Monday, February 17, 2014

Celebrating Valentine's Day, not New York Style - but Graham style!

After such a busy day playing in the snow,  I woke up exhausted! Possibly having to walk so carefully all day took a toll on my leg muscles because it was a struggle to put one foot in front of the other the whole day. But I really tried not to let this hold us back!

The first thing we did this morning was take the Aerial Tramway to Roosevelt Island.  I had read about this on Tripadvisor and it sounded amazing.  Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram

It is odd to have a tram crossing over the river and I just had to experience this for myself.  And it is rated 45 out of 820 things to do in NYC on Tripadvisor.

It is also very sweet, but it is not that fantastic.  Peaceful and not expensive at all, just the cost of a subway ride.  The island itself is tiny!  And was covered in snow, so we really just got off, walked around a bit and got back on.

Views of the crossing, bottom photo- Roosevelt Island on right, Manhattan on left

It was a short walk from the tram to Central Park. And we realised we were almost there when we were at FAO Schwartz the day before!  Actually, we were just across the street!  But had no idea at the time, and probably did not have the energy to even cross the street at that point in the day!

We made it to Central Park!

On this day Central Park was covered in snow and a bit treacherous, but it was nice to see it.  I had hoped to take a horse drawn carriage ride through the park and they were there today.  But it was so cold and the walkways and paths were ice covered.  It just did not inspire me.

Central Park didn't look so snowy from here

From there, we walked back Rockefeller Centre to go up to the Top of the Rock!  At first, the upper stories were closed due to ice and snow, but they opened while we were there.  Boy oh boy was it COLD up there!  But the view was amazing.

At the base of The Rock is a shopping area and really great eating area.   We checked out the cafe, which had so many different choices, I wish I could have gone back a few more times....the seating area is at the skating rink level, with glass door/windows so it is easy to watch.  It looked like these might be open in better weather.  In the photo on the left, you can see the windows, the wording above them is Rock Center.

Yesterday, all the flags were down probably due to the weather, but today - the skating rink had all flags up!   Even with the residue of all the snow, it was totally business as usual all over NYC...

The main goal for Alan, today, was to walk across Brooklyn Bridge.....remember?  We tried that a few days ago and I had to bail due to being too tired.  This time? I was even more tired.  I even managed to grab a quick hot chocolate at Starbuck's in the hope I could convince Alan to go ahead without me!  No such luck.

Don't get me wrong, this is an easy walk and well worth doing, I was just really, really tired.  However, I am delighted I did this and even more grateful we took the subway back to the hotel!

Alan looking forward to this walk!
View of Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge

Abandoned cars in DUMBO
What is DUMBO?

After this adventure, we went back to our hotel and I had a nap.  That was the perfect thing for me to do because then we walked to the Empire State Building for sunset!

this was our daily view of the Empire State Building, always different lights and looks

My view on arriving at the top!
A few minutes later

Oh, did I mention it was Valentine's Day?   We discovered the best Japanese Restaurant virtually at our back door!  It seems to go by a few different names, but the card I got says Ace Sushi.  The restaurant was empty when we arrived, and only one other couple came in.  This usually scares me with eating places, but the menu was so inspiring and the prices were surprisingly reasonable considering our location!  We both ordered Tempura, I got shrimp and vegetables and Alan got Chicken.  Both absolutely superb.  I don't think I will ever eat tempura again so as not to erase the memory of this meal!

I don't think any normal couple "does" touring the way we do.  It is exhausting and sometimes not very fun,  But the memories and experiences are priceless and well worth the effort.

This quote is one of my Dad's jokes:   An optimist fell off the Empire State Building. At every floor window he would look in and say "Ok so far!"

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