New York

Just back from an incredible trip to New York with my dad. It was very quick but we managed to cram alot in. My Dad had never been before and we only had the Saturday evening and then three full days so I had a few organised tours booked. This is how we filled our time -

Saturday Evening - We arrived in the City at 7PM local time (midnight or time). The first thing we noticed was the amount of sailors wandering the streets, turns out it was fleet week. After checking into the hotel we decided to jump accross the road to the Empire State Building, this may have been a bit of a mistake though, we'd already queued for 2.5 hours at immigration (after a 7 hour flight) and ended up waiting in line for another 3.5 hours before we got to the top. Saturday night though so probably busier than normal.Next time I'd pay extra for the express pass tickets. The view from the top was amazing though.

Sunday - Our first full day in the City. After breakfast we took a walk up fifth avenue and stopped at some of the sights on our way. We got to see St Patricks cathedral, Rockefeller Plaza, Radio City, Trump Tower etc.

We then went for lunch with my friend Josh, his wife Melissa, their two kids Fiona and Ronan and Melissa's friend Jen. It was great to see Josh again after 14 years! I can't believe it's been so long. It was also really nice to meet his family for the first time. After lunch we spent some time in central park before Melissa took us all up to her office to see the amazing views over the park. It's the best office view I've ever seen, really amazing :)

On Sunday evening we had our first organised tour with 'Uncle Sam's'. We did their 'East Village Pub Crawl' and really enjoyed it. We were taken to three pubs, Old Town Bar, Pete's Tavern and McSorley's Old Ale House. Our guide (Annie) was great and we got to meet some other nice people on the tour.

Monday - We were up early for our three hour boat trip around Manhattan with Circle Line. The trip was excellent and we were lucky to have Malachy Murray as our guide. I'd read some mixed reviews on tripadvisor about the trip but all who had Malachy gave excellent reviews so I was really happy when he introduced himself. We got to see the statue of liberty close up and I was also interested to see a lot of the top of Manhattan that I'd never seen before. Only downside was the sunburn we both got, really should have put some sunscreen on in the morning.

After the boat trip we headed for grand central station where we had our lunch then on to the brooklyn bridge. We walked over to brooklyn and then back again. I love the views you get on the way back to Manhattan.

On Monday evening I met my friends Martyn and Wally for dinner and then we all headed to Queens for a couple of drinks.

Tuesday - Our last day in the city and again we are up early for a tour. This time with 'Real New York Tours' who do walking tours of the city. I had tried to book a private tour but due to it being memorial day weekend they filled up quickly. Instead we booked their 'Dozen Apple Tour' for 12 people. Our tour guide was Trey and he was fantastic, reall informative and entertaining. We started out at Paramount Plaza then headed to Times Square, The Dakota Building, Strawberry Fields, Central Park, Greenwich Village, Washington Square Park, Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown, Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street and Ground Zero! I would thouroghly recommend the tour to anyone. At the end Trey told us we had walked 10.25 miles! (not including subway trips) so we were pretty tired. We had a quick dinner with Wally then an early night. We managed to cram a lot into our three days and both had a blast :)