Thanksgiving Day in New York…perfect, right? If Days one and two were anything to go by, then it was going to be an eventful day and what better way to start the day by going to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
OK, we were told the best places to see the parade would be occupied by six-thirty that morning and, after another big American breakfast, we made our way to the Avenue of Americas and were there by nine-thirty. We managed to squeeze ourselves in a good position on Fiftieth Street, opposite Radio City and those huge red baubles, and waited for the parade to pass. Despite our feet turning to blocks of ice because of the cold and heavy snow showers, the parade did not disappoint at all. There was a wonderful atmosphere and I was very glad we were stood by a family whose children were able to tell us all the names of the characters that came floating past. I’d never heard of ‘Elf on the Shelf’ before, but I was so glad to see Paddington Bear, Snoopy and Spiderman float past. Unfortunately, because of the extreme cold, we left the parade before Santa made his appearance, but I had a feeling he would not place us on the naughty list because of that.
Warmed up with a cup of coffee and another huge muffin, we walked around the city to take in the sights. Of course most businesses and shops were closed because Thanksgiving Day is a holiday in the States, but John and Anna managed to find a GAP store that was open but, best of all, there were huge signs in the window saying there was fifty percent off the entire stock. Well, when we reached the inside of the store we were faced with scenes of chaos as people picked up whatever items of clothing they could and threw them away over their shoulders if they’d picked up the wrong size or did not like the price. This did not put John or Anna off and, after both making more purchases, I was glad to get out of the store having felt like we were in the middle of the tornado scene from the movie, The Wizard of Oz.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful and we walked and took in the scenery of the Rockefeller Centre, Fifth Avenue , Central Park, to name but a few. Anna wanted to see the inside of The five-star Plaza Hotel where we thought we would be able to have a quick drink before making our way back to our hotel to get ready for our Thanksgiving Dinner, but we never found the bar in the hotel due to the place being packed solid with human beings all trying to get some warmth from the cold. It was almost like playing a game of ‘Sardines’ as we squeezed our way back out of the hotel.
Thanksgiving Dinner was booked for eight that evening at the ‘Tavern On The Green’ restaurant which was just inside Central Park. All looked quiet as we made our way to the entrance of the restaurant but, upon the doorman opening the door to let us in, scenes from the GAP store earlier in the day (minus the clothes being thrown around) met our eyes. The restaurant seemed to be in chaos and we joined a very long line of people waiting to be checked in for their meals. As we waited, we overheard arguments coming from the front of the queue and, gradually, information filtered back that people who had reservations at five-thirty had still not been sat down. We were some forty minutes early for our reservation thinking we could have a drink before dinner.
It took almost an hour to reach the front of the queue and along with another gentleman, John put on his Lawyers head and spoke to Jordan who announced he was the Manager and that everything was under control. People seemed to be walking out, but more people were joining the queue and those that had already checked in and were waiting in an area packed with people (another Sardines scene) were becoming increasingly frustrated by what was going on. The restaurant had obviously overbooked and along with many other people we decided to leave, our Thanksgiving dinner in ruins.
We headed back to our hotel in the hope that we could get dinner there given that we were residents and they did not disappoint us and found us a space in the busy restaurant. There was very little choice on the menu that evening other than Turkey or Lamb and we all decided to go with the turkey given that it was Thanksgiving and we all wanted to experience a Thanksgiving dinner.
Our first course, Chestnut soup, was very nice. However, the main course of the Turkey dinner and our dessert, which was Apple Crumble with custard, were not so good. The Apple crumble had been ‘deconstructed’ and we’d forgotten that the day before when ordering Blueberry cheesecake and Carrot Cake, that both had also been presented to us as ‘deconstructed.’ Bitterly disappointed that we had thought we were going get cheesecake and carrot cake that were constructed, we were horrified to see that the hotel had also ‘deconstructed’ the apple crumble. What is it with restaurants and hotels that want to deconstruct food? Leave them as they are I say!
A few cocktails helped wash the food down and we retired, hoping that Day four was not going to throw any deconstructed food our way.
Did I mention that during the chaos of the day I almost…yes almost, completed my mission as well? Well never mind, because I still had two more days in New York to complete it and I was determined more than ever now that I’d get back to the UK with that mission completed.
Want to know what happened on Day 4? Then click here.
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