Monday, 23 May 2011

New York City - Week 2

Hi Everyone!

We've had another busy week in NYC making the most of our New York Passes, a thing we bought that gets you free entry into all the touristy stuff! Below are the highlights:

We went to see Pompeii : The Exhibition at The Discovery Centre in Times Square. It was so interesting to see the variety of artifacts that had been encased in ash and perfectly preserved in time.

Also at The Discovery Centre was a Harry Potter museum featuring all the props that were used in the film, so we thought we'd have a look. Sadly we couldn't take pics at either of these!

Carrying on with the Harry Potter theme, we went to see a Broadway show starring Daniel Radcliffe himself!!! The show was a musical comedy called 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying' and was about a young man named J Pierpont Finch (Daniel Radcliffe) climbing his was up the corporate ladder using more whit and cunning than hard work. It was hilarious and the songs were actually pretty catchy! Afterwards there was a big crowd of fans waiting outside the stage door in the rain, so we'd joined in and saw all the stars scurrying out into there blacked out cars!

The Museum of Modern Art was next, with 6 floors worth of art ranging from painting and sculpture to film and photography. The photography was mostly very good and we liked some of the paintings we saw, but we were frustrated by a lot of the exhibits because they were so abstract and it seemed that they were only considered to be "good" art because of the famous name attached to them. Perhaps we're not old enough to appreciate it yet or maybe it just wasn't to our taste. That said we had a great time and had a really tasty meal at the italian cafe and bought some nice souvenirs from the design store!

Another highlight was hiring bicycles from Bike and Roll NYC in Battery Park and cycling over the Brooklyn Bridge.

We locked up the bikes and had a nice mosey round Brooklyn, stopping to sit on the waters edge and look back at the Manhattan skyline. We then cycled back over the bridge, where we stopped to take this photo!

Cycling back into Manhattan, we swerved in amongst the crazy traffic and made our way to Wall Street to see the New York Stock Exchange:

Esme, as a World War 2 history lover, was thrilled!

Carrying on we pedalled our way all the way from east to west to Chelsea Piers to try our hand at the batting cages!

We weren't great, it's harder than you think to hit the ball when it's flying past at 60mph!

On the theme of things travelling fast, we went on a speed boat sightseeing cruise to the statue of liberty called The Beast!!!

The boat bounced over the waves of the hudson river at 40mph before pulling up at the statue for a photo opp:

That evening the sky was really clear so we went up to the Top of the Rock in the hopes of getting a better view than the top of the empire state. The view was incredible and we stayed up to watch the sunset and all the lights from the skyscrapers begin to turn on.

It's been an amazing week, but as the end of our trip grows ever closer we're starting to wish this trip would never end! :( 

Hope you're all well and keep checking for our last post of the trip!
Esme and George xxx

Thursday, 19 May 2011

New York City - Week 1

Hi Everyone!

Hope you're all well and enjoying life back in the UK. On the 11th May we arrived in THE BIG APPLE!!! Esme's never been so I was so excited to show her around and see her fall in love with the city! We're staying with Esme's first cousin once removed, Lucy Green, and her family. They have a lush apartment in soho: 
which is a MASSIVE help because we're so central and can get around really easily.

So, on the first day we dropped our bags off and went exploring! I was eager to show Es some of the famous hotspots, so we took a stroll down the Hudson river:


to see the Statue of Liberty at sunset:

Esme was happy!

Then we went to see the world trade center site which was harrowing, but it was good to see they're working on a new skyscraper as a symbol of hope. After that we hopped on a subway to see Times Square at night:

Esme was happy, again!

Sine then we've had an action packed week! Just a couple of blocks from the apartment they happened to be shooting the new Men in Black film, and after hanging around with all the other hopeful fans, we caught a glimpse of Will Smith doing a stunt!


We... took a trip up the Empire State Building (shame the weather was rubbish!)
went to see the beautiful Grand Central Station:

Had a very romantic horse drawn carriage ride through Central Park!

