Jet lag had definitely hit us but we were determined to push through it; drug free and all! Our hotel room was just the perfect size, massive bed (so not what we are used to) and incredible shower. It’s the small things in life right? Ha! I swear Nath literally had to drag me out of bed but I knew I had to get up and going today was full of exploration.
When booking our trip at Flight Centre we organised a lot of things to do whilst in NY and one thing was the hop on and off bus tour. Now this is definitely something I would recommend doing if you go to NY. Unfortunately for us because we weren’t staying for that long it seemed a bit rushed trying to fit everything in but it was still worthwhile. Checking in our voucher we were rebellious and upgraded ourselves to VIP’s – this meant that whatever bus we lined up for we got first priority no matter what. Flash right! I definitely recommend doing this if you can afford it as it really helped us skip long lines and get the best seats in the bus almost every time. Once activating your ticket you have 48 hours from that time and date to use it at any time you wish. The buses offer a range of ‘loops’ such as uptown loop, downtown loop, Brooklyn loop and even a night loop. New York really is massive so we knew we wouldn’t be able to see it all or do all loops so we decided on the downtown and night ones. Hopping on the downtown bus having had no breakfast but with a clear plan in mind we headed to the Empire State building.
The downside to NY is that it is full of tourists ALL the time so you know that all the must dos/awesome experiences will be filled with lines and lines of people. Heading through the doors of the Empire State building it wasn’t long before we were stopped in a line of people. Obviously having done this a lot through the flight process we were not a fan of lines and such strict processes. It had to be done though so in line we stood. As said in a previous post what I have loved along this journey so far is the people we have met. Standing in line behind us was an older man and his wife with two children that were definitely under 8 years old. Over hearing their conversation we realised they were their grandchildren. It was soon that we got talking and from here it didn’t stop. We talked about New Zealand and the Grandma shared to the children – Amanda and Gregory where New Zealand was and kept testing them with their geography. They all had us giggling a little at times and we found out the children were visiting from California.
As we got higher and higher in this massive building we had kind of adopted this family or they had adopted us. The Grandma said stick with us and we will tell you all about this place as we used to live here! Looking out over New York they shared information with us about where particular things are and what this and that was. All of their accents were strong and I somewhat felt like I was starting to talk like them – ha.
As we reached the 86th floor the view we stepped out into was incredible. I can’t really describe it other than show you the photos below. Many below were doing the whole selfie thing and photos where being taken left, right and centre. We loved that we had met Amanda, Gregory and their grandparents along our journey so we asked them for a photo – I think they liked that.
By this time we were starving. One thing we had noticed so far on our journey was that New York don’t really have any supermarkets or petrol stations. At least not in Manhatten. Instead they have dairy’s that have deli type meals inside and buffets with various foods filling the middle of the stores. It’s pretty incredible to say the least and again this is something I wish and hope that New Zealand will one day do. Anyway, back to our next stop. We spotted at this amazing Italian restaurant that had this buffet styled design that I talk of. Imagine Valentines in NZ where you help yourself but instead get all your food and then pay, based on weight. We were in heaven; pizza slices, spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, tortellini pasta and more. I swear we looked like we one – hadn’t eaten in years and two – were the most unhealthy people ever! We didn’t care though, the food was amazing and exactly what we wanted. If you head to NY check out Sbarro, we noticed a couple around.
We had spotted Macy’s the many levelled shopping centre a while back and were heading that way but just at a slow pace at this rate. Along the way we stopped in at this shoe shop, shoes is what I was wanting to get on this trip! The shop called Journey’s was similar to footlocker in a way and was filled with vans, chucks and more. Before going to New York I knew that when over here I wanted to buy shoes – especially Nikes so shoe shopping was definitely on the cards. In this store we spent at least an hour trying on a range of shoes each and both came away with two pairs. As most will know tipping is a big thing in this city so because of the retail assistants time we gave him a tip.
