well I'm back from my trip to the US with my partner and 19 month son. We stayed in NY for 3 nights at the start of our trip and 2 at the end of our trip and went to Sth Carolina in between.
Just a few pointers:
1. The New York Ramada is the WORST hotel I have stayed in ever - even the hotels in communist russia were better than it! I was sooo disappointed in the hotel as it was filthy, dingy and completely unsuitable for a toddler. The only positive things i have to say about it is the staff were nice and the diner next door was a lifesaver. If this is considered a mid range hotel in NY then I am shocked. It wouldn't even get 1 star in Ireland. It was so bad it nearly ruined our trip for us.
2. NY is not for toddlers. Trying to feed our son was a nightmare. Now at 19 mths he will eat mostly anything except premade sandwiches and the day we went shopping on 5th ave was a nightmare as we couldn't find any eateries (he's too young 4 starbucks!) and ended up eating in the overpriced and slow slow slow cafe in FAO schwatrz. The child was eating his hands by the time the food came they were so slow but we were stuck.
3. Dirty pavements - there was so much rubbish and dirty puddles at the intersections with the ramps for strollers (buggies) / wheelchairs that we just avoided them. I know the population on NY is massive and it must be hard to keep it clean but we felt the dirty paths really took from NY.
4. Manners - everyone that we met in the service industry in the US was amazing (except the hostess in FAO Schwartz cafe! Too long a story). They were so helpful and polite and seemed really genuinely interested in our son so he had a great time with all the attention. Irish people could learn a lot from the US in this area. The general population in Sth Carolina were the most polite I have ever come across in my travels but then the South is much more laid back I guess.
5. Our son was really good which meant we got to see a lot of the top 10 list. Top of the Rock stands out as a great followed by Central Park & the National Museum - the butterfly section is amazing!! Am so jealous of you NYorkers! On the staten Island Ferry we were sorry we didn't research transport in Staten Island more as we would have visited the historic bits if we had enought time... next time!
6. Leave the babies at home! I would have to say NY is definitely for adults who want to shop all day and party all night so my advice is to really appreciate NY leave the babies at home and go on adult only trips. Maybe teenagers would appreciate it more and allow you to spend less time in your hotel room!!
Thanks to everyone for the tips and advice.