We made our way upstairs into the
We're so cool.
We headed out into the rain and had lunch at an Irish pub. Of course, just as we left the pub, the rain turned from drizzle to something more substantial. So we attempted to hail a cab. EPIC FAIL. So we ultimately decided to take the subway. After struggling a little with the ticket machine (and with attempting to convince the employee to let us use the disabled entrance so we didn't have to take our suitcases through the turnstiles), we made it to the train. And then had to change lines at Times Square. That was...interesting. Let's just say they weren't kidding when they said the ramp isn't wheelchair accessible. Finally, after much dragging of suitcases up flights of stairs (which, OW), we made it to Grand Central, and the half a dozen blocks to the hotel.
Kat and Sara loitered about in the lobby while I checked in. Which took FOREVER.
Hotel employee: Sorry, we've just had the system upgraded and it's kind of slow.
Me: Um. Okay?
Hotel employee: How many keys would you like?
Me: Two, please.
Hotel employee: Sure, not a problem.
[Three minutes later]
Hotel employee: Sorry, we've just had the system upgraded and it's kind of slow. How many keys would you like?
Hotel employee: Okay, not a problem.
[Two minutes later]
Hotel employee: I don't know what's going on with the system today, it's very slow. How many keys would you like?
Me: *head explodes*
Eventually, we got checked in and up to our room. The evening was spent wandering around Times Square, eating at the world's largest Applebee's (clearly, they were very proud of that. It was plastered all over the walls), and visiting M&Ms World.
The following day, we declared it time for actual touristy stuff, and caught the subway down to Battery Park. Somehow, Kat thought I was navigating and I assumed she was, given my total inability to navigate, and as a result, we walked to Times Square rather than catching the subway from Grand Central. #fail We met Sara at Times Square (she stayed at a hostel up near Central Park while we stayed at a hotel in Murray Hill), and made our merry way downtown. On the way, this happened:
Me: *inspecting subway map to see how many stops we have to go*
Old man on subway: That won't do you much good. Know why?
Me: Um. No idea.
Old man: Because it's not to scale. And because the guy who designed it was colour blind!
Me: Huh. Interesting.
Old man: If you need any help, you just let me know!
Me: Thanks, but I think we're okay.
Kat: *quietly* Does he have an onion on his belt? Because he totally reminds me of Grandpa Simpson...
Sadly, he didn't have an onion on his belt.
Once we reached Battery Park, we bought tickets, and spent more thrilling time standing in a queue for security. This time, there was a dude playing the steel drums keeping people amused. He'd ask where they were from, and then play something relevant. No moment to think, no pause. Just instantly into the national anthem or a well known song like Rule Britannia or Waltzing Matilda. Incidentally, Waltzing Matilda doesn't exactly work on the steel drums...
The Statue of Liberty is the Statue of Liberty. Everyone's seen it, everyone knows what it looks like.
Wolverine wasn't there, and it didn't come to life courtesy of pink slime and "Higher and Higher". Sad, really. We spent most of the time laughing at the poses other people were making in front of it.
From there, we made a quick stop at Ellis Island, where we had a very unexciting and overpriced lunch. While there, this happened:
Serving wench: Would you like fries or onion rings with that?
Serving wench: But...you have to!
Kat: But I don't want them.
Serving wench: *dithers*
Kat: Fine. Onion rings.
Serving wench: *heaves a sigh of relief*
Dear America, this is why you have obesity problems... Love, the rest of the world.
From there, we wandered briefly around Ellis Island, and then it was back to Manhattan - we had a date we couldn't miss. With Ground Zero.
Up next, the 9/11 Memorial.