Saturday, September 12, 2009


Well, we are note quite in Scotland yet. Our flight back over the pond last night left the gate on time, but had to taxi for an hour before we reached the runway. The captain told us there was up to 40 planes in front of us waiting to take off! He said this is the norm when the weather is not good at JFK (it had been rainy all day and I think it got heavier in the evening once we were safely in the terminal. There was also little tail wind to help us make up time so we ended up arriving at Heathrow an hour late.

We queued up at the customer service desk for flight connections and listened to a lot of very grumpy folk annoyed they had missed their connection. The staff were doing their best to fix their travel plans. We are very lucky as we have got on the next flight to Aberdeen which leaves in about an hour and we have been granted access to the BA lounge which is a nice ending to the holiday! We are currently watching the GP qualifying and munching on some lunch.

Lovely day in London, and lovely too in Kemnay I believe. We are looking forward to seeing Hollie when we get home : ) And mum and dad too ; ) and having a shower!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day FIVE still

Well, it is now just after 6pm. We have spend most of the day at the shops believe it or not! I bought a pair of fit flops from Macy's with our visitors 10% off card and then we got bits and pieces. Unfortunately it has rained pretty much all day which is a shame, but it didn't dampen our spirits! It was mostly just a drizzle, bit it did pour at one stage so we had a coffee break!

The weather has really been kind to us up to now, and even though it was wet today it was not cold. We are certainly glad we did not have any plans to go up the observation decks or boat trips today, visibility is not so good.

We visited the Apple Store today. We resisted buying any gadgets, but it was an experience seeing all these Macs on show. The staff were all doing demos and trying to convert some PC folkies to being Mac folkies!

We are hoping for a smooth trip home, we leave at 10.30pm tonight and should get back into Aberdeen tomorrow about 1.30pm all being well.

Now we better get going to Penn Station to catch the train to JKF airport to start our journey home. We are sad to leave the city, but we have had a great time and here seen so much. We are looking forward to getting a welcome from Hollie tomorrow and hoping she will want to come home after her stay at mum and dad's and not go in a sulk!

See you back in Scotland!

Well, it is only 10.30am so there is not much to report from today as yet, I succumbed to the donuts this morning as it was our last day. Yum. Have to check out by 1pm, so may not get a chance to update again until we get home.

Today is the 8th anniversary of the September 11th Terror Attacks. We currently have the telly on showing the memorial service. There is moments of silence at the times when the towers were hit and then collapsed so far and the names of all the people who lost their lives in the attacks are being read out. They started reading the names over an hour ago and they are currently only on the surname L. It gives you a reminder of just how many people lost their lives on this day. Very sad.

We are just round the corner from Macy's, so we plan to head there this morning for a look and also to head up the FAO Schwartz store and maybe the Apple store. It is raining here today at the moment but the sky is not too dark, so it will hopefully clear.

Last night we went up the Rockefellar Centre to the observation deck. The sun was just beginning to set and we got some lovely shots of this. You got a good view of the Empire State Building all lit up, and you could see the expanse of Central Park. It was beautiful seeing the city lights sparkling.

After this we walked down 5th ave and then found the Grand Central Station. We had dinner at the steak house and it was really delicious. Such a tasty juicy steak cooked perfectly. The onion rings just melted in your mouth. My mouth is filling with saliva just talking about it! It was a lovely finish to our last day and something I would recommend hands down!

We then just headed back to the hotel and checked in for our flight home before heading to bed.

Off to enjoy our last day, it has really been a great trip with lots great memories!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Just back a the hotel for a quick break enroute to the Top of the Rock Observation deck then on the Grand Central Station to go to the Michael Jordan Steakhouse for dinner. Had another great day with lots packed in again!

Started after breakfast (healthy version today, no donuts) by heading to Penn Station and taking the subway C line to High Street in Brooklyn. Then walked up on to the Brooklyn Bridge and walked over stopping for photo opportunities at several points on the walk. Once we arrived at the Manhattan side again we walked down to the South Seaport area to visit the Bodies exhibit. This was really interesting, it was real dead bodies used to show skeleton, muscles and veins/arteries networks. The dead bodies were donated mostly, although I think that there were some that were 'Jane Does' as well. There was a pair of lungs from a person who was a heavy smoker, the lungs were disgusting, and I would hope smokers would take note of that and think twice about lighting up again!

