The previous two days were spent doing all the attractions that came highly recommended from friends and online reviews. So then today, our last day with the passes, became a struggle to decide what to do. When we was out sailing on the first day a tourist speedboat came thundering past us, it was the total opposite to what we was doing, and to our delight it was included with our passes. That’s the first activity of the day sorted.
We thought it would be very popular so we begrudgingly set the alarms early and raced down to the docks. It was so early that only the front portion of the boat was occupied and this made me think it should be faster! I am not sure how fast it was going but they estimated about 45mph, and thats fast on water. Even though the Hudson River does not have rough water we was thankful for the seatbelt because we were jumping around all over the place! The boat took us to the Statue of Liberty and then the captain started to ask us if we wanted some fun. Fun was trying to tip the boat over by going around in circles really fast and then quickly turning the other direction, mad man!
After making it back to the dock alive we headed to the Empire State Building, but not to go to the top. Three independent people had told us that the top off the Rockefella was better so decided to give this a miss. What we did do though was the other attraction there, the Sky Ride. On the way there, and never one to shy away from a bargain, we found a couple of chaps giving out free Kettle Chips (crisps for our English readers) and after a couple of passes with the bag open we managed to snag 9. We then promptly headed to the closest McDonalds to purchase a Coke and eat our free lunch, thanks Kettle.
Full of oily carbs we finished the walk to the Empire State building and headed for the Sky Ride. The Sky Ride is a helicopter simulator that flies you around the skyline of NYC with a little bit of adventure thrown in. If we are being completely honest it was very disappointing, mainly because the recording was so old and of very poor quality. Remember watching VHS? In this day and age with HD even on your smart phone it just was not up to scratch, I would have been furious if we had paid full entry. If it was re-recorded it would have been a lot of fun and having Kevin Bacon as the commentator was fantastic. As it stands I would recommend giving it a miss but they did mention it was in the process of being reworked.
Next was something that we was booth really looking forward to, a tour of Wall Street. This may be because we both love the Leanardo Dicaprio film, Wolf of Wall Street. When we arrived there was only a couple of others and thought it would be a small group and we could get a lot from it, but this was wrong. There must have been 50 people with one tour guide, it was a shamble with people having the wrong radios, wrong languages and the radios cutting out all the time. Definitely not the feature rich tour we was hoping for but we did learn a few things.
JP Morgan built his bank on Wall Street and was so rich he didn’t need bother building offices on top of it to rent out. Also with everyone knowing the elite family he didn’t even put his name on the building. The Bank actually featured in a very historic event. A group of thugs tried to blow up Wall Street with a horse cart load of TNT parked right outside. When the bomb went off, their was little damage to the building but the horses head was found up by the chapple 100ft away! JP Morgan decided not to repair the buildings pitted walls as a reminder to all that nothing will knock him down.
Ok, enough of J Morgan. Did you know that 20% of the worlds gold reserves are stored underneath the federal reserve bank? If countries want to trade gold, they do so, but the gold never leaves the bank, its just moved from shelf to shelf. Lastly on the tour we came across a giant brass statue of a a charging bull, apparently this was installed in 1989 to raise spirits in the financial market as it was going through a tough time. The charging bull is thought to represent a rising stock market whilst a bear would indicate a falling market, this was based on the way the two animals attack. Fortunately they didn’t change the statue every time the stock market changed, that would be quite an undertaking!
By this point we was starting to get some rumbles in the jungles (hungry), and decided to head for a highly rated Japanese restaurant, mainly because Hayley had been craving a Wagamamas since we got to NYC (but there are not any). Fortunately the restaurant Hayley picked as a replacement, Republic, was in Union Square and we had not been there yet. You come out of the Union Square subway to a very diverse mix of culture, there was an Indian band playing some fantastic music, Jamaicans beading hair and a market selling fresh produce. It was great to walk around but I’m not sure if the market is on every day so its best to check.
The day ended in Carlos’ Cake shop, you probably have no idea what we are talking about unless you have seen the hit TV series Cake Boss. Upon entering the shop you have to get a number and wait your turn. The shop was packed and we had to wait about 20 minutes to get served. The amount of money this shop must make is insane, an individual cake was $10 and families where spending $80+. We decided to share one but I think we made the wrong choice. We went for a chocolate truffle cake, and although it was really nice the chocolate mouse was taunting us through the glass counter and was probably the better choice.
After clocking up 44 miles over the 4 days in NYC we headed back to try and get an early-ish night as we fly to Canada tomorrow.