Friday, January 26, 2007

Christmas Eve 2006 - Build-A-Bear Workshop on 5th

Back to our travel diary...
We started walking up 5th Ave the day before and stopped at the Build-a-Bear Workshop. The store was too crowded for this tired lot so we ventured back the next morning...
Had so much fun making our bears....

A present for Lulu's little girl....

And the rest of the Bear-y crew..........
Girly Bear and Arnold "I'll be BACK" Bear

Spent waaayy too much time here!

We spent the rest of the day on 5th walking north towards Central Park and stopped briefly at:
Rockefeller Centre, Saks Fifth Ave, St Patricks Cathedral, Tiffany and Co, Cartier, Apple and of course, FAO Schwarz ....
Christmas Eve Dinner was at Little Korea's Wonjo. Fantastic food and great value! Loved all the little dishes that came out first and kimchi-infused seafood soup was heaven!

The Fed vs Speedy Gonzalez...

Can't believe how quick the Federer/Roddick game was. The Fed was at his best and even Roddick was stunned.
The Gonzalez/Haas game has now finished and gee, I think the Fed may be in trouble. This guy's forehand is incredible!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Arrived yesterday and it feels like we've been away for ages.
Absolutely love love love the rain we're getting now.
Other than waking up in the middle of the nite and wondering which hotel and city we were in, it does feel great to be home :).
Kids and hubby were straight into the Aust Open ( ) matches...
Lovely to see that Andy Roddick

and Roger Federer are still in..yay!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Knitting Post

As I'm stuck (happily!) in the hotel to rest my foot, I'm furiously trying to catch up with some blogging as you might have witnessed.
Have been a bit frustrated as to why my Ibook doesn't like connecting wirelessly (any suggestions welcome!) as it is where all the photos from our camera are. So I'm blogging with Internet images and ones taken with my phone camera.

Remember my anemones? I thought I needed some mitts for this trip so I made these. I started them off with a curly/frilly cuff and purled the thumb and finger ends. I didn't get to use them much as it was so warm in New York and the surrounding Nth East Coast. We brought so many warm clothes and had initially worn these during the first 2 days just in case and boy, we were SWEATING!
I learned something new too. I had purchased a Penelope Avion bag
It's a fantastic bag and is such a great multitasker on this trip. But it has a velcro tab where the laptop slot goes and I keep forgetting ... yarn and velcro is such a sticky affair!

More information on NYC accommodation

After a little pondering, I've decided to add more information to the posts for this trip. I used Fodors, Expedia and Tripadvisor etc quite a bit and instead of signing up to these multitude of sites and posting comments, I'll post where, why and how much (current Dec 2006-Jan 2007) for those who might be interested in travelling to these places themselves. I'm going to blog from what I can remember and apologise in advance if there are some details that I've left out etc. NYC is a fast moving place and things may change just because.
So here goes!
For NYC, we chose Milford Plaza. We stayed there in June 2004 and one can't beat this place for location, location, location.
The price per nite ranged from USD 139 to USD 400 bearing in mind this was over the 22nd of December to the 3rd of January. It's old, dated and the rooms are small but if you just need to be where the action is, near the subway, a clean place to sleep and wash up, then this is it.

Milford is located on 8th Ave btwn 44th and 45th streets even though their address says 270W 45th, the entrance is on 8th. Once you step out of the hotel and turn 2 lefts or 2 rights, you're right on Times Square. There were other places in the Upper West side which were cheaper and slightly larger and probably marginally quieter. For first time visitors who are fond of a nice quiet room and need the silence to sleep, Milford is NOT for you even though it has no room that faces Times Square itself. New York is a noisy city even at nite. There are fast food places just across the road and lots of nice restaurants on the midtown westside.

Access to the Subway is right on the corner of 8th and 44th. There is still some walking to do but at least it provides relief from crowds and having to wait for traffic lights. Once you're down there, the first trains you will come across are ones that run on/under 8th (A,C,E lines) and these are handy for:
1) Uptown - the Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side, Central Park West, Harlem West, Cathedral Church of St John the Divine etc.
2) Downtown - Penn Station for Amtrak, PATH for buses and buses to Woodbury Commons for Great Shopping!, Ground Zero, Wall Street and the Financial District, Battery Park and cruises to Statue of Liberty, Century 21 for more shopping is you can't get to Woodbury.
You can continue walking in the subway to the 42nd Street subway shuttles to Grand Central, the 7th train to Flushing, transfers to other lines as well.
We tried the 7day Metro ticket but found that if your travel in the subway is inconsistent, you would be better off buying the Metrocard where you get 6 trips for 5 at a cost of USD10. It doesn't expire and I think you can even top it up(?).
We also stayed at 2 other places in Manhattan - Solita and Off Soho Suites and will add them on later.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

23rd December 2006 continued

We left Chinatown after lunch and headed via the subway to Grand Central Terminal.
Just in time for the Christmas light show there (on the hour every hour).
Having arrived frm down under where it's summer, by 4pm it had gotten quite dark and we were all quite tired from walking. For all intending NYC visitors, be prepared to walk.... a lot! It's a great way to see the sights and its people.
We retired back to the hotel for a few hours as Lulu headed home. Later that evening, we ventured into the madness of Times Square!

A Chance to catch up.?.. oh Heavens, no!

Would you believe it?
I thought I could catch up by blogging chronologically but am interrupting this with a 'newsflash'. Yesterday was our last day in DC and I managed to twist my ankle on the last set of stairs in the Capitol Building as we were leaving. How embarassing!!
Just woke up realising that I had to arrange for a wheelchair when we get to Dulles plus this leftover cough from our cold/cough tryst is keeping me awake. DH, DS and DD are quite amused! We will never forget DC for sure!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Chance to Blog…Our First Morning in the Big Apple - 23rd December 2006

After a very long flight and 1 lost day enroute here, our friend Lulu came to the rescue and shuffled us to Chinatown.
This is cnr of Canal and Bowery.

Manhattan bridge entrance.
We had an early lunch at Joe’s Shanghai.

Exquisite scrumptious soup dumplings! Pork ones were just $4.80 for 8, Crab ones were $6.75. Although we were not quite synchronised as yet to the local time and our normal eating capacity was affected, we promised ourselves that we would be back!

We definitely don’t have this kind of signs in Melbourne and I was quite amused to see that the locals don’t take much notice of it!