Monday, September 6, 2010

New York City: So from us.. goodnight

Well, here it is.. the final entry in Kara's Big Fat American Journey.

Over two months we have made our winding way across this great country.

Our last stop... NYC.

Our bus from Boston arrived right in time for rush hour - lovely. Thankfully, Nick's parents had treated us to two nights right in the centre of town on the corner of 52nd and 8th so it wasn't such a huge schlep from the bus stop.

The place was lovely, and expensive, friendly and very central to everything.

With only one day left in the Big Apple we planned to take on everything we'd missed the first time round.

First stop, last minute souvenir shopping - the tackier the better.

Next, to the icon of icons the Empire State Building.

Because of all the skyscrapers in the city you can hardly spot the ESB in close quarters.

With our CityPasses we skip most of the queues and in no time we're whizzing up the giant tower. The inside is just as beautiful as out - there was even a real life 'King-Kong' (read: guy in cool gorilla costume) posing for pictures.

For once I took up the offer of the free audio guide and it paid off as an old dude with the best Noo Yourk accent ever gave a great overview of the city sights.

With the temperature rising on what was set to be a scorching day we escaped the midday sun in a near by pizza joint - cheap and cheerful.

Heading uptown we took a walk around the man-lake in Central Park.

It's remarkable just how quiet a park in the middle of a buzzing city can be. The park is huge and we only managed to see a fraction of the greenery.

Back downtown I still hadn't seen the famous 30 Rock statue - you know, the one that opens the show - I can hear the music now!

A few photos later I noticed a crowded gathering around the NBC store. Filming was going on.... could it be... is it she?  YES! It was the awesomeness herself - TINA FEY!

OMG it's Liz Lemon! I made Nick take multiple photos on his super zoom - I love you Ms Lemon!

What other way to finish the perfect day than soak up the bright lights of Times Square one more time.

We gave into the easy option and had dinner at Olive Garden - complete with cocktails!

And that was that - two months have come to and end. Back to the hotel and off to bed, hopefully to get a good night sleep before our big flight to London.

More photos of our NYC adventure here

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Final Blog... is coming

The last time you visited us we had just spent a swelting day around Boston.

Now, we are back in the city that never sleeps...

Check back tomorrow for the final chapter in this amazing's gonna be a good one.

Plus exciting news for people who actually enjoy reading what I write.

Kara x

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Shipping around Boston

On what turned out to be one of the hottest days in Boston this year we hopped aboard the city loop tour bus to take in as much as we could of the city in one day.

All the drivers on the loop seem to be Irish or Italian American men aged 55 plus and they love their city and they love to talk.

The waterfront section of Boston is airy, beautiful and green, but according to our drivers it was once dominated by a large overground motorway system.

It would take a lot longer than one day to take in all the history in the city. Revolutionary sites and battlefields are everywhere and easily reached by the loop bus.

The place of Paul Revere’s famous ride, the site where the American’s drove out the British, the outside of the Cheers bar, Little Italy and Chinatown – they’re all here. Markets aplenty you could find enough great food to fill a lifetime in Boston.

A short ride on a second loop bus and we were in Harvard University. We were there just before the start of semester so the place was packed with students, their families and visitors alike in the scorching sun.

With not enough time to really see anything in great detail and a sick-with-flu Nick we grabbed lunch at a gourmet burger joint B.Good - so tasty!

No time to waste we were back on the bus and off to the home of the Boston Red Socks, Fenway Park.

We got there at the end of a park open day – if only we’d know earlier – so headed straight to the park store.

Several purchases later, Nick left the proud owner of multiple Boston patches and t-shirts.

We decided to stick with our hotel area for dinner and had a pretty fantastic Chinese meal. The bartender was cool too and actually knew some stuff about New Zealand – which meant he accepted my drivers licence when I ordered some Japanese plum wine!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Boston: Gummy-Bears to go?

A rather long, non-stop bus north brought us to our second to last destination – Boston.

After circling the massive bus/train terminal a few times we were on way, bags and suitcases and all, to our hotel in the Theatre/Chinatown District.

The hotel was pretty lovely – there are no cheap digs in Boston, well none that we could find.

We found this pretty decent Italian place across the road – and dirt cheap. The reason it was so reasonably priced was there was no table service, instead you place you order at a giant counter – several stations for pizza, several for pasta and another for anti-pasta.

Plus drinks were cheap too! Yes!

Instead of mints after the meal there is a GIANT tub of gummy bears.

“Would you like some gummy bears to go?” asked my waitress.

“Why yes!” and I was presented with my very own pack of lollies.

Next door was a fabulous ice cream store where I had the best butter caramel pecan ice cream in a m’n’ms mini dipped cone ever.

A night time walk around the park later and it was time for bed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New York: High culture in the big city

Today was a day for some culture and what better place to get a good dose than New York City.

First stop Moma – the Museum of Modern Art. I had been looking forward to this visit, but to be perfectly honest it really had nothing on the Tate Modern in London.

There were several standout pieces including works by Picasso, Van Gogh and Matisse, but the overall collection seemed to lack something, the place was noisy and full of people. And the building itself didn’t have the same arty feel as the Tate’s power station.

It didn’t help that most of the 3rd floor was closed so we didn’t get to see any of the Pollock’s, Rothko’s or Warhol’s.

It was nice to see some works by the Guerrilla Girls on display.

After partaking our in our first street side New York hotdog, we took a short train ride uptown and we were at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – the Met. More of a classic museum, the Met displays man-made objects from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome to the Middle Ages and the present.

Like the Smithsonian museums in Washington the Met is a huge maze-like building with several days’ worth of sights.

While the focus is definitely Western, there are several Asian collections on display including ancient Chinese and Japanese amour.

Sticking with the Asian theme our next port of call was the famous New York stop – Chinatown. Here we each picked up a medium sized wheelie bag to house all the extra supplies we’d pick up on our travels.

Well, tomorrow we’re off to Boston – the final stop on our journey before coming back to New York and on to London.

More NYC pics here

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back in action


It's been far, far too long, but finally I'll be bringing you the final blogs from our great adventure.

Watch this space and over the next few days you'll be filled in on the action!