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Sunday, May 4, 2014

All good things come to an end....

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I cant believe this is our last day in New York. The week has flown by so fast and while we havent been to any of the typical tourist attractions, we have done a tonne of stuff and we have had a blast. We would love to come back to New York one day. We never dreamed that we would be back so soon and we dont know when (if) we will be back again. But, stranger things have happened. Maybe if Kylie sells a heap of 'Project LIfe' items, we can have another incentive trip thanks to Stampin' Up! And while I'm mentioning 'Project Life', if you would like to order some products from Kylie, go to www.craftykylie,com and follow the links from there, 

I picked up the washing first up. I felt so bad that they did all of that washing for only $12. It was washed and folded and smelt so clean and fresh. Like I said in the last post - best $12 I spent all trip. 

We loved the French Creperie so much we went again today (Sandra - you would love this place, though maybe not love the neighborhood). I don't know how many times I can say it, but the crepes were just amazing. Mine was Salmon Crepe and Kylie's was Goats Cheese and Proscuittio. If you are ever in Brooklyn - look it up. Its called 'Petit Dakar.'

So, again, we stopped by at Walgreens. Kylie wanted to stock up on some more make-up. Its the same brand she uses at home, but its heaps cheaper here. In yesterdays post, I mentioned about the difficulty Kylie had finding her colour. These were the main colour suggestions - can you imagine if Kylie used them?

We had a lot of fun setting up the next few shots showing where Kylie had to look to have foundation for her lily-white skin.

Off into Manhattan again and our first stop was a second visit to Uniqlo. Kylie LOVED the undergarments, so she wanted to get some more, and I wanted to swap something I bought the day before. I cant wait to go again. It reminded me of Ikea for clothes. I know my sizing now, so I will take advantage of the new store in Melbourne and online. 

As we walked down fifth avenue towards the park, we stopped wherever we felt like. Ive really come to appreciate touring without planning. On our last trip, I made checklists and planned everything to the nth degree. This trip - we have just stumbled across things and its been awesome!!! We stopped at Godiva (chocolate) because they were dipping strawberries in chocolate. However, at $7 a strawberry - we could do without. We also stopped at the Lindt store. This was cool - you could buy LIndt balls (whichever flavour you wanted) for $14/lb (37 balls). That was an awesome buy! They had citrus, strawberry, sea salt and PEANUT BUTTER and a whole swag of other flavours. If we still have some when we get home, and you are nice to me, I might let you try one. lol.

From here, we were going to walk in Central Park, but the night before, I had googled 'Off the beaten track tourist attractions in NYC.' There was one thing that I found that we really wanted to see and that was the abandoned subway station at City Hall.

Unfortunately, you have to be a member to tour, and tickets are very rare, so it wasnt just something that we could rock up to - maybe next time? The above photo is thanks to Mr Google.

I found online this street in FiDi that is reminiscent of a typical European street.

We were about to leave to go there, but Google Maps said that it was going to take thirty four minutes and two subway transfers. The pic above is also thanks to Google. We really couldnt be bothered going that far. Then, I remembered an episode of Law and Order that involved a cable car in New York City. I googled it and was amazed that it was just a few blocks from where we were. They call this a tram and it goes to Roosevelt Island.

There isnt really anything to do on the Island. Its literally an Island and about 3000 people live there. There is an old hospital that they are in the process of knocking down and building a new University. The cherry blossoms are in bloom at the moment and they were just beautiful.

From here, we could see the image of the wild beast and so we decided that we would go visit and see if we could see this;

When I travelled to the US in 2001 on the trip that was memorable foe all the wrong reasons, I did a tour of the UN. So, I just assumed that we could do the same, or at least walk on the grounds. Not so. I noticed a guard at the gate and I notice a checkpoint just beyond the gate. So, I just casually walked towards the checkpoint. The guard had other ideas. He didnt attack me. But, he almost did. 
'Where are you going?' he barked at me in some Eastern European accent. 
'Inside' I replied. I wasnt being smart, I just couldnt understand why there was a problem.
'NO!' and he 'assisted' me in the direction that I should be going away from the gate.
'Can we not tour the facilty?' I asked
'Do you have tickets?' he barked
'No,' I sheepishly responded
'You must prebook online,' he informed.

Oh, I didnt know that. So, I stood there and tried to prebook. It was too late in the day. Needless to say, I didnt actually tell my wife that I had planned to actually go inside, so she was absolutely bewildered that I would attempt to enter the premises. In hindsight, its a funny story to tell. But, not so funny according to my wife. awe still managd to get some nice shots.

