sorry if this is rather long and tedious but I will try to detail as much as I can....
Day 1. spent the night at the Holiday Inn Express at Glasgow Airport (food very disappointing only 6 items on the menu, went to eat at the Travel Inn instead). Arrived in plenty of time for our flight on Continental, only to be delayed for an hour by technical problems, as they had the engine covers open on the plane I wasn't too bothered... an hours delay is surely better than than a cancellation. Arrived at Newark in scorching temperatures and took the Airtrain followed by Amtrak (first ambition achieved) into the City. From there we checked into the Bedford Hotel, I was slightly worried about the hotel from the reviews but it was OK. After unpacking we then strolled along 5th ave and visited FAO Swartz, then on to Times Square which was amazing for a first time visitor, then an early dinner at Domenico's (adjacent to the hotel) which was reasonable, although they do have the scariest waiter on the planet! After dinner went for a quick drink at Peter Donnelly's pub (which became a regular haunt) and watched part of an English Premiership football match!!!!
Day 2: Bought the Grey Line All Loops Tours and took the uptown loop. Got off at the Nat Hist Musem and bought our Citypasses and wandered around there for a while. We were still quite tired after the flights and it was very busy at hot so we probably didn't get as much out of it as we could. Then we walked to St. John the divine... BIG MISTAKE it didn't look like far on the map, but it was, and it was a little bit warm to say the least, still we got there and had a look around and then rejoined the bus tour back to Times Square, where the Naked Cowboy was posing away. Then we walked to ESB, got there at around 4.00pm and managed to get to the top in around 40 minutes. The view was stunning and there was hardly any wind, it was very hazy though due to the heat. Dinner was the amazing Juniors, the waiter was the chap with the large moustache... he was really good and the food was fantastic and very good value. After a wander around Grand Central and a quick drink at Donnelly's it was off to bed.
Day 3: Downtown Loop on Grey Line (one thing about these tours is that the guides seem to differ in quality, the first guide on this tour was amazing, very funny, the last guide was awful.. if you get a bad one get off the bus as the next one is right behind). We got off the bus at Battery Park. It was here that I learned that if you go to a street vendor and order 2 drinks and a pretzel with a $10 bill in your hand it costs $10, from that moment I always asked the cost before taking out my wallet and suddenly everything became cheaper! Then the Boat out to SOL it was a glorious day and I took some really photo's (although she was smaller than expected). Then on to Ground Zero where we were disgusted with the people grinning for the camera in front of the cross, we didn't take any photo's it didn't seem right!!! then a short walk over to Wall St. and then got the bus back to Times Sq. Then we visited Toys R Us and marvelled at the T-Rex they have on the first floor and then wandered off to the hotel (moving significantly slower than we had in the morning) on the way back got a good view of a Goodyear Airship circling the city. Dinner was at Hard Rock Cafe and it was appalling, I complained and had my main course taken off the bill as well as free dessert and a free drink, bad food but good service.
Stay with me..... the days get much shorter!!!
Day 4: Up early and off to Woodbury Common... Got some fantastic deals and saved loads of money, especially at The North Face Outlet Store (I manage a store like this in the UK and I saved over $300 by buying them here) spent around 8 hours there and then back to the city (a word of advice when you go for your return bus get there early as there where 2 busloads of people and 1 bus, the remaining people had to wait over an hour for the next one). Dinner was at Carmines the waiter and I had a misunderstanding that resulted in the main course being late and cold... still the starter was nice and the wine was superb!
Day 5: Time To Shop!!!! First stop Bloomingdales, then on to Trump Tower a quick wander round the Warner Center (where I dribbled all over the Samsung exhibits) then on to Rockefeller Center then Macy*s by this time we were absolutely knackered so opted for a bottle of wine and a chinese take-away.
Still with me..... good I will carry on!
Day 6. Madame Tussaude's (not good value IMHO) then the NBC tour (very good value in comparison) slow walk around Times Square (again) and a visit to the Easy Internet Cafe (take hand wipes, the keyboards are not nice) Dinner was at the Pig 'N Whistle and it was great. We where particularly taken by the picture on the far right hand side, it is a cartoon like sketch of Times Square, you could look at it for hours and still see something new.
Day 7: The first trip on the subway. Down to Brooklyn Bridge and we walked halfway across as it was busy and very windy. Then off to the seaport for a gentle stroll then got the subway back. Made reservations for The Red Lobster, but when we arrived the reservations seemed to mean nothing as we waited at least 45 minutes while others went up in front of us. I had subtle word with the receptionist and we where seated immediatly. Food was OK but if you go there you have to visit the first fish tank on the way in.. there is a big yellow fish there and he will track your hand around the inside of the tank... great fun
Day 8: Went to Grand Central station to wander around the market and find out about bus times back to Newark. then went down to macy's as we realised that we had bought waaaay too much stuff to fit into the bags we had bought over. The assistant was extremely helpful and advised us to go down (8 floors) to get the discount voucher, which I had forgotten about, and we managed to get a really large suitcase for $70. After dropping that off at the hotel we went up to the TKTS booth, it was around 5.45 and I expected massive queues but we managed to get got tickets for Dame Edna in about 15-20 minutes (it was very funny by the way) and it only cost $88 for the 2 of us. Then to the ESB at about 10.30 we were at the top in about 20 minutes and the view was stunning ( I took my hipflask and toasted NY with a Fine Malt Whisky). By this time we were starving and found the Heartland Brewery right by the entrance. The food was good the drink was good but the server was having a bad day so I gave him a larger than normal tip.
Day 9 (the Final Day... so I won't bore you much longer) Pack and checkout of hotel. Wander up to the Disney store and then FAO (again) A quiet walk around the park to reflect and then down to Times Square... to say goodbye really! Then on to lunch at Juniors (where else), had to sign off the holiday with THE most amazing cheesecake in the world and then back to the hotel to get our bags and get the cab to the airport (I know... we were going to get the bus.. but after the 9 days we had I felt a Taxi was in order) Flight was slightly delayed due to Orlando flight coming in late, but as we took off there was a flash of lightning that light up the city... amazing!
So that was it... our 9 days in NY it was great and we certainly will return, although probably in January or February next time to beat the crowds and save some money for "essential" purchases