Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New York - Day 8

We are heading home today!  First, we are driving to Cape May in New Jersey - two hours away - to see birds.  Yup, you read correctly - birds.

Cape May is a quaint little town - looks like a vacation destination for people who want to relax - lots of places for rent.

We saw some pretty cool sites here!  We saw a couple oyster catchers take turns to catch food for their young chick.  I'm glad I'm not one of these birds!  It's hard work!  The nest is quite a ways from the ocean - the little guy runs to the beach, pokes its beak in the sand after a wave to catch mussels and run back to the baby to give it to him.  Then, the spouse runs to the beach to get another.  It's craziness!  Those little legs... phew!

looking for food
got some! (can't see it in this shot)

feeding baby

We also saw some wild swans - not something you see everyday either!  We were lucky to see a family!

What else... we saw an osprey, dolphins (right of shore!), geese, terns, ibises, a muskrat, a rabbit and lots of beautiful dragonflies.  We also saw a  - darn I forget it's name - black skimmer I think - pretty neat!  He skimmed the water right in front of us so I could get a couple shots!

swan family

New York - Then Day 7

Today was a walking day!
Remi at end of tunnel - Running joke is
that there are lots of dead people in these tunnels
on tv anyways!  We didn't see one =)
Remi and I got up early and went for a last run in Central Park - one of my highlights of the trip - who

This is the Ansonia - where 666 Park Avenue was filmed-
it is nowhere near park Av.
It's not even on the right side of the park! 
would ever though running in a park would be a highlight for me?  Well, it's a beautiful place! What can I say?!

We walked for over 20 km today.  We walked the whole length of the park (there and back) looking for the building where 666 Park Avenue was filmed.  I thought it was near the end of the park - ends up it was more near the beginning - so we walked all of that for nothing... We did find it though - and it was well worth it!  What a building!  Wow!

We didn't do much more than walk about and watch a couple episodes of Criminal Minds.  We had to go to bed early since we are leaving early - making our way to Cape May in NJ (2 hours away) before heading home.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New York - Day 6

We got up this morning we went to see the MoMa - the Modern Art Gallery.  Let’s just say it’s not my thing!  I don't understand how they can justify paying millions of dollars for the following: a stick painted orange.  A humongous white canvas - that’s right, nothing on it - a canvas with blotches of paint on it, a white wall that was shot with one air gun, the list goes on and on.  Don't they know millions of people have nothing to eat and that money could be better spent?  On the 5th floor there was actual beautiful paintings - some Picasso, Monet, Mondrian, and I forget the others.  Anyway, left there thinking - not my cup of tea.
We left the MoMa to go do a walking movie tour of Central Park.  Our guide’s name was Stacey - she was quite good.  We walked around while she told us about various movies and tidbits of what was filmed where - with some history about the park mixed in.  I learned that everything in the park is man made except one thing - the rocks.  All the lakes, ponds, streams are man made.

 After our tour we walked back to the hotel.  We are now in a different room as there was a leak from the room upstairs into our bathroom.  This is the second day this happened.  The first day, nothing really happened.  This time, the guy that came to check didn't seem impressed that they hadn’t moved us already.  The girls at the front desk are kind of… I don't know, grumpy?  Their manners need a bit of help.

We checked out our new room - internet still doesn’t work - probably because we are at the end of the hall - so it’s very touchy - it works in one little spot for a few minutes, then it’s gone.  Oh well, no big deal.  I sit in the hall for a few minutes and get everything done. It’s not like I'm spending much time in my room…. how about no time! 

We then went to the Avengers Exhibit at the Discovery Center - same place as the Lego - The Art of The Brick exhibit.  Wow! That was fun!  We got to create identification cards that we used to sign in to do various tests.  It was really well done- and they activities were sort of fun.  We weren't allowed to take any pictures inside - too bad because it was really neat.

Pictures don't even start to show...
You have to see it for yourself!
After this exciting adventure, we walked to Grand Central Station.  I totally get why they gave it this name - Holy Moly it’s grand alright!  What an amazing building!  It’s absolutely beautiful!

We decided we had enough for the day and we returned to our room, pooped!  Since last Sunday I have walked almost 100 kilometers.  That’s a lot of walking!