Continuing down this street we stopped in at Victoria Secret. I love this place to say the least. I will be honest, it is actually quite pricey but the stuff is amazing and the fact that we don’t have a store in NZ made it even more worthwhile. Dragging Nath through the three levelled store – ha! I found a beautiful perfume, a night fragrance mist and two amazing pairs of leggings. I’m a bargain hunter usually and anything that’s over $30 is usually like a no go instantly. This day that was not the case. Those leggings set me back over well over $100 for both pairs – eeeeeek. They look freaking amazing though. I highly recommend checking out this store in the States if you are a woman – you won’t be disappointed.
We finally made it to Macy’s next. Now walking into Macy’s instantly created an overwhelming feeling. Everything seemed somewhat flash and a little expensive from our end. So many people were inside and it was displayed like a Westfield or even a Farmers in a way with stores everywhere but most stores didn’t have individual shops within the mall, they were just open plan. On the ‘shoe level’ I spotted a Nike stand and instantly I was engrossed. I went to New York wanting to leave with at least one pair of Nike’s and I ended up leaving with two!! I will admit I am so excited about the shoes I got. Now Nath and I had said to each other we hoped we would never loose each other during our time in NY. Well the time had come; Macy’s was the place this happened and it was not ideal. With the mall being at least six levels in height I swear Nath and I misplaced each other for over half an hour. I actually was ok for most of it, still dealing with my shoes and all. Nath on the other hand – freaked. Poor guy, I will be honest in saying most of the reason was my fault. Lesson learned, stay with each other no matter how boring the shopping experience maybe for you at the time – ha!
Knowing that it wasn’t really that long until we had to go collect our Chicago tickets and attend the show we decided it was best to go back to the hotel now. Unfortunately the bus pick up was further away and more complicated so, walking it was! On our way back we stopped in at this market. Now picture a New Zealand Dairy. Usually a small, quaint store filled with packaged foods and the essentials in an emergency. In New York this was in a big way different. Imagine walking into a so called dairy and it being twice the size. It having a deli in it where you can order fresh sandwiches and more and then down the middle a huge, massive buffet. You know Valentines here in NZ? yeah like that except like this all the time and with just trays and trays of food. The buffet works on a weighing system and had so many different kinds of food both of us were just standing there with our mouths wide open. Fresh fruit all cut up – strawberries, berries, rock melon, apricots (the list could go for miles). Hot dishes – rice with many toppings, olives, raw carrot, tomatoes (everything need to make a personalised salad) it was incredible. This is one of the few things I wished New Zealand had. It’s a fantastic idea but realistically I know New Zealand’s population probably couldn’t handle it. If so only Auckland at this rate. If you go to New York you can walk into any dairy kind of store and this is commonly what you will find.
Making it back home we realised we had spent a full eight hours out and had 7 bags full of a lot of items to take home!
It was now time to relax a little, get changed and head out to our first broadway show – Chicago! Our seats were incredible. Fourth row from the front, in the middle.
Here’s my review of the show – Chicago:
I was excited to see this show, having never seen it done before I had nothing to compare it to – other then the movie. Unfortunately I had been told by a friend who had seen it that it wasn’t very good and that he suggested going to see something else. Thankfully he was so wrong and I am glad we went and witnessed the incredible performance it was. The band/orchestra is normally beneath the stage/at the front of it where you can’t see them. This set had included them on the stage in full sight for all to see. I found this wonderful for this show and made you appreciate the talented people creating the music right before us. The set never changed around this and the cast had very little costume changes – which being a dancer I know is not very common. Every single person putting this show together was incredible and played their individual parts perfectly. In stage shows I am always so blown away by the singing talent and I believe it really makes or breaks it. This performance – flawless. Two of the cast members to say the least. Hearing the true American accent mixed with the cultural backgrounds also made it that much better. Imagine tall slender woman with amazing curves, wearing almost nothing but still looking beautiful and not tacky or slutty at all. The show was powerful, well executed and I would definitely sit in the audience again. See this show if you go to New York – it’s well worth the money.
After the show food it was – dinner time! In NZ most places would probably not really be serving dinner at 10.30pm. In NY most places are open and busy! We found this little ramen noodle restaurant and it was delicious. Day three was full on but probably my favourite.