Two hours later and the New York skyline came into view, then it was a quick drive through Lincolns Tunnel and we were in the hustle and bustle of the city. Grabbing our bags and loading up, we walked 6 blocks to the Port Authority Bus Terminal as we were staying back over the river in Union City, where it's cheaper and we get a good view of the skyline. Once we found the house, we were taken up to our room and given a map of the area, explained how the buses work and then given a tour of the building. After dumping our bags, we walked over to the supermarket across the road for some supplies then made dinner. After dinner we walked across the road to the little township of Weehawken, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weehawken,_New_Jersey
to have a look at the view a few blocks over. It was a bit cloudy but it was really cool to see. Then we headed back, had some ice cream for dessert and retired to our room for the evening.
Sat 26th May.
Up at 8.30am, had breakfast then caught the bus back under the river to New York city
. Once out of the port authority we walked up to Times Square and on the way we had a look in a few shops like, Toys R Us to see their giant anamatronic dinosaur, a giant Lego Empire State building complete with gorilla, a wander through Wonka and a quick stop in the visitor centre to get tickets to go up the Rockefeller Tower. We then walked to Broadway to try our luck on the Wicked lottery. 2 and a half hours before each show, they have a lottery for 26 front row tickets to see the show Wicked. All we had to do was write our names requesting 2 tickets and wait 30 minutes to see if we'd won. Sadly no, but there were a lot of Asian winners though. A little sad we walked over to the Rockefeller building, had some lunch then went up the gold elevator to the top to see the view. All though it was a little cloudy, we could see clearly the Empire State building (no King Kong though) and could just about make out the Statue of Liberty. On the other side we got a great view of Central Park and could see how long it was at 60 blocks which makes it 6 miles. Once we'd seen enough, we headed down to terra firma and crossed over to the FAO Schwartz store to see and have a go on the giant piano! It was so cool, while we were there they played the song that featured on the film Big with Tom Hanks, then we got to play. After that excitement, we walked over to Central Park and had a wander. One minute you're in a busy city, the next you're wandering through the forest over hills and rocks, but just as you look above the trees you're reminded where you are with huge skyscrapers poking out the top
. We then left the park and had some fun in the Sony interactive centre, but only for half an hour as they were closing. As we did earlier, we tried our luck at the Wicked lottery but didn't win this time either. So we went back to Times Square to get some cheap tickets to a broadway show. We got tickets to see a Perfect Crime, then had a Big Mac in McDonalds for dinner (well we had to try an American one somewhere) and it wasn't as bad as we'd thought. After a bit of rushing around sorting out our bus back (as we were going back later than planned and you can't get anywhere in this city in a hurry), we got to the theatre in time and then waited for it to start, 15 minutes late! It was to say the least an interesting show, we got front row seats in this 20 row theatre and could see every expression on the actors faces. When it finished, we walked out onto the now brightly lit streets and took in all the colours of the tv screens, lights and strange people around. Feeling quite tired, we headed for the bus station and caught a bus back to the cheaper side of the river but was thankful of being there as we enjoyed a lovely view of the skyline from the bus stop. We then walked back and headed for bed.
Sun 27th May.
Had a nice lie-in this morning till round 9.30am when we finally got up to have breakfast
. We then spent the morning sorting a few things out like booking buses and making a plan for the next few days. After a fried egg sandwich for lunch, we went for a walk to North Hudson County Park. On the way we took in the view of the city then cut in to avoid a huge loop. Along the 4 miles round trip we walked through four townships and a city; Weehawnken, West New York, Guttenberg, North Bergen and Union City. It's amazing that in such a small area, there are so many towns and a city. The area is called North Hudson. North Hudson is the collective name of the municipalities of Weehawken, Union City, West New York, Guttenberg and North Bergen in Hudson County, New Jersey. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Hudson,_New_Jersey
Once in the park, we found a tree to sit under and watched the world go by. After an hour or so, we wandered back and cooked dinner, then settled in for the night in front of the TV.
Mon 28th May.
Got up at 8.30am, had breakfast then caught the bus into the city. Once in the city, we went down into the subway and tried to figure out how it works and where to go. It's very confusing. Luckily the ticket booth was manned but even with directions, it was still confusing. We eventually got the right train and got off at the World Trade Centre and walked down to the memorial site visitor centre to pick up our tickets
. Once we had them, we walked to city hall park and tried to get a look at City Hall. Unfortunately, the building was fenced off for renovation (as are most of the sites we wanted to visit) so we had to view outside from the park. From there we walked down Wall Street and went in Federal Hall memorial building where George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the USA. Also on site in one of the safes is the bill of rights (probably a copy) along with other memorabilia of other presidents. After that we walked down to Battery Park where we saw a sculpture called The Sphere that was damaged in the 911 attacks. From there we had a nice view of the Statue of Liberty and we also had a look at Clintons Castle. Sitting in one of the parks, we ate lunch whilst enjoying the view. After lunch we walked around Battery Park City on the way to the 911 memorial site. We're glad we left plenty of time, as security was tight, but once inside it was hard to imagine that there were two huge towers where there now stands two square holes with massive waterfalls inside. It was quite beautiful really and it was good to see the survivor tree doing well. From there we walked back down to Battery Park and round to the Staten Island ferry terminal to catch the next ferry going past the big lady. At 2.30pm we boarded the ferry and got on the right hand side to get a good view of the green goddess as we motored by, then on the island we got off and back on to return back to Manhattan on the other side to get a view of Brooklyn Bridge
. Once back in the city, we walked up to South Street Seaport and enjoyed a dark chocolate and strawberry milkshake whilst looking at the tall ships docked there. Then we caught the subway up to Grand Central Station to have a look around this iconic building featured on many films throughout the years. Getting rather tired, we walked back toward the bus port but not before checking out the war ships docked at pier 86 for fleet week. Thankfully back on the bus, we were soon back in New Jersey and making dinner in the kitchen. After dinner, we showered, packed, then settled in for the night.
Tues 29th May.
Up at 8.30am, had breakfast then finished packing. After speaking to the owner who allowed us to stay until midday, we stayed in our room watching a really bad film. When that finished at midday, we got our gear together and took it downstairs into the hall, then used up our ice cream and made some lunch. At 12.40pm we left and waited for the bus on the corner which arrived just before 1pm. We rode the bus to the train station, bought our ticket then waited until 3.30pm for the train to South Orange where our new friends Lori and Rob live.
Fri 25th May cont.