From here, we were tossing up - should we just go home and pack or should we go into Times Square and see if we can get some cheap tickets to see Aladdin? It JUST opened, so we were not confident that there would be cheap tickets, but you never do know. We got to the theatre and for some reason, there was about a hundred people waiting there, even though the show wasnt due to start for well over an hour. We found out that every night, a number of tickets are given at massively discounted prices. You apply and then you are selected at random. So, we gave it a go - it didnt cost anything to be involved. And, the tickets were going to be $30. We didnt get any. Though, we were offered $30 tickets to a Disney show called Newsies. And at $30 a ticket - it was a real steal!

See Greg - I didnt make up the word.

We stopped by at Grand Central food market.
Every Cheese you could imagine.

My dad makes better sausages than this!!!

We had eaten when we were at Roosevelt Island, so we werent that hungry before the show. But, I felt like a beer so we went into a restaurant an ordered a drink at the bar. Kylies phone was flat and mine was at 3% so we had to engage in person to person conversation. A guy sat down next to Kylie, so we started chatting to him. But, the conversation started because he had a battery pack that he was using to charge his phone and ho terrible the battery life is on the iPhone. So, we chatted for QST - he was off to see Aladdin that night. Nice guy. Anyway, at the end of the conversation, I gave him a card and later that night, he added me on Twitter. I clicked on his profile pic and it was taken on the red carpet at Nickelodeon and has hundreds of thousands of followers abd has a verfied account, which usually means that he is a celebrity of some sort. Turns out he is a disney child star from a show called iCarly.

He is now on some anti-obesity board with Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton and has a cookbook available. His name is Reed Alexander. He made no mention of this during the conversation, really humble and probably appreciated that we didnt recognize him - he might even read this post?? If so, it was nice to meet you Reed.

The show was so awesome. It was probably the most energetic show Ive ever seen. The dancing and singing was just out of this world. The moving stage was amazing. I knew nothing about the show and I was nothing but surprised,  

The show finished at about 11 and we hadn't eaten since about 3. We were going to grab a slice of pizza at our hometown subway station, but decided to grab a burger in Times Square. The place was called'Five Guys.' Hands down - THE BEST BURGER IVE EVER EATEN!!! The ambience was a little lacking, but the burger was great. Will DEFINITELY go back.
This image is thanks to Google.

It doesnt look much, but it was awesome.

Ended up getting home at 12:30. We packed and then off to sleep. I found an Indian Taxi driver that was going to pick us up in the morning and take us to JFK for our flight. 

The coolest thing happened on the subway on the way home - these two teenage kids asked for our attention. I immediately thought they were going to ask for money, but they pressed play on a boom box. The song 'The Way you Make me Feel' started playing and they them took turns dancing across the subway carriage. One of them even moonwalked past me. It was really cool - an awesome end to the night. 

Next morning, I texted the taxi driver reminding him of our arrangement and spoke to him, made clear arrangements. But, he was a no-show until almost 30 minutes after we agreed. We had already hailed another cab and were halfway there by the time he called me asking where I was. Funny thing - there is roadworks outside the front of where we stayed and so the traffic is single lane. We expected that the driver would just pull over to the side, or even pull up on the sidewalk (also known as a footpath). He just stopped in the middle of the road and stopped traffic for a couple of minutes while we loaded our bags in the car. It made me lol. Speaking of the place we stayed - now that we have left, I can tell you that our neighbourhood didnt feel like the safest place ive ever visited. But, it was genuine and authentic Brooklyn, NY and we loved it for that, 

So, we checked in for our flight - no problems this time. I had already checked in online and had trouble paying for the bags online (in the US, you have to pay for every bag that you check-in). So, we went to the check-in attendant at the airport and we chatted for a while and gave us the other bag for free, which was a total bonus. The girl who was working at security was Sheniqua (Sha-knee-kwa). The, the first store we walked past was a tech store, and we bought a battery pack for our phones so hopefully we never have the problem of our phone going flat (thanks Reed). 

We are en-route to Fort Lauderdale now, having been in the air for about an hour so far, ready for the next phase of our trip. Insetead of turbulence, they call it 'rough wind.' Its a weird name as it sound like the results of a dodgy Vindaloo.

One of the other women posted a picture of the cruise ships in Fort Lauderdale Harbour - see if you can pick which one is ours.
Thanks for reading.

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