After the Bodies exhibit we walked round the bottom of Manhattan, looking across to Liberty and Ellis Island and then round as far as the World Trade Centre site. There is the start of building a new skyscraper there now, called the Freedom tower I think. There will also we a memorial for the victims of 9/11. It is such a large area, and very sobering to think about that day when the towers collapsed.

We then walked straight back across via Wall Street and headed back to the South Seaport to board the Clipper Tall Ship for our boat trip. It was a bit too windy today for using the sails, one sail was used for a wee while, but was taken down again quite quickly once we turned around. It was a really nice informal trip, there was a few staff that were very friendly, you were allowed to help pull the rope to lift the sail if you wanted to.

After we arrived back to the berth, we walked up through China Town then back on to Broadway and back to the hotel. Now grabbing a quick coffee before heading out again. Phew!
Day THREE still!!

Ok, so that is us just back from the Lion King. Wow what a show! We had excellent seats just in eye-line with the stage and seven seats in from the aisle, at the start we had an elephant with its baby elephant walk past us down the aisle up on to the stage. It was all so close. It was so cleverly put together, it was just brilliant! The evening flew in! Not able to wear my fit flops with the trousers I had on tonight unfortunately, had to wear high heeled shoes. Have walked for miles in my fit flops without a problem. A 15 minute walk up to Times Square in my high heels and I have numerous areas on my feet where the skin has rubbed away. I had to walk back bare footed. Feet now a bit black!

Anyway, I was thinking that I have not posted a photo of our room yet, or posted the cheesecake photos, so here they come.....

The cheesecake! New York in the left and carrot cake cheesecake on the right. These two slices lasted us two days, so just bought one slice today.

View from our room - the Empire State Building! The one above taken on Labor Day therefore has the American colour scheme.

This is our room. A good size and a very comfy bed!

I will post tonights cheesecake tomorrow night when I upload tomorrows photos. I can report however that it is very smooth and creamy again. Yummy!

Good night!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Well, we went back to the initial plan for the day which was Central Park Zoo and the Museum of Nat History. We walked up 6th Ave to see the Rockefeller Centre, then crossed over to 5th Ave to see the Trump Tower. Just past there we came across the filming for the Sex and the City 2 film. We watched for a wee while. Didn't see any other the stars though.

Next stop was Central Park Zoo. A small zoo, but a good variety of animals to see. A new addition to their zoo family was the snow leopard which arrived in June, very topical in my family as that is the name of the new operating system for the Mac! It was a bit shy and stayed well hidden at the top of his enclosure.

Was also saw the sea lions getting fed and being trained. Saw a large variety of tropical birds and lots of other animals too, oh yes and the penguins. There were baby ones, and we watched one little one jump up the rocks to get on the higher level. Quite a funny sight a penguin jumping! It managed though!

After the zoo we walked up through the park (is it hard to believe it is in the middle of a huge city... it is so peaceful and quiet) and made our way to the museum of Natural History. Now, we have walked everywhere in Manhattan since we arrived, and have found everything we have looked for and got from A to B no problem. Did we manage to get around the museum without getting lost? NNN-oooo! We ended up outside the museum and had to show our tickets again to get back in! Crying out loud! It was really good though. Such a wide variety of exhibits to see. We were beginning to lag a bit, so got a coffee. It was not hot and I managed to drink it nearly in one go! So I can not recommend the (expensive) museum coffee! But it did the job and kept us going.

After the museum we walked back down the park and then onto 6th Avenue back down to Times Square. We passed Carnegie Hall and a beautiful building that was a hotel I think. We got to Times Square and went to get something to eat. Went to Planet Hollywood, food tasty but not overly warm again! After that we went back to Juniors cheesecake takeaway to get a slice to have later tonight after the theatre. Rich chose the Choc Swirl flavour, so will see how that goes down later! Then walked back to hotel and here we are! Leaving for the theatre in about 45 minutes, really looking forward to the show!

P.S. Donuts on offer again at breakfast today! Also had a cinnamon/rasin bagel. Yummy!