Played around on the piano from 'Big' in FAO Schwarz:

And had a great day out at the American Natural History Museum:

We also went on an NBC studios tour but weren't allowed to take any pictures! We saw the set of Saturday Night Live amongst other shows, most of which we hadn't even seen, but it was still fun :D Afterwards we were offered free tickets to a 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' rehearsal, which was basically him telling jokes to test what worked and what didn't. He was actually pretty hilarious!

We've also been eating loads of delicious NY food, including THE best pizza in the world from New York's first ever pizzeria; 'Lombardi's':
and a whole restaurant dedicated to Rice Pudding; 'Rice to Riches'!

Which was so good it actually converted me to Rice Pudding!
(I had french toast flavour with oatmeal and coconut topping!)

Loads of the freerunners from NYC organized a big jam for me to show me the local hotspots. We had a great day flipping off things:

I bought a large American flag and got all the guys to sign it:

I love it, and will hang it on my wall with pride :)

Well I think it's fair to say we've had an incredible first week in the city that never sleeps! Stay tuned for all the shenanigans we get up to next! :)

George x

Saturday, 14 May 2011


Sorry we've been so slow updating the blog but we've just been having too much fun!

The first week in Arizona we stayed with my friend Jo and her new partner Angie in her underground dome home. It was nice to chill out there for a while after the craziness that was California! We took a lot of photos (because Jo is a photographer and a great inspiration to me) and we even got George into photography. Turns out, he's pretty great! We also took a trip to Sedona and camped in the forest. Me and George went to Slide Rock which is part of a river where the rocks are very slippery and you can slide down them into pools of freezing water! That night, we made a fire and put my camera on a very slow shutter speed so that when you moved around with a torch pointing at the camera, it makes light trails. You can then draw pictures with the torches like this:

   Unfortunately, that night I got really sick with stomach pains and a temperature. I spent the rest of the next day in the car while Jo, Angie and George enjoyed the sights of Sedona.

The next two weeks we stayed with my friends Nick and Shannon in their new house. Nick is 24 and Shannon, his girlfriend, is 23 so they are much closer to our age and live much further into town. We had so much fun with them! They took us to do some amazing things like go karting, lazer tag, we went to see a baseball game and went to the BodyWorlds exhibition at the science museum. Me and Shannon and her sister Bryce also did some girly things like went shopping and got manicures and massages while George and Nick re-built a bench for Nick's mum and built a whole skateboard ramp from scratch!

Nick, Shannon and Bryce also took us for a weekend to the Grand Canyon where me and George booked ourselves on a River Rafting adventure tour! The tour was 12 hours (6am to 6pm) and started off with an airplane flight over the Grand Canyon. That was spectacular! I've been to the Grand Canyon three times now so seeing it from the air was magnificent! It was George's first time to the canyon and it was great to share that experience with him. Next, we took a jeep tour to Antelope Canyon which is a small canyon on an Indian Reservation which was carved out by flash floods. This means the walls of the canyon are rounded and very smooth. Our tour guide was a bit of an idiot and kept telling me I wasn't taking photos the correct way and that my settings were all wrong! I let him correct me, but he changed my settings to auto and took a very blurry, over-exposed photo and told me that was much better! Here are my photos, tell me what you think:

  We then took a 4 hour trip down the Colorado River starting at Lake Powell and finishing at Lee's Ferry. That was the best part for me! Our tour guide was very interesting and obviously loved his job and we got a packed lunch which we ate on the side of the river. George even got the opportunity to swim in the Colorado River (even though it was freezing cold!!) We found some ancient Indian petroglyphs carved into the rock face and just had a really amazing time.
Here are some photos from the airplane tour and the river tour:
 River tour
 Airplane tour
 Me and George on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
 View from the plane
 Us on the plane
 The petroglyphs
 George about to backflip in the Colorado River
 Our friendly tour guide, Frank!
View from the raft down the Colorado River

We are now in New York and (hopefully) George will update you with how we're getting on here! I can tell you know, we're having the time  of our lives!
Lots of love to you all. We get back to England on the 29th May...... it's too soon!!!