I was so happy the rain decided to hold off today! Thisafternoon was spent with the beautiful C family and I would have hated missing that! Miss A was an adorable, fun, cheely ball of attitude and giggles with Master L being calm, snuggly and cool. I almost couldn’t handle all the sweetness Miss A showed towards her brother. I’m quite sure they will grow up to be the best of friends.

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Today we have decide to make the trip to visit the Macey’s santa. We were supposed to leave early but time slips away and we arrive around 11am. We are told there is a two hour wait. Hmmm, that’s a long time! Only other option is to get here at 6.30 am tomorrow. Not my idea of a good time so we decide to wait it out now. I’ve heard the santaland is amazing and it’s really worth the visit, it’s also the third thing on my list. 5. HOURS. LATER. We walk into see santa. Yes, santaland was pretty buy by no means amazing and santa is in this tiny room (they have more than one) sitting on a bench, no lights, no decorations, no tree! We are out in under two min, collect our dodgy prints that cost $70 and fled for our lives! Another thing to add to the underwhelming nature of New York. We were supposed to catch a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty but it’s now 4 pm, so we head back to the hotel for dinner. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little brighter!

 

(Photos have been re-edited by me because the origional were just soooooo bad, and they still aren’t great)

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It’s a rainy Christmas Eve so we decide to do the Natural History Museum today. It opens at 10am so I set the alarm for 8 thinking two hours will be enough time to just throw some clothes on and eat breakfast. Wrong! By the time we finally get down to the subway, it’s already 10.30am. Not sure how that happened?? The subway machine only takes coins ( who carries $12 worth of 25c coins around) and credit card. After purchasing two tickets with the credit card, the machine decides it won’t take it anymore. There is no one to talk to, and we are causing a huge line up! So we need to put the kids in front of us, swipe through the card and try and both push the turntable thing at the same time. Not fun. The kids love standing on the train because it’s so bumpy and an new experience and it does get us to the museum in about 6 min instead of walking the 42 blocks! We arrive at the front door and of course there is a line up, all the way down the block…. and around another block. More waiting, but in the rain! After an hour wait, the ‘suggested’ entry for the 4 of us is $77USD. So over $100 Australian. Ummmm, sorry, what? I’ve read, that you can pay a donation instead so I offer $25USD for all of us and the guy doesn’t bat an eye. Phew, a much more acceptable price.

We tour the dinosaurs, space and native Americans searching for the giant head out of the Night at the Museum movie. It really is huge! Some of the displays look amazing and extremely life like. It’s easy to spend all day here.

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It finally stops raining and now that we are an expert on the subway, decide to head all the way down to lower Manhattan to Chinatown for dinner. That’s an experience! The streets are lined with little stalls selling fake Loui Vuitton bags and Rolex watches. Fresh fish stalls are crowded with different seafood and some of the smells are less than pleasant. Now to find a restaurant I’m actually going to eat at! We decide on one and order the lobster special. Two for $25 cooked in ginger and scallions. It’s the first time I’ve ever ordered lobster. We start with some fried dumplings (which Ayrlie eats and loves for the first time ever) and spring rolls and follow with  lobster, rice, crispy skin chicken and ribs. It’s all quite delicious.

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On the way back to the subway, we stop at a few little bakeries to pick up some treats to have when we get home. We get a lemon sesame roll, chocolate black forest cake, strawberry mousse cake and a chocolate hazelnut roll. Yum! We snuggle in bed, watching Harry Potter till midnight before drifting into a santa dreaming sleep.

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Next morning we head out in search of breakfast. We are given some advice on the elevator to stick to McDonald’s as the breakfast over hear is not that great and to save the $$ for dinner. We heed the warning and go in search of one. Along the way, I get side tracked at a little bakery and pick up some goodies, cheese scone and chocolate hazelnut muffin. They are amazing and this spot becomes my favourite breakfast stop for the rest of the trip. We decide it’s a day for strolling Central Park so we head in that direction. Ayrlie spots it first and lets out an excited squeal. It’s the horse and carriage rides. Looks like we will be crossing off the second thing on our to do list. She picks the prettiest carriage, white with flourishes of purple. The pony even has purple feathers on it’s head dress. We snuggle under the blanket and set off around the park. We get a quick tour with some of the sights pointed out, trump ice rink, Central Park zoo etc.. we even see some more squirrels much to the kids delight.

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The temp is dropping fast and we realise we aren’t dressed warm enough so head back to the hotel early. Being such a big place you’d think you could find somewhere for dinner easily, nope it takes two hours but we settle on sushi. Luckily we find a place just around the corner. It ends up being lovely and we chat to the ladies beside us while we eat. They are a grandmother with her two grand daughters and she is completely taken with the kids. When they are leaving, she comes to the table and explains that she is Jewish, and that they celebrate Hanukkah. She then gives the kids the Hanukkah gift of money so that they will remember her. It’s a super touching moment. With promises to save some and spend some of the money, we finish our meals with good feeling in our tummy. We decide to go see the famed tree a the rockefeller centre. It’s not to far but with the night crowds takes an hour to walk there. Finally we arrive and are completely underwhelmed. It’s just a normal tree that someone stuck lights on. No decorations, no star on top, just some red and green lights. My tree at home looks better! The ice skating rink is not much bigger than a tennis court and the line up is hours long. Well that’s not happening! We get bailed up by a security guard whom is again taken by the kids and he proceeds to give them a ‘life lesson’ talking to. The kids are told to work hard, not be lazy, and do as they are told. He tells them that he comes from Romania, grew up very poor and knows what he is talking about. After promises to slave at learning with no fun ever, we escape back to the room to snuggle with hot chocolates and a movie and to wonder why the hell we decide to spend 5 whole days here! 😳

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New York
We arrived in NY around 1.30pm but it took another hour in a crazy cab ride to get to our hotel (seriously, it felt like we were back on a Tuk Tuk in Bangkok) Our rooms not ready so we go find some lunch. It’s 8 deg but feels way colder, closer to 4. We are staying at the Belvedere and it’s a far cry from what we have just came from! Back to sharing a single room with no kitchen.

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We do some light unpacking, chill for a bit and head for dinner. We are noticing the streets are quite dirty…. and particularly stinky! There are bags of rubbish lining the streets. Not sure if it’s like this all the time but it’s not a pretty sight. And it’s busy, really busy. We tick the first thing of our to do list when we find a NY pizza cafe. The pizza is massive and Benjamin thinks he has died and gone to heaven 😂. It’s good too and we inhale all but two pieces.

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Next we take a walk down Times Square. Not quite what we were expecting considering the hype. We agree Vegas was better and more visually appealing.

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It’s getting late so we head home for some shut eye.

 

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