Tomorrow will be our last day.  We have nothing planned other than one last run in the park first thing in the morning.  We will spend the day just walking around, checking out little shops and boutiques.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

New York - Day 5

We got up at 6:30 to get ready to go racing.  Race starts at 8:00 and we need to walk there - without getting lost.  We found our corral and got ready to go.  My official time was 0:44:01.  I could've done better but I ran more than half the race with Sophie and Remi - her pace is a bit slower than my usual pace - but that’s ok.  It was her first race and she did very well.  Remi and I are very proud of her.  She only had to walk twice - her first time running more than 3 km.

After the race, we went to the hotel to wash and change.  We then took the bus to go up top of the Empire State Building.  Nice view of the city - but obstructed view of the park - too bad.  This is a big city!  I preferred the day view to the night one.  
Tyra and I
We walked back to our hotel with stops at Macy’s - the biggest store in the world. Quite ridiculous really!  It's 9 stories of stores - and the store takes up an entire block! 

 We also stopped at the HBO store to find some Game of Thrones and finally Madame Tussauds wax museum.  We had dinner at Junior’s.  

We will soon be going to see a Broadway show called the Cripple of Inishmaan with Daniel Radcliffe.  I look forward to just sitting and enjoying the show!  I've walked a ridiculous amount of km this week!  Sitting will be nice!

A couple more pictures...
beautiful building is being turned into train or subway station

The beautiful Nelson Mandela

New York - Day 4

Today we took the Harlem/Bronx tour.  We got on the bus and off we went.  We stopped for a visit of the Natural History Museum - where they “filmed” Night at the Museum.  I write “filmed” because the movie was actually filmed
in Vancouver - in a fake museum.  The actual museum didn’t want all the camera cruise and people inside the museum where they have very special artifacts.  We went through a few parts - and let me tell you, it looks exactly like in the movies!  That means they did an amazing job at recreating this place in Vancouver!

We got back on the bus to continue our tour.  It was pretty uneventful.  The tour guides are not all good.  We had a horrible one yesterday - couldn't understand a thing he said - and his voice was like a cartoon character.  One of the guides today just said anything and he sounded really dumb - for example, he told us that if we were in Harlem at night, we were sure to die or get kidnapped!  Oh really?  The guide right before told us it was safe in Harlem - of course if you don’t mind your business or you are a gang banger things will be different.  That makes much more sense!

We stopped by the Yankee Stadium, took a few pictures and moved on.  We got off the bus at the place where we picked up our race kits for tomorrow.  My bib number is 861.  I look forward to this race!  Money raised goes to the Cystic Foundation.

After picking up our kits, we walked back to Times Square - a long walk!  We stopped by the FAO Schwarz store - this gigantic toy/candy and other store - Fun, Fun, Fun!

We also went in the famous Apple store -it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! How nuts is that?  It was even nuttier inside - the amount of people - CRAZINESS!!

Back at the hotel (8km later), I had a short nap before our next adventure: the lego exhibit.  What a fabulous exhibit!  If you ever get the chance to see it you should!  It’s amazing!  The first part, the artist tried to recreate 1D artwork with lego blocks -he did a pretty fabulous job!  Other parts demonstrate his thoughts and feelings - it’s all pretty cool.  At the end, you signed a lego block that you added to the wall.  When he comes by, he will take these legos and turn them into something.

To finish our day, we had cheesecake at Junior’s - yum!  Off to bed to get ready to race tomorrow!

NBC m&M filled peacock tail
A few more pics...
Dandelion fountain
666 Park Avenue tv series was actually filmed here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

New York - Day 3

We started our day with a nice run in Central Park - we got 3km in.
What a great way to start the day!
Brooklyn top of buildings - like on TV!
We headed to Brooklyn today.  Wasn’t that exciting of a place - we had to wait and wait and wait for the bus which took too long which in turn didn’t give us much time to do much.  

We did have time for the following:
pizza under the bridge at Grimaldi’s - delicious pizza!
1 hour wait for the bus
a short 15 minute walk (because of the stupid bus wait) in Botanical garden - boring anyways - no flowers!?
30 minute wait for the other bus.

We then got off the last stop in Brooklyn so we could walk across the famous Brooklyn Bridge.  It was worth the wait for buses!  Beautiful views!

