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F is for FAO Schwarz & Flatiron

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MY NEW YORK ADVENTURE A-Z BLOGGING CHALLENGE

FAO Schwarz is probably the best toy store that I have ever set foot in. In fact so much so that I do believe that we ended up going in there three times whilst we visited the Big Apple last summer.IMG_4752

My son who was twelve at the time thought he had died and gone to toy heaven when we walked through those doors. We made sure that he scaled every nook and cranny and saw every toy that was on offer in there.

For me, I just wanted to dance on the Big piano. For any of you who are not familiar with the movie Big starring Tom Hanks, well that film is set around FAO Schwarz and there is a scene where Tom Hanks plays the piano by jumping from key to key.

Even though my son hadn’t seen Big, I told him that he had to join in with me in jumping onto the keys and when we got back home to Manchester I would ensure that he saw the movie. Which he did, and think he was pretty pleased that he’d done that.

No trip to NYC with kids could go without a few hours spent in this fantastic toy shop. We had a blast trying on the various masks, and taking silly photographs with giants lego pieces.

The other F for this blog post is for the Flatiron Building. It’s the most extraordinary building to view as it is very tall, but also really thin. It looks quite odd in fact.

The first time we viewed it was from the Empire State Building, so we decided to visit it properly at a later date where we could take a couple of photographs. Mainly the geeks in us knew it from the Spider man films, but anyway it was worth a snap.

 

 

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Kickin’ it in the Caribbean…….Preston style

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Hundreds of people lined the streets as the Caribbean Carnival parade brought an explosion of vibrant colour and a thump of drums to Preston city centre earlier today.

Brightly coloured-dressed dancers, musicians and DJs took part in a joyful parade through Deepdale, the City Centre and finally ending in Avenham Park.

After a delayed start the convoy left Moor Park to begin their journey down Deepdale Road. They were met by a crowd of keen Prestonians, waving flags, blowing whistles and vuvuzelas to the sound of the steel drums.

Around ten floats blasted out Caribbean beats as dance troupes followed behind.

There were plenty of street vendors selling carnival merchandise to the public – which added to the festival noise of steel drums, African music, freestyling MCs and the trumpets of the vuvuzelas.

Sunday afternoon’s parade kicked off the carnival, which concluded at Avenham Park later in the afternoon.

One member of the public said: “I thought it would be a washout as the rain was so heavy this morning. We were really lucky that it stopped just in time and didn’t spoil the carnival.”

The scene down Church Street before the arrival of the carnival saw an amalgamation of crowds wanting to join in the anticipated celebrations.

The diverse mix of the public shows how Prestonhas become a multi-cultural community that joins together in celebration.

The Caribbean Carnival is now the largest and longest running cultural festivity inPrestonoutside of the Preston Guild. It is well organised, creates a sense of community spirit and has now become a local institution.

10k numero uno

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This year after starting to crack the pavements in a bid to get fit, and lose the last bit of weight that is refusing to budge from my post-10 year pregnancy belly, I set myself a challenge.

Springtime would boast three 10k races for me, and why not combine them for a spot of fundraising for the kid’s sports team.

I never do things by halves.

So, the first of my 10ks happened last Sunday. If I didn’t have people sponsoring me already I may have snuggled back up to hubs’ protecting armpit, as I could hear the rain on the roof as I lay in my nice, snug bed. At stupid o’clock on a Sunday morning I rose from my pit and started getting prepared for the first race.

Nerves were kicking in too. Always have and always will give myself a hard time over anything I do, and today was no exception! What if I fall over again in the road, what if a runner trips me up, what if I get lost, what if I come last……what if what if what if…….

Small bowl of cornflakes and a berrocca and I was ready to go. Accompanied by my supportive teenager who was very sweet when I told him he should go back to bed, he replied “there’s no one else to support you”…. Bless him!! So off we go.

On arrival I check in, get my number 319, ankle tag so I now resemble a “tagged offender” and a quick hide of the ipod. No ipods and earphones allowed in the race. Me being a rebel need to hear how many miles I have raced and at what pace so I mischievously place mine under the visable jacket with the headphones sneaked under my head sweat band. In my own silly way I was being a rebel, I am a grown up and if I want to run with music on I damn well will (but no one please shout at me if you do see me nice race marshallJ).

The race was great. Apart from misjudging the amount of layers I needed, given that it didn’t rain and it was warm I had to de-layer whilst trying to run. Then just after the 5k mark I saw other child with husband at the side of the road cheering me on. Trying hard not to cry I bravely ran past them and sped up a little (trying to impress the hubs with my newly found athleticism and also wasn’t sure if I was the last runner).

The first race ended with a time of 55.35 minutes which I was ecstatic with, given that I was running at 59 minutes in my training runs. I was buzzing too, got round the course in one go and I wasn’t last. Hurrah for the fat girl!

Next race in a months time.