Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 2 – Saturday

Since Alexi has only just started driving, her “mom” is reaping the benefits of having someone to do errands for her. So one of the first things I did when I got to the US was find a part for a pool vacuum. I didn't really mind at all though, I was just excited to be outside and not on a plane. I had a conversation with the store clerk about Koalas and I told him how they very rarely drink water. Then convinced myself that I had lied to him accidentally so had to check it on google as soon as I came home. (I hadn't. Koala's don't need much water at all. They get enough from the moisture in Eucalyptus leaves.) After that we got snow cone type things from a store called “water and ice”. So cheap. (AMERICAN PRICES. UGH WHY IS IT SO CHEAP HERE?)

I had received a phone call from my nephew, Rohan while I was still in Australia asking if I might be able to get him a lego set that he wanted because it was cheaper to get in the US. Of course, being the wonderful, devoted Auntie that I am, I said that I would. So with that request in mind we headed off to Walmart. Walmart, for those of you back home who haven't ever been, is like a Big W
and a Woolworths combined. Flipping huge. Alexi has been away from home for a few weeks, and apparently in that time they had completely changed around the entire store which left both of us hopelessly lost. That just makes it fun! After wondering around for a while, with me gazing at all the marvellous American things (and prices!) we found the Avengers lego that Rohan wanted. In all our wisdom and maturity, Alexi and I of course had a go ourselves of some of the toys.

We bought some frozen Pizza ($1 for each Pizza to feed one person. AMERICAN PRICES, GUYS). And then left for home. To be honest with you I can't completely remember what we did after that. I think maybe watched some “Avatar, the last Airbender”, which by the way is a fantastic show. I did only wake up at 1:30pm though, definitely not the only day that I've slept that late. Probably should get into a better habit in preparation for the very little sleep I'll get at VidCon.

Day 3 either tonight or tomorrow, depending on how hooked I get on Supernatural.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

America Day 1


Alrighty, so I know that I told a lot of people that I was planning on blogging every day. Obviously that didn't happen, and I while I apologise for that, I think that just putting the first half of my week in America in one post will actually be a bit more interesting to read. Not that it's been dull here by any means. There's just not that much to put into writing.

For those of you who don't know I'm currently residing with my friend Alexi in Maricopa, Arizona. It's a small town about an hour out of Phoenix, It's population is about 40,000 (or so wikipedia says), so about half the size of Toowoomba city. It's got a Walmart and a Taco Bell though, so that's really all that matters for an American town, right?

I'll try and remember this in days even though I've been here since Friday (It's now Thursday here) and post them separately so they don't seem so long.


Day 1 – Friday
Friday starts in Australia, it was basically just a travelling day. I left Canberra at 8:00am, arrived at Sydney International Airport at 11:15 and then boarded my plane for my 13 hour flight to Los Angeles. The flight was thoroughly uninteresting, but a far better experience than my flight last year. Australian airlines over Fijian any day, man. Any. Day. I'd stayed up the night before in preparation for the flight so that I would hopefully sleep. Unfortunately the plan didn't work very well because planes are flipping uncomfortable. The safety video warning people to drink water, keep moving their feet and walk around the cabin didn't help either. I have heard far too much about DVT to not be worried about it. My mind was constantly like “NO IF YOU SLEEP FOR TOO LONG THEN YOU WILL PROBABLY DIE FROM LACK OF MOVEMENT AND BLOOD CLOTS”. (See mum, I told you that you didn't have to worry irrationally for me, I do it enough myself)

After the long flight and the pain of getting into LA without someone suspecting that you're a terrorist, I was in for very long wait. Make sure you pay more attention than I did when your travel agent is booking things, guys. 10 hours. 10 flippin' hours I had to wait in LAX. And man do I hate airports. Especially that one. It's the most complicated airport that I've ever been in, had to ask about everything and it is not signed well at all.

I went to check in my bag but of course 8 hours before the flight was the minimum you could check your bags in before the flight. So here I has with a 22kg bag plus a laptop and a very large hand bag that was practically bursting with another two hour before I could go through customs. It was lunch time and after a very confusing elevator where it took me to the same floor about five times before finally taking me down to the ground level, I found an alien themed restaurant called “Encounter”.

I had an amazing burger there and the staff were friendly. I had a funny “encounter” (see what I did there) with a man who didn't speak very good English and for the life of him could not understand when I was asking for a glass of water. Despite repeating it at least five times and even trying to say it in American accent a few times, he had to call one of the other waitresses, who thankfully understood my straight away. She told him once and then he basically literally face palmed and apologised profusely.

