The past week has been packed with activities.
We landed in Boston and was picked up by one of my in-laws friends, we were whisked to Marlborough to have lunch and a small nap.. and followed by dinner at the nearby city of Framingham. We headed back to the Boston and checked into the Onyx Hotel which was a cool boutique hotel.
The next day, my little family went on a little duck tour bus, which is an amphibious vehicle that could go on water. It took us all around Boston and its downtown area, showed us some tourist sites and told us some interesting historical information.
The following day, we checked out and took a Greyhound (bus) to New York. The trip took 4hrs with a break in-between.
New York was a massive city, we walked a few blocks to our hotel on the 34th Street (between 7th & 8th Avenue). The room was smaller than expected and I can tell you now, the cost of living is definitely as high as everyone made it out to be.
We did one of those double-decker open-top hop-on-hop-off bus tours and saw a few sights along the way.
The first day on tour, we saw Madison Square Gardens, NYC GPO (which opens 24hrs), Empire State Building, Broadway, 5th Avenue (North & South), Macys'* (department store), World Trade Centre construction site, Wall Street (Financial District), Statue of Liberty, China Town, various parts of Brooklyn (as well as crossing the Manhattan Bridge), United Nations, Astoria Waldorf (hotel where world leaders stays and learnt that the Vatican Pope was also staying there at the time), Rockefeller Centre, Radio City Hall and Times Square (at Toys'R'Us, we had to buy a stroller for Marcus, because the other was trashed around by the TSA and had to be replaced). Dinner was later at one of the restaurants in Hells Kitchen borough (not where they film Gordon Ramsay's TV show!).
I also caught up with a friend (who is living in NYC) that I've kept in touch with when I was over in Scotland, Kevin (and friend, Matt). It was great to see him and drining
The second day on tour, we actually went on the ferry to Liberty Island & Ellis Island and saw the Statue of Liberty BIG! You can no longer climb up to the torch (not because of the 9/11 incident, but because it's a fire & safety hazard been only one stairwell with one set of staircases. We also went up to the 89th floor on the Empire State Building to view the city. It was freezing!
The final day of tour before catching an Amtrak train to Washington, we went Uptown (anything up Central Park), saw Dakota, Ghostbuster film location, parts of Harlem borough, Guggenheim Museum, and Grand Central.
It was a cold thrilling couple of days in Niagara Falls (US side).
We arrived on Thursday night, an hour before midnight. Had some midnight supper from the hotel restaurant and went to bed for a not-so-packed the next day.
We're glad to have slept in as the Maid of the Mist service would not run until May! :( However it was still exciting to see the American Falls from the Observation Tower. The Bridal Veil (Luna) Falls was not visible from the tower even if it was next to it. It was a misty/foggy morning to say the least.
Before midday, we decided to cross the Rainbow Bridge (by foot) to Canada. It was a nice walk but visibility of the Falls was next to zero! ziltch! nada! Arriving across the bridge, we were greeted by the Rainbow Carrilion which played all sorts of tunes!
Visibility is still zero after we passed the customary gate and got another stamp in the passport! :)
Walked around for abit, up to Clifton Hill which was very touristy. It had all those museums (horror house, Guiness, Ripley's, etc...), even a look-a-like Millenium Wheel!
Took lunch at a pizza house before walking the shops looking for souvenirs and onwards to the Skylon Tower where most of Clifton Hill / Welland (CAN) / Lockport (US) / Buffalo can be seen. Not to mention, the Horseshoe Falls & Luna Falls! It was an awesome sight!
The late afternoon was getting rather cold, so back across to the US border and into the hotel. And as some would agree, once you're in... there's no going out again because it was all too tiring! :)
Had some dinner and called it the night, we can see bits of the illumination features of the falls while we packed up and got ready for Boston today!
Well... am in LA now... more precisely San Gabriel...
The trip into Auckland then transit into flight NZ2 was rushed. We had 10 minutes to exit flight QF189, wait through security checks and then rush through the concourse to the departure lounge.... and we made it of course!
The long haul trip was quite OK I supposed if you consider having a 12kg toddler on your lap, tossing and turning, OK??
After arriving into LAX and going through US customs control, my father in-law had apparently just passed through the customs gate 3 hours before his actual arrival, so he was escorted into the customs office and questioned, whilst I could only find 4 of our 10 checked-in luggages, which I foresee losing since the Auckland transit was only 10 minutes!
My uncle in-law picked us up from LAX and brought us to his home in San Gabriel, and after freshing up, we headed out to get some dinner, which was nice.
The other luggages end up arriving at 10pm local time, so finally all is well!
Local time now is 11.45pm Monday 07 April 2008, I'm signing off and going for a quiet scroll around the neighbourhood of SG.
I've been contemplating on doing this since Leukaemia Foundation sent me a letter probably 3 weeks ago...
So yesterday I finally decided to bite the bullet and do it!
Currently working out how I should raise more money than I did in the previous years.
But I guess every little bit counts, no matter how big or small the amount is.
You are more than welcome to sponsor me online. And thank you in advance for your generous support!
The closer to 10 it is, the higher your risk of falling victim. Equation source
Why am I telling you this? Because I need to vent! and lick my wounds. But seriously... thanks for listening (reading). So you reckon you can top that? I like to hear from you.