We had a great time in New York, and although we didn't get to see all the sights on our list, we did have a wonderful time in our awesome Brooklyn apartment, and spent many days on the subway into Manhattan to wander the streets, visit Central Park, eat delicious meals, and admire the Christmas decorations throughout the city (including the famous Rockafella Christmas Tree). Our little neighbourhood of Bed Stuy/Clinton Hill had some great places to eat, the streets were pretty and the many brownstone houses very picturesque. We really enjoyed exploring the streets of Williamsburg and particularly liked Greenwich Village in Manhattan.
Christmas lights on a rainy night
Saks 5th Avenue holiday light display - Manhattan
Walking over Brooklyn Bridge
One World Tower
Enjoying some Colombian cuisine
Fun times in the snow (that one night)
Looking out to the Williamsburg Bridge in Williamsburg
Our walk home from the subway
View from outside our apartment
Pretty Greenwich Village
Present giving time
Table 1 of 2
Food ready for the table - including our papaya salad!
By the time New Years Eve rolled around, I think both Neil and I were beginning to feel rather fatigued and happy to avoid the crowds. So instead we went out to a popular Chinese restaurant in Chinatown for some delicious noodle soup and sticky ribs before heading across the road to Artie's cousin Matt's apartment for a couple of celebratory champagnes. And since we don't like staying up too late these days (probably from months of very early bedtime in the tent), we beat the subway crowds getting home just before midnight!
Enjoying our favourite cocktail - the Old Fashion
We managed to score some free bicycle boxes from a local bike store, which Artie kindly picked up for us. Unfortunately when we came to pack the boxes we found these were WAY too small (meant for a racer), and there were no bike shops in NYC that had boxes any bigger. We thought we would try Qantas, since they sell them for a cheap $15 in Brisbane...no such luck, apparently no international airlines sells them at JFK airport. So after a few hours of searching, we managed to find a moving company that sold bike boxes that were just the size we needed. There were two big down sides to this option. First, they were $40 each, but it was was either that or paying a ridiculous amount to ship them home. And second, we had to trek across to the Upper West Side of Manhattan to pick them up, and avoid a $35 delivery fee. So after finally working out the best meeting place (out the front of The Dakota building at 6pm), and hailing a man in a big red van, we had our boxes. It only took three subway rides and one bus trip later, and we got them to Artie's!
Only 2 more subways to tackle with these bike boxes!
Goodbye apartment, and goodbye to our fond friend Robe-E, the robot vacuum you see next to me!
Bill and Neil, getting the boxes from the car (which fit 2 bikes, all our luggage AND 3 passengers inside!)
There were a few awkward silences as several of our items came in at 25kgs (whoops!)
And an incredible trip it has been! We have learnt so much about ourselves and each other. We now have names, songs and places that will forever invoke happy memories and melancholy. No doubt there will be many a "remember when....", and we'll never look at our trusty Vivente bikes and Hilleberg tent the same way. And while the USA has been a wonderfully diverse, beautiful, kind and generous country, we are so looking forward to being back in Australia with our family and friends, and maybe even testing out the Aussie drivers by taking another tour on the saddle.
I hope all who of you who have been reading our blog posts and following our Instagram pictures have enjoyed coming along for the ride. Since the Internet seems quite permanent, perhaps when we are old and grey and our memories begin to waver, we can revisit this little blog and do it all over again.
Until our next big adventure...The Squeaky Saddle is over and out!
Back at the beginning - June 2016