P.P.S Forgot to say yesterday, if you go the the Empire State Building I advise you not to wear a green t-shirt (as I did) as you get your photo taken in front of a green screen as you go in. When we saw it when we were coming out, I could not understand why I had the empire state building all over my t-shirt! I also have been trying to remember the name of the green sesame street character that was on the front of my green t-shirt since I bought it. The very nice security guard at the Empire State Building told me yesterday it is Grouch! So now I know!!

Just a quickie. We have just decided to switch our plans for day three and four. Rain and wind forecast for tomorrow, so going to do museums then and hoping to do our Clipper boat tour today instead and walk the Brooklyn Bridge.

Off for breakfast now... what to have today!

Slept well last night. Rich woke about 3am and Iwoke at 4am but we both got back to sleep no prob and woke again just after 8am. Got up, showered and had breakfast downstairs (yes mum there were donuts). Had some cereal a bagel and a donut (well it was to keep us going all day!)

Decided to take a chance and see what the wait was like for the Empire State Building. When we arrived the Doorman with the sense of humour told us the visiility was 10 miles today and the wait was only 9 hours... then he changed it to 10 minutes! Headed on up and didn't queue at all. Bought a map and the girl who served us gave us an audio guide for free which was really nice of her. Spent a good while up the top, was a little hazy but was still a brilliant view.

Next stop was the Madison Square Garden all access tour. That was really good, learned a lot of interest facts about the facility. Tomorrow (after the Liberty basketball game tonight) they start to make the ice rink for the Rangers season starting. Our tour guide was very excited about this! The place was huge! We are currently watching an Elton John concert on the telly which was recorded at madison Square garden. He has performed there 60 times so is a bit of a regular!

After the tour we headed out to the Intrepid museum. It was really interesting too, we walked through concorde and the growler submarine and then walked through the exhibits on the aircraft carrier. There were so many different kinds of plane, and so many different things to see. We both enjoyed this museum a lot, it was not too busy either.

Docked at the pier next to Intrepid was the cruise ship Aurora, the name was very familar to me, I wondered if someone I know has been on this ship before? We hoped that was would still be in the area when it sailed tonight so we could wave it off.

Next we stopped for a drink and picked up our tickets for the evening circle time tour which was next to the Intrepid museum, then we had a couple of hours to get some dinner. We walked down the Island about 20 blocks and found the Empire diner, which is still an old fashioned typical american diner. We both had a steak burger and it was delicious, very juicy. I then had a slice of oreo cheesecake (very creamy) and Rich had a coffee and a bit of the cheesecake. Yummy!!

It was now time to head back up for the circleline cruise, so we wandered back up to the Pier. Just as we were arriving, we spotted the Aurora was out of its berth and heading down the Husdon River, we stood and watched for a wee while, but it had appeared to stop moving. Anyway, time for the circleline tour so we headed off to board. We departed dead on time at 7pm, dusk now in NYC, and the skyline was beginning to illuminate, very beautiful site. We had a very informative guide on the tour, who started off by telling us that the Aurora had actually broken down and was now getting taken by tug boats back to her berth. We passed it as we started our tour and gave all the folk out on deck a wave, looks like they will be getting another night at least in NYC. Oh dear!

The river cruise was lovely, saw all the main landmarks. The two beams of light used as a tribute for the trade center attacks was also on tonight which was a poignant sight. They are not at the exact positioning of the towers as there is a lot of building work going on there now to regenerate the area.

Walked back to the hotel after the cruise and picked up a nice hot cup of tea from a dunkin donuts enroute. Got back to hotel and here I am! Ready to get some sleep now, but it has been a brilliant day!

Tomorrows plans are to head up Manhattan. Central Park Zoo, the Museum of Nat History, the MET maybe and will be in the area of filming of SATC2, so will keep an eye out for Carrie and Mr Big ; ) Will need to get back to hotel late afternoon to get ready for the theatre. Lion King starts at 7pm, picked up our tickets today. Very much looking forward to that!!

Talk to you later....


Monday, September 07, 2009

Day one

Alarm went off at 4.15am, we both woke with a jump and were both in the middle of a dream! Had slept quite well considering we got hooked watching Ocean's 11 on telly late last night, I think it didn't finish until after midnight! So to sum up.... got 4 hours sleep.