I was extremely tired so I stayed at “Encounter” for a while and read “Looking for Alaska” for a while. I stopped at “The day before” because, as those of you who have read it, and also know my well, will know that I would have definitely cried had I read any further. By then enough time had passed that I could check my bags in, so after doing that and going through customs I found my gate and basically just slept. I was exhausted, so I just clutched my bags and used them as a sort of pillow for sitting up. I don't really know how to explain it but I slept for a good three hours. I needed that.

After I finally boarded my plan to Phoenix, it was thankfully only about an hour flight so I read for a bit more (made my way through more of “Looking for Alaska” without freaking out the guy next to me with my tears. My eyes watered but once. Be proud, my friends, be proud.

Once I landed in Phoenix it wasn't long before Alexi found me at baggage claim and went for the ol' run and hug technique that is common among internet friends. We drove for an hour while I managed to keep my eyes open and chat to Alexi's “Mom” in an attempt to make a good first impression. We arrived in Alexi's town, Maricopa, I got a quick tour of the house and then slept forever.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tara: Airport woes

So, updating every day did not go as well as I had planned it to, New York was okay to update in, but it seems like everywhere else we have just been really busy somehow. I was going to make this a "The rest of the trip" post but apparently I have more to talk about than I thought I did. If you don't feel like reading all about the issues we had with planes then you can skip this blog, I won't be offended.

Our trip to LA from New York wasn't exactly the smoothest - we got to the La Guardia Airport about eight hours before our flight because of the time we had to be out of the hostel. We sat around and watched friends for hours before we could finall check our bags in four hours before our flight was due to leave. We stood in the check in line for an hour which was utterly ridiculous as the line wasn't even that long. I still have no idea why it took so long, we seemed to be standing at the very front of the line for 10 minutes or so while they sorted something out. No one told us anything. It was really frustrating.

When we finally did reach the check in desk, the guy serving us obviously like to make people who are travelling want to punch him. While doing our tickets he was mumbling to us and somewhere in it he said that we had missed our connecting flight into LA. My mind started racing "We hadn't even gone to Milwaukee to get to our connecting flight! How could we have missed it? What on earth was going on?" What he actually meant was that because of the delays on the plane that we wouldn't get to the airport in time to catch our connecting flight, so he would have to change it.

Still not an ideal situation to be in, but really, we actually had to ask the question "So how do we get to LA then?" He should have flipping told us straight up. Doesn't he deal with stressed travellers all the time? You don't freak them out and not give them a solution. Anyway, he booked us a flight from LA to Atlanta and then we would fly from Atlanta to LA. With the original trip plan we were going to be in LA by about one in the morning. This had us getting there at one pm the next day. That was annoying, but okay because, whatever, flights get delayed and that's fine.

Our plane to Atlanta was supposed to leave at a quarter to seven but because of the ridiculous delays it didn't leave until about 12:30am, maybe 1:00. I don't really remember. Wwe were left sitting in the smallest gate I have ever sat in for a ridiculous eight hours. We got through all the friends disks I had with me, and we didn't even get seats for that entire time, so we were sitting next to a pole, on the ground . It was not comfortable. And there wasn't even free wifi!

Finally getting to Atlanta, which is the most confusing airport I've ever been in, we managed to find our gate. We found our gate with several people sleeping on the chairs. Elizabeth decided she would do the same. I tried, and failed to sleep on the ground so ended up watching Disney movies instead. When Elizabeth woke up I was still watching movies and so she joined me. While we were watching the Lion King a little girl spotted us and tried to inconspicuously watch it with us. We ended up just sitting it on the ground for her to watch and then suddenly there were five little girls. We were practically a low budget babysitting group. We even had stuffed animals with us.

Finally when we got on to our plane for the flight to LA I think I was awake for about 10 minutes and then fell straight to sleep. That flight certainly seemed like a short one for me. We collected our baggage, which thankfully was all there and not damaged and headed to our hostel.

More on LA to come!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tara: New York day five

This seems so long ago now, but I will try and remember it!

Shock and horror, we actually did something different this day. We crawled out of bed at a time that I do not remember (I think probably like 11:00, actually) and instead of times square, we went to central park. Now, I expected central park to be big. I don't think I expected it to be HUGE. I mean, I had heard that is was really, really big, but really, it's ridiculously so. I also didn't expect it to have things like castles inside of it.

