Our alarm was set for 5am although in reality we were both wide awake at 4am – a combination of excitement and jet lag. We were up and out of our hotel by 5.45am, keen to get the prime viewing spot for the parade.
I instantly started worrying – the streets were packed already! We should have left earlier! We walked down 5th and rejoined 6th avenue after Macy’s as that area is totally blocked off for the televised show, so no access to Public.
We managed to find a front row position just opposite Bryants Park, so we claimed our area.
There were hundreds out on the street already – many true pros with folding chairs, or blankets on the floor. Keith went to find coffee and I settled in watching the team preparing the busiest street in NYC for this mammoth Parade.
Traffic lights were desembled, security teams were constantly assessing the area. It was incredible to watch. The sense of excitement in the crowd was building and by 7am the pavements were 10 deep of people. We were thrilled to have our front row position.
First sighting for us was around 9.40am – and the parade went on for 2 full hours.
IT WAS MARVELLOUS. Beyond all our hopes and dreams – off the scale! I was overwhelmed with excitement – all those years of watching online and watching Miracle on 34th street, every single year – we were here! Fan bloody tastic!
After the parade finished we made our way to The Empire State Building. We hadn’t pre booked, but the queues were fine – about 15 mins max. We enjoyed our visit – the view was brilliant. We’ve already done the OWO when we were here 4 years ago – the year it opened. This is also well worth visiting.
Our hotel was on the next block to the Empire State building, so we grabbed a quick beer – a Pumpkin ale – yum! at the bar next to the ESB before making our way to the hotel to freshen up and get our glad rags on for our Thanksgiving meal.
Originally we had a table booked at the cafe at the Rockerfeller Center. We’d done this a few weeks in advance. But, we opted to cancel this and change to the restaurant adjoining our hotel, the Petit Poulet, as a) it looked much more like a restaurant than a canteen and the food smelled amazing. Plus we could have a shower first and change and it was $30 cheaper pp.
The meal was everything we hoped it would be, and MORE! Absolutely sensational!
After our meal, our early morning and huge meal caught up with us, so we went for a nap for an hour. We spent the evening in Times Square area – walkable from our hotel in 20 mins. We had a great night soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying a couple of beers. We found great jazz bar and enjoyed some live music too. Brilliant!