A lot has happened in the last week, which means I haven’t had enough time to do a blog post! Mark and I had to pack up 5 months worth of living and turn our chaotic home into an empty room in between fun activities showing Mum and David around Canada. This was incredibly difficult and resulted in Mark and I getting 3 hours sleep before we flew to New York. But I’ll get to that, I’ll also try to keep this blog succinct because there is a lot to pack in. So wanted to show Mum and David the sites, and went to Niagara Falls. It was FREEZING! About -9 celsius at the falls. It was snowing though which was quite lovely.
The falls looked a bit different to Summer, they weren’t frozen but there was snow around. We drove back to Hamilton and went ice-skating at the Bayfront. It was cold and windy, so much so that it pushed you along the ice. To finish our last day in Canada we all went to an ice-hockey game. David and Mark were very into it.
The Bulldogs lost, but it was a very entertaining game. Once we got home, Mark and I realised just how much packing we had to do. We weren’t just going on a holiday, anything we left we left forever. The room had to be empty, and had to fit into some little suitcases. We finally finished at 2am, and then woke up at 4.50 to go to the airport. At the airport our bags were just over the 50 pounds (23 kg for us metric people). Luckily we shifted some things around and got through. Security was a nightmare. I could not belive that flying from Canada to the U.S could be so difficult, but it was. Once we cleared one line there was another. There was so much chaos it seems it might actually be easier for someone trying to break the rules to get through. We rushed and ran and made our plan with plenty of time, even getting the chance to spend a chunk o our accumulated quarters at Tim Hortons.
Mark and I had lived in Canada for over 4 months, and then we left. Just like that. It’s a bit strange. Something I have learnt from my exchange experience is that life is ever so transient. Anyway, more philosophising later. On to New York. We flew to Newark airport (adding New jersey to my growing list of visited U.S states). We got to our hotel on the Upper West side, near Central Park. The way New York is built on a grid and has numbered streets is just great for navigation. Even someone as directionally-imparied as I could get their bearings. Our hotel was right next to the American Museum of Natural History (where Ross from Friends works – obviously in the fictional parallel universe of scripted television). Like everywhere in New York, it was busy and happening – even though it was full of still, dead animals.
Seeing so many dinosaur bones in the one area was really impressive. They are so huge. It’s amazing to imagine them alive, and I think perhaps even more amazing to think that the bones in front of me were millions of years old. I even got to touch the skull-cap of a triceratops. That was pretty cool. That night we had Chicago deep dish pizza (in Chicago we had to travel on a train, line up for an hour and wait an hour for a pizza, in New York the restaurant was about 30 seconds from our hotel, their was no line and the pizza came quickly – maybe we should have had New York pizza in Chicago).
We then headed to Broadway in a yellow cab to see Phantom of the Opera. The theatre we were in was great – so grand and old-fashioned. They show was great too, but 3 hours sleep and dull lights and soothing music do make for a very expensive nap. I only closed my eyes a few times and still enjoyed the show. The singing was beautiful (if a little too relaxing). The experience was great and I think Mark really enjoyed it – which I love.
We hailed a cab home and went back to our room to sleep. It was good. There is a lot more for me to say about New York, but that will be for another blog, another one soon.