TravBuddies. Latifa, Andi, Myself (at the back) Walt and Lee
The first stop on my trip was New York. The reason for stop here was to catch up with a good friend of mine who was celebrating her 30th Birthday. I'd been to NY many times before but this time I was going to do things I hadn't done before as well as get some shopping in. YOu got to love the Euro to dollar value when you are travelling from the Euro Zone. Before I left Amanda got in touch with me to say our trips to NY overlapped by a day and we should try and meet up. We spoke and she was meeting up with other TBs so I said I join them as as part of the trip was to do things I hadn't done before.
So the 26th arrived and I caught my flight to NY arriving with any hitches at around 11:30am at JFK. My friends were working so for the first time I had to make my way into the city myself.
I decided to get the airtrain to Jamacia and the LIRR into Penn station as I was staying just off Times Sq. it was quicker and cheaper than a Taxi and really easy. I got to Penn station at about 12:30PM adn to my hotel about 12:40. I checked in but I couldn't get into my room before 3pm. (If you are staying at the Paramount on West 46th, you won't get into your room before 3pm on the day of check in). It wasn't a huge deal for me because I needed to go to the Apple store anyway on 5th Ave so I left my bags and headed there. I made contact with Amanada to see where the TB crew were meeting up that night. I strolled around Times Sq and fifth Avenue, mad my way to Apple spends a hour browsing there and bought an Ipod, my reason for going in the first place.
TBs Saying goodbye. Me, Latifa, Walt & Andi
I made my way back to teh hotel got my bags and went to my room. I was a little tired after my flight etc so I chilled out and loaded up my new iPod from my laptop.. Seen as I was going to be wandering the city for the next few days and the US for the next couple of weeks it was going to be good to have music. I had arranged to meet Amanda around 8:30 in Walkers in Tribeca. I wasn't quite sure where it was so I wanted to give myself enough time to get there. I had shower to freshen up and shake the tiredness, a quick look of the map to find the nearest subway to Walkers and made my way there. (I like riding the subway in NY because I love people watching). I didnt realise before going that the occassion was Amanda's birthday. It was my first time meeting TBs on foreign soil and I have to say the whole group were very welcoming.
I think some of them were surprised I made it and actually lasted the night because I had slept and with a 5 hour time difference I'd be up for nearly 24 hours. We had a great night exchanging travel stories and having a laugh. It was my first experience of a TB meetup involving any more than 3 people and I have to say it was great. I don't know if it's the travel bug in us all or want, but it was like a bunch of friends telling stories rather than a group of strangers, which in all honesty this people were. So Amanada, Andi, Latifa, Walt, Lee, Beth, Chris and Lorenzo thanks for making me feel so welcome.
Next day I had planned on going shopping. I travelled like with little clothes on the pretense of stocking up when I got there. However we had such a good night on Sat night that some people tentatively arranged to meet for breakfast next morning.
Water Exhibiton Entrance
(Will I tentatively arranged the other were more concrete about it). I figured I had to eat so why eat along when I could eat with some new friends and I didn't really know where to at anyway. So I made my way to a little place on Chambers St for a 10am breakfast. What a busy little place it is. I was first to arrive and was soon joined by Andi and Latifa. We got our table and perused the menu and were joined by Walt and Lee. Again it was more travel stories and general chat over and really excellent breakfast. If you are looking for a good breakfast in NY, you will be hard pushed to beat the kitchenette on Chambers St. It may be a little out of the way but it's so worth it. After breakfast we went our separate way as Latifa had a flight back to West Virgina.
Us guys went to Ground Zero as Walt hadn't been before I believe. I was surprised to see the amount of change since I was there 2 years previous. There has been a lot of work done on the site since. After that I left the guys to it. Went back to my hotel, dropped my stuff there and went shopping in Woodbury Common. I got the bus out from the Port Authority. It took me 45 minutes and I shopped for hours. Picking up, jeans t-shirts, sweater etc. Happy Days.
Monday I decided to do the museums because all the other times I was there I hadn't been. So I got up. Had breakfast in Dean and Delucca and made my way on the subway to the Natural history museum. I loved it. There is so much to see there that it would take about a week to take in all the detail.
I only had the one day as I was meeting my friend for her birthday that night etc. It's hard to know what to write about the museum here so I'll post some pics. It would but it as a do not miss if you make it to NY and next time I'm back I'm going again. The Mineral and gem hall is a wonderful place. I still amazed that rocks and minerals of all those wonderful colours are found naturally on this earth. That night I went out to dinner and drinks for my friends birthday. And on Tuesday I just hung out with my friend as I was going to California that afternoon. I enjoyed my stay in NY.