Day 12 and 13. New York

Woke up to the sound of rain yet again but it was forcast to ease off later so fingers crossed. Skipped breakfast and was off the ship early as we had a trip up the Empire State building planned for 10.00 followed by breakfast/brunch at a place called Pershing Square which had been recommended to Al and was directly opposite Grand Central Station.

The ferry’s just off of the ship were all running ok (Hooray) and we took one ferry which took us a few stops but got us across the Hudson river to the Manhatton side and then another ferry that got us to Mid Town and within a ten min walk up 34th Street to the Empire State Buiding (Jobs a gud un)

Al was in a bit of a panic as we had no t’nternet access and she couldn’t find the confirmation email to show we had booked. After talking to a lady attended who was very helpful she pointed us in the direction of the ticket office who should have us on the system, when she spoke, she sounded like any second she would attack you (a lot of New Yorkers sound that way but are actually very nice)

Got to the ticket office with Al having palpertations and after giving the nice ticket lady her name, she found Al in the system, 3 tickets not 4, fast track, turned out these were from 2012 when Al Kee and Lou visited New York, I think me Chris and Beth nipped to Meadowhall or something for the day?

Eventually found the tickets to our relief and thanking the lovely lady we trotted over to the barrier to scan our tickets to be allowed through, Beeeeep! they didn’t work! On closer inspection someone, not sure who! had booked them for September not October 🙂 Anyways (thats what New Yorkers say) the nice ticket lady changed the date for us and we were off up the Empire State Building.

The trip to the top was very interesting but as you will see by the pics when added, to say the view was limited because of fog and rain is an under exageration, it was like trying to see an Arctic Fox in a Snow Storm 🙂

We then trotted off for our brunch opposite Grand Central Station and it was a very authentic and very tasty experience, think Tracey and David had eggs and corn beef hash, some crispy bacon and what looked like a cross between potatoes and chips (delicious) and toast, Al had poached eggs, same potatoes/chips and toast and I had an omolette potatoes/chips and toast, all was delicious. We then finished off with sharing some pancakes and maple Syrup which all went ok until Al miss counted and thought there were 5 pancakes and not 4 and started chopping/hacking up David’s pancake to share, much to his horror…….. how we larrrrfffed 🙂

We then visited Grand Central Station and the Apple Store to get a card reader for my phone (sold out) it’s called ‘Grand’ for a reason, so full of lovely shops, eateries and market type stalls, some of the food on sale were amazing and never realised there would be so many different spices, breads, fish, cheeses and allsorts on offer, could walk round these places for ages. We even found a place ideal for Bethie called a Tartinery 🙂

We also just wandered all the Streets and Avenues guided by Sat Nav (David)we finally sussed out with the help of a barmaid at an Irish Bar, that all the Avenues run North to South and all the streets run East to West so in theory if you were walking down 5th Avenue and wanted to go to 47th Street you just work out wha street you are on at the next junction/block and can then work out which direction (eezy Peezy)…. I had no clue!

We walked down Boadway, saw the Crysla Building (not open to the public because of covid restrictions) and visited Times Square. Never seen so many Bill Boards in one place, your eyes didn’t know what to take in next, it would have been nice to see it at night but we were all flagging as we had covered some miles. We had intended to go on a bus tour but some persistant ticket seller put us off by trying to imply he was doing us a good deal and still charging us over $50 each for the pleasure.

We eventually decided to had back to the ship via the ferry which gave us enough time for a siesta/jacuzzi before getting dressed up for our evenng meal.

Me and Al had a couple of drinkies while easing out aching backs and feet in the jacuzzy while watching West side Story, Al nipped up to the room for a shower and i followed shortly afterwards but just managed to slip in a small slice of pepporoni pizza on the way up as could feel my blood sugar plunging 🙂

The wonderful but long day and evening was rounded off by being served by a lovely waitress called Nadia who was from the ukraine (family ok at the moment) who recommended the lamb shank which turned out to be possibly the best main course I have had onboard, this was followed by …….. drum roll….. New York Cheese Cake 🙂

Early – ish night as we plan to visit the 9/11 memorial at 10.00am and also get in a cycle ride arround Central Park as the weather forcast is 23 degrees, no rain…. fingers crossed.

Crossing the fingers worked, it was a lovely day that didn’t quite go to plan as the President was coming to town and all the ferrys were going to be stopping for a while.

We got off the ship as planned and made our way to 9/11 Ground Zero Memorial with the intention of showing the digital tickets and entering….. however, we needed the t’nternet to gain access to the tickets so had to scuttle off to the nearest free WiFi place, Westfield Centre, where i tried to help but would be better off just keeping stum!! 🙂

Tickets found, we then entered the memorial thinking we would be about an hour but it took about two and a half hours and was very interesting and moving at the same time, all the faces of the nearly 3000 people were displayed on 4 seperate walls along with personal accounts of that terrible day, in the form of pictures, notes, audio tracks. Re Runs of the towers collapsing really took you back to that day with texts and messages sent from people who were in the building on that day of which some didn’t make it out and some had miraculous escapes.

The next plan was to make our way down to the ferry and head towards Central Park for a bile ride in the sun shine, however, when we got to the ferry there was a chap telling everyone that the President was coming in and the ferries would be stopping from 5 to 6pm which would be critical for us being able to get back in time for our departure.

We then decided to head back to the ship and take advantage of the pools and jacuzzy’s but everyone else seemed to have the same idea so the Que for the ferry was huge. One ferry arrived, was filled up and left and we had moved down the line but didn’t seem far enough to be able to get on the next ferry in about 40 mins time.

The next ferry arrived and we slowly moved forward with the que growing ever bigger behind us and we got right to the gate before it was shut before we got through DOHHH!!!

Then, seconds later, they re opened the gate counted an extra 20 and let us through…. Yaaaay 🙂

The rest of the day was spent sampling the drinks available and bobbing about in the jacuzzi before getting changed ready for our departure and the evening meal.

The departure was amazing, with what seemed like the whole of New York coming to a standstill with police cars, boats and helicopters all over the place as helicopters came straight passed the starboard side of the ship shortly followed by Biden’s helicopter.

Minutes later we started our departure saying goodbye to New York and sailing straight passed the Statue of Liberty with the whole of New York lit up as a back drop.

Finally it was dinner in the restaurant and an earlier night than normal ready for our next visit to Newport Rhode Island arriving at 07.00 where we would be going ashore in small boats (might be chaotic?)

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