Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Stranded again!

We thought Monday was going to be pretty uneventful, get to the bus station before 10am, hop on the bus to Syracuse, jump in the truck and be home by 7pm so Em would have time to finish her project due the next day. Unfortunately though, it didn't quite work out that way. When we got to the station there was a huge line-up. They filled a few busses and at the couple just before us, they said they were all full and we would have to wait until 11:45. Crap. Being second in line now we didn't want to risk losing our place so we stood there for another hour and forty-five minutes. At one point Phil wandered off in search of food and guy came along and told us we'd have to move to another gate! So much for being second in line. Crap. The people at the back of the line were closer to the other gate so we became last in line. It didn't help that I had to keep an eye out for Phil so he would no where we were. It was a wee bit chaotic but in the end we made it on the bus. We didn't get very far though before we were stopped in snail paced traffic. The bus driver tried to make up time by taking an alternate route but it turned out to be worse. That put us behind close to an hour. We were glad we were on the bus comfortably relaxed and not in our own vehicle feeling the frustration of the roads. Traffic is so much less stressful when you can close your eyes and sleep through it! Anyway, we finally got moving and with only 2 miles to the station in Syracuse the engine blew and the bus pulled to a stop at the side of the highway. While many of the other passengers expressed their frustration and concern (with being stranded safely inside the cozy bus on the side of the highway) and frantically made calls to friends and family to come and rescue them from this horrible nightmare, the four of us were laughing! Emily said "What is the problem? It's not like we're on the side of a cliff on a mountain 2 hours from civilization with a cockroach infested bus and rain pouring down!" hahahaha I have a feeling we learned a lot more than we realized on our trip to Vietnam!

We got back home shortly after 10pm and Emily finished her project by midnight. I know this because I stayed up to keep her up I mean slumped over on the sofa snoring until she tapped me on the head and told me she was done. Hey, I do want I can.......sometimes it isn't much!

Can't wait for the next adventure!


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Well this was our last full day in New York so we made the best of it. First thing on our list was to find Valerie Goneau's special spot in Central Park. For those who don't know, Valerie is the very special niece of my friends, Anne and Jacques, and founder of Valerie's Flutter Foundation. She suffered from a very rare cancer and passed away last year. She loved to travel so her ashes were placed in a few places and one of them was in central park, New York. We were given some directions on where to find the exact spot and were told there was a purple ribbon attached to a tree near by so we pretended it was our easter hunt. We think we found the spot but could not find the purple ribbon to confirm it. Maybe the birds took it. I wished I would have brought a new ribbon to place there but unfortunatly I didn't think of that until I was there. Timing is everything isn't it and my best ideas rarely come at the best time.

After Central Park we checked out the Plaza Hotel and wandered over to the Apple store. C.r.a.z.y.!
Next door was the FAO Schwarz toy store. Definition of cruelty: let's go in to the biggest toy store you've ever seen kids, but just to look around. Not buy anything! And since karma is a b*{%£ I got the bleep scared out of me when I thought I lost Malcolm. In the end everything worked out fine. The kids got to try out the giant floor piano and my heart beat went back to normal eventually. From there we went to Madisson Park to have lunch at the Shake Shack. The burgers were worth the very, very long wait. With full bellies we hopped a yellow cab to take us to the Staten Island Ferry so we could enjoy the free ride past the Statue of Liberty. She was thrilled to see us, I could tell! After that it was back to Canal street because Em and I NEEDED new sunglasses and Malcolm apparently NEEDED a New York themed snow globe! Back to the hotel for a swim and it's onward home in the morning. And for anyone who is wondering, Mal's foot started to feel much better tonight, now that the trip is over. I must say though that considering all the walking we did, he was great!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

The Tieu's Take Manhattan

Happy Easter weekend everyone! (assuming anyone is reading this) I'm not sure which I am more excited about; travelling or blogging. Without the travel I have nothing to blog about and without the blog well, I could still travel ...........I guess it's like a peanut butter and banana sandwich; each are good alone but together they are just so much mor enjoyable! In my opinion anyway.

So, as Phil already mentioned, we are in New York City! We thought we left Vietnam without catching any illnesses but it would appear we cought the travel bug. Phil spent many hours on his computer in the basement working his side job and decided to reward us all with a little getaway. I didn't expect to take another vacation so soon but hey, it's not like I'm going to say no! Today was lots of fun. We are doing this trip on a tight budget so Phil booked a very comfortable hotel in Queens instead of Manhattan. It's way cheaper! And instead of taking an expensive cab ride we bought passes for the city bus and subway. These little details are what turn a holiday into an adventure! After all the modes of transportation we took in Vietnam we figured we could do anything! Turns out it's a lot of fun and Phil is a pro at finding his way around. So you are probably wondering what we did today........well once we got off the subway at Grand Central Station it took about five minutes for Malcolm to get a sore foot. Not to worry though, we've got him all figured out. Phil offered to make our first stop be the Lego Store if he could find the strength to go on. Miraculously he did! He had to hop on one foot occasionaly but he didn't complain.....much. We used the M&M store and Hershy Factory as future bribes. So after making a little purchase we wandered by the Rockerfeller Centre, checked out the skating rink and headed toward Time Square. We went right away to the Broadway ticket booth to take advantage of the same day ticket sales of 40% off. After what seemed like forever, Emily finaly decided on How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying starring Nick Jonas of The Jonas Brothers. We bought our tickets then Em spotted the Forever 21 store. I know, we just got one in Ottawa but as Em put it, this one is 4 massive floors!! How could she resist! At 2pm she and I went to see the Broadway show while Phil and Mal went to see the USS Intrepid. It''s a retired air craft carrier that was used in the Vietnam war and is now stationed in New York as a museum. They loved it and get this, as they lined up to pay for their tickets some guy comes up to them and gives Phil a pass he wasn't going to use. Not only did they get in for free but they were told to enter ahead of the line-up. Even Phil couldn't have planned that sweet of a deal! We met up again in Time Square at 5:00 then took the subway to Canal St (China Town) for supper and a little purse shopping. So many purses, so little time and money. For those of you who don't know this about me, I have a thing for purses! I showed great restraint though. Just 1 and a half purses for me. The half is because I bought one very practical one and the other is a cute clutch type which Emily discovered goes very well with the dress she bought at Forever 21. I now have to share it. It's a mom sacrifice! (Em loves when I use that line. lol) We finaly returned to the hotel around 8pm and all went to the pool. Emily had offered to stay with Mal at the hotel so Phil and I could go out on a date but we were pretty tired so we didn't take her up on it. Tomorrow Central Park! Good night!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Big Apple

Hi again.
I am happy to blog this one from the Big Apple aka Manhattan or NYC or City Never Sleeps or Times Square .....
We arrived this afternoon at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. It's busy as I thought it would be, maybe it's busier today because of the Easter Long Weekend. Took Emily to downtown in search for One Direction as she learned the group happens to be in NY and will appear on SNL. We got down to the NBC Studio but OD was no where to be found. Oh well we'll have to catch them on SNL show. What a city ... Pitbull was in the house at RCMH, J Z was at 4040. Just to name a few. Em & I picked up supper at the famous The Halal Guys on 6th & 53rd - chicken platter. Em liked their BBQ sauce on the rice. We also found 2 Timmys just around SQ area. Sat on the Red Stairs and watched the action and lights. It was fun. Mal and Carol stayed back at the hotel and went for a swim. The weather was perfect today. We have a full day planned for tomorrow. Later.