It was much more over grown than I thought it would be too. Some of it seemed almost rainforest-like. I imagined it was going to be more like a really (REALLY) big rich suburban lawn. Mown grass, trees that are cut down very frequently, concrete paths, that sort of thing. Some bits were, yes, but there was a fair chunk that seemed to have been left alone. there were still clear paths everywhere, but sections were fenced off and were wild.

Something that may be baffling to my American friends is the amount of excitement I felt when I saw my FIRST SQUIRREL EVER. THEY ARE SO FLIPPING ADORABLE I JUST WANT TO TAKE ONE HOME. I'll be able to pass it through customs as a cat, right? Many photos and videos were taken. I heard someone passing by say "What are they filming? Oh, it's a squirrel" and then they kept walking. I don't understand. I still get excited about our wildlife! Even if I see it every day!

We wandered around for a bit and tried to find food. It took us a while, and when we finally did it was expensive and didn't look very good so we retreated from the park and ended up in the olive garden again. I very much brushed over the park - we were there for a couple of hours I think, but pretty much all we did was walk around. It was a park, it was pretty, there's not really much else to say about it!

Olive Garden was good, as always, so with full bellies we decided that we would, again, as usual, go to the Disney store - but this time with the intent of buying things! I didn't mention this, but day four in New York we bought all the things we wanted for ourselves in the Disney store. We couldn't do presents and things for ourselves (I'm sure there's a better word for that, but it's 1:00am and different rules for grammar and words and things apply after midnight) in one day, so we split it up.

Buying things you've been looking at for days is always really satisfying. I spent far too much money on items I won't talk about at risk of present spoiling. That was day four though and this is day five. Day five was present buying time! We had given the option to some of our friends who we know are particularly into Disney stuff to send us money and we would buy them what ever they wanted. Previously we had taken over 100 photos of the merch they have there so our friends could decide. We ended up with about 90 dollars worth of presents JUST with the money people had given us. We ended up with two huge bags full of stuff (day four was three...) and at that point we decided we were definitely, definitely going to need another suitcase. Yep.

Suitcases in tourist shops are expensive, so it took us a while to find somewhere in times sqaure that was selling a smallish suitcase for less than 40 dollars, but we did it! A lot of the shop keepers in NYC are really, really pushy. It's quite frustrating - I just felt like yelling at them a lot. After we bought the suitcase, that was pretty much our afternoon then was the time for the Lion King.

After walking in the wrong direction for 10 minutes or so we ended up just asking another theatre where on earth the show was playing at.  I was convinced the show was on 50th, when in fact it was on 44th or something. (Actually, that's something that is handy about New York, or Times Sqaure at least, the streets are all numbers! It's excellent!) It turned out that the theatre was about a minute from where we had started from in the wrong direction, so that was a little annoying. Honestly we'd been walking so much in New York that it really wasn't that bad.

Finally we reached the theatre and my word, this, this is what I imagined a broadway theatre to look like. It was gorgeous and huge. Our seats were right up the back (second last row) which I was a little annoyed about at the start, but of course once the show started they were fine seats and I got lost in the magic of Disney coming to life.

I did not expect to get emotional at all in this show apart from maybe when Mufassa dies (Spoilers, I guess? But really, if you haven't seen the Lion King then you deserve to have it spoiled. Go rent it now and watch it. Or download it, whatever, everyone should see that movie) but not in the first five minutes. The whole feeling of my most watched childhood movie, actually, probably most watched movie ever, coming to life was insane. The circle of life started playing and the actors came in in the most amazing animal costumes I have ever seen and by the time they had a flipping elephant come on the stage I had tears streaming down my face. I can't even explain what it felt like to see it come to life. The amount of times I have imagined how that scene would work in the show was nothing compared to what it actually was. The orchestra was beyond great and the choir was just gorgeous and everything about that moment seemed so perfect.

The whole show was just excellent. The costumes were amazing - seriously brilliant, apart from, oddly enough, the lions. They weren't bad by any means, but they just weren't up to the same standard as I thought a lot of the other costumes were. They had these, like Lion hat looking things on their heads, which at one point Mufassa actually takes off. I didn't understand the reasoning behind that. Like, what, are you suddenly not a Lion anymore? It didn't make any sense.

Since the whole show was great I feel like I could write a million things about why it was good, but because I, unreasonably so, wanted it to be perfect, I feel like I can only tell you about the negative things about the show. It was fabulous though as a whole and 95% of it I fell in love with.

