Today was our last full day in NYC so we got up early to make the most of it. Geoff and Taine went to the Empire State Building at 8am and by doing so went straight to the top. I'm saving my vertigo risk days for the Grand Canyon so Sophie & I checked out the post Christmas sales opportunities on 34th street. Geoff reported back that the view from the top was every bit as spectacular as he had imagined it to be and the stories and photos of how the building was erected were pretty amazing.
Our big kids gave us a 'child free' lunch date at the Mandarine Oriental ,which also has great views of the city, as a christmas gift. While we were eating , Sophie took Taine to 'Build a Bear', a store where you create and outfit your own stuffed bear. It's a very clever, dolls for boys enterprise that he's been wanting to do since we first saw a shop in Texas.
We chose the 3 course pre fixe menu for lunch and it was delicious, especially the well brewed pot of tea at the end. I was so excited to have a proper cup of tea that I had three cups full. While we were eating it started to snow. Snow is always exciting for us but unfortunately it meant we couldn't take our after lunch carriage ride around Central Park. And, as is often the case with snow, it wasn't white and fluffy, just cold and wet and it turned the sidewalk into a slushy skating pond!
We wandered around in Grand Central Station for a bit. This is truly beautiful building and a destination in itself and next time we're here I'll be sure to do the audio tour to learn more about its history. The terminal was really busy with people heading home after the holidays. We were hoping for a flash mob but no such luck.
The snow continued for a while and was much prettier from inside our hotel room as it settled on the buildings below. Then it became torrential rain so we scurried next door to the Barking Dog for dinner. It was a little bit of a melancholy occasion as we realised it would be our last dinner together for awhile until Soph gets back to Australia. We've really enjoyed our two weeks together in the North East but tomorrow we leave Soph to couch surf here in NYC through New Year while we head westward on the last leg of our journey.