Tag Archives: new york

Alone

I have posted this image before. Since then it has had some minor tweaking. I caught this shot of my wife on top of the Rock in New York. She was tired and cranky and quite over all the walking we had been doing. When I turned around and saw her like this I had to take a photo, but I was taking my life into my own hands when I did, you don’t want to poke the bear when she is angry.
I really like the way she wasn’t looking at the view, but rather sitting there looking sad and alone. It was nicely juxtaposed (A good artsy word there) by the couple on the left who were looking at the view and by chance were holding another M&M bag.
My wife knew I was taking the shot, but thankfully didn’t kill me for it.

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Culross

Sunday 17th, October. Today we would be moving on to Edinburgh, which is the start of our solo tour of Scotland and the UK. We had enjoyed the past few days with Avril and David, they were relaxing in a way, especially compared to our Toronto experience. We would be returning to Avril and David’s for a few days before we fly home, so we left some things with them to save us from carrying them all over the UK for no reason. The day was once again overcast, but fine otherwise.

Avril and David were good enough to drive us to Edinburgh to see us on our way. Our first stop was at the small town of Culross on the northern side of the Firth of Forth. When I say small, I mean small. The town is small, but the houses and particularly the doorways and tiny. David and I got out to look around this wee town and got some photos of the doorways. I stood next to them to portray the pronounced size difference. We walked through the town for a while so I could search out things to photograph, but it was so cold that I didn’t feel inspired to take many shots. We did come across some streets cordoned of for filming purposes. The guy on the barrier couldn’t tell us much other than he was told to stand there and that is all he knew. While we were doing all this Avril and Kim were sitting in the car staying warm.

As we left Culross, David tried to get a good vantage point to see the Forth road and rail bridges. It was a bit of a lost cause unfortunately. I would have loved to get an iconic photo of the Forth rail bridge. I can’t remember if we got a photo of it as we drove over the Forth road bridge, but if we ever return to the UK I will have to try and get a good photo of that bridge. We could see the Forth rail bridge to our left as we crossed the Forth road bridge. Part of the bridge was covered due to painting. It looked like a big lego bridge with its coverings.

On the Edinburgh side of the Firth of Forth we made a stop at an electronics store and bought a new Canon G11 camera for Kim to replace the broken G10 from New York. While we were there I also purchased another external hard drive so I could back up all our photos for safety. We had been traveling with a external hard drive from the start of the honeymoon. One evening Kim asked me “what happens if our external hard drive fails or gets lost”? I said we would lose all our photos and videos to date, so I had to get another hard drive to protect our files. As a result both hard drives had identical information on them and were carried in separate bags at all times from that point on. It took a while to back everything up onto the new drive, but once it was done we were reassured that our precious photos and videos would be safe.

Goodbye USA, Hello UK

We left New York late on the 11th of October as a storm rolled through the city. We were waiting on the runway for about an hour, but then we were in the air heading towards the UK. We had a good six hour flight to Edinburgh. We both watched movies for the entire flight. I got through two movies and well into a third before we landed. We thought that more Americans or people from the UK should do this flight of a weekend, as it isn’t that long and you could be in either the greatest city in the world (New York), or amongst the history and culture of the UK.

I mentioned in the Toronto chapter that I was worried that Kim’s Aunt and Uncle, Avril and David, might be like Marion and Andrew. I think Kim knew what I was thinking and told me in Toronto that they are nothing like Marion and Andrew. I was pleased to hear that, and it was absolutely true! I don’t think they could be any more different from each other.

Tuesday 12th, October. The weather was fine but a little overcast in Edinburgh, which was fairly normal for the UK. We were met at the airport by Avril and David. It was good of them to meet us there as it was quite early when we landed and they had to drive some distance to the airport. Anyway it was all hugs for Kim and a handshake for me from David. I had thought that there was a chance that when we got to Scotland we would be going up to St Andrews on the first day. Thankfully Avril and David had planned things a little differently. We spent the day at their place taking it easy and relaxing. It was the first day we had off in the entire trip and it was nice.

Avril is a wonderful cook and we didn’t go hungry at all during our stay. The first day we were introduced to her Cappuccino Cake which would soon become Colin’s Cappuccino Cake. David had to go out for something on that first day and Kim and I went and had a nap. Kim woke up before me feeling like a tractor had run over her. She sat down stairs with Avril watching TV. Hann, the dog, kept Kim company on the couch as they watched TV. They did some washing that day which was much needed after our visit to New York. I continued to sleep which was such a nice thing to do.

That night Garry, Sam and Lila were meant to be coming around for dinner, but they were a no show. It was getting late and they still weren’t there and they hadn’t called to tell Avril and David that they would be late. However, Avril and David thought that they would still turn up just as dinner was being served and that is what happened. They came, they ate and they left. We had an early night that night.

