Trip Start Jan 25, 2008
Trip End Jan 25, 2009

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Okke and Kathy Postma, Hastings-on-Hudson & Jazz on the Park, NY

Flag of United States  , New York
Saturday, February 2, 2008

Hello to all that will read this, this is the first official entry into my blog for my year of travelling. Hopefully i won't make it too long as it will be a weeeks worth of stuff(i will try and do these more frequently in future). Anyway me and kev arrived in JFK on friday 25th at around 5pm after an 8 hour flight from london. First thing we had to do was check in through immigration and i don't really think the guy thought i was genuine when he was asking me loads of questions about the length of time i said we would be here and the fact we wouldn't be doing anything but travelling around the whole time but i got in and thats what matters. Anyway first stop was heading to a friend of my uncle ken's who lives just outside New York in a place called Hastings-on-Hudson, suprisingly we found it very easily and got to the town at around 8pm. The hard part was following the very detailed instructions that we were given before hand. This was us being stupid and not the instructions being bad. Luckily we decided on heading up the correct hill and by chance bumped into Okke and Kathy(Postma) who were just going back home after having there dinner and they walked us up the road to there house were we chatted to them for a while before retiring to bed for a sleep as we were both very tired.

On our first day in NY we decided to just get our barings a little and walk around see some sites but just take in the city and boy did we walk. I honestly don't think i have walked that much in a single day in my life but it was easily the best way to see the city. so many times we were standing at a road crossing and just looking around (upwards mostly) and not realising that everyone else had started walking over. Anyway we started walking around at about 11am by the time we had gottten the train into Grand Central which was about a 40min train ride. We started with going into loads of shops like Macy's(which is stupidly big) and gap and numerous sports shops. we then decided to head up to Empire state building. this cost us about $18 but well worth it for the views we got and it was a very clear day and sunny but still cold at aroun 0 degrees. after this we headed to time sq. and took in more shops and headed up broadway towards central park. by this time we were reasonably tired of walking so before going into cental park went to one of about a million starbucks that are in NY to warm up and sit for a bit. after this we went into central park and headed to the John Lennon memorial part called strawberry fields. very quiet part of the park but the memorail was covered in flowers and cuddly toys which i thought made it look a little tacky but without these would have been nice. anyway after this we went back in to town taking in more shops and trump tower which wasn't much just big and shiney. following more walking back into time sq. to see it at night which is pretty cool we got something to eat and planted ourselves at the ESPN bar(sports bar) and watched some basketball on the huge screens before deciding to go catch a train, which we subsequently missed and unfortunatly had to back to the bar to wait for the next one!

On Sunday we went back in earlyish again and headed straight downtown to were the world trade sites are. obviously not that much to see but a huge building sites apart from the plans for the memorial and other surrounding buildings so that was quite good although it was quite a somber experience. after this we headed out along the front and walked along the pier and seen out to New Jersey and you could see the statue of liberty then went back up to Wall st. but not much to see and the area was dead due to it being a sunday. we then caught our first metro up to soho which is the trendy area of NY and there were alot of shops here to a lot of them were a bit too trendy for me and a bit clique but lots of really cool shops to, pretty much anything you want clothes wise you could get, apart from a pair a trainers which i still can't find but will continue to look for. then we wandered into china town but stupidly didn't get anything to eat due to having a late lunch so eventually found ourselves back in the main bit of town and went to an Irish pub for tea. after this we went to another bar at around 9ish and decided to get the 11.20pm train back to Hastings. we made the train but due to all the walking and beer ended up both falling asleep on the train and woke up two stops after the one we wanted. very tired  we were standing freezing in some town somewere wondering when if at all we would get home that night but luckily, very very luckily there was a train due and that got us back to our bed and crisis averted.

on monday we started the day by wandering down to the UN building and once inside and having looked at all the free stuff thought we would take the tour. this was good but due to it being a tour a thought it was very rushed and did't get to look at everything i wanted but still good none the less. all these sites like UN and empire state you have to go through major security so this is annoying having to take your belt off all the time as mum knows my jeans don't stay up at the best of times. after this we wandered into town andheaded uptown towards the all the museums and went to the Guginnheim which was havig work done on it so only three out of the six floors were open it ment it was cheaper though so not a problem. as most of you know i ain't no art buff but enjoyed it none the less, something about seeing original peices or art is quite cool. after getting a bite to eat we decided to haed back to Hstings as we hadn't seen our hosts since arriving and thought we should as we were leaving the next day so chatted to them before sorting our stuff  then hitting the sack.

in the mornig we headed into town to stay in a hostel called Jazz on the Park which was cheap and chearful and right next to central park hense the name. we both wanted to do some shopping so went back into soho were we bought some stuff, kev being more succesful than me then back into time sq. to get something to eat but both now stating to feel the effects of all the walking so decided to chill out for a bit and go see a film. we went to see untraceable which was rubbish but gave us a rest.  for 2hrs. once we had been for our first NY pizza which was class we sampled a little more of the night life(we went to the pub) and headed back to the hostel. unfortunatly we had a snorer in our room but eventually got some sleep.

On our last day in NY we wanted to go to statue of liberty and ellis island so headed there earlyish. we paid went through security and sat on the boat. this was easily the worst weather we had so far as every other day was very sunny and cold but nice. it was very windy and they said the boat couldn't leave. they said we could wait but it didn't look good so we just got a refund. very disapointing but im sure i'll see it some time. it didn't really clear up all day so it was a good move. so we now had most of a day to kill and decided to go to the NY natural history museum which is soo big. we wandered about here for a good 2-3 hrs and probably only seen half of it but we were starting to get pretty sore feet. at night there was a pub crawl thing organised by the hostle so went on that which turned out to be really good and we met the snorer from our dorm who turned out to be a good guy so didn't feel so annoyed at him anymore.

the next day we were heading to susan and ken's (aunt and uncle) and our train not till 3.30pm so went back into town one last time and walked most of it cause the weather was brilliant, cold but really sunny. anyway still couldn't the trainers i wanted even after looking in about 100 sports shops so gave up and we went back to the hostel to get our stuff and head off to the train.

anyway im now in walkhill with susan, ken and racheal but feel i have wrote enough this time round so will save it for the next bit. sorry for the lenght but i have probably misse loads out like all the food  i ate and all the weirdos we seen but have sore fingers and kens cooking us steak.

speak soon, p
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