NYC - Trip Report
Arrived in Newark from Edinburgh on Continental Airlines – Good Flight with plenty of In-flight entertainment options, as we were travelling to Las Vegas later in the week we decided to play video poker on the TV screens - by the time we arrived in Newark we had ‘won’ over $100,000 credits on the screen – We had found a system to beat the casino’s in Las Vegas - we could not lose………we did lose in Vegas!!
Arrived in Newark and it was raining - typical - we had left Scotland during a (rare) sunny spell! Newark Airport was quick and easy with no long queues at Security and we were out of the airport within 35 mins of arriving – ( It would have been quicker had I not been stopped and invited to an area for bag check – the guy checking the back seemed puzzled as to why I had only shorts and t-shirts with me – I was expecting NY to be warmer and sunny than Scotland!!)
Thanks to TA we were confident in getting the train into Manhattan and this was easy to do $15 dollars and no traffic to bother about.
Arrived in Manhattan in approx 35 mins and a short cab ride to our hotel - Marriot Marquis Times Square.
The hotel was a bit more expensive than others, but the location was ideal. The Hotel check in was smooth - and the layout of the hotel – Reception on the 8th Floor and the Lifts, sorry elevators! ( you put your room floor into a centre console and it tells which elevator to get in ) were no problem at all. Most of the elevators are glass fronted and you can see out when travelling in them – I found this very good and was disappointed when you got a elevator which did not have a view!
The Hotel room was clean and there was enough room for 4 Adults to sleep in (2 queen beds) We did not plan on spending much time in the room, so this was ideal for us and saved on cost. If we were staying longer then 2 rooms would have been needed. The hotel had a Starbucks, Theatre ticket office and gift shop - we did not use these, they are all available close to the hotel and cheaper!
After Check in we decided to go to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. A short walk to the Subway and we bought a day ticket for $8.25 dollars, the machines are easy to use and if you had a problem, locals did take time to explain – I was asked by a couple to help them - they thought I was a local, as it looked like I had been using them for years!! The subway system in NY - I find it takes a while to get used to and is not as easy as other cities – I think this is just me though and being from a city in Scotland that does not have a Subway - I always have to use a map to navigate the NYC subway.
The weather made us all feel at home ( wet and windy) when we went on ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We had been up Statue of Liberty before (2001) So we went straight to Ellis Island, this was one of the highlights of the trip, The history and the living conditions of people arriving was very interesting to see and would recommend that if you go to NYC go to Ellis Island and spend time there.
After Ellis Island we went to Century 21 for shopping - this place is still good value and cheaper than the shops in the UK for designer clothes, shoes etc.
After shopping we went back to Times Square for something to eat – Bubba Gump Shrimp. - the food was okay, we were all tired so we had a walk around Times Square and then back to the Hotel.
We started the day by visiting the Empire State Building, just out side the ESB people were trying to sell fast track packages and ESB sky ride tickets - the sellers were telling people that the queue for the ESB was large and without a fast track ticket we would be waiting for ages – this was early morning and we knew the queue would not be that busy - we were right and only waited about 10mins to access the lift to the observation area. The views from the top of the ESB are great and still one of the best places to see the vast size of NYC and surrounding areas.
After ESB and lunch, it was time to go and see the Yankees - we did not have tickets but past experience has shown that there are plenty available outside the stadium – we managed to get 2 tickets with a value of $110 dollars for $60 dollars the seats were ok. The game was good - the Yankees lost – thus keeping up my jinx – The home team always loses when I go to a game!
After the Yankees game we went back to the hotel and queued for Tickets for a Broadway show at the Ticket discount booth in Times Square – It was busy and it started to rain (we phoned home and it was still sunny in Scotland!) Managed to get 3 tickets for Mary Poppins with a good discount – I did not fancy the show so the other people with us went – Fab show. I decided to visit the ESPN zone and try and watch some real football (soccer!) but they had a big college game on so I went to a nearby bar. I had a wander around Times Square and picked up my bargain gifts – Lots of shops selling NY souvenirs( 5 I love NY T-SHIRTS for $10 DOLLARS - I bought 5!!) After the Mary Poppins show we were hungry and decided to go to a nearby Italian restaurant - this was a good choice and the portions were to big for us to finish and the price was very good around $80 for 4.
Last few hours in NYC before our 4pm flight to Las Vegas. I wanted to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and the weather looked good. We had a quick breakfast and took the subway to Brooklyn Heights station and it was a short walk to the Brooklyn Bridge. The views of Manhattan were great and the there are plenty of good photo opportunities – beware the bridge is used by cyclists and this seemed to be the new route for the Tour De France - there were lots of cyclists on the bridge.
After walking back to Manhattan, Back to Century 21 to pick up last minute bargains. It was near time to check out the hotel and when we got back to Times Square the police had blocked off the area for the MTV Awards that night! After persuading the police to let us through we had to run to the hotel - throw all our stuff back into suitcases and check out (only 15mins late!!).
After haggling with our taxi driver (he wanted $80 dollars to the airport $70 was the agreed fare) we made it to Newark Airport with no problems and ready for the second part of our trip …Viva Las Vegas.