Arriving into New York Bay by ship was exhilarating to say the least. A very chilly afternoon but most of the passengers filled the upper decks to soak up the view and enjoy the music and commentary……signature New York tunes blaring so we were all in party mood. As we made our way under the Verrazano bridge ….and into the Hudson River the New York skyline was but a blimp in the distance. We decided to head down to our balcony to get a good view of the Statue of Liberty as we were port side it was the best seat in the house along with Ellis island We were much closer than this picture looks ha ha ..But I of course wanted to try and see everything, and hightailed it back to the upper deck … at break neck speed up the stairs ( remember no lifts allowed ) Wow wow ! The Manhatten skyline was there ! Freedom Tower standing proud.During our time away from Australia on this amazing adventure I have had many what I call … cry moments when I am overwhelmed with happiness and I cry…This was one of them ha ha
It was dark by the time we disembarked at Manhatten cruise terminal and much colder .. so rugged up off we went to explore. A leisurely 20 min stroll up west 48th street .. and boom right into the heart of Times Square (bit tacky, but still gives s buzz) and Broadway and amongst the neon lights, hustle and bustle of it all. Bryant Gardens full of cute pre Christmas stalls …bit too early for the Christmas Trees (Rockefella Centre tree gets lit on the 28th Nov)…..ice skating rinks in full swing …wanted a spin but had left my ear muffs and skates behind so was content to watch from the sidelines 🤗 New York Public library looked beautiful, made a note to visit next day (never got there) Next stop Grand Central station, such a beautiful building the set of many many movies of course which have been filmed there.Lots of gorgeous bars, restaurants, holiday markets and of course huge amount of photo opportunities. It was rush hour so it just added to the atmosphere. We spent hours walking the streets and taking it all in.If we had been there for more than one night a show would have been on our to do list … arrived back to the ship exhausted… Looking forward to tomorrow. Awake with the larks … the ever ready battery in me was raring to go… was told promptly to get back to sleep as it was only 5.30 am 🤣whoops like a kid in a candy store I was ready to explore. Ok, went back to sleep for a little while and then when the fidgeting started again Al Pal had had enough and he gave in and we got ready for our big day….28 Km’s later we had covered only a fraction of this exciting city by foot… walked along The Manhatten Greenway walk pass the Intrepid an American maritime, space and aviation museum… along to the The Highline, an old rail track that starts in Hudsons Yards and finishes approx 2.4kms later at The Chelsea Yards. The former rail track went out of use in 1980 but was resurrected in 2009 when it was turned into a park .Through West Village, Greenwich and Tribeca before reaching The Freedom Tower and the 9/11 memorial. It is of course a very moving place and we wandered around the memorial pools the loss of life of so many innocent people so hard to comprehend. A very emotional experience… Liberty Park which overlooks the memorial pools is where the Koenig Sphere is now located … it was found damaged but intact , it was the centre piece of The World Trade Centre. It is a symbol of hope and resilience.Over then to The financial district and Wall Street …time for a coffee at Jo Jo’s before we looked for the Charging Bull where Al rubbed his big bits for good luck.. Onto the New York Stock Exchange We then walked back up on Broadway where Al Pal decided he was going to treat himself to a haircut a rare occasion as you know he does it himself. This was at Astor Place a NY favourite where there are over 70 barbers …. very quirky place ..down in a basement… Channing Tatum has been there so I figured it must be good, but so did Vin Diesel and I’m sure he is bald 😂 Carrying up on Broadway we found our first Christmas shop windows pass Madison Square made a left at Union Square until we came to 5th Avenue ... a slice of of Pizza to keep the hunger pains at bay and we continued our walk back towards Central Park. Passed the Public library but no time to look in .At this stage we had been walking for hours ( not a subway or any other transport involved ) looked at the map and realised it was way too far to get there with the time we had left so when we finally reached the Rockefeller Centre we went up to the Top of the Rock instead ….. by the time we got to the top, because of the dreaded queues it was getting dark so not the best light for photos .Looking over to the Empire State Building was magic…. Photos do not do it justice and I am glad we did it (Al Pal thought Sydney and Shanghai gave it a run for its money though ). By this time Al had acquired 4 blisters and my knees were beginning to ache …. but we headed back to the ship, one more time through Times Square and collapsed in the lounge with bubbles and celebrated a fantastic … hectic .. unforgetful 24 hours in New York …..The next two days were at sea… where we continued to chill and enjoy all the ship had to offer ..including more shows Quiet time and a few little tipples.Our next stop Port Canaveral … Decided just to head to Coco Beach … it was nice enough but we are so spoilt with our beautiful beaches in Australia.Last night on cruise before arriving in Miami 😊Included in our package was a 3 night stay in Orlando …So after a effortless process to leave the ship a coach was waiting to whisk us away to to Orlando, back tracking will be involved the next couple of weeks …. but I’m not complaining 😊😊😊🤣 Had the most ginormous burger for dinner complete with onion rings … dread to think how many calories consumed 😩😩 but it was delicious.
Theme Parks are not really our thing, well that’s a bit of a lie as I could just imagine myself on the set of frozen 🤣and everything that makes you a little child again. We came to a compromise that we would go to Universal Studios, but honestly when we realised it was Thanks Giving week and everything was going to be soooo busy ….Al Pal cringing at the thought of queues…screaming kiddiwinks and parting with 200 dollars each for the day we thought better of it and I totally agreed we went to one of the outlet shopping centres instead 😊 …Hopped on the I trolley and paid our quarter, should have been 2 dollars each but we are seniors here …. woo hoo !! Well that’s what a couple told us.. after our return journey we found out it was over 65 not 55 whoops ! …… mmmm not sure that’s good for the ego . I, can you believe did not see anything I fancied ..Al on the other hand had a lovely time and got a great selection for the same price as a Day ticket at Universal 🤣Happy Days as he would say. We met up with Kandhai and Shamala a lovely couple who we had met on the cruise for dinner, a much healthier dinner option than the night before.Next day we spent the morning in the office😂 arranging the next few days travel and car hire. Happy days for me as a return visit to another outlet centre proved fruitful and I topped up my wardrobe. But a big diet is around the corner as I was extremely upset with those mirrors and what was staring back at me 😢 Geez tonight we were at Millers Ale House look at this special’s menu a heart attack in every bite ! We shared a light option on a different menu ..!!
We have our car now and are heading south, until next time …
Lots of lovexx