So, we are still in the first morning of our trip to the States.
Now what I must explain to you is the following. The best person I have ever met to go on holiday with is my Father-in-Law, Clive. He`s the kind of guy who will do all the weird and wonderful things, he refuses to sit still for a second and walking is his forte. Now when I say walking, I don`t just mean around the block kind of walking or the odd 5 km around town walking. No, this kind of walking is the kind that will make Sherpas from the Himalayas request a breather, it`ll make Olympians (maybe not Michael Phelps but who knows) beg for mercy. Of course I had experienced holidays with my Dad before but nothing could have prepared me for the assault that we were going to launch on Manhattan`s streets with our feet. If I had known, I would not have worn the aesthetically pleasing shoes but would have instead picked the comfortable, less aesthetically pleasing, ones. But, I had the Puma loafers on, looking good and feeling fine.
Like I said last time, it started easily enough. We spent a few hours at the ING New York Marathon Expo. That was a brisk walk of about 40 blocks (or so it felt), a warm up if you will. We then headed back towards our hotel and on the way, we passed Madison Square Garden. My Dad suggested we go check what was on during the next 5 days. The ladies, who had had enough of walking by then, waited outside. As luck would have it, the NY Rangers were playing that same night and the NY Knicks had their first home game of the season on the Sunday. My Dad bought 4 tickets for each game and we were set. I must be honest, I was so excited I drooled on my shirt and only saw it when I walked past a shop mirror. I was gonna fix my fringe (which is now all of 17 hair thick) but saw the big wet spot on my chest instead.
We left MSG and headed straight to Macy`s. Suddenly the ladies had regained feeling in their feet and they were raring to go, the pain was but a distant memory. Now Macy`s is awesome! We split up into one man/woman Elite Shopping Units (ESU) and headed off into shopping bliss. My ESU (Foxtrot) found itself in the sport section for most of the time. I then moved onto the various men's sections. Every now and then one of the ESUs would encounter another ESU and status updates were given. The head of all these units were ESU Alpha Charlie (Dad). Alpha because Dad is a magnificent shopper with technique that I will never be able to emulate. Mom was known as ESU Charlie (code for Cheryl).
The ESUs moved their way up through the floors until we all met on the top floor. The top floor was one big Christmas decoration. Here we found ESU Hotel (code for Hayley). She was almost in tears she was so happy. ESU Hotel loves nothing more than Christmas and this was the most magnificent Christmas display any of us had ever seen. So, after spending a lot of money on everything Christmas, we finally headed out the door of Macy`s.
Next stop, Times Square! Now you can only imagine how excited I was. Hayley and her folks had spent New Years Eve there in 1999 but for me, I had only ever seen this place on the tv. It did not disappoint. The buzz, the hustle and bustle, everything was just as I had imagined it, only real. I remember just stopping, looking up and savouring the moment. Time stood still for a minute or two. I was rudely interrupted by a screaming lady. This lady turned out to be my wife. Apparently a celebrity was in a cosmetics shop a few metres from us. At that instant Liv Tyler walked out of said cosmetics shop and got into a big, black SUV. I remember thinking to myself, is this really happening? I knew it was when I saw Hayley`s face!
We then headed back to the hotel cos it was getting late and we had a Rangers game to go to!!!!! We got to MSG and bought a t-shirt for each of us. Obviously we had no idea who the good players were but the guy behind the counter assured us that Henrik Lundquist was the man. How right he was, Lundquist was brilliant! So, we all headed into MSG and what a rush to be in this place that I had never thought I`d go to. It was awesome!!! We had hot dogs, popcorn, large cokes, basically everything we could get our grubby paws on! The Rangers won and we all left very happy.
On the way back to the hotel, I suddenly felt that the feet I was using did not feel like my own. It suddenly dawned on me that my own feet had died earlier that day and a kind doctor had transplanted the feet of a cadaver on my body. He was kind enough to put the aesthetically pleasing Pumas on my new feet. All this happened while I was anaesthetised somewhere between Macy`s and the hotel. Seeing as I had no feeling in my new limbs, I just enjoyed the walk.
We got back to the hotel and immediately hit the sack. We were all very, very tired and ready for a good night`s rest.
My first day in the Big Apple was about to end and what a day it had been. Four more days to go and then it would be off to Washington.
The adventure had just started....