A walk in the Park...

Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
Trip End Nov 30, 2009

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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stopped again at MacDonald's for breakfast this morning, before catching the Q60 bus which goes to Manhattan. The bus took a LOT longer than the subway (tons of traffic) but it was an interesting experience seeing some of Queens, which you don't get to do in the subway. Queens had lots of red brick buildings, graffiti, traffic jams everywhere and small shops
more than chain stores – from what we could see on the bus route, I'm sure other areas of Queens were different. Some amazing views of NYC as we went over the Queens bridge.

Hopped on the subway and then transferred to the line that would take us to the American Museum of Natural History by Central Park. However, unbeknownst to us we hadn't actually transferred lines properly, so we were sitting at the wrong part of the subway wondering why our train hadn't come...! Finally we figured it out and managed to get to the right area and catch the right train, but that was 30 minutes down the drain sitting watching subway trains rush by.

Once at the Museum (which was opposite the park, and looked very stately among the autumn coloured trees) we paid our $50 suggested (!!) donation and decided to go on a free highlights tour. The guide we got (Irene) was very passionate and enthusiastic about the museum and we were highly entertained by her narration about the many exhibits (evidently the museum has over 2.5 million – we didn't see that many, thank goodness!). There were tons of dinosaur bones (which the museum is famous for) and many stuffed real animals that looked spookily lifelike, behind glass with painted murals in background. After the tour we grabbed a quick lunch
at a burger place called 'Shake Shack' (which were the nicest burgers we've had in the USA so far) but the place was jam packed so we had to sit on some benches outside the museum, which Josh and Kate moaned about as by this time it was spitting/drizzling. Spent another couple of hours in the museum, lots to see, but boy were our feet/legs sore by the end of it!

Then we decided to go into Central Park and see the castle that we'd read about – asked about 6 staff members of the museum where it was and none of them seemed to know! Finally
found someone who told us to go down 81st street (which goes right across Central Park) and we would spot it. So we dutifully trotted off down 81st street in the light rain with 2 complaining children, hemmed in by a tall rock wall one side of us and two lanes of whizzing traffic on the other, expecting to find some paths off 81st street so we can actually get INTO the park, rather than walking down the busy road beside it...ah, no. No entrances, and when we finally spotted the top of the castle, there was no way of getting to it, we just had to keep plodding and
plodding and plodding...!! Finally made it across to the other side of Central Park and decided to at least walk some of the way through the park – which looked beautiful with the yellow/orange leafed trees and winding paths. Kids were not impressed, Josh kept laying down on any available rock or even the path sometimes! Kate cheered up a bit when we saw lots of squirrels, and then both kids became more enthusiastic when we found a playground. After taking some
photos of us at the famous 'Alice in Wonderland' sculpture, we decided to catch a bus down to the end of the park, where the horse/carriage rides start from.

We found a driver called Richie (he was from Ireland and asked if we were from  England..hehehe) and his horse Gallagher. The four of us piled into the carriage and tucked
the big furry blanket around us and enjoyed a 20 minute ride around Central Park, which was made even more enjoyable by the fact that we didn't have to WALK! Saw on the ride the skating rink inside the Park, the The Plaza hotel (where Home Alone 2 and Crocodile Dundee was filmed), the two 'Ghostbuster' sky scrapers (from the movie) and an indoor carousel (which was a bit boring as was only a brick building). After the ride we took the kids for a short look into FAO Schwarz again (huge toy store that we went to last time) and then caught the subway back down
to 34th street where we had dinner at the Tick Tock diner again. After dinner Fred bought a beautiful leather length coat for $129!!!

Then our last look at the frantic busyness of a New York city street with the Empire State building wreathed in mist & rain in the distance, before heading down into the bowels of the
subway to our final return trip to the hotel.
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toni on

Oh my goodness Trace you guys are doing so much walking!!!!
Wow!! No way would i be able to do that, and the kids deserve medals as well,
sounds like all is going well, look forward to the next few blogs:)

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