Day 121 New City
Trip Start May 07, 2008
205Trip End Nov 22, 2008
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The day has arrived; we are heading into the Big Apple!
A real fun start for the day, we began the day as usual and then booked the cab to get us to the station and Karon saw the boss man about storing the RV. We were asked if we were ready to park, of course we are, we had packed our bags and had breaky and Earnie and Rick had checked the emails and sat while Karon sorted the cab out.
Well we are told that the someone will come over to guide you to the storage area straight away, Earnie and Karon take the bags over to wait outside the office, rick sits waiting to follow the guide into the storage area.
Over come two guys on the KOA golf cart, sit and talk to Rick and asks about the storage. The pleasantries exchanged, they say" are you ready to go" Rick says Yes"
The next response was a little embarrassing (Yeah right
Both boys had forgotten to unhook the TV cable, the power line and water hose!
Don't think the boys will live that one down for a while, as mentioned yesterday, Karon hangs on to things!
Well we hop in the cab and 25 mins and $31 later we are at the train station. Purchase tickets from a touch screen vending machine, and wait for the train.
The train ride in was very pleasant alongside the Hudson River with some good views and past an old fort as well as water barges going about their business. A nice relaxed journey.
We arrive in at Grand Central Station New York City! WOW we are in New York.
We decide that it would be good to have some lunch before we climb up out of the world of Grand Central and hit the streets, we find a food court and some simple food and then head up to the world upstairs.
We had booked a hotel (Super 8, in New Jersey) advertised as 5 mins from Manhattan, so figured great! Well we line up for a cab and this is simple and organised, with an official guy controlling the cabs and people loading
We pile into our cab in our turn, direct the guy to the address and he pulls around the corner to tell us he will have to look it up in the book.
He does so and warns us that the fare will be $78, a couple of heart turns later and attempting to sort out why! We had no clue but also had no idea where to go, so gave instructions to take us there.
He rang the hotel and confirmed the address and managed to get instructions to get there, and off we went.
We arrived after about 35 mins run through the streets of New York (NY) paid the $80 considering "Not a good Start to NY city)
We head into the lobby, while we are booking in we vented a little at the guy behind the counter about the advertisement saying 5mins from Manhattan etc.
We received the explanation that the NYC cabs have to pay tolls both ways and taxes as well they are crossing the state line. GREAT!
Oh well we will build a bridge and get over it I am sure.
We found our room and rested for 5 mins, then cranked up the tourist in us, and headed out.
We stood outside the hotel and waved down a shuttle bus, they pass by every ten minutes.
It pulls in beside the curb and we pile on board, pay $7.50 total, and off we go.
Around 10 minutes later we were back in the city in the Port Bus Terminal, much better than the $80 cab fare.
Up we head to daylight to find out where we might be in relation to the big Apple city grid.
We arrive above ground, turn around 360, and basically claimed to be the "lost Indian Tribe" in NYC.
Never mind we begin a walk towards the Empire State Building (or so we thought) picked up a rough map from one of the bus about mobs, and did a u-turn towards the Empire State building!
We arrived there and went straight through airport security, including removal of belts, to purchase tickets.
The line was not too bad and we were at the top of this famous icon fairly quickly. The City was shrouded a little in smog so the view was not as good as can be seen, yet it was ok by us
The self guided audio tour explains the boroughs of New York as well as the various other iconic buildings, including the Chrysler building, St Patricks Cathedral, and all the others we here about in movies and television.
After absorbing as much as we could we descended and chose to walk towards battery park, the departure point to head to the Statue of Liberty.
According to our map it was not too far to walk, we decided the map was a little misleading and it was time to experience the subway system.
This turns out to be a relatively easy system to understand, you are either going downtown or going uptown, just work out which direction or street number you wish to end up.
The fare is $2 where ever you travel and the trains run about every 2 minutes.
The choice was good we decided, we arrived up at the end (downtown) near the ferry terminal and the Battery Park . So named because of one of the original Forts was built there to protect the city, and now used as a ticketing point and a national park building.
We viewed the WWII monuments and roll of honour list of the Americans that lost their lives in or over the Atlantic during that conflict
We headed back to the Subway to hop on another line to go uptown, to hopefully find the Famous Times square, it also was becoming close to food time, being around 6:30.
We came up out of the Subway to find ourselves on Times square, Broadway, not bad for the three Aussies, it was becoming alive, although it doesn't really stop.
Finding an eatery, we plopped ourselves down and had some simple food at a reasonable price, if one considers where we are eating.
Ok lets us head back into Times square and experience Broadway after dark.
The people, the lights, the vibrant nature of this city, is all it is built up to be. The experience of walking through this area was just worth the price of admission.
We decided we had better reserve some energy for another days tourist stuff tomorrow. Finding our way back to the Bus depot and tracking to the point we had to be picked up was well done with no real challenges for the intrepid travellers. Arrived just in time to catch a shuttle bus to our temporary home in the Super 8 in New Jersey.
We were dropped off at a different spot than we had expected but soon found our bearings and were safely locked up in our room with the Air con running.
We had contact with our newly found Aussie friends (Owen & Bev) they are in the same RV park where the Castle is resting up and having a break , Owen & Bev are heading into NYC on Saturday and we plan to catch up with them here. We are hoping to take in a show on the Saturday night, just because we can, as well as the fact, it is what you do when you are in New York, surely!
Yes we are a little late posting today, but hey this being a tourist is hard work!