Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Central Park

There's a gorgeous walking path all around this lake in Central Park

So we decided to head off to Central Park for the day.   The original plan was a bike tour but by the time we got there we’d decided e-scooters, which neither of us have tried before, would be more fun.  Mostly for the chance to try something new.

We went to the first store the signs directed us to - “oh, for scooters you want our other location...<insert directions closer to the park>”  Okay, we walk over there.  “Oh, we just do rentals, for tours you want the one further down the street….”  😂 was starting to feel like the Days Inn incident in Niagara lol.  We did get the right one eventually where we tried to book a tour but the next available time was 3:00.   As it was like noon at that point we weren’t so into that.  So we decided to just rent them and do our own tour.  Partially this was a mistake because it really would be nice to have someone answer all my questions 😂. But partially it was awesome cause it allowed us to go at our own pace, take pics when we want, and do the whole route to decide what we wanted to come back to.  

Chris scooter-sitting while I checked out the lake path

This made it super-easy and safe even for new riders to navigate, however, it meant exploring cool things was a one-at-a-time adventure.

Why come back?  Well wheeled vehicles can only go one way around the outside of the park.  It works incredibly well, but it meant on that first lap we couldn’t go investigate anything cool.

Cool things like: I'm pretty sure beyond this hidden lamp post should be a door to a wardrobe...

As for e-scooters?   Def would do it again.  No skill required.   I learned this because the only problem I had was when I tried to use it as a proper scooter and misjudged how far away the ground was.  That would’ve ended v poorly if I hadn’t had superstar self preservation instincts 😂   Suffice to say the power version is pretty simple.  And within the park, everything is very clearly labelled for pedestrians, slow bikes/scooters, fast bikes/scooters, and which direction.  Could count on one hand the number of cars we saw.  Only thing that would've made the scooters better would've been water-bottle holders.

Had SO much fun on these

After checking the scooters back in we went for our more in-depth exploration.  My first hope was to do a Let's Roam but we were getting conflicting info re the distance of the hunt and the starting location, I was concerned we wouldn't have enough time and I was also feeling pretty sore after yesterday's hiking.  I've never been great at long hours on pavement (on the farm no problem!) and combined with working a desk job I was sore more quickly than I expected to be.  And it's only day 2!   So since we had to be back in time to shower and get dinner before the show, we figured we'd just make our way over to the couple things I really wanted to see and then come back another day.

There were so many cool things in Central Park;
Some were huge (a castle?!?!), some were tiny (Nana's bench ❤️).  Too many for one post.
Check out relevant FB photo album for more :)

As we were walking to our first objective, I was really enjoying all the little things -- comparatively minor paths, areas where even though we were in one of the busiest cities in the world, in a park frequented by both locals and tourists, we could find space that was quiet enough the primary noise was birds chirping, and no other people in sight.  It was so calming - instantly made me calmer and more relaxed.

This does not scream "city" to me; it quietly whispers, "here, you can relax and breathe"

The first, thing we actively targeted was Belvedere Castle, which has no real point whatsoever, but is cool just cause.  We got to pass numerous things on the way -- the literary mall, some fountains, cool bridges (which I love almost as much as doors), many places for people to sit -- in both busy places and quiet ones, lots of people selling fruit cups (I may or may not have indulged).  So many extremes all in one park.  

Many of these benches are dedicated to specific people with lots of details.
This one said simply: "Nana's Bench", which makes my heart melt for so many different reasons.

Now Google had told us the castle was closed, so was a bit of a fool's errand, but I really wanted to see it, even if we couldn't go in.  We got lucky - Google was out of date!  It was open, free, and not super busy :).  The woman supervising the entrance was absolutely lovely, gave us a lot of info and fun to chat with.

Chris lead the way up the spiral stone staircase

Which led us to this great view, amongst many others!

Honestly, no point, other than entertainment value.  But entertainment value is arguably the WHOLE point of NYC lol.  And I really enjoyed it.  Went up, admired the view, appreciated how much bigger the park was than we'd really realised, took some fun pics, and left again.

From here we snagged directions to the Obelisk.  We'd seen it from the scooter road and knew it was somewhat nearby, but really, wtf?!?!  lol I was sooooo curious.   And sure enough:

I couldn't understand why, if it was legit, it would be in the US.
I *loved* discovering it was a legitimate gift.

Admit I was a little creeped out by the stabilising crabs...

Another plaque had the translation of they hieroglyphs.
Amazing to consider the history behind this; it sends my imagination spinning. 

Despite the fact that there were still a TON of things I would've liked to explore, the skies were getting impressively dark, and you could feel the change in the air that would indicate perhaps a park was not where we'd want to be very shortly.

We booked it out of the park, taking the most direct pedestrian route available and navigated our way back to the hotel.  By this point I was overheating and C was starving, so we grabbed water and a snack at the first vendor we found, before navigating our way back to the hotel.  We discovered we were burning a ton more calories than normal and it was an ongoing challenge to keep either of us from becoming hangry at any time!

This was Times Square as the storm was building;
Our hotel was in the direction of the darkest clouds.
And the rain did hit.  At almost exactly 3:00.   Making me really glad we hadn't signed up for that tour!  lol And wow did it hit hard.  We were only a couple blocks from the hotel, but completely soaked through in seconds.  Honestly, I was so hot it didn't even matter lol.   All I wanted was to get back and shower.  Huge torrential rain, so we were starting to sort out Plan B for getting to the theatre lol but luckily it ended right before we had to leave, and we actually had a lovely walk to the place we decided to go for dinner.    

Dinner was at Yard House which Chris had noticed in Times Square as offering many many many beers to choose from; one of his vacation thing is getting to try beers that aren't available in Canada, so we keep an eye out for those.  I don't usually drink so was just there for food -- it was between us and the theatre and had food so win.   lol - turned out being better than that, both of us really enjoyed it.  They had good staff and even though it was clearly training day, the service was excellent and I was impressed at the level of coaching and support from exp team members to newbies (we saw at least three I would've said were actively being trained - one w front desk, one busking, one with our waitress).   Food was a solid average - nothing great, nothing horrible.  But C was really happy with the beverage selections, they were willing to make me a slushy drink even though it wasn't on the menu (did I mention how HOT it was outside?!?!), when we mentioned theatre tickets they made sure they knew what time we needed to be out by.  So yeah.  That was a win.

And when we were fed, relaxed, and happy - we headed off to the theatre...


Post a Comment