There were a few scenes where there was very unexpected african songs that really added nothing to the actual Lion King story or play. It seemed like they just sort of could stick it anywhere and it would have had the same impact. The songs were beautiful, but unrelated. I thought it didn't mesh well with the show. There was an act like this where the choir/dancers came out in what looked like rich african robes, which didn't fit with the outback african feel at all. Definitely could have done without it.

The other thing I wasn't impressed with was the acting and singing of the young Simba. I thought from his performance that e was about seven or eight. He was eleven though, and after seeing Tade play billy elliot so brilliantly at eleven, I was unimpressed with Simba's (I've forgotten his name) skills. He wasn't BAD but he also wasn't up to broadway standard, I thought. Maybe Toowoomba standard (which contrary to popular belief, really isn't that bad).

Like I said though, the show, overall, was brilliant. I loved it.

That was the end of that day and now I am in LA and VidCon is tomorrow and I will TRY and post. I suspect I will be rather busy there, so if I don't I'm sorry. I'll try and remember everything that happens so I can give you a recap. I hope this was understandable. I'm really, really tired at the moment.



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tara: New York, New York Day three and four

Honestly, we have done almost the same thing for the last three days. You'd think there would be  lots to do in New York. There is. It's just you have to pay for most of it. Our days consist of:

  • waking up at 10:00
  • messing around on the internet for at least an hour
  • getting out of the house by 12:00
  • wandering around times sqaure a for a while
  • lining up in the tickets line for broadway tickets
  • having lunch (By now it's usually at least 3:30, depending on when we line up)
  • going to the Disney store
  • wandering around a little more trying to find things to do but never really suceeding
  • seeing a broadway show
That is literally what the last three days have been for us, and you know what? It's FUN. Yesterday we actually ended up buying things at the Disney store, because we're getting presents for people as well and that would be way too much to carry. We ended up with four HUGE bags of stuff between us (though we did manage to condense it down to three) and most of that was just our stuff. I won't say what I bought because that may ruin the surprise of some of the presents!

The only thing that was really different between day three and four was the shows and the places we had lunch. Day three we went to the Olive Garden again and stuffed ourselves to not quite the level that we did before, but still to quite a high level. And then we saw Catch Me if You Can which was brilliant. I highly recommend the show to anyone who enjoys the more "classic" broadway feel. I haven't seen the movie so I can't really compare it to that - Elizabeth has and says that there are a few differences, like the characterisation of both the main characters, but she still absolutely loved the show.

Day Four we went to this place called "Stardust Diner" which I have mentioned before - it was the diner we couldn't afford to go to before because we had already had lunch. It was flipping excellent. The singing waiters and waitresses were all exceptionally talented, the food was great, and the theme worked really, really well. I could really transport myself back to the 50s.

That night we saw Avenue Q, which now is an off broadway show, but started on Broadway. It was a smaller theatre, but that was the only difference really. I really loved the performance, not as good as Billy Elliot or Catch Me if You Can, but still very good. Since Avenue Q is mostly just a comedy show, there's not really a very strong plot or particularly interesting characters, some of the magic was lost on me. I know every song off by heart, and there was surprisingly little dialogue, I already knew what the jokes were going to be. There were a few physical jokes that obviously I hadn't gotten from listening to the sountrack - but even then I have watched so many recordings on youtube that I knew some of them as well.

The cast was really good... apart from the girl who played Kate Monster. Her voice was excellent, but her puppeteering was sloppy. It made Kate's story far less believable and I found myself constantly looking back to the actor for the emotion I was supposed to be getting from the puppet. All the other cast members were excellent in both singing and puppeteering, with most of them playing more than one character.

Today we don't even have to line up for tickets because we're already booked for the Lion King tonight (SO VERY EXCITED). We're not quite sure what we're going to do all day.

Bye for now!


