights.

So off we set. For me, this was one of those moments. I absolutely loved this . I quite like a bike ride but rarely think about getting my bike out at home (probably cos I’d have to pump the tyres up and dust the cobwebs off it). Again it was a beautiful day, blue skies, very warm. The road was just fantastic to cycle on it was smooth and flat and before too long no cars were allowed so it was just people walking, joggers, cyclists, rollerskaters, skateboarders. It was gorgeous. Bliss. Perfect.




We’d been cycling about half an hour and encountered a bit of a hill, there was a cart selling drinks so we stopped for 3 Gatorades and an iced tea. I noticed a sign where we were sat which said ‘the Great Hill’ and on looking at the map realised we were more than halfway round. I was really surprised, we hadn’t seen any of the sights, and we’d passed the big reservoir and hadn’t seen this from the cycle path.



It was still a lovely ride though and we did then pass a swimming pool which looked very inviting!

We did then see the reservoir from the other side and stopped for a couple of photos.





We then saw signs for Strawberry Fields and headed on up the path. This is a little area with benches around the edge and the Imagine mosaic in the middle. We tried to lock the bikes so we could go and have a little sit but only one of the locks worked and we didn’t want to leave them. So we just stopped for some quick photos - it was a nice little area and there was a chap singing John Lennon songs.


It was 11am now so we decided to return the bikes and then come back and do the bits we wanted to see on foot. The bike shop was empty (of bikes) when we got there so I guess it’s a popular place.

There was a Nathans hot dog cart in Columbus Circle so we stopped here for some lunch. Josh and Dan had 2 hotdogs each, Andy had a chilli dog and I had a cheese dog, we also got 3 drinks and it was $34. We took them into the park and were going to sit on the grass to eat them, but on closer inspection it wasn’t very grassy grass, so we sat on a rock. They were very tasty.




We headed towards the carousel and sat for a minute by the baseball courts, there was a game going on.


We tried to work out which way we needed to go but the map was a bit tricky and there was limited signage. I wanted to walk down the Mall and we found it by luck really. This was a nice tree lined walk with stalls selling artwork.



Dan bought churros from a cart but they were filled with crème and he didn’t like them.



We then came to Bethesda Fountain and a boating lake.






We carried on and found Belvedere Castle and the turtle pond, in which there were lots of turtles.




We were now trying to head out and on the way came across Conservatory water which had lots of model sail boats on.



Apparently boat races are held on Saturdays. We also stumbled upon Hans Christian Anderson.




I offered the boys to see the Alice in Wonderland statue but they weren’t bothered! It was 1pm and I think tiredness was setting in!

We left the park and were on 5th Avenue, we got the subway back down to 28th Street and back to the hotel.



I decided I needed another Iced Tea so went to the Starbucks opposite the hotel. I got a strawberry iced tea and peach iced tea, a double chocolate crème for Dan and a mocha frappuccino for Andy. I also picked up the ‘you are here’ mug. This lot was $30.



I took the drinks back to the room but the iced teas were horrible . When I looked at the label it said ‘no liquid cane sugar’ What? I definitely didn’t ask for no sugar! So I took them back, it was a little bit complicated, but she added the sugar but they still weren’t great. I remembered yesterday they asked if I wanted lemonade so next time I need to be more specific, with lemonade, with sugar!

Meanwhile back at the room it was chill, snacks from the vending machine and shower time.

We headed back out at 4pm walking up Broadway to Macy’s.


My objectives here were to see the ‘Big’ Piano and the wooden escalators! Dan still wanted a watch and Josh wanted a football shirt. We headed to the lower level and found the piano but it was playing a drum sound!



Macy's gumball machine


So many elevators, so many floors!


We had a little look round the Macy’s arcade, then found the wooden escalators and headed up to active wear.




Josh wanted to look at the New York Giants football shirts, they also had some hoodies which we (parents) thought would be better value and he’d get more wear out of. So Josh succumbed to our Jedi mind tricks and bought the hoodie.

We left Macy’s and walked up 6th Avenue, we had a quick look in Whole Foods, there was yummy looking stuff in here, packets of chunks of cheese, shrimps, cookies, crispy treats mmm. This was opposite Bryant Park and looked a really nice area.

