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I cannot believe it has been a week since I have been back from holiday and a week at my new job. Time just flies. I had a really wonderful and lazy weekend spent in front of the TV, catching up on some sleep and reading again which I haven’t done in some months. I read a superb book which I think I may have bought last year already and eventually got around to reading now.
This morning a friend and I went to explore Market on Main which is a market held on Sundays at Arts on Main where you can buy fabulous foods and produce, clothes, books or browse some artist studios. Arts on Main is in an old converted warehouse and is conveniently located on Main Street in downtown Joburg. The venue is inviting and spacious and you can sit outside in the fresh air under the trees or inside. I bought the most divine cheesecake and the crust was made of some nutty crunch something and was too delicious!
Art is very subjective and I cannot say I was inspired by any of the work on display except for the one studio that had stunning photographs. It was however a beautiful sunny day and a fabulous morning out.
Friday morning we checked out just after 11am and asked the hotel to keep our luggage while we explore a few more things in New York. I could not quite decide what I wanted to do with this extra day. There were a few places I still wanted to see and I wanted to walk the Brooklyn bridge but was really tired by now and did not know if I would have a chance to shower before boarding the plane that evening so in the end we decided on the Empire State building because what a way to take leave of a city than from the top.
We did the NY Skyride first which is a virtual simulator of a tour of New York City narrated by Kevin Bacon. It is located on the second floor of the Empire State building. It wasn’t great and felt dated as the ones I have done when I was in school (some many moons ago) were of the same standard so I don’t know why they haven’t updated this yet because technology has advanced so much since. The Empire State Building was great as the entrance, lift and view were exactly like in the movies so it felt like you were in a scene from Sleepless in Seattle or An affair to remember. I enjoyed the view from Top of the Rock more as you look onto the Empire State building but I did not want to miss out on one of the Top 10 attractions of NYC so I was happy that I did the Empire State building as well. It was a great end to a fabulous holiday.
We did some more shopping, had cherry pie at a diner before fetching our luggage to leave for JFK Airport. This was a great holiday with many special memories and lots of new and interesting places discovered that I will treasure always. I feel like the travel bug has bitten and I am already thinking where to next…
Thursday was a sad day as it was the last day of our trip. Our plane was leaving at 11am the next day which meant we needed to be at the airport by 8am. We were on our way to the Guggenheim museum near Central park but stopped at the pharmacy where I experienced my first self checkout counter where you scan your own items, pack and pay it which was interesting. We arrived at the museum only to find out it was closed on a Thursday. I could not believe it. I have never bothered to check because it just did not cross my mind that anything in New York would ever be closed. It seemed such an unlikely event. I took a few pictures of the beautiful building and we decided to cut across Central Park on our way to the Metropolitan Museum of art.
Central Park is big. It is 4km long and 0.8km wide. We started at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir which has a track where you can run/walk anti-clockwise around the water. Bill Clinton apparently likes to run there but I didn’t see him that day:- ) We somehow got lost and were suddenly on the other side of the park which has an East and West side. There aren’t many maps in the park and they are all the same so you do not know where the true East or West is in the Park and the “You are here” is missing on most of the maps so it does not help you much. The one thing about getting lost in a park is that you get to explore a lot of the park. We walked past the Shakespeare Garden, watched some rowboats at Turtle lake (which actually contains turtles which swim surprisingly fast), had a fruit salad at the boathouse restaurant before enjoying a view of model boats sailing around Conservatory Water which also has a tall bronze statue of Alice in Wonderland and her friends.
We eventually found The Metropolitan Museum of Art (or The Met) which contains over 2 million items – no wonder it is the biggest art museum in America. It will be difficult to see all the pieces so I got a map and decided on the things I wanted to see and did a few wings which included the impressionist painters. There was some beautiful stained glass and woodwork as well which I enjoyed.
Late afternoon we went shopping for gifts for friends and family at Times Square and also went to Macy’s which is the biggest department store in the world – it really is massive and has seven stories. We had our last supper at a diner which I enjoyed very much. It was one of those things I wanted to do as you always see it on TV or in the movies and the food was just great. I felt happy that I had seen and done most of the things I wanted to do on my trip.
We got back to the hotel at about 10pm and arranged for a car to take us to the airport the next morning at 7am. I was busy checking us in online when I suddenly noticed that our 11am flight was now showing as 10pm. I tried to call the airline in New York but they were already closed so I messaged my cousin to get hold of our uncle who works at the airline in South Africa (SA) to find out what was going on but due to the time difference it was 5am in SA. I eventually heard from my uncle a few hours later to confirm there was a technical problem on the flight leaving SA which was delayed which resulted in our delay. I don’t know why they say technical problem. Do they not know that I have watched most of Aircrash Investigation and those are not comforting terms. Anyway, we got to bed and at least knew that we could sleep late and have an extra day in New York.