Monday, 14 October 2013

The Big.......


Well, I hummed and hawed about whether or not to "blog" about my recent trip to New York.  After all the blog is supposed to be about my retirement in France.  Having discussed it with my fellow travellers (Sylvie and Stephanie), the general consensus seemed to be that the trip was part of my retirement so it should be included!

So here we are!  I decided to include it but I just won't go on at length about it.  I should first explain to those of you who don't know that the purpose of this trip was to celebrate the fact that my friends and I have, in the past year, reached the grand age of 60.  You see, Sylvie, Stephanie and I met when we started high school back in 1964; I am the eldest with my birthday in November, then Sylvie's next in March and lastly Stephanie who's the baby of our group having only turned 60 in August.  I can't remember now where the idea of this trip started but suffice to say, we decided to leave our respective husbands at home and have a big girlie trip to New York by ourselves!  "At home" means Texas, USA for Sylvie and Israel for Stephanie.  The fact that we live so far from each other means that although we have met up "in two's" many times over the years, it is extremely rare that the three of us have been together.  That's why the trip was so special.

Naturally, we saw loads of the popular tourist sights; the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park etc.  We also did a fair amount of shopping and eating!  And, of course, we went to see a show on Broadway!  We have literally hundreds of pictures of the week-long trip but I have picked out the ones below, just to give you a flavour of it...

Our first evening in New York and our first dessert (actually in a Japanese restaurant)

These three pictures are from Central Park on our first full day in New York
From the park we went to a shopping mall at Columbus Circle.  This first picture is of the side of the main entrance... just look at that amount of glass!


We had lunch in a lovely restaurant there but for me it was a bit like home from home as it's called the Bouchon Bakery and has more than a tad of French influence!
The next day we went to see the Statue of Liberty, from the Staten Island Ferry.  This is a very clever photo taken by our intrepid photographer, Stephanie.  We're on the subway downtown!

The picture below was taken on the High Line.  This is a clever restoration of a disused railway track that used to cross Manhattan high above street level.  Now it's an attractive walkway, about a mile long, with attractive plants and sculptures along the route......

and from there, we browsed Chelsea Market....


As I said, we did plenty of eating in between seeing the sights and the shops.  Here is an example....
Well you have to, don't you!  A pastrami on rye sandwich at Junior's Restaurant!

A restaurant called Serendipity3 had been recommended to us and in particular, their frozen hot chocolate.  Of course we had to try it, even though we decided it was actually a bit overrated!  

(and just to put your mind at rest, we did have just the one between the three of us!!!)

Here are the three of us, at the Empire State Building, and then at Grand Central Station....

.....both of which were simply amazing experiences. 
All too soon, we were coming to the end of our wonderful week.  This was our last "proper" breakfast together (on the last day of our trip, we didn't have a proper breakfast.  Sylvie left early to catch her flight back to Texas and Steph and I finished our packing and had a late 'brunch' instead of breakfast).

And here we are on our last evening together in a lovely restaurant called Serafina.

Steph and I were not leaving until the evening so we managed to squeeze in something extra.  It happened to be St Francis' Day that day and we got the subway to the cathedral to see the animals being blessed.  What a wonderful experience it turned out to be.  We have loads of photos of all sorts of animals but I think this one captures the essence of the day.  After the service inside the cathedral, a priest was available in the nearby park and many people came with their pets to receive the priest's blessing.

Well, that's a fairly brief summary of my special trip.  I had a fantastic time with my two school friends and we proved yet again that time and distance can not separate us.  Nonetheless, when I finally got home to the peace and serenity of my corner of rural France I was very happy and content to be home.

More "normal"  news will follow in a few days!

Till then, à bientôt!

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