Manhattan - better late than never

Trip Start Jul 27, 2004
Trip End Dec 13, 2006

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Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, August 6, 2004

Hi to everyone from The Big Apple.... we were due to arrive last Saturday but ended up flying out on Sunday so arrived a day later instead.

We had said our goodbyes to my sister Michelle and family at the airport in Paris and were preparing for a chaotic check-in and flight on the busiest day of the year at Charles de Gaulle airport (it was the first day of the month-long French holidays). Then we heard that the flight was heavily overbooked and rather than fight everyone else to check-in we 'volunteered' to be 'bumped off' and fly the next day. So an overnight stay at a rather swish airport hotel with free meals and 300euros compensation each - a nice little top up to the budget before we had hardly got started!! Once we got to New York Mandy's friend Andrea was arriving later the same day at JFK so we took the subway out to meet her ( and on the way got entertained by breakdancers - yes they still exist, if only in NYC!! ).

We've had a great few days in Manhattan and have stayed in two really nice hotels - The Newton Hotel on Broadway which was really plush and then the Herald Square Hotel (this latter building used to be the offices of Time Life magazine) which was more basic but a more reasonable price.

Highlights of our stay have come thick and fast.. bustling Times Square, views from the top of the Empire State Building, the shops on 5th Avenue (6 floors of Tiffany's - the girls should have heard of that one), watching a softball game in Central Park and a street basketball game at a court just off 3rd Ave West, getting lost on the subway and taking the Staten Island Ferry for a close look at the Statue of Liberty. We also visited Ground Zero - very sad and hard to believe the size of the area that was devastated and the number of people who were killed. We also spent time people watching in the East Village (bohemian or freaks - you decide!) and eating lots and lots of healthy food - burgers, burrito's, buffalo wings & platefuls of fries etc etc

We're leaving Manhattan tomorrow (Fri 6th) and taking a cheap flight to Las Vegas where we're planning to hire a car and head out twds the Bryce Canyon National Park and the Grand Canyon.. all may change but thats the plan!
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