50th Birthday Holiday

Some years ago my fellow Mother’s Group co-horts & I hatched a plan to visit New York for our 50th birthdays. It has been a trip long in the making and to date has not disappointed!

Tearfully leaving our beloved husbands and children at home we set out on our adventure.

 

First hiccup was a delay of over half an hour leaving Sydney. We had booked exit aisle seats so had a pretty good trip once we got started. I didn’t get a wink of sleep & broke my record of watching 6 movies – & that was just to LA.

As a result of our delay leaving Sydney we missed our connecting flight to New York, so once we managed to get ourselves on the next available flight (a delay of another 3 hours) we took ourselves to the Sky Lounge where Heather was able to gain admittance. We recharged our phone batteries, had a drink & a bite to eat & steadied ourselves for the last 6 hour leg to New York. We were given exit aisle seats again so it was a comfortable flight. However we were all so exhausted we sat down & promptly fell asleep missing the safety instructions which I think was a bit of a no-no as the air hostess seemed quite cross with us!

We finally arrived in New York to a beautiful balmy summer night.

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No problems getting a cab as it was so late & he was quite a lovely driver who found our hotel with no problems & wow what a location!!! Right in Times Square – the Double Tree Hilton. We decided to have a quick look around & grab a bite to eat. There isn’t a lot around Times Square in terms of decent eating – all very touristy so we went with the flow & ate at the Hard Rock Café. We collapsed into bed at 1am & all had a great sleep.

Times Square – first impressions were : sooooo many people, so many lights, WTF, very big, very bright, in your face, extravagant, flamboyant, trashy, overwhelming!

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Up early the next day, I had to do some work so took myself down to the business centre while the girls slept a bit longer. Once we were ready for the day, we decided the best way to find our way around & get our bearings was to go on the hop on hop off bus. We had a great guide & travelled downtown from Times Square past Macy’s and the Empire State Building, Madison Square Gardens, the new World Trade Centre & finally got off at the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. A long queue and wait, through security & we were finally on the ferry. The girls were surprised that the statue wasn’t bigger but I still think she is amazing. It was an absolutely magical day so we enjoyed being on the water & got some beautiful views of Manhattan from the water.

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We disembarked at Ellis Island & strolled through the museum which in typical American style was done very well – we wandered through the section covering the first immigrants & enjoyed it very much. It was back onto the ferry & time for lunch (although by this stage it was after 2). We had spotted a restaurant on the water at the end of the pier so we walked around there & enjoyed a very nice lunch. We were then back on the bus & headed back to our hotel.

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We had a little break then it was time to “glam up” as we thought we’d try a rooftop bar. We went first up to the observatory at the Rockefeller Centre to see the lights to this amazing city & it certainly didn’t disappoint although we have to say the majority of staff that we have come across in places like this lack a serious tourist friendly attitude! It was then down to the bar on the 85th floor. We had a fantastic view but unfortunately were there too late for any food. So after a cocktail we headed back for the hotel where Mary took to her sickbed and Heather & I headed to an Irish bar around the corner. Unfortunately the food was horrendous but we had an hilarious encounter with a fellow who had some very tall stories to tell. As I said before we have been horrified by the lack of courtesy of so many of the Americans so Heather couldn’t resist herself in asking the bartender why he was so grumpy. It turned out he was Irish & fed up with all the tourists lol! But he thought we were gorgeous! Heather & I got back to the hotel about 3am!

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