I wrote a blog post last weekend about being home and it vanished - typical. I couldn't actually be bothered to rewrite it on that occasion and so now I actually can't remember what I was on about in it anyway so this will be a new post.
We're home - yay, but what's this COLD weather??? Me no likey! Or as Paul said this morning "Let's emigrate" as we drove stony faced through a grey, cold, windy and wet Edinburgh - emigrating is easier said than done but I get his point.The weather here is dull dull dull. Not like the sunny, happy warm Florida we are used to.
After being entertained people watching on a very smooth flight back from NYC - we're back. I do love people watching, there's never a dull moment. Needless to say this flight was no exception from an old guy with a handlebar beard (I kid you not) dressed like a country music singer (think Johnny Cash) playing air guitar listening to his ipod in the toilet queue to a guy sitting behind me sounding like he was having a heart attack laughing to something he was watching. I was just about to ask him what it was when he started rolling around in agony, shouting and swearing like he was actually having a heart attack or something - turned out his tendonitis was playing up.
I didn't bother asking him what he was watching after that - the last thing I wanted was my back to start playing up.
We are back after a little pit stop in New York (crazy place - crazy people) and are pleased to be home. New York is mad - end of! Niamh and Conor were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people there, the fact that our hotel was in prime position over the Hershey's shop in Times Square didn't help the "loads of crazy people" aspect of NYC. I had emailed ahead to let the hotel know our circumstances and they treated us very well. They sent us up some NY cheescake and drinks plus a teddy and chocs for Niamh. All vey lovely plus we had a great view (see pic) albeit from the top floor (46th floor to be precise) which sounds wonderful and it is once you get used to being in the clouds. Conor was only allowed to look out of the window if he knelt on the floor - not standing (lol yes I know I'm paranoid but that boy jumps all over the place) and I spend most of our time in the hotel room lying on the floor sniper style peeping out of the window in case I "fell off". It really was that high!! Amazing view particularly at night! We loved looking out onto the bright lights of Times Square.
I thought that was high - I'd never really be higher than 10 floors before, never needed to really. That was until we went to America. We accidently went up 19 floors to the top floor of the hospital only to be told we were actually meant to be on the ground floor - lol so that had been my only previous fast lift experience. The lift in the Crowne Plaza Times Square shot up like a bullet making your ears pop which was weird. As I say, I thought the 46th floor was high - that is until I went on a helicopter tour of NYC. Let's just say it seemed like a great idea on paper. I am not the best at heights anyway so when the kindly crew member pointed at the seat next to the pilot and told me to get in - well saying I had reservations about being the "co-pilot" was an understatement. One look at Paul told me that he thought the same. What if something happened to the pilot and the fate of all on board was left to me? This could go badly. The look of slight panic that crossed Paul's face as I got in next to the pilot was priceless. I could see him mentally assessing the poor guys fitness as he got in. Luckily for him - these fears were unfounded and we all survived although I have to admit to being terrified. It started well, eased us in gently although my panoramic view wasn't helping my unease. We saw the Statue of Liberty - very nice, swooped around a bit then all of a sudden we were really high up looking at Manhattan on one side and Brooklyn on the other. An awesome view - I admit that but scary as hell to me.
Niamh and Conor loved it - it truly is an amazing place to view from the air. We all had to wear headphones with mics on. Conor asked me a few times if I was alright, bless him he must've spotted me holding on to the door incase I fell off.
So we did a few other touristy type things in New York, saw all the main sights, went for a couple of nice meals inc The Hard Rock Cafe and Bubba Gumps Shrimp Company. Niamh managed to do it all minus the wheelchair which was amazing. Paul is good at planning these types of things so he minimises her walking hence we do bus tours, take the subway / taxis etc. It works very well for us when we have Niamh, she gets a sense of accomplishment and a confidence boost because she's been independant. As she say "now I look like a normal girl - just my hair is short!" She doesn't like the wheelchair because it makes her stand out as different.
Niamh enjoyed looking round the shops as you do. Paul and Conor are not so keen and got bored. The only exciting thing that happened "shop wise" was when Elmo (or a man dressed as Elmo) got taken down by 4 policemen and arrested outside ToysRUs in Times Square. If that's not entertainment, I don't know what is. Hope he wasn't annoyed because Conor had turned him down for a photo - he preferred Spiderman. I bet there were a few traumatised kids that evening - ToysRUS is always soooo busy.
Niamh was not a fan of the NYC taxis - crazy times. Paul said "Why bother spending all that money to go to Disney / Universal to ride rollercoasters? Cheaper to go to New York and just ride the taxis all day." Good point - it's hair raising (and he's got no hair).
So we're home and trying to get back to normal which has been hard because we are jetlagged to within an inch of our lives lol. We can't get the kids to sleep and we can't get them up either. Conor was supposed to resume school today but he's having trouble sleeping so he's going back tomorrow. He slept in with Niamh last night - it was the only way he'd actually go to sleep.
Oh and we got the Hankmeister General back from his 2.5 month holiday at my parents. He seemed very chillaxed when he came back. Until he realised that my parents weren't taking him home with them. Poor Hank - he's in the huff now. He's been spoilt by them. Going for walks to Tesco and then getting a sausage roll when he got there. Doesn't happen in Scotland Hank - sorry pal!!
Niamh continues to make great progress, we had a hospital appointment today which was nice. She felt like a celebrity - everyone was so pleased to see her and see how she was doing. All seems fine for now so we await the first MRI scan in about a months time. Her mobility continues to improve, she's getting pretty fast now. I noticed this when Paul chucked something at her when she was listening to music on her bed - trying to annoy her. She jumped up and chased him around the landing. She's slipped back into her normal routine, constantly texting her friends, worrying where her phone is and staying in her room all the time. Nothing changes really. She's looking to go back to school very soon so I shall keep you posted about that.
So from a dull, grey, wet and windy Edinburgh I bid you good bye for now - take care.