Thursday 9 July
It was a much cooler day today and we started the day with our 7km Central Park loop. It was really quite pleasant but I was still very slow.
After a shower we took the subway to East Houston Street to check out some of the addresses of possible ancestors that we had investigated at the public library. A lot of walking was involved but all the original homes had been pulled down and replaced by Government housing apartments about 40 years ago - very ugly ones at that! It was not the most salubrious part of town but that is part of the charm of NY. One minute you're in the upmarket glitzy NY and the next you're in a rather scruffy area with its own unique personality. We also checked out a few places in our guidebook such as an impressive and popular deli called Katz which was the spot "where Harry met Sally!"
Later after lunch and changing into appropriate clothes we headed for the Ed Sullivan Theatre in Broadway to watch the recording of the David Letterman Show. It was fantastic being part of the audience and during the commercial breaks of the program we were entertained by a great band and vocalists. We were really lucky as all the guests were terrific. They were Bruno (aka Borat - the movie starts here tonight) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and a Russian ballet dancer with the NY ballet. It was a really great experience with lots of funny anecdotes and jokes at the expense of the just-resigned Sarah Palin and the just-jailed Bernard Madoff -extremely entertaining.
After the show we crossed the road to watch the action outside the premier of the new Harry Potter Movie - The Half Blood Prince. Was that a glimpse of red-headed Ron Weasley, or of Hermione? The murmur went round the crowd that Professor Snape had just arrived! Actually we only saw the tops of heads and the red carpet but the excitement was intense and it was great watching people and some celebrities arriving in their variations of dress code - some very over the top, some quite casual. There was lots of screaming and it was fun being part of the action! The movie is open to the public from 15 July.
We returned to the hotel just in time to watch the David Letterman show all over again on telly but we couldn't spot ourselves in the brief glimpses of the audience.
Friday 10 July
Today we had our last run in Central Park - another 7km. Then later we headed for the Rockefeller Centre and went to the "top of the Rock". Wow, that was an amazing experience. In some ways it was even better than the top of the Empire State Building as the views were very clear. It was only 70 floors up this time but the top of the lift was a view in itself, as we zoomed up and down we could see interesting patterns appearing above us.
Saturday 11 July
This morning we met up with our namesake James and his girlfriend Nora at West Village for a delicious hot breakfast - a great way to start the day. It turned out to be a hot sunny day and after brekkie Nora and James took us to some local street markets before we headed off to Soho for some last minute shopping.
In the evening we had a huge NY pizza at Angelos near Carnegie Hall. It was delicious and we washed it down with a great bottle of Californian Sav Blanc.
Sunday 12 July
All good things must come to an end and this morning we packed our bags filling our extra suitcase and crossing our fingers that we would be ok with our luggage allowance! We then headed for the local Sunday markets. However, it was an extremely hot day and the novelty soon wore off. Instead we bought some bagels and headed for Central Park to eat lunch and sit and watch the turtles in the part of the lake where the green algae is cultivated for them. It was peaceful and lovely sitting there for our last little time in Central Park which has become our favourite venue in NY. It's so pretty and full of surprises. Later we walked to the Buttercup Bakery for one last cupcake before heading back to collect our bags from the hotel and catch a cab to the airport for our long long flight home via LA and Brisbane.
It was a nerve wracking time waiting for our bags to be weighed but we were cleared this time without any problems. Phew - the extra bag saved us as they are more concerned about each bag weighing more than 23kg which then becomes a health and safety issue. Spreading the load seems to be the answer!
Tuesday 14 JulyYes, we lost a day and arrived safely home on Tuesday morning. It took ages to unpack and we were determined not to go to bed too early to try to overcome a bit of jetlag.
Thursday 16 July
Yesterday (Wed) was definitely a write-off as we were both suffering from hot and cold shivers and felt dreadful. We assume it was jet lag. This morning, feeling better, I went for a run. My garmin needed recharging so I went out with no idea of speed. However I know the distance of that particular loop. The first half wasn't too bad but after that I had to stop and walk a couple of times. I had no energy and felt very sluggish indeed. This does not bode well for C2S which is in 3 weeks - looks like I'm heading for a PW but ah well, it was all worth it.
Footnote: We had an absolutely fantastic holiday but five weeks was definitely long enough to be overseas. I have had a great coffee or two since arriving back in Canberra and gee, we are appreciating our lovely comfortable bed! Indeed, there is no place like home!
Now I have some serious training to do!!