New York 12 TO 15 OCTOBER - NEW YORK

Weather: cold and wet.

We spent most of the 12th on aeroplanes flying via several cities (long story so don't ask!). We arrived in New York at around 5.00pm - wet and cold!

Whilst in Las Vegas I had booked accommodation in NY over the internet. Unfortunately the hotel hadn't received our booking and due to a firemen's convention that weekend, there was no accommodation to be found. We managed to get a room at the place I had booked over the internet. They collected us from the airport and off began our NY adventure.

That night we had dinner in the bistro downstairs and met a fireman from Sacramento who was there for the convention. We also found out that the coming weekend was the Columbus Day celebrations (another reason accommodation had been booked out).

Our adventure in the Big Apple began with an introduction to the underground train system - wow! Very user friendly. We didn't once catch the wrong train but we had trouble sometimes in finding which exit to take once off the train. We usually ended up on the wrong side of the street or something :) Here's proof that we found Times Square...

and a family of buskers in the underground.

We wanted to see the Statue of Liberty but didn't want to stand in line for 1.5 hours so we did a harbour cruise instead, which turned out to be better. Apparently for security reasons, the Statue is closed - that is, you can only walk around it, not climb inside or up. We definitely got the better deal, as our boat cruised around and past so we were able to take lots of good pics.

Just thought I'd show you the tickets...

Here's the old lady herself, the world's largest clock (I think), some of Manhattan's skyline and the bridge (Brooklyn??).

After our harbour cruise we set off for the famous Fifth Avenue and found an Hispanic street parade taking place. We watched it for a while then wound our way down towards the Empire State Building. We were allowed in, after being searched, only to find it was closed due to heavy cloud and visibility being nil. Why couldn't they tell us before we went through the rigamarole of being searched? Oh well.. we found a Taco Bar close by and had lunch.

We hopped back on the underground and made a visit to Ground Zero. It was very sombre but there were literally hundreds of people like us, just having a look. There were even a couple of tourist buses!

The second day saw us back on the underground into the city for the Columbus Day parade.

These guys are the pooper scoopers after the horses had gone by :)

You can't visit New York without taking a walk through Central Park, so we did just that. It's just beautiful... the sun was shining that day, although the wind was chilly.

We headed back to our hotel for the night and prepared for our trip the following day to Toronto