Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

Fantastic Four(th of July)

Posted: July 6, 2011 in New York

So.. those Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks.. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

They lasted an entire 25 minutes, shooting off roughly 1,600 shells per minute – which is  honestly pretty insane in terms of fireworks, even considering Disney’s already pretty high standards.

Anyway, today is my last day in New York and I’m spending it packing (again). I sent off 7kg of stuff yesterday in order to get into the weight limit for Southwest and my Qantas/Air New Zealand flights after that. Really hope I don’t get stung at the airport later on.

So I’ve had the greatest time in the past week.. I’ll go into detail on a couple more things when I get back home to New Zealand, but for now here’s a list of what I’ve managed to see whilst here:

– Statue of Liberty
– Ellis Island
– Rockefeller Centre
– Fourth of July Fireworks
– Magnolia Bakery (best cupcakes in the world!)
– Five Guys (awesome burgers!)
– Battery Park
– Central Park
– Belvedere Castle
– Central Park Zoo
– The clock from Madagascar
– Little Mismatched
– Museum of Natural History
– Mamma Mia on Broadway
– Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana
– Times Square
– Deluxe Cafe (about 3 times..)

Did I get everything, Sam?

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So, Day 1 of being in New York. I’ve got a bit to tell you all, beginning with my flight(s) yesterday – of course flying is never simple with me, something always has to go wrong whether it be a delay, cancellation or the weather. In the case of my flight from CDG to Heathrow yesterday it just so happened to be the latter of those three options – thunderstorms over London, to be precise – and so it was that we were informed that we would be arriving AFTER my second flight took off once we’d taken our seats in the plane. Lovely of them not to tell us until we were shut in.. they probably feared there’d be some sort of riot. I just wished I could wait out the delay in the Admiral’s Club Lounge where I’d spent the last three hours eating free food, reading magazines and newspapers, stealing the internet and drinking tea/coffee/fizzy drinks etc. But no, we were going to wait it out on the plane.
I consoled myself with the fact that I was in Club Europe and had it nowhere near as bad as the people in economy at the back of the plane. There wasn’t much legroom where I was, so I hated to think about their cramped conditions. I think business class has spoiled me for future flying, if you haven’t already noticed. It was then that the man next to me started to snore, and I really REALLY wished I was anywhere but beside him. It really started irking me, but I shoved my fingers in my ears and waited it out until we finally took off and the drone of the plane’s engines drowned him out.
We landed and were directed to the man waiting at the end of the air bridge. Everyone on flights to New York had been redirected to a later departing flight and it now happened I was flying into JFK as opposed to Newark, arriving an hour and a half later than I’d originally planned. So, I booked it to the Club World lounge, grabbed myself some more free food and drink and cancelled my shuttle, then rebooked another one, sent out emails to people telling them what had happened and then made my way to the departure gate.
A little under half an hour later I was seated in Business Class, kicking back and enjoying the most comfortable aircraft seat I’d ever sat in and sipping on a glass of champagne. What? They offered me mineral water, orange juice or champagne.. what did you think I was going to choose?!?! Anyway, from there things only got better. I was treated to a three course meal (onboard an airplane – say what?!) , a couple more drinks, a toiletries pack, really great service, a wide choice of movies and a seat that turned itself into a bed. My flight was.. the best I’ve ever had, and it seemed to be over in seconds. For once I really didn’t want to get off the plane!!
Anyway, I arrived into JFK, collected my luggage (Business Class luggage was offloaded first.. yes!), passed through Customs and finally caught my shuttle where I was crammed into a van with 10 other people.  But.. finally – FINALLY – we arrived at my destination and Sam was there waiting!!

We spent roughly the next two or so hours just catching up and talking about random stuff. Honestly, it’s really good to be sharing a room with her again – and I never thought I’d say that about anybody, given how I like having some time to myself every now and then!

This morning we woke up pretty early and headed out to breakfast where Sam got an omelette with broccoli (ever the healthy eater) and I got stuffed french toast with 2 different types of jam and cream cheese (ever NOT the healthy eater). I thought I’d died and gone to heaven it was that good – and I’d also completely forgotten about American portion sizes. The French toast seemed to be about the size of my head. Sam’s omelette was no less impressive, and it was accompanied by toast and ‘home fries’.
From there we headed down to the subway, where I immediately started comparing things to the Paris Metro in my head. It’s so much cleaner down there, and I only saw a mouse (where in Paris I’d seen numerous rats). Anyway, we headed over to Times Square and explored the shops around there, just getting a lay of the land for me. Everything here is huge, and I love it so far. Toys R Us in Times Square has a ferris wheel inside the building, and the M&Ms store had three storeys of merchandise. After a while we got a little sick of the crowds and the heat so we headed back, grabbed some pinkberry (frozen yoghurt shop) for lunch and then took a walk around Sam’s campus, which is honestly one of the nicest campuses I’ve been on.

Right now I’m back at Sam’s place, just chilling and catching up on the world whilst she’s indulging in a class about teaching English poetry (at least that’s what I think it’s about), but she’s coming home soon and we shall head out to get some Chinese food (first Chinese food in 6 months – I’m so excited!!) as well as indulging in more Ebam moments.

So far, so good – my stay in New York is as good as I’d hoped it would be!