Following a comfortable flight from Reykjavik we thought our luck was in as we sped through customs & passport control - fortunately getting in in front of the 20 million Danish Scouts on our flight (okay...it was maybe more like 30) - and our bags were some of the first off the carousel. However, our luck changed as the heavens opened and the biggest thunderstorm we have ever seen started. This meant everything came to a standstill and we had an hour to wait for our airport transfer meaning we were delighted when we finally arrived at our tiny, tiny room in the Yotel at 22:00 (03:00 GMT, 02:00 Iceland). We took in the amazing view from our window, ordered some room service pizza and crashed out with some Friends on the TV (The One Where They Can't Remember Which Episode They Watched).
Sadly on Thursday morning we woke up to yet more rain and more thunderstorms so all plans of walking the Highline and going to the Top of the Rock went out the window and instead we set off to find a good diner breakfast, and the pancakes at Theatre Row Diner did not disappoint! Rain still falling we hopped in an Uber to the American Natural History Museum thinking it would be an excellent way to shelter from the stormy weather. Unfortunately every other tourist and family in Manhattan had the exact same idea! Nonetheless we had a brilliant time exploring the T.Rex: The Ultimate Predator and Dark Universe exhibits before someone (not naming anyone in particular...) decided they were done dealing with the numerous children and we headed off. Museums are not a place for children apparently!
After a quick relax at the hotel we headed in to Times Square to have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, Katy somehow managed to avoid picking up a pin for the collection. Then it was time for the long awaited Lion King on Broadway, the show was simply stunning and so well done we agreed we would go back to see it time and time again if we could!
Thankfully come Friday morning the sun was shining and we decided to head back over to Brooklyn Heights Promenade, where we got engaged nearly 4 years previously and the view was still as beautiful as ever. Then in our infinite wisdom in the 32C heat we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, possibly not the best move we've ever made but clearly both far too stubborn to admit it wasn't the greatest idea. The stunning views more than made up for the dehydration though!
Keeping to the theme on Friday night we returned to the restaurant we had celebrated our engagement in, Butter. We have spoken about the meal we had in Butter numerous times over the last few years and we were both so excited to return. A steak each, a side of broccoli and some delicious chips and it was every bit as good as we had remembered (although Katy didn't finish all of her broccoli - sorry Heather!!)
Come Saturday temperatures in New York had reached 35C and all we wanted to do was move from one air conditioned building to another however we had a Foods of NY tour booked round Greenwich Village and boy are we glad we went. We toured with the utterly hilarious Curt and tasted incredible pizza, risotto balls, cookies, cannolis, truffle oil popcorn to name a few. All whilst learning about the history of the area and taking in some of the sights, including the famous Friends apartment building! We then headed back to our hotel via the Sky Line and both agreed it was a very tranquil spot in an otherwise crazy city.
Saturday night ended up being a very unexpected highlight of the weekend. Having decided we would much prefer to stay clear of Times Square given how crazy the crowds can get and instead opted to go for dinner and a couple of drinks at Mr Bigg's Bar & Grill close to our hotel. When we finished dinner at 20:30 we thought that it would be far too uncool for two twenty somethings in New York on a Saturday night to head back to the hotel at that point and instead decided to take the advice of Curt from earlier in the day and frequent a New York piano bar and Don't Tell Mama certainly did not disappoint. Singing show tunes, Brown Eyed Girl and Proud Mary with a bar full of people whilst drinking Mormon Mai Tai's and Moscow Mule's was so much fun. We didn't stay until closing time at 02:30 but we easily could have.
With slightly sore heads on Sunday morning we blew away the cobwebs and walked the 2.5 miles up to Central Park despite the 'Excessive Heat Warning' now in place. We explored the Imagine tribute, the Alice in Wonderland statue and the boating pond before deciding our Scottish bodies could not handle any more of the heat and headed for the air conditioning of Grand Central station. After a quick salad for lunch we moved on to Macy's in the hope we might have been able to track down a Christmas decoration to add to our ever growing collection but lo and behold July is apparently not a big month for selling all things Christmas!
For our final night in Manhattan we watched the sunset from the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Centre on the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, it was an absolutely stunning view and I'm really not sure the pictures can do it justice.
Following a wander round the beautiful Rockefeller Plaza - making a deal that we would definitely be back to see the Christmas tree one year - we headed to Times Square for one last in search of something quick for dinner and Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. was just what we needed.
A quick 5 hours of shut eye and we were headed back to the airport ready to begin our Canadian Adventure.
Toronto here we come!