Central Park Take 2 – Last Day in New York

Monday 11th, October. Our last half day in New York still had quite a bit packed into it. The day started with check-out. When we checked out we also booked an airport transfer and put our bags into storage for a few hours. We wanted to post the prints and the drawing of us back home before we left the country so that was a priority for the morning. There was a UPS store just up street so we went in there first. They looked a little dodgy to me but we had no other option other than to go with them. As it turned out they were very good and the parcel made it home safe and sound.

After we had taken care of the parcel we went back to the subway station and caught a train to 72nd street and headed into Central Park. We hadn’t seen much of the park on the first day so we hoped to see a bit more on our last day. We wandered through Strawberry Fields and walked further into the park. We came across a hotdog stand and bought Kim a dirty water dog and a pretzel. The dog wasn’t great and I think Kim was sick later because of it. The pretzel was over salted but once we removed some of the salt it was quite nice. Much better than what we had in Toronto. We sat next to the lake eating and when we finished we headed around the lake towards Bow Bridge. We walked forever through the park after Bow Bridge, and it seemed like we were getting lost in there. We eventually came across Belvedere Castle and the Turtle Pond. From there we headed west towards the outer fence line. Kim was turned around and wasn’t sure where we were, but I had some idea. We came out of the park at 81st street and caught the subway to the Tutankhahmun exhibit. The subway cars this far up Manhattan were older than those we had been used to. They were more like the subway cars you see in the movies and TV shows.

We didn’t get to see everything in New York but we certainly crammed a lot into the short stay. One of the things we missed in New York was American Museum of Natural History. As we look back at google maps of our trip we realised that the American Museum of Natural History was right next to the 81st subway station. This was just one of the many things we came so close to during our honeymoon, but didn’t visit or see it. We will come back to New York one day and see more of this wonderful city.

The subway journey to the Tutankhahmun exhibit was pretty quick. I was thinking that it would be wonderful to photograph all of the artefacts on display, but the reality was completely different. As we entered we had to check our bags, which included all of our photography equipment as there were no photos allowed. In total there were two bags checked into their baggage counter, my camera back pack and Kim’s sling bag. I was a little disappointed, but it did allow us to actually enjoy the exhibit without trying to capture it on camera. The exhibit started with a dark room and a video display, before the large doors opened and we were presented with the first of many rooms of artefacts. It was amazing to see the craftsmanship and artistry of all the artefacts. Kim was thrilled to be seeing it all because she has a fascination with Egypt and Egyptian items.

The exhibit finished in the gift shop where we got photos of ourselves along with some other items. We then went back to the bag check area to claim our bags. There was a young guy behind the counter who looked a little out of it. I handed over our ticket and he went to grab our bags, which were on a high shelf. As he grabbed my camera bag he didn’t grab the sling bag. Due to this the sling bag fell to the ground from over six feet and landed on the floor. Kim’s sling bag had the Canon G10 and the video camera inside it, along with her other items. The guy was sort of sorry, but he was so out of it he didn’t really pick up on the sarcasm I was giving him. I was very annoyed about it all, but everything seemed to work so I didn’t worry about it.

As we left the exhibition and walked towards the subway we came across a small police car which is used by traffic cops at the side of the road. Kim wanted to have her photo taken with the car. I told her the cop would probably pose with her, but she didn’t want to ask, but we still got a photo with her next to the car.

Back at the hotel we had a little wait for the airport transfer, but we just sat downstairs in the hotel lobby. We did get a drink from the bar down there but the price of the soft drinks was insane. We only had the one drink. I was starting to get tired at this point, it was a case of stopping and letting myself rest. Once our car arrived and we were on our way, I pretty much passed out. Kim stayed awake to take photos.

Again, I can’t remember much about the airport. We sat in the terminal waiting for the flight in an area across from the departure gates, but still in our view. We took the time to go and freshen up in the toilets and then Kim went off and found some souvenirs. Once time had passed a little we went around the corner and got something for dinner. The place was packed and we were finding it hard to get somewhere to sit down, but finally a table opened up and we had dinner. Eventually the flight was called but due to our seats being near the front (on the exit row) we were one of the last to board. There were some people that tried to get aboard early but they got held to one side until it was their real turn. Because we were flying into Scotland there were plenty of Scottish people on the flight.

