Margo the Raccoon!
We were originally supposed to go to the American Museum of Natural History today, and then shopping on Thursday. But, the weather forecast for Thursday made it seem like the ideal day to be indoors. So, today we decided to go shopping. Originally I also had planned to take the girls up and down 5th and Madison Ave. But we sat next to a talkative native, who has serious money. We sat in the 3rd row. She kind of gently steered us out of the area. She did it very well, so I didn’t feel insulted. She mentioned how she had taken a recent friend of hers down there to look around and her friend was shocked by a $3000 price tags for just a basic black dress. She pointed us to Bloomingdales, and a street on the lower East Side.
But, Jessi had started to stop at virtually every electronics shop in Times Square, looking at digital cameras. I convinced her that she wasn’t going to find any deals in the center of the biggest tourist area of the city. So last night I dug out my guidebook, and it specifically listed a good place for a digital camera. B&D Electronics, down on the Lower West Side. The book didn’t lie. We got her a decent Canon model, with a 256 mb SD cards, and camera case for $230. I paid more than that for mine. She was happy and concerned that it was going to chew up her next two paychecks, but I told her we would treat it as a souvenir. We had budgeted $300 for the day, anyway.
Opps. Missed! Trying to take a picture of the cars parked on top of each other!
Our next stop was Grand Central Terminal (Station).
That required another bus ride. So we walked eight blocks up to 42nd St and grabbed the cross-town bus. I sound like a native, huh? Grand Central Terminal is not just the major intersection of trains and subways in the city, but also a very nice place to walk around, shop and pick up something to eat. That’s what we did. I got a book about the Presidents at the Discovery Channel store, and Margo and Jessi got some stuff at the Kids General Store. They had a food court, so we each got something different. Margo had Chinese. Jessi got a pretzel. I went with a sandwich and the world famous cheesecake from Juniors. The main location of Juniors is in Brooklyn, but we weren’t in Brooklyn. It was good here too. Huge strawberries and a very good glaze. Of course the cake itself was the best I’d ever had. Jessi tried some too, and decided to go get her a piece too.
This is one way to find parking
Once we had finished with lunch and shopping, we decided to check out Bloomingdales. We got on the subway, and it dropped us off right there at Bloomys underground door. Kinda cool. They were having a sale, and did have plenty of cute stuff, but the prices were not what we were going to pay. Tops in general started around $80. Even on sale they would have been $60. Nahhh. I don’t think so. These people here take putting on airs to whole different level. It’s not like the quality was anything better that you find elsewhere. Just a nameplate. We lasted about long enough to find a bathroom.
Jessi, Margo and me taking a carriage ride in Central Park
We hadn’t taken our carriage ride yet, nor seen Central Park, so grabbed the subway and it dropped us off at the southeast corner of the park. We climbed out of the station and there the carriages were. We walked up and down the line, assuming we got to choose the one we wanted. We didn’t. You had to just go with one first in line. That was no biggie. They were only offering 20 minute tours, which sucked. I wanted a longer one. But, we took it. Had a nice ride around the park, and thought about finding the Balto statue. But first we needed to find a restroom. We had probably the best map of Central Park you could find, and still couldn’t navigate with any confidence. After finding a restroom that we would have had to pay admittance to an amusement park to use, and then another one closed, we were getting pretty frustrated. We finally found one near Columbus Circle. It was right near the subway, so since we had just seen the bottom quarter of the park, looking for a restroom, we figured we had seen enough of the park. We grabbed the subway and headed back to the hotel.
We rested for a little while, and then tried to decide what to do for dinner. I wanted to go somewhere fun for dinner. Planet Hollywood was fun, but we had done it and it was a bit expensive. We though about Bubba Gump, but nothing on the menu appealed to us. We went ESPNZone, but after first directing us up to the 3rd floor, so we could be seated 45 minutes later back on the 2nd floor, from where we had just been directed, I was in no mood to give them any money. It annoyed me to be jockeyed upstairs for the blatantly obvious reason of waiting for our table where all the games were at. They had a hostess stand set up on 2nd floor, and it damn sure didn’t look full to me on the 2nd floor. Whatever. We ended up at TGIFridays. It wasn’t fun. Old and dark. Not at all what I figured. The waiter was pretty good and food was OK. I think I was the only one that got any rest during our nap this afternoon, so we pretty much decided to head back to the hotel and call it a day.