Sunday morning was another free part of the itinerary. After breakfast I decided I would take a walk up into Central Park. The south end of the park is about ten blocks from our hotel. I headed up that direction, stopping in Columbus Circle before entering the park where they were just opening up the Christmas market. Despite yesterday’s snowfall, there were still a few people walking or running through the park. There are so many little hidden areas of the park that you could easily spend days exploring them all. It was just nice to get away from the crowds so I took my time and enjoyed it. I made my way up and around the north side of the Jacqueline Onassis reservoir before heading back southwards along 5th Avenue. This was nearly a fifty block walk and despite the temperature hovering around 30 degrees I had dressed warm enough that it was very pleasant.
I decided I had enough time to head over to Grand Central Terminal before meeting everyone else back at the hotel. When I reached the south end of the park at 57th street along 5th, the transition was like night and day. It was now a little after 11 am and sidewalks were filled with people – very jarring after the calm in the park. I popped into Grand Central for a couple of photos and then headed back towards the hotel.
We grabbed a pizza at another little Italian place down the street from the hotel. A classic New York style pizza-pie – fantastic! Not the place the bus driver told us about yesterday but that’s was OK.
After lunch it was on to see a matinée showing of the musical Once. I really enjoyed this one too! It’s a little different from most – the cast was actually on stage playing while the crowd arrives. They even have a bar on stage, which is one of the set locations, where you can get beverages before and during intermission. Then as everyone is seated, the show simply starts – you’re not quite sure if it’s the show or more prelude but I think it works well.
From the theater it was back to the hotel to catch the coach down to the World Yacht Cruise. This was a dinner cruise that took us from Pier 81 on the west side of Manhattan down around the tip of the island, back up the East River under the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. Then back down the river across the harbor pas Ellis Island and around the Statue of Liberty before heading back to shore. The food was great as were the views. Only bad thing was that the pictures didn’t turn out great – it’s very hard to get night shots from a moving platform. That being said, here are a few: