Our flight home from Ukraine via New York started off with a bang as I was asked at the ticket counter by a person with an ugly tone once again..."Why do you have paper tickets?". I promise if I ever hear the words "paper ticket" again, I think I will scream! Our travel was fairly uneventful until the last leg from Atlanta to Monroe which was delayed for mechanical reasons. This was the same flight that was delayed and started all of our travel woes. The happy news is that we were met at the airport by a very happy Minson family carrying welcome signs. My wonderful husband was also there with the very best of hugs and kisses for me.
On a side note... I will never purchase tickets from Expedia again and will never choose Delta as an option for flight unless I have no other choice.
Despite all of the travel problems, this was a very rewarding trip for me and an experience I won't soon forget.
WELCOME TO MY TRAVEL BLOG
I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.
Monday, July 12, 2010
|Our hotel in New York
|The Wonderful Beds
|Roses and Chocolate from Guess Who
|This sculpture once stood in the plaza of the World Trade Center. It now resides in Battery Park with an eternal flame in memory of those who lost their lives in the Trade Center Attack
|The Statue of Liberty from Battery Park
|My favorite place to buy muffins in the Union Square Market
|Deanna's beautiful hot chocolate
|Syringes filled with chocolate for that desperate moment
|The Chrysler Building
|Tons of Yellow Cabs
|Bow Bridge...Central Park
|Bethesda Fountain...Central Park
We arrived in New York City at JFK airport in the early afternoon. It took over an hour to get our bags. Once we had everything we caught a yellow taxi to our hotel, The Hampton Inn Manhattan-Times Square North. Our very thoughtful husbands welcomed us to our room with red roses and Godiva chocolate. Our hotel was not much to look at on the outside, but we thought it was in a perfect location, we each had our own comfy bed, and it was air conditioned!! By the time we got settled in our room, talked to our husbands, and rested a little, it was time for supper. We wandered outside of the hotel and ended up eating at a diner across the street. We were so tired that I'm not sure we even tasted our food, but it felt good to eat again in America and see words in English everywhere. We tried our best to stay awake to reset our internal clocks, but Deanna gave it up before I did. Because she fell asleep so early, Deanna woke up at 4 a.m. She was nice enough to let me sleep until 7, but she was itching to get out and do something. After breakfast we set out on a whirlwind tour of New York City. The first stop was the World Trade Center site. Construction had begun on the memorial plaza, but we couldn't see much of anything else because of the fences. We went into St. Paul's Chapel and looked at the memorabilia there concerning the rescue effort during the 9-11 attack. St. Paul's was a place of respite for the rescue workers during the early days following the attack. The second stop was Battery Park for a peek at the Statue of Liberty. The line to ride the boat out to it was very very long so we just looked at her from the park. We were getting hungry and knew exactly where we wanted to eat...Max Brenner,Chocolate by the Bald Man near Union Square! We rode the subway to Union Square and before eating, wandered through the outdoor market. I purchased a muffin for later from my favorite vendor there. The restaurant is off of a side street and when we entered the restaurant the heavenly scent of chocolate filled the air. We are positive that they pipe it into the doorway! Deanna ordered a pizza and I ate these wonderful rolled up chicken bites. The highlight was dessert of course. Deanna ordered hot chocolate in a hug mug. I ordered something called suckao. It's a little bowl of steamed milk on top of a candle heated pot that is served with a bowl of chopped chocolate. I mixed and melted the chopped chocolate into the milk and then sipped it through a straw type spoon. It was really neat. Then I ordered a lava cake filled with chocolate and caramel. It was also served with a mini chocolate frozen drink. Deanna shared it with me, thank goodness. After lunch, we walked by St. Thomas Church, popping in only to take a quick peek and then walked through Rockefeller Center. From there, we walked back to our hotel, taking note of where our theater was for our evening performance of Mama Mia. We were delighted to see that the theater was only a block around the corner from the hotel. We stopped in at the hotel to drop off our purchases from the morning and went right back out to the subway to go uptown to the American Museum of Natural History. Somehow we managed to enter from the subway with a school group and noone stopped us to pay the $16.00 entry fee. We didn't realize it until we had been in for awhile and never saw a ticket counter. We whizzed through the museum in about 1 1/2 hours. After exiting the museum, we went across the street and walked through Central Park, walking past the Bow Bridge to Bethesda Fountain. We made our way back to the subway and back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and the theater. Dinner was a couple of doors down from the hotel at an Italian restaurant. It was pretty good and fast. We were still a little stuffed from lunch. The highlight of the evening was Mama Mia. It's a broadway show based on the music of Abba. It was absolutely hysterical and wonderful all at the same time. I had to punch Deanna twice to make her stop singing. After Mama Mia, we walked a few blocks to stand in Times Square and then walked back to the hotel. We packed up for the last time and went to bed early. Tomorrow is home and the sweet faces of our family who we have missed so much.
written by Amy Terral at 8:31 PM
Saturday, July 10, 2010
|Our Hotel pronounced "Corona"
|The Golden Gate
|A former famous restaurant building but I can't remember the name. We really liked the architecture.
|St. Sophia's Cathedral
|The entry gate detail
|old brick on St. Sophia
|The Carillon...a musical instrument of at least 23 bronze bells made by the Botvynko brothers in 1980. It was made at their own expense and is the first traveling one in Ukraine. This one has 50 bells.
|my introduction to a squatty potty...at least this one was clean
|Monument to Bogdan Khmel'nitsky
|Katia has a quick wit and when she saw this limo she exclaimed..(look it's from Mitch for your tour of Kiev)
|a monument to the man who invented the Cyrillic alphabet. Not sure what the other three did.
|Mikhailovskiy (St. Michael's) Monastery
|renovation on the monastery
|shopping on Andriyivsky Uzviz
|St. Andrews Church as seen from the market street
|a true cobblestone street...these were HUGE
|the cutest van
|Our lunch spot. Don't have a clue what the name is
|Independence Square across the street
|This water is the brand that we drank all week. We looked for the light blue label which indicated water WITHOUT gas. This is the Coca-Cola equivalent to Dasani in the U.S.
|Deanna and Katia
|Katia and Me
written by Amy Terral at 6:29 PM