The lovely weather continued the day after the wedding, and as we knew lots of people would still be around we had booked one of the bar/restaurants on the beach for a late lunch. I’m glad we did actually, as it was really nice sitting out there in the sunshine, and it gave an extra opportunity to see some of the people we hadn’t had much time to talk to the night before.
Mum and Dad left after lunch, having had two OK nights in the hotel but complaining that it had been noisy from the traffic on the road. Ha! They were lucky they had been at the front, the people at the back of the hotel hadn’t had a wink of sleep because of the nightclub outside their window and the roadworks that started at 7am, so they should count their blessings. That was the main drawback of the hotel in the end – it’s location is great in some ways, but it also means it’s very noisy and you can’t park within two miles of it very easily. But you’re not really thinking about those things when you book it 18 months in advance, are you?? And nobody really complained to us, they just got on with it, which is good.
Sunday was our first day of proper rest and recovery, and we spent a nice couple of hours in the afternoon opening all our cards and presents. Oh. My. God. Everyone was SO generous, and we got given SO much money! We’d said “no presents” to people, because we didn’t really want lots of toasters and we weren’t actually that fussed about getting any presents, but everybody wants to give you something on your wedding day. So they all gave us money instead – a mixture of dollars for the honeymoon, and normal cash. I actually felt a bit guilty about how much we got in end… Well, not that guilty, but you know…
And on Monday we jetted off to New York! It was terribly exciting to be going somewhere so interesting, and that we’d never been to before. We had thought it might be worth mentioning at the airport when we checked in that it was our honeymoon, on the very slim hope that they might bump us up to first class. Alas, check-in was at an automated kiosk that didn’t have a button for “We’re on our honeymoon”, and the lady at the bag drop looked thoroughly unimpressed when we tried it on her. So we flew normal class, but that was fine as Virgin Atlantic is quite good anyway.
We arrived late in New York, where we spent the first four nights of our honeymoon. The hotel was lovely, a little converted town house down in Chelsea that I’d found on Trip Advisor. Each room was named after a film star and there were cool movie posters everywhere, which was quite fun. We stayed in the Lee Remick room – I’d never heard of her, but apparently she’s the Mum in The Omen, amongst other things.
The three days we had in New York were nice: mostly very busy, loads of walking around and doing touristy thing, and it was VERY hot. I think it was about 90 degrees, and it was a sticky humid heat with no wind. The temperature was exacerbated, and possibly caused by, the millions of air conditioning vents that constantly pump hot air out in the street from every building and subway line, so being out in the street generally wasn’t that pleasant. Once you were inside on the good end of an air conditioner of course, it was all fine.
We did all the tourist things we could fit in in three days, namely:
- went up the Empire State Building
- walked around in Times Square and Broadway
- saw Madison Square Garden (from the outside anyway)
- saw Grand Central Terminal
- went to the UN headquarters
- went to Macy’s
- walked around Central Park – nice, but just a park really
- went to the Natural History Museum and saw lots of dinosaurs and gemstones, and touched a REAL 30-tonne meteorite that had been in actual space
- went up the Rockefeller Center at night
- took the Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island and back, taking a million photos of the Statue of Liberty on the way
- saw Ground Zero – just a big building site now
- walked through Chinatown (quite shabby and horrible actually)
- rode the subway and caught yellow cabs
So lots of things really. The best bit was probably going up the Rockefeller Center at night. The views of the city lights were fantastic, you got to see the Empire State Building (which you obviously can’t do when you’re actually on the Empire State Building), and it was lovely and cool up there compared to ground level.
We also visited a few of the gay bars during the evenings – Sport Bar, Barracuda, View Bar, The Monster, and Pieces. They were… OK. Not amazing, I have to say, but Barracuda and Pieces were both lots of fun. The others were a bit of an older crowd, or were a bit empty, or didn’t have any music on. We saw the best BEST karaoke ever at Barracuda, a girl who sang I’m Every Woman and who was every bit as good as Whitney Houston. And Pieces was fun because they had shag tags and beer pong (that’s a game, not the smell of beer) and good music. They also had a hot barman who had much better dress sense than most Americans, who we sort of tried to flirt with but failed because I’m so bad at flirting.
And that was New York! Lovely, tiring, hot, and photo-filled. I photographed EVERYTHING I think. On Friday we got the subway to Jamaica (not the real Jamaica, it’s in Queens) and the Air Train to JFK airport, where we spent a couple of hours in the crappiest terminal ever – JFK Terminal 3 is tiny and pathetic, due to it only servicing domestic flights with Delta.
But that didn’t matter much because then we flew off to San Francisco for the second part of our honeymoon adventure…