Rockefeller Center & The Empire State

A long lie in was required for Tuesday so we rose around 12. After sorting ourselves out we headed for Rockefeller Center to see the views atop the 68th floor. The attraction is billed as a better view than the Empire State due to the thick glass instead of railings and, to be honest, it was stunning. On the way up in the elevator the room is transparent so you can see it rising through the building. At tht top there’s (pretty much) unrestricted views north and south allowed you to take in the scale of the city. It’s a metropolis in the pure sense.

After dinner in the Hard Rock on Times Square we made our way to the Empire State. Seeing the city by day and by night in the one day was great. There’s pics from both below:

Rockefeller Center:
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Empire State:
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Arriving in New York

We left Niagra on Sunday morning. Sunday night would be spent in a New Jersey hotel right next to the Outlet mall but the guts of an seven hour drive through up state New York lay ahead. Split shifts of two and a bit hours saw us arrive on time and freshen the wardrobes on Monday. After spending a lot of cash we made our way into Manhatten to the hotel. Dar, being the most experienced driver, took it and man was I glad I wasn’t in the hot seat. Driving into the city is a nightmare. The GPS got slightly confused due to the high buildings plus traffic was unusually busy due to the UN meeting taking place.

The lads dropped the rental car out to LaGuardia airport (east of Manhattan) via Statten Island (South West of Manhattan) and they arrived back to amazing cheeseburgers and a hell of a lot of ketchup (don’t ask for extra over here, they include loads anyway).
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Niagara Falls, Canada

Toronto to New York is a long drive. Eight and a half hours to be precise. On the trip across we had talked about how we’d tackle it. One suggestion was to travel from Toronto down to Niagra and stay there the night before travelling on to New York. That plan worked out quite well as we got to see a bit of Toronto (as shown in the previous entry) and it split up the longer drive.

Arriving in Niagra Falls was not what I had expected. It’s like Tramore on a grander scale. There’s a few casinos, a main tourist street and attractions like Crazy Golf and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. We arrived mid-afternoon after spending the morning in Niagra so after hotel check-in went directly for the Maid of the Mist. I spotted a staff member on the way down to the cliffs and asked where the ferry went from but she informed us it was closed. Shite. The one day we have to really see it (a beautiful clear day) and there’s an issue with one of the boats. We wander on down anyway to see the Falls from a distance and saunter up to the Maid of the Mist ticket office to quiz them on if it’ll be running again. As we approach one of the booths, most of them switch from CLOSED to OPEN. Happy days, we’re the first group through. No queueing at all and we’re on the boat within 10 minutes.

The Maid takes you right into the Falls. You’re probably aware of that from all the sources you’ve seen but it is truly spectacular. The rapids the boat has to contend with and the spray thrown up from the base assure you of the awesome power that’s generated by this natural wonder. We’ve crammed some really kick ass things into the holiday but this was certainly one of my highlights.

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Toronto, Canada

DSC00744We didn’t get to see a hell of a lot in Toronto. We arrived by night and immediately went to dinner at the 360 Restaurant atop the CN Tower. It’s the tallest building in Toronto and provides spectacular views of the area. We all got steak which was delicious:

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followed by a variety of desserts.

Stunning views, a rotating restaurant and a great evening out. The following morning we wandered around Toronto for a while and went into an Apple store managing to find the only Irish sales assistant who informed Dar that the best place to scout an iPod Touch was not in Toronto. Onwards.