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Unread 26 Aug 15, 04:08 AM  
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ally1966
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Join Date: Jan 06
A Complete Novice In New York - Day 2 Empire State, 5th Avenue And A Change Of Plan


Despite being so warn out yesterday, we were all awake very early this morning. By 6 am we were up, showered and out to meet the others.

The hotel has a breakfast included in the room rate which they start serving at 7am, so we headed down to the restaurant.

It was actually very nice, with a selection of pastries and breads, bagels , muffins, cereals, fruit & yoghurt. We also had coffee or tea and fruit juice. The free breakfast was perfectly adequate to set us up for the day but you can order hot items, at an extra charge, if required. An omelette was about $10.

Over breakfast we discussed our plans for the day and decided that we would all do our own thing in the morning and meet up for lunch at Grand Central Station.

Ian and Georgie had to get their wedding licence today so they were heading for the city clerks office.

Emily still wasn't feeling 100% and didn't want to be too far away from the hotel so she and Fiona decided to have another browse around Times Square.

I planned to visit the Empire State Building and the kids just wanted to shop - money burns holes in their pockets! - so we headed off towards 5th Avenue.

As it was early most of the shops were still closed but Chloe found the Statue of Liberty waiting outside a souvenir shop and had to have her photo taken with it - I think she may be in for a shock tomorrow when we visit the real thing!



We passed the Christmas Shop and I had to get a picture of their window display. It seemed so out of place in all that heat somehow.



We passed the New York Public Library, which was also still closed but the kids stopped for a picture with the lions. The plan was to visit this properly this afternoon after the station.

We carried on down 5th Ave and, don't ask me how, but we walked straight past the Empire State Building and didn't see it -it obviously isn't big enough!



It was only when I spotted the Flat Iron Building that I realised we'd gone too far and turned round and went back.



We found it at the 2nd attempt. By now it was just about 10am but there was very little queue to buy tickets and we went straight up to the observation deck.



The views from here are amazing. It was a clear day so we could see for miles.



I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.









I was terrifiedthat one of the kids would lose their phone trying to hold it through the bars to get a clearer view.

We exited trough the gift shop (naturally!) where Chloe had her heart set on buying one of these...



... but settled for a $14.99 snow globe instead.



We worked our way back up 5th Ave calling in at Zara, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Hollister, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors amongst others. Danny and Nic both tried on and almost bought several things but I was urging caution. We are going to Woodbury Common outlets on Friday, so I didn't want them to spend all their money today and regret it.






However, when we reached Tiffanys Nicola could be restrained no further and treated herself to a silver heart shaped necklace.

We carried on to Nike as Dan wanted to buy some trainers and while we were in there I got a phone call from Ian to say that they had bumped into Fiona and Emily and they were all in Central Park having a caricature portrait drawn. As we were now at that end of 5th Ave we decided to join them.



This was the finished portrait.



We walked through a tiny bit of the park and took very few photos as it wasn't really on the agenda for today and we planned to come back later in the week.






We eventually reached The Boathouse and despite their lack of enthusiasm to accommodate the wedding meal, we were all desperate by now for somewhere to sit down and have a drink so decided to call in.

It really is a lovely setting by the lake and conversation inevitably got round to what a pity it was that the wedding meal couldn't be held there. So Fiona decided, just out of interest, to see what would happen if she enquired about making a booking for 14 on Thursday afternoon... low and behold they were happy to oblige! Maybe I'm cynical but I can't help thinking that the change of heart was just because the date is now only 2 days away and they're still not fully booked.

Personally, I wouldn't have touched it with a barge pole (no pun intended!) but Georgie was torn - whether to go with her dream venue or stick with the Asiate who had been so helpful. In the end the dream won - so the Boathouse is now booked and Ian phone the Asiate and cancelled.

By now, it was 2.30pm and we realised that none of us had had anything to eat since breakfast so we decided to forget about Grand Central Station and the New York Public library for today and head back to the hotel, stopping en route at a food cart for snacks to keep us going. We bought an assortment of ice-creams, fries and hot dogs which were quickly devoured.



We spent a couple of hours chilling at the hotel and getting changed before heading out for our evening meal at Rosie O'Gradys.



The kids initially turned their noses up at this menu, which has no burgers on it, but everyone eventually chose something to eat.



Daniel had Fish and Chips (as did both Ian and Fiona).



Nicola had a Shrimp Risotto.



Chloe had the Chicken Tenders which came with a honey glaze sauce.



And I had Medallions of Fillet Mignon with fingerling potatoes and seasonal veg.

I'm not sure exactly what Georgie or Emily ordered as they were at the opposite end of the table.

Everyone agreed that this meal was excellent. My beef was perfectly cooked and amongst the most tender that I've ever tasted.

My bill for the 4 of us came to $119 with a glass of wine for me and cokes for Dan and Nic (Chloe just had water with a squirt of her black currant in it!)



We had no time for desserts because we had tickets booked for this evenjngs performance of Aladdin which started at 7pm and we still had to collect these from the box office.

We loved this show! The Genie is hilarious, the costumes amazing and the whole production spectacular from start to finish. I would totally recommend it to anyone who gets chance to go and see it.

By the time we left the theatre Chloe was almost asleep and Times Square was so packed that it took ages to get back to the hotel. I've taken her straight back to bed while the others have met up with Georgie's boss and her boyfriend, who are here for the wedding, and gone up to the roof top bar for a drink.

Tomorrow, the Statue of Liberty, amongst other things!


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Unread 26 Aug 15, 11:29 PM  
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Buffton
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Fab updates! You are packing so much in! Are you still pleased with the hotel? On photos I've seen on their website it looks like the bathroom is behind a curtain?!
Enjoy tomorrow!
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Here we go again!
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Unread 27 Aug 15, 08:28 AM  
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ally1966
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We are very pleased with the hotel and so glad we chose it. It really is beautiful and so relaxing. The customer service is exceptional and it is in an ideal location, just off Times Square.

The room that we are in is a Double Double and does have a proper separate bathroom but I think it must depend on what type of room you book because Fiona and Emily'
are in a Queen room and that does have a curtained off shower. It's hard to describe but it isn't really as strange as it sounds and is completely private once the curtain is drawn. We also have 2 decent sized windows which I wasn't expecting from some of the reviews on TA!
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Unread 27 Aug 15, 11:41 AM  
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abiknox
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Join Date: Jan 10

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Great first day, we also nearly walked passed the ESB, its so inconspicuous from ground level isn't it!

Great news about the Boathouse, although like you I would be hesitant to give them my business after they were dismissive at first. Hopefully you have a great meal there
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First trip with baby Edith!
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Unread 27 Aug 15, 12:13 PM  
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Gepetto
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Your pictures bring back so many happy memories of our visit last year... it's a wonderful city! Looks like you are having a great time!
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Unread 27 Aug 15, 12:32 PM  
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OB1LukeLucas
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Lovely photos I can imagine me doing this with ESB too! Hope the Boathouse works out, I would feel a bit like you but when you have a dream...
Did you buy your tickets direct from the theatre?
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Unread 27 Aug 15, 12:55 PM  
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MissFortune
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Fab day. We went to Rosie O' Gradys on our first night of arriving not really expecting much but it was fantastic! Some of the best steak I've ever eaten (I didn't order it but pinched quite a bit of OH's )

I've been dilly dallying about Aladdin as the tickets are so expensive but everyone always recommends it. Need to decide soon as tickets are selling out but it will be $404 for 2 of us in the Mezzanine. Decisions, decisions.
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Edited at 12:58 PM.
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Unread 27 Aug 15, 01:03 PM  
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mick
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A brilliant day

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