Top of Rock
Once we got back in Manhattan, we took the bus to the hotel where we had dinner in a vietnamese restaurant (yes, I actually ate there - wasn’t very good but I ate).  We were supposed to do the night tour today but I’m a little sick of buses after the day… so we opted to go “on Top of the Rock” instead.  You go up 70 floors to the top of the Rockefeller Center to view New York.  It’s big and beautiful at night too!

I think that was it for the day! 

Craziness of Times Square

Top of Rock

Brooklyn Bridge

New York - Day 2

Before I start with day 2 - I must tell you about this woman I forgot to mention yesterday!  As we are walking down Times Square we see this 70 year old woman (at least 70) NAKED - wearing only a bikini bottom - huge boobs down to her almost knees - with stars stuck on the ends - holding a guitar - it was quite a sight!!! I wonder if this would be a good job for my mom? LOL

On to day 2!  We had a busy walking day today!  Phew!  We took the bus early in the morning to try and miss the crowds going to the statue of Liberty.  Good thing!  You know, she's not as big as you imagine.  She's big - I just imagined bigger I guess (so does everyone else who've seen her!)  We walked the grounds for a while taking pictures of her and the skyline.  We skipped Ellis Island - didn't want to get off the boat and wait in line again to get back on.  We saw the building- that was good enough for me.

Back in Manhattan - we walked to the 9/11 Memorial - as my husband would be able to attest this proved to be a bit much for me emotionally.  Just thinking about it now as I write makes my heart sink.  What a beautiful, well thought out, respectful place.  I paid my respects at both falls and we continued to the tribune museum type place.  Wow - even worse!  I had to ask for tissues and I just could not do it without many, many tears... seeing the photos, reading the tidbits, seeing the pieces of debris - wow - emotions abound!  Very touching... if I'm this distraught for 3 000 strangers who died, how would it be for millions in Auschwitz? I can't even imagine or think about it...

Moving on - had lunch at Burger King- interestingly enough - it was a sit down restaurant! Weird for a fast food joint!

Sophie with NYPD officer

We saw Wall Street - a little underwhelming - tiny little street, no bling no nothing.  I got a picture of Remi with the famous bull.

We made our way back to Battery Park as we had a ride on a schooner.  That was neat - sort of like pirate ship =)  This tour lasted 90 minutes.

We walked over to the Evolution store to see nice skulls (for Sophie of course).  There were some pretty cool ones - way to expensive!  She did manage to get an african killer bee (dead) and earrings made with wings of a beetle.  

Back on the bus to go to our final destination of the day - Katie Perry concert!  Now THAT was something else and quite the adventure!!! Are you ready?

So, we get there, go through security (yup, they check your bags at the door, then metal detect everyone, explosive dogs are around - safety first I guess).  We finally get to the door to scan our tickets - I go in - no problem.  Remi and Sophie’s turn - the guys tells them they can’t enter their tickets have already been scan!!  I can’t come back since my ticket’s been scanned already… WHAT?!? Remi gets on the phone with the company he bought tickets from… long story short - the supervisor of the arena crew comes over, validates m ticket so I can come out and back in again - Remi got new tickets from the company (better ones) and we all went in.

I was not seated with Remi and Sophie for the concert.  I get to my seat, there’s a woman sitting in it!  She took my seat instead of hers because she had little girls and didn’t want to leave them - fine - I took her seat - I’m guessing this will come back to me some day - you know, pay it forward?  Well, during the concert, this idiot decides to start smoking a cigarette!  She’s asked by a fellow concert goer to put it out, laughs and takes another puff!  Well, I’m sorry, that doesn’t go well with me.  I go get a security guy (who wasn’t very helpful).  She watches me talk to him so of course puts it out…

A while later, doesn’t she light up a second one!  This time, I went to the security guy, in that time (he was hard to find) the lady next to me went to her, asked her to put it out - the young idiot says to her “Do you know who I am?” and goes to take another puff! The lady took the cigarette out of her hand (and mouth) and left with it to snuff it out!  The useless security guy shows up while the idiot is screaming psycho, you are crazy… obviously drunk or high…
Needless to say - it was an interesting adventure from beginning to start- one we won’t forget!

We walked home and went to bed!

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little quieter!

A few more pictures...
garbage boats just like on tv!

skyline from Lady Liberty