I totally forgot to mention that yesterday we had breakfast at Tiffany's. But it wasn't really breakfast, because it was midday and we also discovered after chatting to one of the staff, that we were in the wrong tiffany's. BUT WE STILL DID IT, OKAY?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Elizabeth: New York, New York day 2

By the second day in New York we were pretty much old hat experts. After spending far too long online in the morning, we realised we had pop-tarts we could eat for breakfast. Pop-tarts are weird. I think they are usually eaten toasted or warmed, but I struggle to see how that would work. They’re basically soft biscuits with sugar-icing and little black lumps that I decided were chocolate, but spent most of the meal thinking they were like sultanas or berries that had cooked weirdly.
Thanks to Google maps we successfully subwayed down to the Manhattan Mall which was rather small and disappointing. Half of it was JC Penny’s where we considered buying shorts, but we couldn’t crack the sizes and it seemed silly to buy something we could get back home for a similar price. I had heard that shopping in America is cheaper than in Australia, but so far that doesn’t seem to be the case. Of course trying to find clothes in malls means paying clothing store prices, so we really want to go to a Walmart or Target to compare properly. Malls strike me as so much less useful that shopping centres, but at least we got some nice ice cream and had fun in the Hallmark store.
Coming out of the Manhattan mall we were greeted by the incredibly tall Empire State building. We kept eyecontact with it and walked, which was far more successful than the tourist map (being orientated according to the compass and was thus about 90 degrees off was too different for my brain to deal with). We didn’t actually go up the Empire State buildings as it was $22 and would be better at night, though I’m not sure if we are actually going to go back. 
My amazing direction skills combined with the rather useful numerically named streets meant we easily made it back to Times Square (which is fairly difficult to miss, the billboards didn’t quite come across as subtly as originally planned). On the way we nipped into the New York Library, which is 6 stories and hard to navigate, left a nerdfighter note in Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Tara was informed that lying down was a fire hazard.
We were keen for more Broadway so we thought we’d try out the tkts thingo where you can get cheaper tickets. They had sold out of How to Suceed in Business Without Trying, so we grabbed some for Billy Elliot. Standing in line for tickets was surprisingly easy. We got there about 5 or 10 minutes before it opened and were only in line for about half-an-hour. The only real issue I can see people having is if they are after a particular popular show then they might have to get there quite a bit before it opens.
Our hostel does not have a fridge or kitchen facilities so we have to eat out a lot, but thankfully that’s not that expensive here. So once we had our tickets to Billy Elliot we headed over to the Olive Garden. It was about 3:30 or 4 by now so we figured we would stuff ourselves and it could be a combination of lunch and dinner. Once you order there (minestrone for me, chicken Alfredo for Tara) they bring you free amazing salad and free amazing bread sticks. They were both delicious and filling. I think they should set up a sister restaurant selling just the salad and bread sticks cheaply for students and other poor people. Three plates of salad, three and a half breadsticks, two bowls of soup/one serve of Alfredo chicken, two cups of iced tea and half a cup of water later we were STUFFED. Oh my goodness. It hurt so bad. Getting up I thought I would die. Going down the tiny one person elevator I thought I would die. Crossing the road I thought I would die. Eventually we stumbled into the sanctuary of the Disney store and went upstairs to die in front of the screen and watched snippets of Disney shows and movies. Once we were functional again we went around the store taking lots of pictures and reveling in the magic.
Normally I wouldn’t mention slipping into a Macca’s to use the loo but this one was really cool. The wall were painted with Times Square stuff and they had a miniature model of New York city complete with a car accident. Plus I finally ordered a large drink (iced water 97 cents) which I think was about a litre, making me think the iced tea I got yesterday must have been more than a litre as it was bigger.
This post will finally come to an end as it was shortly after this that we went off to see Billy Elliot. I think this theatre was slightly more what I was expecting, with a more rectangular stage and the seating arrangements, but still taller and narrow than anticipated. The show itself was incredible. Truly amazing numbers, the dancing was unbelievable, the sets top-notch and so unique. I just adored it so much. If I lived in NY that would be a show I saw again and I’m sad that I won’t get to, but not too upset as it was just a treat to see.

Tara: The Day Things Got Better.

So, if you read my last post you'll know that we had a bit of a rocky start in the wondrous NYC. Once we had woken up, things got better very quickly.

The first worry that we had was that we were staying in a really seedy place. When Elizabeth went to shower (in a shared bathroom) and discovered that almost everyone she bumped into was a young adult or teenager. It was just a normal backpackers. First and biggest worry - gone. That and a good nights sleep had set the day off to be at least an okay day. The discovery of free wifi in the hostel was an excellent mood booster as well. Though a little surprising since our much more expensive hotel in Orlando didn't have free wifi in the rooms. Although our hostel in Orlando did - maybe that's a just a thing hostels do here.

