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it's a long way from whitley bay... Hi everyone and welcome to our journal where you can see and read what we've been up to and where we're going next. We hope you enjoy it, and would love you to keep in touch with your news, and send us your comments! Lots of love, Sarah and Phil x ;)

New York, New York

USA | Sunday, 20 July 2008 | Views [1083] | Comments [1]

"Ba ba dah da da da ba ba dah da da da da... start spreading the news...." Yes, we arrived in NY early Tuesday morning and, fuelled up with all that steak and south american coffee, were ready to hit the ground running. Well, walking faster than usual anyway!

Armed with coffee and ready for a big day in the big apple

We had intended to do as much as possible in our 3 1/2 days in NY and seriously went for it, running around ticking off sights and shopping like amphetamine-crazed mad people. Anyone seeing us flying about would have thought we'd never seen a big city before but it was all excellent fun.

We started with a walk up 5th Avenue and a deli breakfast, then picked up a ticket for the city tourist buses, which had been recommended by several friends as a good way to see the main sights - all sitting in the open air.

Outside 'Radio City' - looking too cool to be hot

We thought this was a big bonus seeing as it was extremely hot and sunny, and also gave us the added erm, excitement of having to duck whenever we got close to an overhanging branch or various other obstacles that seem designed to catch out unwitting tourists. Apparently someone was seriously injured just a few weeks ago as a result of standing up to take photos just as one of those hanging yellow traffic lights approached...ouch. They may have cleaned up the crime scene here but this city is still a dangerous place to be!

The buses take various routes around uptown and downtown Manhattan and work on a hop on – hop off basis. We've been on a few of these tourist buses in vairous places on the trip now and have grown to really like them. They're a great way to get orientated and are a bit like big temptresses on wheels, giving you a taster of all the main highlights so that you want to go back for more!

Taxis heading for Grand Central Station

We started on the downtown bus, which took us around the South of Manhattan island. At this point it was about 9am and about 90 degrees. By the time we’d been on the bus an hour it had climbed to well over 100 and our heads were starting to melt. Or so it felt like. So we got off and jumped on a nice breezy cruise around the harbour, over to Ellis island, and to see a statue of some bird with a fancy head-dress...

Some bird...

There’s also an outdoor art installation on at the moment consisting of four large waterfalls positioned at various points around the harbour. It is really quite nice and was a welcome opportunity to get some relief from the heat in the form of spray. Just like the Iguazu falls all over again. Well, sort of...

We then visited an exhibition called ‘Bodies’ which is on at Seaport harbour. Well, to be more accurate, Phil visited the exhibition. Sarah had previously seen Gunther Van Hagens ‘Bodyworks’ exhibition in London, which is based on a similar plastication / dissection technique – and felt rather wobbly about the whole thing, so was happier wandering around the shops. She is however determined to get past the ‘bones’ section of the souvenir book that Phil bought one day when she is feeling strong...

After the boat trip we walked up Wall Street looking for Gordon Gecko but found Pret a Manger – it was a very special moment being reunited with our favourite sandwiches after so many months scraping by without even a bite of cheese and pickle!

We're pretty sure this stock exchange is American....

Next we got back on the bus which took us through the lower East side, and then back to Broadway, where we hoped to pick up some tickets to see Ricky Gervais, but (quelle surprise) he had sold out, so we went to see some local stand up instead. A good move!

We got six acts for our $10, four of which were really very amusing (the other two were slightly upstaged by our giant stack of nachocs, but still not awful). Also quite comedic were some of the audience, who appeared not to take to the sardonic NY style of humour, and pulled some excellent ‘we are from Texas sonny Jim and we NOT amused by your ‘clever’ jokes about southerners’ faces. Thankfully they must have left their AK47s back at the ranch and were happy just to shoot some evil glances and go. A fun evening’s entertainment all round!

Next day we went for some ‘proper’ culture and hit the awesome Metropolitan Museum of Art for most of the morning. Then we chilled out with a salad at the boating lake in Central Park for a couple of hours before carrying on on the bus through Harlem.

On the roof of the Metrolopitan Museum

Sarah with some crazy sculptures on the Met roof

John Lennon memorial, Bethesda fountain, and political badges in Central Park

Evening was spent browsing the shops – especially the (big!) Apple store. The queues were so long though - estimated at 3 hours by one shop assistant – that we decided to go for dinner first, then as the shop is open 24 hours, we went back at midnight to make our purchases – by which time the queue had subsided - yay!

So Sarah is the proud owner of a new iPod touch (like an i-phone without the phone) – a replacement for the one that was stolen in China back in February. In the apparent absence of any internet cafes around here (maybe everyone has Internet at home??), this is currently acting as our main point of Internet access at the moment as it has wifi – but we can't upload pictures with it, hence the un-decorated look of this entry - sorry. Also it is a bit fiddly to use, so apologies to those of you who have received more illiterate than usual emails in the past few days!

Sarah and her new purchases

Back to NY anyway, and Thursday we had another morning of art – MoMA this time – which was also really fantastic. Lots of stuff we recognised, lots more we didn't, and fantastic shops! Then we spent the afternoon looking around Tribeca, SoHo and Greenwich village and doing a spot of shopping.

Now those of you that know NY and know Sarah will appreciate that this afternoon was never going to make for a feature in ‘effective fiancial management magazine' and indeed we came back with a tad more than our usual strict two fridge magnet per city souvenir budget allows for. Oops.

However, we were not spree-ed out yet, and managed yet more shopping in the trendy meatpacking district on Friday morning (well, someone has to give a lift to the faltering US economy don't they?) before catching a train to Stamford, CT, where we picked up our Toyota Rav 4* to begin our loooooooooooooooooooooong road trip to LA.

We made a good start, getting straight on Interstate 87 on Friday afternoon and putting the 350 miles to Canada behind us that evening. We stopped for a realy gorgeous dinner at Lake George in the Airondacks, where some lucky New Yorkers get to hang out on with their boats at the weekend, then overnighted at a Motel on the border ready to visit Montreal yesterday. We’ll have to tell you about that in our next entry – when we’ll also try and get some photos up… in the mean time, we're off to Taco Bell for a cheap dinner!

Love to all,

Sarah and Phil x x

*Bit of a result this since we had booked the much cheaper Ford Focus. We haven’t had to pay any more yet, so are just hoping that no-on tells Hertz…



We've apparently managed to fill the 1500 capacity photo limit that World Nomads allows! So we've created a new journal page to hold all our USA and Canada pictures. So from now on, if you want to see the galleries and all the photos from North America, then you'll need to go to this page: http://journals.worldnomads.com/sarahandphilusa where you'll find the photo galleries listed down the right hand side as usual. We'll still be putting all our stories on the original site though.




It may be a Rav 4...but its no Tigra!!!!!!

Care to swap mind?

Hope you're both well...looking forward to having you back...I have a list of wedding day chores the size of Pauls fingers for you Phil, enjoy your freedom while you can!

Take care.


  Mike Jul 28, 2008 8:35 AM

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