New York 2018

Last weekend Margaret & I traveled to New York for a short vacation, shared with some of my family, that had headed over from Europe. We were treated with fabulous late September weather in the mid 70s, perfect for walking the city – we stayed at Hotel 50 Bowery, a nice hotel with great views (especially from the rooftop bar) right in Chinatown with easy walk to Little Italy and central in Manhattan to head uptown or downtown …

Our hotel was very close to the Manhattan bridge, so we took a walk across that bridge, then turned round to cross back over the Brooklyn bridge (which was crazy busy with other walkers!). Lots of great views of course, and dark by the time we got back to the hotel.

 

Next morning we took the subway to Grand Central Station and met up with Angela, Iain and Paul; from there (after breakfast) we toured Central Park and Times Square … we finished the day back at Chinatown for dinner.

Next day Margaret & I walked south along the East river to Battery Park, met the others and with them took the ferry out to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Tourists, of course!

Back on Manhattan Island, after dinner we walked to the nearby 9-11 memorial at World Trade Center, and see the ongoing recreation of this area. The memorial is beautiful, peaceful – but also tragic.

 

Next day, our last, we went uptown again to meet at the American Museum of Natural History. To be honest this was rather too much to see – so many corridors, so many displays; we left after seeing only a small part (but quite enough!)

After that we returned to nearby Central Park and finished our vacation with a horse & cart ride …

 

(previous New York trips: 199520082009)

Leonard’s Car Wash

Here in Florida it’s crazy hot and sunny for much of the year, making it very hard to hand wash any car. In the past I might have washed my MINI early morning while still in shade from our house, but now my X3 is a bit too big to easily wash, and I’m getting lazy – and anyway since it’s garaged it doesn’t get all that dirty so it’s been about six months since I purchased … and I decided to have my X3 washed by someone else!

There’s a few local Winter Garden car wash companies; I’ve used Classic Car Wash once before, but today decided to try Leonard & Son that is frequently recommended, online. I stayed close by for the more than one hour it took (!) and watched them take as much care as I would have – and of course I took pictures …

Overall, my X3 looks as good as when delivered; not quite sure it’s worth the $40 cost, but it was much easier than me doing the work!

IMG_9482

Lion Country

We visited Lion Country today; it’s a lot closer than Longleat but it’s not quite as spectacular as that English country estate location – for one thing, the lions at Lion Country are behind additional fencing that somewhat spoils the view. Perhaps it should be called Wild Country instead, to emphasize the other animals – of which there were many and interesting ones.

In comparison with Disney Animal Kingdom, Lion Country offers more chances to see and take photos of the animals since you’re driving your own vehicle at your own pace, rather than being driven in a Disney vehicle (and those Disney vehicles rarely stop long enough for a good photo!)

So, here’s a selection of the photos we took – including near the end where we feed a Giraffe with $2 lettuce leaves …

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

[pronounced “sloo”!]

A trip to a nature preserve today led us first to an impressive heron sculpture, part of the parking lot with a wing giving cover to a seating area!

From parking, a boardwalk took us through flooded Florida swamp with really still water for reflection photos, and eventually to various lakes:

Various wildlife too – here’s photos of a small turtle on a fallen branch, and a much bigger one in the distant water:

Later, we spotted our only Alligator, half of it at least, on a log with another turtle …

Tried to take photos of fish too – hard with the reflections, but a couple came out (the long skinny fish is a Florida Gar, the other might be a catfish – there were many of these, all in dug outs in the sand, or even what appeared to be tunnels/caves in the sand!)