After a quick google maps we discovered it was only going to take us about 15 minutes to get to times square from our hotel if we caught the subway. We decided today was the day for exploring!
Stepping outside onto the streets of New York in the day time is a lot less scary than night time. We're staying in China town and it really does remind me of an upper class Bangladesh. There are major differences, of course, like the roads being more than dirt and the fact that there at least seems to be some regard for road rules (though not much) but the smell is the same, the little shops with vegetables and fish sitting outside seem the same. There is just something about it. Apart from the fact that it is dirty and crowded, china town is fine - the feeling of being legitimately scared completely passed (though I still would not like to walk around at 2:00am here).

The subway was actually pretty much exactly how I pictured it - dirty, but fine. It was cheaper than expected which is good since Taxis seem to be expensive and take much longer to get anywhere. We caught it to Times Square and started our adventure.

The first thing I noticed when we reached the surface was the amount of cabs on the roads. at least 50% of cars are cabs. I used to think that in movies it was silly that they could always catch a cab so quickly - but no. Not in New York city. You be hard pressed to go thirty seconds without seeing one. I am in no way joking.

Both of us were hungry so the first stop was anywhere with food. We came across a small food court. We got pizza from a little place called the Villa and I would give them at least a B for their food. It was very good. No longer being hungry also improved our moods ten fold.

We wanted to find the actual square of times square so we just sort of started walking and imagined that we'd end up there eventually. After going in what I think must have been the wrong direction for a while we came across an information centre. An information centre like none that I had ever seen before. There were flashing lights and big glowing balls and it was really quite large. There was a vending machine with this ice cream that wasn't ice cream and I don't even know how to explain it but it tasted good.

We didn't actually get very much information from the centre and just kept on wondering. We managed to stumble into the biggest Disney store I have ever seen. Then all my dreams came true and my inner little child completely took over. As soon as you walk into the disney store you hear the wonderful music of walt disney, see the characters being projected onto giant white trees and hundreds and hundreds of plushies. That is basically the entire downstairs. At this point I was excited, very excited and we spent maybe fifteen minutes downstairs just gawking at things and then we saw an escalator and curiosity took over as we thought "we'll come back down soon anyway".

The song "I see the light" from tangled was playing as we went up to the next floor and something I was not expecting came into view and almost sent me into tears. The Disney castle. It was right there. Absolutely surrounded by all the Disney Princess merchandise I could have imagined.
I think most people know that I love Disney - but I don't think people realise just how much. They don't know how many hours of my childhood were spent dreaming about Disney and watching Disney. I know that a lot of girls are the same - but this love has carried through and I still love it just as much, if not even more now.

If I had've been in this store with someone who wasn't into Disney I probably would have just sent them out, or told them to leave me alone. I was in my happy place of all happy places. Elizabeth, thank goodness, understands how flipping amazing this place was. The first half an hour at least was just spent gasping at every little thing that was even remotely cool. We were both so overwhelmed. I could go into every little detail about this store but I won't - I have already spent four paragraphs talking about it. Just know that is was amazing.

After at least two hours spent in the place where dreams come true we decided we should keep on exploring the city. Something weird about New York is that when you're inside a shop you're so oblivious of your surroundings and then you step outside and see the abundance of flashing billboards and then remember "Oh yeah, that's right, I'm in New York City". We found a lot of other stores, including MnM world which is three stories high. We need to go back there because we really didn't look around that much. So much merchandise for chocolate. It's crazy.

By that time we were getting thirsty and wanting to sit down after walking around for several hours so we went looking for a cafe. Everywhere was super busy and then we came across a little diner. An actual diner. We walked inside. AN ACTUAL SINGING FIFTIES STYLE DINER WHERE THE STAFF ACTUALLY SING. We were seated and were in there about 5 minutes before we discovered that you had to spend a certain amount of money there to actually order. We are on a tight budget and weren't hungry so we left. We plan on going back there though. It was fairly amazing.

We ended up retreating to good old McDonalds and having something to drink there. Elizabeth made the glorious discovery that you could get what we worked out to be about a litre of iced tea for 1.09c. Somehow by that time it had become about 5:00pm. Looking across the road we saw what was going to be our plans for the night. A billboard advertising the broadway show "Mamma Mia".

We had dinner at Maccas and then went to the first Broadway show I would ever see. It was excellent. The whole show was done very well and the cast was just spectacular. My only complaint is that it wasn't "real" musical theatre music. I knew this going in, of course, but it didn't feel like broadway - just because it's ABBA music, not theatre music. I honestly have nothing to complain about though, the show was excellent. We caught the subway home and so concluded our first day in New York. I love this city.