Dad collected us at 5am and took us to Aberdeen airport. Got luggage checked in and waited in departures until boarding time. Had a 20 minute delay leaving Aberdeen, not sure why, had good flight down with a cooked breakfast (was hungry by then) and one of the smoothest landings I have ever experienced at Heathrow!

Arrived at terminal 5, got transferred from building A to building B where all the jumbo jets are and waited at gate for boarding time. Managed to resist retail therapy... Boarded early, however two people didn't turn up for the flight so we were delayed while the luggage was off loaded. 20 minutes later we were on our way to JFK.

Had a very nice flight, had chicken and pasta for lunch and watched The Proposal starring Sandra Bullock, an episode of Friends and an episode of Big Bang Theory. Started reading one of my books. This one is called 'I heart New York'. It is based in Manhattan, so very inkeeping with the trip! The pressure got too much for me as far as the Green immigration Card goes. I made a mistake so needed to ask for another one, and to make matters worse the air hostess forgot, so I had to ask again. Got it right second time round. Phew!

Arrived at JFK, sunny warm day with light cloud. Waited an hour in the immigration line, but after we were allowed in we made it to the hotel with much ease. Got the airtrain to Jamica station, bought our metro card for pay for subway and airtrain fares, then bought our LIRR (long island rain road) tickets to get into Penn station, and timed it perfectly to catch the next train. 20 minutes later we were in the centre of Manhattan. Found the hotel easily and got checked in. Was expecting a tiny room, but is really a good size, has a telly and nice big comfy bed. Also had a view up to the Empire State Building which is really good.

Got freshened up then headed out to the streets... Walked down 6th Ave then cut across to see the Flatiron building, it is so narrow! Carried on down to Washington Square Park, took photos and absorbed the atmosphere, loads going on, street artists performing all over the park, and even loads of folk playing chess on tables in a corner of the park! Walked from there to Greenwich village to check out some Friends locations. This was really a lovely area, loads of cafes, tree lined streets, so so quiet, folk gathered together on their door steps chatting to each other. Just a lovely atmosphere. Really hard to believe that a few blocks over it is so busy and noisy! Walked up Bleeker St and came across the place that makes the cup cakes in Sex and the City, it was queued out the door! Took a photo for Rachel my sister in law who is a huge fan and continued on to 7th Ave and walked up until we came to Times Square.

Times Square. Well, the darkness was coming down so all the bright lights were shinning, bright lights everywhere! We found the Juniors Cheesecake restaurant, and we went to the take a way and bought two pieces of cheesecake. New York and carrot cake cheesecake. Being honest, the carrot cake wins hands down, the New York one is a bit more stodgy than I would have expected. I am thinking we will pay at least another visit as there are a few more flavors that were very tempting : )

By this time getting very weary so head back to hotel and here we are. Typing up in between spoonfuls of cheesecake.

Am thinking we should get some sleep now so we are refreshed ready for tomorrow!

Tomorrows plans are maybe Macy's or Empire State Building first thing after breakfast if we are up early. Madison Square tour late morning, the Intrepid Museum in the afternoon and will grab something to eat in the pier area to kill time until the twilight circle line tour which is at 7pm.

Have a nice day now

Fiona and Rich x

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Well, the time has come! The cases are pretty much packed, the house is tidy. Just need to try and get some sleep tonight before a very early start tomorrow to get the red eye flight down to Heathrow airport before connecting on to JFK NYC.

Have got a loose itinerary planned which will be subject to change, but we at least have a basic idea where the things are that we want to do and can group things together so we don't end up zig-zagging across Manhattan all the time.

We should arrive about 1pm tomorrow and guess we will arrive at the hotel 2 or so hours later. We are using the airtrain at the airport then connecting on to the LIRR (long island rail road) in to Penn Station which is just a 5-10 minute walk from the hotel.

After we check in we plan to go to Macy's so I can get a good comfy pair of trainers to wear whilst here, and have a walk around Greenwich Village and get our bearings around the hotel. Will prob be a bit peckish so will pick up something to eat and then likely be ready for bed since we have a very early start. If we are wide awake we might check out doing a bus night tour of Manhattan, but we will see!