My seat was on the window at the exit row. There was room to stretch out in front of me but the door jutted out on my legs and made it a little tight to my left side. A huge thunder storm passed over as we taxied out onto the runway. This caused delays all over the airport as planes couldn’t take off in it. We were in a large line up of planes on the ground waiting for clearance. The lightning was fantastic to see and the rain was coming down in sheets. At one point the plane was parked over a puddle of water and the engines made the water spiral up in intricate patterns. I never take my camera out on planes because I don’t want to cause any problems, but I wish I had on this occasion. After about an hour of sitting and taxing up and down the runways we finally took off for the UK. It was sad to leave North America behind us as we had so much fun during our stay, but we had the UK to come so we were also excited. Goodbye North America!

St Paul’s and Century 21

On our way back towards the hotel we stopped at a shoe store so Kim could have a look. I took off while she was waiting to try and get some shots of St Paul’s Chapel which is next door to the hotel. I got my shots and came back to Kim quickly. She wasn’t having a good time with the sales clerks who were very unhelpful. We both went to the church after that and took some photos. We also went inside to see the memorials which were very moving. Kim didn’t take many photos as she felt it was the wrong thing to do. I took a few, but I was being very thoughtful with regards to what I was photographing and how often I was shooting.

When we left there we didn’t go back into the hotel, we decided to check out the Century 21 Department store. It was supposedly a very big store but it was cramped. We needed to get another bag for the flight to the UK and this seemed to be a good place to find one. As I said the store was cramped. It was as if they were trying to fit too much into the store. We found a bag and headed to pay for it but the check out was in a very narrow area and people were lined up for as far as the eye could see. Of course other people felt this was a good area to walk through, so we had to try and let them through while we stayed in line. After we bought the case we went upstairs to try and find some travel underwear for Kim. We found some and that was fine but the line up to pay for them was unreal. It seemed to take forever and they were about to shut down our line but thankfully they served us before they did that. We got out of the store as fast as we could after that.

Upon our return to the hotel we decided to go for a swim in their pool to relax and cool down from all the walking we had done during the day. There was a so called life guard on duty but he looked severely bored and more interested in his Iphone. There was a small family there as well wading in the shallows. The pool was nice and the the view was interesting. We were looking at tall building and the church spire next door. It was a good way to end the day. We were exhausted after everything we had done that day!

That afternoon/night we packed. Well, Kim packed and I rang some internet friends from the states. It was good to hear their voices. That night we ate in the hotel restaurant downstairs. I had a burger which came with a small bottle of sauce which Kim just loved. She brought it home with her.

City Hall Park and Brooklyn Bridge

From here we walked up Broadway towards the City Hall park. We came across some squirrels being fed by a local which Kim loved. They were very friendly and she was able to get close to them. We were heading in this direction because I wanted to walk out on the Brooklyn Bridge. We found our way to the start of the walk way and followed everyone else that was heading that way. There were a lot of people there and the going was slow. The idea is for people to stay to the right of the right side going out across from Manhattan and on the way back be on your right of the left side. The other side is for bikes. Unfortunately with that many people there are bound to be some dumb asses and they strayed onto the wrong side of the paths. A couple times the bike riders had to yell out to get them to get out of there way.

The bridge was wonderful to walk out on, it is another place that we can say we have been. The architecture of the bridge is really something to see. We made it out to the first upright and took some photos there. I got some shots of Manhattan bridge which was further to the north on the East River. Kim got a shot of a large bike rider resting, it was a funny shot. I would have loved to go all the way across the bridge or maybe to the middle but that would have taken quite a lot of time so we didn’t do that. We headed back down into Manhattan. Once we got back onto the island we found a photo stand with some really nice prints of New York. We had been seeing plenty of these sorts of stands around New York and this time we decided to buy some prints.

Lower Manhattan and Wall Street

Upon our return to the Manhattan terminal we walked along the water front of the East River until we couldn’t go any further due to an overpass. At this point we headed back in towards Wall Street. We came across a ceremony which we respected and stayed still until they finished. It was a bunch of bikies paying respects to fallen comrades in the military. When we got to the other side of the ceremony we found a pink painted convertible which look pretty cool.

It didn’t take us long to find Wall street and the financial district. We were trying to find the Bull statue which we seemed to be going around but never actually seeing it. (we were always on one street over) We did eventually come across it and Bowling Green. The bull was swamped with tourists touching it and having their photos taken. They were even climbing on it to get photos. One kid was climbing underneath it and holding its balls in his hands. We managed only a few shots that didn’t have people in the way.

New York does a good job of supplying parks for the people. It seemed that if there was a spare bit of land, there would be a park on it. Bowling Green is like that. Stuck in the middle of the financial district between two streets, Bowling Green was a little oasis of green and flowers. We took a small break here before we headed of again. Kim got a photo of a very tight parking job here made by the smallest of cars. I got a shot of a red cap stretching his back on the park fence.