New York – Day 4

New York – Day 4

New York #37Even though this was our last day in the Big Apple before flying home, our flight wasn’t until late evening, so we had almost a full day to do some final exploring.  We started the day by grabbing breakfast in the Park Cafe beneath the hotel.  It was okay and set us up for the day, but don’t rush there on our recommendation.  The first port of call was Central Park, with the challenge to ride bicycles around the entire perimeter.  We toyed with two options; one of the street vendors advertising bike hire or returning to our trusty Citi Bikes option.  We plumped for the latter as it offered us the additional option of picking up another pair of bikes to get down to the Hudson River for our second stop of the day.

Heading into the park on our bikes, we had no idea of the route, the distance or what to expect. Well, the route is anticlockwise and one-way, with lanes marked out for joggers, cyclists and walkers. On a Sunday morning in New York it resembled the M1 southbound around Nottingham on a Monday morning!

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New York – Day 3

New York #24Day 3 was family day. My brother Michael, his wife Brooke and their three daughters (Autumn, Amber and Abigail) live in Connecticut, a couple of hours North of New York. They’d agreed to meet us for a day, which given the short notice of our trip was great. They planned to drive to Stamford, get booked into a hotel and jump on a train to Grand Central Station, meeting us around 11:30am.

So, to start the day we wandered down 7th Avenue, grabbed a deli breakfast and had a recce of Central Park. As we had time left on our Citi Bikes hire period, the plan was to ride around Central Park, but we couldn’t find a bike station at the South entrance. We abandoned that plan in favour of doing it with less time pressures on our last day.

We walked down to Grand Central Station, took some photos and talked to an Apple assistant about the iPhone 6s, before venturing outside to grab a drink at Starbucks. Hooking up to their WiFi, we traded messages with Brooke only to find out they’d got on a train in the wrong direction and would be later than planned. What to do now?

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New York – Day 2

New York #15The plan for day 2 in NYC was to hit Brooklyn and hit it hard. This was to be our bar crawl day. We’d been to Brooklyn Heights during our last trip to New York and, although we were only there a few hours, we loved it and agreed there and then to return for a longer visit. In addition, we love the range of beers produced by Brooklyn Brewery. They are really getting a foothold in the UK these days and the quality is always great.

We jumped on subway F down to York Street and the plan was to head over to Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The first mishap of the day turned out to be brilliant! I took us in completely the opposite (wrong) direction to what we’d planned, but found the most amazing trio of street food trucks. We ordered drunken noodles from the Thai truck and fried calamari from the Italian truck. After the wait, we wandered down Jay Street, in the direction on the East River, in hope of finding a bench, a view or ideally both. WOW, we hit the jackpot on all counts.

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New York – Day 1

New York #03The decision to head to New York for a few days was very last minute. We’d talked about it in principle if Amanda was given ‘garden leave’ after tendering her resignation, but it was only booked 4 days before we left home.

We tend to book an overnight stay close to the airport the night before we fly to avoid early morning starts and the potential for traffic issues. However, on this occasion the only hotels close to Manchester Airport, that had availability, were looking for £200+ for one night including parking. We therefore decided to book ‘meet & greet’ parking and drive over to Manchester Airport the morning of the flight…never again! It’s roughly 90 miles door-to-door, with a choice of three main routes, but all involved driving around Manchester during rush hour. We left at 6:30am expecting to arrive at 8:30am, allowing for traffic, but it was almost 9:15am by the time we handed the car keys over to a very grumpy parking valet.

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Where Do We Begin?

MadeiraSo, we’ve decided to create a travel blog to record our adventures from August 2015 onwards. However, what about all the places we’ve visited before today? Well, rather than spending too much time trying to recall these trips and the stories behind them, I thought I’d just make a list of the countries we’ve visited as a couple since our very first trip together. We started off with a long weekend in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, nicknamed “The City of a Hundred Spires”. Our most recent adventure, well holiday really, was to Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort in Cancun, Mexico. This was to celebrate my step-daughter Chloe’s 18th birthday in July.

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