After a month in the Caribbean we arrived fresh and ready to hit the ground in NYC. The girls did really well with a full day of travel to get there. We were up at 4.30am in Bonaire and eating dinner in Brooklyn by 8.30pm...continued below
Flying United Airlines meant there was less entertainment than Air NZ but with both flights (stopped in Houston) each over 4 hours what we got was fine. The first flight they watched a downloaded movie on the iPad and the second sector they had screens in the back of the seat with full options. It shouldn't make such a big difference to the day but unhappy children travelling make it very hard for everyone. It took me four years to travel in the car for more than an hour after the pain of a fussing, screaming, crying journey 4 hour from Rotorua back to Auckland.
Anyway the difference four years has made and two month into travelling the girls are coping with everything so well. They happily went from doing very little each day in the Caribbean heat to getting up and exploring NYC from before breakfast until after dinner. It meant we could do two days worth of the activities I'd planned in one day and had more free time to fit in some extras. Here are how our days unfolded:
1: Trip to the Octulus Buliding and Apple Store then continued on the subway up to the American Natural History Museum where we explored until our feet couldn't take it anymore. We were able to find the giant sloth skeletons from when they were as big as elephants and roamed North America. Our first stop after the museum was hotdogs for lunch from a street vendor and then a walk through Central Park with an essential play pitstop in one of the playgrounds with water. We then took a short subway to Broadway where we walked down via the flagship M&M and Disney stores to Times Square. We finished the day with at Tacombi a cool little tacos restaurant in Soho before making our way home exhausted to bed!
2. Breakfast bagels to start the day from a courier deli before we made our way to lower Manhatten to catch the ferry to Staten Island for the views of the Statue of Liberty. Couldn't help but feel sorry for all the commuters swallowed up by tourists taking advantage of the free ferry just to take photos. Not sorry enough to not take photos though. After our round trip we then walked up to Wall Street and explored the area where we pretty much stumbled on to the Federal Hall National Memorial building where George Washington was inaugurated. On Walll Street we were also lucky enough to see our first 'celeb spot' with Richard Quest coming out of the Stock Exchange building. We then found a great little tavern to rest for lunch before heading back up town to walk the High Line. The girls were getting a bit hot and bothered by then but ice blocks at the end of the line fixed that. The highline is beautiful (and busy) and offered great views across town as well as an eye opening view of all the development in the area. We finished the day with a walk through the Meatpacking district to dinner at Cowgirls a great themed restaurant in Chelsea. Again returning after dark for bed back in Brooklyn.
3. We started the day with breakfast in central Brooklyn at Dumbo before making our way up to Broadway to visit ToysR Us and Zara, we had lunch at Pret a Manger for something a bit healthy and then headed back to Williamsburg Brooklyn and a tour of the Mast Brothers chocolate site. A great lesson in bean to bar chocolate making though Rob was later to read there might have been a bit of over the top 'story' telling in them having always made their chocolate this way. Regardless it was a great lesson and fantastic chocolate tasting. Sophia and Olivia were enthralled. We then went next door to a German Beer Hall for some fantastic bratwurst and beer. Our second 'celeb spot' of NYC was here with Dan Byrd from Cougar Town having a beer. Another long day with so much amazing NYC packed in.
4. As Rob was off to see a colleague at Citi, I took the girls up to Queens to the Hall of Science. For some reason there was no one there so as pretty much the only visitors we had some great help discovering how everything worked. It is so worth a trip out here. The girls loved learning about matter, light, microbes and we only got through a fifth of it before hours had happily passed and we had to leave to meet back with Rob.He came out to meet us next door at Flushing Meadows for a free community day at the US Open. Wow, we were lucky to time it well and see John McEnroe play and win a doubles match with his brother, Venus Williams warm up before her big, not free, evening match and then enjoy the end of a young girls round. From here we headed back to lower Queens for Thai at a little local restaurant called Bia before continuing on the subway round back into Brooklyn.
Thank you NYC for a whirlwind four day adventure, so many highlights but time to head North.