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Unread 27 Aug 15, 09:00 AM  
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Join Date: Jan 06
A Complete Novice In New York - Day 3 Statue Of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial And Brooklyn Bridge.

Another early start this morning as we had tickets booked for the 9am ferry to The Statue of Liberty.

Nicola wasn't feeling too good so stayed in the room while the rest of us went down for breakfast. By the time we returned she'd been sick and looked ghastly. She was however adamant that she wanted to continue with today as planned because she didn't want to waste a day of her holiday and it would be the only opportunity to do The Statue.

So, breakfast demolished, we said our goodbyes to Ian and Georgie. who'd done this already on their previous trip and headed out to meet Fiona's brother (another Ian) and family who were making the climb with us.

We quickly managed to grab a cab outside our hotel. We had a very chatty driver who was telling us all about life in New York and pointing out the sites on our drive through the Financial District and down to Battery Park. He dropped us right by the ferry terminal. The journey took just over half an hour and cost $20.

Ian, Anita and their 2 boys Callum & Sam were already there so we headed straight off to exchange our vouchers for tickets and after clearing security we were soon on the ferry.

Once on the island we stowed our belongings in the lockers (you aren't allowed to take bags in) and headed into the Statue herself.

We stopped for a look at the original torch which is on display inside the pedestal.

We then made the climb up the pedestal. There is an elevator up to this point but we decided to use the stairs.

The views across the Hudson to Manhattan are spectacular.

Enough photos duly taken we prepared for our climb up the terrifying looking spiral staircase to the Crown. Some of our group had been dreading this!

If you plan on doing it, be aware that once on the stairs, you can't come down until you reach the top - the descent is by a completely separate staircase and the stairs are so narrow that it would be impossible to get back passed the continual stream of people following you up. That said, there are platforms where you can step off the staircase for a rest and we were actually at the top a lot more quickly than I'd expected.

I know a lot of people are concerned about the climb to the top but our party included everyone from the very young to those of us who are (slightly) older (a little) overweight and definitely a lot less fit - we all made it in one piece!

I don't know quite what I was expecting to see at the top but it is actually quite a tight space and with the number of people waiting to come up behind you, you only have time to take a couple of photos before getting onto the other staircase to start the descent.

The views from the top aren't even particularly good because the windows are so small and you get them in every shot.

I found coming down worse than going up because you can see where your heading. My legs were really quite wobbly by the time we were back on solid ground.

So, was it worth it?
Yes, just to be able to say that I've done it.
Would I do it again?
Probably not! Once was enough.

By now, Nicola was beginning to feel quite queezy again so we bought some bottles of water and went to have a quiet sit down in the shade for a while.

Fortunately she was soon feeling a bit better and we returned to the ferry for our journey back to the mainland.

We decided not to get off at Ellis Island. I would have quite liked to have a look around the museum but the kids had had enough. The girls both fell asleep on the ferry - I had Nicola on one side of me leaning on my shoulder fast asleep and Chloe on the other side asleep across my knee!

Back on dry land we said goodbye to Ian and Anita and family and headed into Battery Park.

We past the remains of the Sphere that stood outside the World Trade Centre and made our way to the cafe for refreshments.

Dan and I each had a hotdog. Fiona and Emily got toasted sandwiches. Chloe just had a packet of crisps and a cookie and Nicola still didn't feel like eating. The adults all had a refreshingly cold glass of shandy.

We contacted Ian and Georgie who were meeting up with us to visit the 9/11 Memorial this afternoon and we sat and enjoyed the sun while we waited for them.

When Ian and Georgie arrived we set off to the Memorial. This was a very moving experience and really brings home the scale of the tragedy and how many lives were taken that day. We spent over an hour just looking round and reading the names of some of those lost.

We saw the only tree that survived the attack.

and the new One World Observatory. We decided against going up the tower due to time, cost and the fact that we already have a lot of tall buildings on the agenda - there is a limit to the number of views over NYC that anyone needs!

We then set off to walk to Brooklyn Bridge.

