Well it was great.
In fact so great it was, and so excited were me and the Chuppies that, on our first morning, we found ourselves tramping round New York at 5am (although this was after struggling out of our hotel bed - so big and comfortable was it, that the Chuppies now has withdrawal symptoms).
"So this is the City That Never Sleeps!" we chorused to each other as we left the hotel room only to find that it actually does take a `little nap' and doesnt really open up for trade to over eager tourists until ... oo ... about 6.30am but that didnt matter a jot. As high as kites we were on all the excitement and strangeness, I dont think we'd've been bothered if an NY vagabond had chosen to cock his leg on us as we left the Hilton Manhattan East ... so the fact we couldnt breakfast until a little later we pretty much took in our stride.
During our break we stopped in to have a nose of Grand Central Station (only a coupla blocks from our hotel). The Chuppies had researched online the best place to get a cheesecake in New York and Junior's (who run a store within Grand Central Station itself) came up as the one place to sample cheesecake before you die. Cant remember exactly when a portion of cheesecake was bought but do remember watching the Chuppies eating it back in our hotel room, tucked up in our gi-normous hotel bed and declaring that, yes, he was now ready to die.
Which he didnt - all the indulgence had just left him dramatic.
We also walked through the Flatiron District given its name because of the Flatiron Building (see left) - completed in 1902, it is one of New York's earliest skyscrapers.
Naturally, not as immense as say, the Empire State Building, but still quite a whopper (as you will see from the teeny tiny Chuppies posing just in front of the property).
Walking through Madison Square Park is also quite an experience. The squirrels are extremely tame (see left for a slightly unnerving example) but also quite wily.
I would imagine most critters would be put off their stroke if they had a constantly watching red-tailed hawk on their backs (see left for a particularly badly photographed example) but the squirrels in this park were pretty indifferent and more than adept at out-manoeuvring the hawk when it swept down to try its hand at another squirrel snacklet.
Of course, these hawks do strike lucky every now and again, and there are plenty of videos on YouTube of successful hawks feasting on the odd hapless NY squirrel.
The Empire State Building (or, at least, the view from it's lower observatory deck). One place you have to visit and experience your ears pop as you ascend via its set of elevators. The building is lit up with different colours at night - during our stay it was white but the following week it was pink.
Anyway, it was bloody parky (and windy) up so high and, whilst taking this nifty shot, an NY fly flew up my left nostril (couldnt really blame it though - it would have been considerably warmer in there than outside).
Another building on our port of call but we only stopped here briefly. There is so much gold tat everywhere (with an internal golden waterfall running down towards the back of it) that you'll want to step outside after a few minutes for a breath of fresh air.
Not really my thing but there were plenty of tourists inside oo-ing and ah-ing at all the gold rubbish - so it did appeal to some.
Macy's was a bit of a curiosity. Having visited NY a coupla times before I remembered how much fascination the shop windows held for tourists who would flock at Christmas with their video cameras pressed against the storefront to record the animated festive shop window sequences.
Well, obviously this was too exhausting a pursuit, for now there are chairs and tables laid out next to the store where people can bring their own refreshments and then sit and stare at the shop windows at their leisure.
Perhaps the next step will be motorising these chairs and tables and wheeling the people through the store so they never have to walk again ... ?
When you visit NY another startling thing is the amount of decorations they hang, stick and tie to things. Not content with huge trees in their office courtyards (see left as an example)
Whilst poodling down Seventh Avenue I thought I caught sight of two NYPD officers begin to unravel a set of fairy lights over a prone NY tramp to match the rest of the street furniture ... but I cant be sure.
Tiffany's - we had to stop here as it was the stop for a belated birthday present from the Chuppies. I eventually plumped for a delicate ring made up of teeny tiny silver hearts. The jeweller (a very suave gentleman that was camper than Russell Grant), in order to gauge my ring size from sight (I assume ring sizers are too common for Tiffany's), assessed me as a Size 6 (UK Size 8) which got me so excited and happy I nearly wet myself on the spot (I'm actually a Size 12 - but if you hacked off my boobs and hips I'd make a perfect, if blood-soaked, Size 8 so the camp old jeweller was on the right, if slightly gory, track).
We also stopped at the Rockefeller Centre to have a good nosy at NY from its top deck. Much like the Empire State Building, it offers you good views of the city, but also a good view of Central Park. The Chuppies now has a photo on his sideboard of the two of us in a frame proclaiming that we got to the top of the Rock (which, after going out for more than 5 years, is the first photograph we actually have of ourselves together)!
Inside the centre there is also a huge shopping complex and it was during our stay that they lit the infamous Christmas Tree. Unfortunately as me and the Chuppies were walking most days for around 10-11 hours and going to bed at about 7.30pm (NY time) we didnt have the strength to stay up so late (they light the tree at 9pm). A sad and pathetic confession - but London-Lass is nearly 40.
An example of one of the many massive meals we had in Manhattan. This was breakfast `Pershing Square' style and, whilst I'd only ordered `Farm Fresh Eggs', this came accompanied with a more than generous portion of bacon (cooked with onions), a pile of toast and a side of jam and butter (in case I felt like making up some jam on toast after my feasting). The Chuppies stuck to his guns whilst breakfasting here and enjoyed some freshly made NY pancakes (with a generous helping of Maple syrup). Water and coffee are regularly refilled too.
We also took in a quick trip to F.A.O. Schwartz and marvelled at the big piano (think of the 80s film, Big) before a horde of loud, brash and v. annoying teenage girls and boys came running in and started dragging
And the Brooklyn Bridge, ladies and gentlemen. This we took a good gawp at on the very western side of Manhattan before hoofing it all the way over to the very eastern side to visit the Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum. Which was (surprisingly) interesting and, for all you double-entendre fans out there, have a submarine by the name of the SS Growler on permanent display.
Yes I know. (snicker)
And, all too soon, it was time to go.
So, goodbye, hotel room fridge. You served us well. You were a handy shelf for the endless USA Todays they kept shoving under our hotel room door. And a blessed sanctuary for Chuppies cheesecakes and London-Lass' Coke Zeros with Cherry (which are great, readers, much better than Diet Cherry Coke).
And it was goodbye to our hotel room tele with its weird mix of almost constant ad breaks and overexcited presenters (and the 24 hour Weather Channel - my favourite one of all).
Farewell to our hotel room toilet, you served us well. No matter the length, girth and width of the stuff that ended up in you, your Hilton Manhattan quality flush took care of it all.
And a so long, fare thee well and goodnight from the Chuppies.
We both had a fantastic time, New York, so dont be a stranger ya hear?