What a Glorious Two Days [In Particular]

I figure it’s about time for a big update, and the past 48 hours fit the bill, so get comfy.
Starting with yesterday… It was magical.
I had the day to myself, as Karen and Craig (cousins who have graciously let me curl up in their room over nine days!) were on a day trip with their boys to see the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building.
I started with a much needed sleep-in and then took myself to watch The Hobbit at the cinemas down the road. It was literally me and another two random people in there, and I loved it! American movie theaters are amazing – the seats are all leather and recline, the screens are huge, and tickets to 3D are only $12 so I was cheering.
After my date, I caught the subway down to Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial. Looking at the tributes around there is pretty full-on; reminded me of how I felt at Brigade Hill along the Kokoda Track.
I then strolled through to the World Financial Centre (which is pretty impressive in itself) and found a beautiful little ice-rink tucked away behind it – we’ll visit there on Monday. The backdrop is gorgeous! The Hudson River is just steps beyond the ice rink, and you can walk down along the esplanade and see the Statue of Liberty off in the distance.
On my stroll I ran into a friend – the first friendly squirrel of the trip! I LOVE squirrels! It let me walk right up close to take a few happy snaps and if the rest of my day wasn’t so great that alone would have made it.
I made my way back to the subway along different streets, and watched a nervous groom get some pre-wedding pictures in a park; it was very sweet. Then not 10 minutes further down the street was his bride – she was absolutely stunning!!
The day was topped off with dinner at Times Square Hard Rock Café with the family, and then a late night hot chocolate tucked up in a cute bookstore-turned-café with my Bible and journal.
Today was just as good – I cannot believe I’m cramming in so many awesome moments in such a short space of time!
This morning I decided to put on my lucky socks and see where they would leave me. Half an hour later, I found a lucky penny on the sidewalk, so today was always going to be a great day.
We started off at the American Museum of Natural History which was frankly not as impressive as I had hoped. Sure, the dinosaurs were awesome, but I was hoping for more of a Questacon experience – this was all ‘Look, but don’t touch’.
Nathan (one of the boys) has been itching to spend his Chri5tmas money on an iPod Touch, so we walked through Central Park to go to the Apple Store. Central Park is seriously beautiful, even with the bare trees and frozen over ponds.
We saw many more squirrels – with the first, we were absolutely enthralled and Karen spent a good 10 minutes taking photos of it. We soon learnt that squirrels are a dime a dozen in Central Park, and it wasn’t long before we hardly batted an eyelid after seeing so many.
As we were nearing the edge of Central Park, we walked up to a random bag left under a bench. That in itself isn’t so bad – anyone could have forgotten it of course. However, it had obvious wires hanging out and around the foot of the bench and was next to one of the busier walkways in the park. Having been so drilled into about never leaving bags unattended and staying vigilant to suspicious activity, we thought we’d better tell someone and I got to call 911 and report the incident.

Who would have thought I’d be making an emergency call in New York about a possible bomb?!

We waited around a hundred meters off from the bag to see what would happen (because let’s face it, if it was a bomb that went off we’d be gone anyway), and the cops arrived pretty quickly with lights flashing and sirens going. Turns out, a guy running had left it there whilst exercising, but we could hear the cops ripping into him about leaving bags alone and with wires hanging out. We still have our theories that he was dodgy, so keep an eye on American news reports over the next few weeks!
We kept walking down to the Apple Store, and along the way noticed this weird cage-looking enclosure just off the sidewalk. Karen and Craig got excited realising it was the zoo, and when I went back to have a look – there was a llama in front of me!
Now, I know this llama thing started out to be a joke from my dear friend Jem… But yes, I do quite like llamas now and think of them as my special ‘thing’. (Thanks Jemma you scallop!).
I knew my lucky socks would come in handy! Might have to put them on again tomorrow just to see what will happen.
We took a heap of pics to ensure I got the right angle with him (the llama), then finished our day with the iPod/iPad purchases (Daniel got one too) and a great dinner at TGI Friday’s.
Next up, the Harlem Go5pel Choir with a buffet brunch at BB King’s Bar and Grill tomorrow morning.
Stay tuned for the next installment of my New York Adventures.

– Joy

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