I have come across a website for Juniors New York Cheesecake, and my mouth filled with saliva when I saw the pic of the lovely creamy slice of cheesecake. There is a branch up in Times Square, so maybe we will pay it a visit.

It is Labor Day in America the day we arrive, which is a holiday to mark the end of the summer season, so the city may be a bit quieter. We are also going to keep an eye of the Empire State Building at night, as it is lit up with different colours to mark occasions of the day. I believe it will be red, white and blue on Monday to mark Labor Day. As our hotel is not far from the building will may pass it on the way back to the hotel each evening.

Anyway, I hope to update regularly at the end of a day when we get back to the hotel and I will do my best to do so! Now need to go and do last minute preparations and check that the passports are safely in the hand luggage and that I have infact packed pyjamas (something I have been known to forget in the past).

Hope everyone who reads this has a good week at work,

Fiona x

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

On the final stages of planning our trip to NYC now. Trip advisor and other various websites, plus a guide book has been a great help.

Only four and a half sleeps to go!

Going grandparent visiting tomorrow, have enjoyed pottering around this week enjoying the sunny weather and doing various jobs around the house.

Will maybe post our rough plan for when we get to NYC before we go

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's finished! Sorry for lack of updates over last few days, but we had been working away on the puzzle in any free moment.

No bits missing, and managed to get it all fitted together ok.

Now less that two weeks until we head off there for real. We did our online espa form this week too and I am pleased to report we have been approved for entry to the USA, phew!

On holiday as of next week, so will be planning and organizing more stuff then to make the most of our trip. Came across a website for juniors new york cheese cake, which is apparently one of the best you can get, and my mouth filled with saliva when I saw the picture of a lovely big slice of cheese cake.... I am thinking that may be our pudding every night we are there, as the take a way where you can get it is not very far from our hotel. Yummy!

Early night tonight as we did not get to sleep until after 4am this morning and was up just after 7am for work. There was no fear of falling asleep on the job today however as the workmen doing the refit were demolishing a granite brick wall today. Very very noisy and dusty!

Sweet dreams

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Productive evening today! Didn't spend much time with the puzzle, but we now have nearly all the bits joined together, for the individual buildings anyway. Next job is to fit the roof parts together and then fits the buildings to eachother.

Also did housework and baked some biscuits this evening. Now ready for sleep!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good evening.

Made a lot more progress with the puzzle this evening. After dinner walked the dog then got the ironing done so could settle down to it! Phil also came in past and helped for a bit too. I think he lost track of time, and stayed a bit longer than he intended! His help was appreciated though ; )

A few of the buildings are really beginning to take shape, and I would think by the weekend maybe this first part of the puzzle will be finished! Lets wait and see.

As you can see Hollie managed to get in to the photos this evening. She is not liking the puzzle so much, as she is not getting 'lap' time with us whilst doing it and usually goes in a huff on her beanbag instead. So much so she decided to trample over the bits tonight to mix them up. Dogs!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Had a busy day today with work during the day, then food shopping tonight. Not much time left for puzzle at all, so just put a few bits together before bed. Here is photos of last nights progress though. Still a long way to go, but some buildings are beginning to take shape!

Got a huge pile of ironing to do tomorrow evening, but hope to fit in a bit more puzzle time tomorrow before bed. It is very relaxing and time flies whilst doing it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blogging has really fallen by the wayside for us, not very disciplined with updating regularly. However we have in the near future a trip to New York city and hope to update our blog daily whilst there.

To try and get back in to the habit, we are going to try and write a little over the next few weeks, mainly to post the progress of our current task to help us get our bearings in Manhattan once there. This is a puzz3D of Manhattan island, well, just really the lower Manhattan area I think going by the picture on the front of the box!

We started last night with the help of my brother also. He did most of the base while myself and Rich started to sort out all the bits. The puzzle comes is two halves to try and make it easier to do I guess, but is still a big task as it has over 3000 bits in total!

I will upload photos regularly to show progress. As you can see it is in the very early stages just now...

I think it will be very enjoyable to sit for an hour or so a night to do the puzzle to relax after a busy day! We will see how it goes anyway....

Off to try and put some bits together, will report back later