We didn't walk all the way across as it was getting very hot by now and both Fiona and I were having trouble with our feet swelling. With the wedding tomorrow, we were both beginning to worry that we might not be able to get into our shoes!

We walked towards City Hall where we grabbed a cab back to our hotel. Nicola decided to go up to the room for a rest, the rest of us headed to the bar for a drink.

This is where I found my one and only complaint about the Sanctuary hotel. The bar staff are disinterested to the point of rudeness! It took ages for the guy behind the bar to even acknowledge our presence. When he did eventually dane to serve us he forgot half the order and didn't even bother to apologise.

Discussing this with Fiona, I discovered that they had experienced exactly the same lack of service in the rooftop bar the previous evening from a girl who was more interested in chatting to her friends than serving them.

Our conversation was overheard by a manager who sent over complimentary baskets of fries - which was a nice touch but I don't think that we'll bother going back in there again!

It is just such a shame because the attitude of the bar staff is in stark contrast to that of the staff in every other part of the hotel who provide excellent customer service,

The problem seems to stem from the fact that the bars are actively promoted as a party venue to people who are not guests at the hotel. They are trying to create a cool and trendy vibe to attract the young and affluent, so we obviously don't fit the target audience. The staff appear to have been recruited for their looks and image rather than their ability to do the job!

Sorry - Rant Over!

We returned to our rooms to find that Nicola was in bed. She decided that she didn't want to go out for a meal tonight and would have an early night and try to sleep off whatever was wrong before the wedding.

As Chloe was also tired, we left her with Nic and headed out for dinner. Tonight Ian and Georgie were taking us to their favourite Italian, Bistro Milano, where they had enjoyed several meals during their previous holiday.

We were seated outside where we could people watch while we ate. Our waiter, Ben recognised Ian and Georgie from 3 years ago so they told him that they were back to get married and introduced the rest of us.

He is a really friendly guy, very funny and very knowledgeable about the food. As we were leaving we heard other customers asking for him by name (I think he needs to show the servers at the hotel bar how it SHOULD be done!)

I had Lasagne which was absolutely lovely.

Fiona had mushroom risotto

Georgie had salmon

and the other 3 all opted for pizza- Margarita for Emily and siciliano for Ian & Dan.

Everyone enjoyed their meals here. We didn't have desserts but we didn't feel rushed in any way so we relaxed over a couple of glasses of wine and enjoyed the atmosphere before asking Ben for the check. When he brought it over, he poured us each a complimentary glass of champagne and congratulated Ian and Georgie on their up coming wedding. We will definitely try to eat here again before we go home.

My bill for me and Dan came to just over $90 but we all added a 20% tip which was well deserved.

We walked back towards our hotel stopping at the "Love" sculpture for a romantic photo op.

We also passed the Manolo Blahnik shop where Georgie had to get a pic because that is where her wedding shoes came from!

I then got a phone call from Nic saying that she and Chloe were now both awake and would we pick them up a McDonalds on the way back. She was thankfully feeling better...

... Tomorrow the BIG day xx

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Unread 27 Aug 15, 11:20 AM  
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New Photo Added by ally1966 - 27 Aug 15 11:20 AM.
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Unread 27 Aug 15, 11:48 AM  
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abiknox's Reviews
Hotel Reviews: 1
Restaurant Reviews: 5
Lovely day again & great photos. The food looks lovely, I've taken down the name of the restaurant

Can't wait to read about the wedding!
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We are off again!
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Unread 27 Aug 15, 12:40 PM  
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Can't wait to hear all about the big day. The Italian meal looked lovely.
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Unread 27 Aug 15, 12:46 PM  
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I am loving this report and the photos are great
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Mini Road trip around Florida
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Unread 27 Aug 15, 01:13 PM  
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Hotel Reviews: 1
A good day with lots of places visited.

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Unread 27 Aug 15, 03:07 PM  
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Thanks everyone - having a brilliant time! xx
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Unread 27 Aug 15, 08:24 PM  
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Join Date: Dec 13
What a lovely day! Looking forward to reading about the wedding!

Index of my trip reports
2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City
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