We walked up to 50th Street where the entrance was to Top of the Rock. Our time to go up was 6.55 and I wasn’t sure how early we needed to be/how busy it would be, but the chap outside said to just come at 6.55. I guess it was around 6pm ish, the boys had asked if we could get sandwiches for tea from Potbelly again as they’d liked the look of ours from last night. So we headed inside and downstairs to Potbelly. Andy had the roast beef, Josh had chicken and cheddar, Dan had meatball and I had Mediterranean with chicken, which was hummus, feta, cucumber and red peppers. They were delicious.






The boys had Ben & Jerry’s for pudding and Andy and I headed back to the Magnolia Bakery on the opposite corner of the building. I’d seen on instagram it was s’mores day (I love s’mores) and they had s’mores cupcakes. But they were all sold out .

We then headed in for our time slot, you can have your photo taken in the queue to recreate the famous ‘men sitting on iron girder’ photo, but we bypassed this and headed straight for the lift. This is my next photo and I couldn’t work out what on earth it was, then realised it’s looking up in the lift at the fancy lights...so that’s geography and photography not my strong points!



There are three observation levels, 2 have got glass screens with small gaps in so you can take photos though the gaps. The very top level is smaller than the rest and has no glass. We’d planned this time slot so we could go up in daylight and be there when it got dark. There were already people camped out ready to take photos of the Empire State Building.

It was really busy, the views were lovely, we stayed until it just about got dark. Took just a few photos!





Shame about the crane!






Andy and I then had a bit of room for a Ben & Jerrys. I had 'the tonight dough' and 'caramel almond brittle' , Andy had Mint Chocolate Chunk and Chunky Monkey (two of my favourites, but not together ).

It took about 30 minutes to walk back to the hotel, there was a restaurant opposite the hotel called The Smith. Another thing I’d seen on Instagram was their mac n cheese which looked amazing. We had a look at the menu and thought we should come for a meal on Saturday night.

We were back in the room at 9.30 and ready for bed. Only 9.1 miles walked today!

Edited at 05:49 PM.
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Old 16 Aug 17, 10:01 PM  
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Disney4Three
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Great trip so far can't wait to read the rest as we go next week
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Old 16 Aug 17, 10:11 PM  
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Looks like a great day. NY is on our to do list. How did you find the heat? Just got back from Florida and whilst very hot and humid, we were used to it within a couple of days, but as it was a nonparks holiday, we didn't have to stay in the heat if we needed a break
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Old 17 Aug 17, 12:45 AM  
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Great read, sounds like you all had a great time!
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Old 17 Aug 17, 08:33 AM  
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A fab day in Central Park. I'm glad you made it up TOTR today, the views are amazing.
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Old 17 Aug 17, 09:08 AM  
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Another great day and you continue to have lovely weather.

Mick
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Old 17 Aug 17, 02:06 PM  
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I am loving this! You've given me so many ideas of things to do and more importantly of things to eat! : )
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Old 17 Aug 17, 06:19 PM  
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Sounds like you had a great day in Central Park!

The photos are great from TOTR! We did the same thing re the time slot at Christmas so got to see day and night!
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Old 17 Aug 17, 08:34 PM  
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i love jack
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Originally Posted by Disney4Three View Post
Great trip so far can't wait to read the rest as we go next week
Thank you

Originally Posted by COL41 View Post
Looks like a great day. NY is on our to do list. How did you find the heat? Just got back from Florida and whilst very hot and humid, we were used to it within a couple of days, but as it was a nonparks holiday, we didn't have to stay in the heat if we needed a break
It was ok mainly, the Brooklyn bridge day was the hottest as there was no shade, but it wasn't as humid as Florida. It was mostly very pleasant

Originally Posted by singerella View Post
Great read, sounds like you all had a great time!
Thank you

Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
A fab day in Central Park. I'm glad you made it up TOTR today, the views are amazing.
It was a great day, thank you

Originally Posted by mick View Post
Another great day and you continue to have lovely weather.

Mick
So far so good

Originally Posted by beegnjasmum View Post
I am loving this! You've given me so many ideas of things to do and more importantly of things to eat! : )
Haha thank you.

Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
Sounds like you had a great day in Central Park!

The photos are great from TOTR! We did the same thing re the time slot at Christmas so got to see day and night!
Central Park was fab
I just couldn't believe how many people camped out at the top!
Thank you
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Old 17 Aug 17, 11:31 PM  
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Another good day for you all. Bike trip round Central Park is brill but it nearly killed my DW Fuellady. You got some great pics from TOTR
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