We left Quebec May 15th en route to NYC with SIL and BIL. Went to pick up my sis and her husband in St-Hubert (Montréal South-Shore) and then on to Burlington Vermont where we spent the night.
Our flight to LaGuardia airport was at 6:00 am Friday May 16th (got up at 3:30) We left La Guardia airport at 7:00 am and arrived at our hotel at 9:00 am (traffic, use of public transportation - $13 USD per person). We stayed at the Sheraton in Manhattan - in the middle of it all! To tell you the truth 1st day I wasn't sure I liked NYC... loud (cabs honking), colorful (yellow cabs, people), and VERY populated - I'm glad we didn't go for Easter!
The first thing we did was leave our luggage at the hotel (our rooms were not ready yet) and take the hop-on/hop-off 2-tier buses. For $58 each we had 2 days of hopping on and off at our convenience + 1 extra day and 1 boat tour to the Statue of Liberty. We toured the 'downtown' itinerary... Times Square, wallstreet, Broadway street, 34th street - Macy's!, water edge, Chinatown, NY Ground Zero .... and took notes about what we wanted to come back and see later. Cold, gray and very windy day with some rain in the afternoon. Had lunch at Ray's pizza in Times Square and visited Mme Tussaud's wax museum. Met my favorites from Twilight but the more real-looking one was Morgan Freeman - wow! There was also a 4D -15min movie with some Marvel Super Heroes. Supper we went to Giorgio's (recommended by a friend) - great restaurant! A bit too late to eat for me (8:30 pm) so was tired. We went back to the hotel to sleep after that - it was a long and tiring day.
Saturday morning up at 6:00 am so we could be at Applebees for 7:00 breakfast. All our NY breakfasts were at Applebees.. very good. Then we took our hop-on/hop-off bus back the way we had done yesterday to go see the Ground Zero memorial. Very beautiful and serene atmosphere there. The Freedom tower is beautiful. Afterwards, got back on the bus to go take the boat and see the Statue of Liberty. The boat goes near but does not take us to Staten Island. Only time we had some heat was in the sun on the boat, otherwise it was cold and windy all day. Afterwards had lunch at some small burger place and Subway for some others and then we walked to see WallStreet and the Stock Exchange building. Continued to the 'big bull' statue where people touch the Bull's balls for chance. Only 2 of us didn't touch them... and they paid for it later! ha!ha!. Took the bus back to the hotel to dump some souvenirs (it was long as we got stuck in traffic again) and then we did the other hop-on/hop-off bus itinerary of uptown Manhattan. Harlem, uptown, Dakota Hotel (where John Lennon lived and died and where Yoko Ono still lives), around Central Park, past Bryant Park, Rockfeller Center, FOA Schwartz toy store, Apple Store, 5th avenue where all the expensive stores are. For supper we went down 9th Avenue where there are lots of restaurants and ate at a 'French Brasserie'. I had the skirt steak and it was excellent. Once again after supper we went back to the hotel all tired out.
This morning we got up later... yep we met at 7:00 in the lobby instead of 6:30 like the other days. After breakfast my husband and 1 brother in law left on foot to visit the Empire State Building while we took the bus to go do some shopping on 34th street... minimal shopping my sister wanted shoes. Anyhow the prices were almost like here and we had no space in our luggage to bring back stuff and we are not avid shoppers - we mostly got some small souvenirs (caps, Christmas ornaments, scarves, shirts, and Statue of Liberty earrings for me). Unfortunately Sunday morning stores open later... in fact Macy's opens at 11:00 am so I just went in and looked around a little because the guys where back from their visit already by that time. We walked back to the hotel (much less long than taking the bus!)to leave our souvenirs and then more walking to go to Wendy's for lunch... but not for me and my sister... hot-dogs with Polish sausages sold on the street for us :) and some 'hot nuts' to snack on afterwards. Visit of FOA Schwarts toy store - impressive! Apple Store, visit the Trump tower lobby, then on to Central Park but just a short walk in there and some relaxation on a bench. Still a cold and windy day but the sun was shinning. Then we waited 45 min. for the bus which we never saw so we walked back all the way to the hotel. Went back out for supper at an Italian Restaurant the Concierge had recommended for us. Delicious once again - I had the duck. Since it was our last night in NY we then walked to Times Square again... lots of people at night! Our hotel is very well situated... we could've gone most everywhere on foot (but I was careful because my feet are still tender with my fascitis).
Last breakfast at Applebees. The doorman ordered us a 6 passenger car ($60 for the car... less than what we paid for the bus on the way there!) to LaGuardia. Flight was at 11:55 but we waited in the plane 1 hour for take-off (paperwork and 25 planes in line in front of us). When we got to Burlington we ate at McD's and on through the Canada Border. Dropped sis back home and left her place at 5:30. Had supper when we got home at 8:30 after dropping off SIL and BIL.
It was a nice but hectic weekend. we didn't get to see all we wanted (1st trip to NYC - except for sis and bil), but we did most tourist things.
Interesting things: Taxes: here -15,5%, there - around 8,5 or 9% not sure. Tips: 15% here but to your discretion. There: applied on your bill 17%.
Prices were very similar for clothes and food, but our candadian dollar was 1,11$ for 1$ USD. They do not split the bill unless you specifically ask it to begin with... it's one bill per table! I don't like that as we were not all 1 family... we each pay our things per couple.
Now some pics:
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Latest painting in the black & white class. Not quite up to what I would've liked but still nice. Teacher did NOT help at all... asked her about the technique for the background or at least which paintbrushes to use.... she said try it and do what you think.
More charcoal drawings I have been doing on my own since there are no classes yet this year. I admit I really like the last one I did (the old lady). some of them have transparent paper over them and I'm not very good with pictures. First two pics are of the same drawing but with the flash it's not too good.