Our first day in NYC was not what I expected or had prepared for but ended up being the best day EVER!! But first we must go through a bit/lot of whinging. It is one of my finest talents (along with superb bladder control and being able to sleep anywhere – a woman of many talents).
Let me start first by having a whine about the USA system of measurement. What the bloody Hell are you doing America? A furlong? Chain? Units of measurement based upon the average length of a corn kernel? Or a poppy seed? THREE different weights for a pound??? I don’t know what kind of system the Farenheight system is (nor can I spell it or have any intention of learning how to spell it). I decided to research this “Imperial” system to weigh up the pro’s and cons of it vs the metric system. I wrote imperial in air quotes as it is definitely NOT royal, regal or superior to the metric system in anyway whatsoever. Google informs me that imperial can also refer to a small pointed beard growing below the lower lip so maybe we can use this as the imperial that they are referring to. I’m sorry to offend you America but your system for measuring things is outdated, archaic and downright impractical. Every other country in the world has switched to the metric system but 3 countries which are: Liberia, Myanmar and USA. Actually, all of your smartest US citizens usually have to use the metric system (scientists, pilots, drs etc) so I have no idea why you are still sticking with it.
I suspect there may be a correlation between Imperial supporters and pro gun people. People who are so desperate to hang on to a past, no matter how ridiculous or irrelevant to modern life it is. My quest to learn about the Imperial system sent me down a rabbit hole of memes about it. I then switched to gun advocate memes and was astounded by how little sense they made. Here are a few of my favourite Imperial memes and a link to a website that features a bill Alexander Graham Bell tried to pass over a hundred years ago!!
Anyway, sorry about that rant. Just needed to get if off my chest before I launch into my next rant. It ties nicely in to the USA system of measurements so stay with me.
It is currently Spring in NYC. Their temperatures are listed in Fahrenheit and I have no idea what that means. Luckily for me I have google to assist. Google informed me that it would be cold so girls and I put almost every item of clothing on in our suitcase. We were like little onions, with all our layers.
Upon leaving the hotel (which by the way took FOREVER as two of the lifts were out of order leaving the 1000 people staying there having to all use the same tiny lift) we realised that wearing 6 million layers of clothing makes no difference if zero of the layers are weather appropriate.
Not wanting to waste a day we trudged on to the ‘Hop on hop off” bus as we had a pass as part of our package. I was NOT a fan. We did one small circuit of uptown NYC, I estimate that the circuit is no longer than 10km at the absolute MOST. No idea how many miles that is. But it took TWO HOURS!!! Kylah and I sat down the bottom of the bus and were absolutely FREEZING. Mum and the other girls bravely sat up top to enjoy the views. During the loooonng two hours it began sleeting!!! SLEETING!! That is literally the worst thing ever. Ice chips spitting down on you from up above and then melting slowly on your frozen skin. At least snow is dry and doesn’t make you wet (or so Ben informed me).
I was over it. I did not appreciate being sleeted on and was tired from my long wait for a lift and painfully slow meander in a bus around a grey and dreary NYC. This was not what I signed up for. Luckily for me Kylah was also miserable so I was able to use her misery to my advantage and give off the illusion of a caring and selfless mother. “I’d better take Kylah home” I solemnly told mum and the other members of our party.
On our way back to the hotel we stopped in at M&M world and went sick buying M&M’s. They have so many flavours!! My favourite was white chocolate M&M’s closely followed by white chocolate cheesecake M&M’s. Mum, Jazzy and Isabelle plus another dance mum (let’s call her Dancemum#1) and two other girls all headed off to the Rockerfeller Centre to have afternoon tea at the American Girl store. To be honest I’m glad I didn’t go. I don’t know if I could have resisted Isabelle’s intense desire to own an American Girl doll. It has now become her life’s goal. Mum and the troops thoroughly enjoyed the American Girl store and the high tea they had. Kylah and I thoroughly enjoyed napping in the nice cosy hotel room.
At 4:30pm I woke Kylah to take her to New York Vocal coaching for lessons. She spent an hour with one of NY’s best vocal coaches and found it to be an incredibly valuable experience. She wants to try to squeeze another lesson before we leave. How lucky to have lessons on Broadway with a vocal coach!! She got great feedback and he really pushed her to try new styles.
We hurried back through the cold and met up with the rest of the troop. It was decided that we would head to Macy’s for a spot of shopping and some dinner. Macy’s is open till 10pm on a Friday night so we had loads of time.
Shopping at Macy’s was dreadful!! The customer service was TERRIBLE!! The girls had all chosen dresses to buy and all I wanted to do was pay for them. Simple right? No. Similar to Kmart, Macy’s puts it’s payment counter directly in the middle of the store. Despite having about 20 staff milling around on the floor doing nothing whatsoever helpful, they only had one girl serving at the checkout. She seemed very pissed off to be the only one serving and was working in slow motion. I wish I was kidding. The line was HUGE!! I busied myself FB messaging Macy’s FB page to complain and to request that they put more staff on. They didn’t. At one point 2 staff members came over and chatted to each other about the long line, then they laughed as the girl serving said to them that she wouldn’t mind a break soon. Then they walked off. It is the first time ever I have WISHED for serve-yourself checkouts. Serving yourself is definitely preferable to 43 minutes waiting in a queue (I’m not even joking). It seems that in the US, if there is a potential for a tip then you will receive great service. However, if there is little to no chance of a tip, then no one seems motivated or impelled to offer anything in the way of efficient customer service. I was livid. I spent my uni years being nice to arsehole customers for minimum wage and now I expect people to be nice to me, even if I’m being an arsehole customer (which I never am if I receive proper service).
Kids ate McDonald’s for dinner whilst I was in the queue and I, not wanting to queue up again for McDonald’s, ate Isabelle’s bag of apple pieces, which comes standard in Happy Meals here in the USA.
I’m going to leave this post here because the next part of my night was so fabulously fabulous it definitely deserves to not be lumped in with all this whinging.
Thanks for reading!!