Ground Zero and Grand Central

There were a few sites that I wanted to see during my trip to New York.

After visiting the Alice in Wonderland statue on Friday, trips to Grand Central Station and the Ground Zero memorial were on the cards for Saturday.

But first, breakfast. 

It wasn't a particularly classy affair I'm afraid as we were in a bit of a rush to make our slot at the 9/11 Museum. 

 Although I have to admit these vanilla bean scones from Starbucks were delicious. I ate all three. 

They were like soft iced shortbread biscuits. Mmmm.

We jumped on the subway to the memorial site which was not particularly straightforward. The tube seems a lot more simple!

 As I said, we had pre-booked tickets to the Ground Zero museum. 

I don't really understand why you wouldn't book in advance as it makes your trip a lot simpler.

I would suggest going in the morning to beat the crowds. You'll have a better experience because it won't be super busy inside the exhibition.

 One thing that I did not expect was the amount of artefacts that had been salvaged from the debris on September 11th. 

When the Twin Towers were being designed the architects were concerned about their proximity to the Hudson River. 

They constructed this wall- 'The Slurry'- as a barrier against the water. 
Had this wall collapsed alongside the Twin Towers on September 11th, the destructive impact of the terrorist attacks upon Manhattan would have been even worse. 

As far as I'm concerned, that's pretty fantastic engineering as the wall still stands today.

 The 'Survivor's Staircase' that allowed hundreds of people to escape the World Trade Centre.

Without wanting to get too deep on here, it was an incredibly powerful experience which I would recommend to anyone. 

We didn't realise how much there was to see inside the museum until we had finished, so be sure to set aside a good couple of hours to get the most out of your visit. 

 If you think that these fountains are large from what you've seen in pictures, you'll be surprised at how much bigger they are in reality. 

Some people don't like them but I think that they are very tasteful and thoughtful as they completely contradict the height of the Twin Towers.

 After we'd finished at Ground Zero we headed back to the Red Flame Diner for lunch. 

I had a very delicious bacon grilled cheese (what diet?) that I can't bring myself to upload a picture of because it was definitely not a looker.

Next up, Grand Central...

It was just like the movies and I absolutely loved it.

 I thought I loved St Pancras but this was really something else- sorry London!

The station was bursting with atmosphere and it had so much character.

 It's appeal was massively helped by the huge food court. If I lived here I would go to Grand Central for lunch a lot.

Unfortunately we had already eaten. But that didn't stop us heading to the infamous Magnolia Bakery to sample some sweetness...

I don't like cheesecake but I was tempted by one of those.

 ...Or a slice of this S'mores cake which I will definitely be recreating at home.

In the end we settled for peanut butter cookies.

Even looking at that picture now makes me feel mildly devastated that I have to travel 3,459 miles to get another one. 

It was really soft and lovely and the peanuts had somehow morphed into having the texture and sweetness of chocolate chips.

Did you think that I would stop at one cookie?

So did I. Until we walked past 'Baked by Melissa' which is a bakery full of teeny tiny cupcakes.

 Admittedly I am one of those sad people who is sucked in by anything in miniature form so I did have to have one.

I promise these weren't all mine!

Cinnamon bun for me, peanut butter for Mumma and S'mores for Chez.

I don't actually like cupcakes because they're always drowning in buttercream icing which I hate.
I wouldn't normally eat two tablespoons of butter so I don't see why I would want to eat it on top of a cake.

Despite this, these were really very good. 

 The rest of the afternoon was spent in Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works and Macy's.

I was not impressed by Macy's at all. I spent 20 minutes queuing behind just one person to buy one tiny little Kate Spade notebook. In the end I just put it down on the counter and left. I wouldn't have minded had I not been ignored by two other members of staff when I asked for help...

 Anyway, rant over. Can you tell that I'm a stickler for good customer service?

After a little siesta we headed out for dinner at the Haven Rooftop bar.

We noticed this little restaurant while looking out of our hotel room the previous night and thought we'd try it out.

 Excuse the lighting- it was dark and there were a lot of coloured lights!

 To start we all shared the calamari. I love these little crispy tendrils of deliciousness (too much? probably) and will always order them to start if they're on the menu.

Note: what was meant to be a portion for one was more than enough for three calamari fiends. I love American portions.

What's with the pickles?!

 For my main I got the steak slathered in peppercorn sauce, as did Chez.

 And mum opted for the chicken with a house sauce.

The food was pretty reasonably prices and the restaurant had a great ambience. 

The staff were really welcoming and there was even someone to push the button in the lift for you!

They added a pretty hefty service charge to the bill but the view made up for it.

We wandered home with full stomachs and sore feet and fell asleep trying not to think about the fact that we would be flying home the next evening...