Whether you approach it by sea, land or air, New York is one of those rare cities that can inspire love at first sight. There comes a particular moment when that stunning Manhattan skyline suddenly comes into view, when it’s image converges abruptly with the stark reality of its glittering buildings.
Today is the day we explore the buzzing New York on a hop-on-hop-off double decker bus – take the top front seat to experience the thrills of the city’s traffic. The evening is an experience never to be forgotten as we enjoy a show on Broadway.
I’ve never sat at breakfast looking out at a scene of neon lights and flashing video. This morning, we did. Before us was the end of yesterday or was it the beginning of today; I’m not really sure, as this city seamlessly joins each day with colour, business, noise, and people so well. Apples don’t sleep and neither does the BIG Apple. Breakfast was so-so, before we headed out to explore this active city.
We had paid for hop-on-hop-off bus tickets and so boarded the one heading towards the Statute of Liberty. Yes, still lots of hooting of horns and general New York traffic noise. At the stop for the 9/11 memorial, we decided to get off and explore the two holes made by terrorists back a few years ago. We all remember when we were when we heard this sad news. Since all the rubble has been cleared, two large square holes have been made into waterfalls with the water appearing to fall into bottomless oblivion. Very impressive!
Even in this busy city, you can still meet up with people you know from your group. Two ladies, travelling together in our group, were looking a little lost trying to turn the map around to the direction of the layout. They asked if they could spend the day with us for piece of mind as they knew I carry a GPS. We walked towards the pier and then further on (we had the wrong pier) to catch the ferry out to the Statute of Liberty. Our cruise ship will pass by ‘the lady’ tomorrow evening but all will be dark at 8:00pm. There was a long security process prior to getting on the ferry to the island. We could have gotten off to explore the land but time started to get away from us and we needed to be back at the hotel for a 5:00pm dinner appointment before the nights show. We stayed on the ferry the full journey.
The New York subway interested us to take us back to Times Square but the hop-on-hop-off ticket seller convinced us that it would only take 40 minutes to get back. Not true! 80 minutes, which meant we needed to hurry to be ready for a highlight of the tour.
After a ‘community’ meal, we had a little culture and pizzaz added to our tour. “Hello Dolly” with Bette Midler as the main actress, was on and we had purchased tickets within our tour with Scenic. The costumes and stage sets were something to behold and the singing was perfect too. For some, they will remember the steep stairways to the ‘bleaches’, and back down again. A great show which you should try to include in your visit to New York if you do so within the next few months. Bette is now 72 and keeping up with the youngins but the show wont go on forever.
After a quick wander through the three levels of the M and M shop next to our hotel, it was definitely time for bed.
Tomorrow, we board the ms Zuiderdam for a 10 night cruise up the Atlantic coast around Halifax and back to Quebec, the starting point for our tour.