We stayed in on Christmas Day so there is not really much to report. Lunch was a bit of a disaster as we weren’t able to light the oven so we jointed the chicken and pan fried the breasts. We tried phoning the owner to ask how to light the oven, but she was out and didn’t answer her phone. We watched Die Hard and the girls went out later on for a drink, but I didn’t really fancy it so stayed in.


Boxing day was pretty busy. We were out of the apartment by about 10ish and heading for Times Square to queue for tickets to see a show. I should mention that at this point we were quite excited about the few sparse snowflakes that were falling as we walked to the subway. When we arrived in Manhattan it was snowing a bit harder, but not put off by this we went to join the TKTS queue. After about 10 minutes we realised that it was just the queue for matinee tickets and we wanted to get an evening show. After consulting one of the staff there we were told to come back at 3pm for evening tickets. We headed towards 5th Avenue to do some shopping, via a coffee shop for bagels and coffee (hot chocolate for me). The first shop we came across that we had planned to visit was FAO Schwarz so we quickly headed inside out of the snow. We spent a good hour and a half there, looking around the various displays of toys. Including the Harry Potter section with the shelves labeled as the various shops in Diagon Alley, the Barbie table football and various demonstrations of toys. The highlight of the trip was definitely the big piano, a giant dance on piano where Lizzie and I joined the queue with loads of kids to have a go. It was great fun, and Hannah took some photos and a video which I will attempt to post at a later date. We realised that it was getting close to 2 and we wanted to join the tickets queue early so we headed back to Times Square to join the queue. It was really snowing quite heavily at this point so by the time we reached the front of the queue we all looked like snowmen, but with our tickets to Avenue Q in hand for that evening, we headed back to Fifth Avenue for the rest of the afternoon, our mission, snow boots for Hannah and maybe a computer as well as a trip to Barnes and Noble. Walking through the driving snow, we’re talking proper blizzard at this point, we did not manage to find any of the shops we were looking for, and after walking several blocks with time ticking on we decided to go and find the theatre and get something to eat before the show. Back in Times Square we stopped in a pharmacy for tissues for me and Liz and a knee support for Hannah and then in Foot Locker where we finally managed to find Hannah some boots, which look amazingly warm. Finding the street that the theatre was on, we headed into TGI’s for some supper. Everything was pretty expensive, so we all went for appetizers and shared a basket of chips. My nachos were so enormous that I couldn’t even finish them, so I was glad that I went for a starter. At this point we were vaguely watching the weather reports on the TVs above the bar, seeing reporters covered in snow in the middle of a blizzard – where were they? Times Square, oh that’s where we are! With 40 minutes or so to go until the performance braved the snow once more and set off in the direction that we *thought* the theatre was in, on reaching E 50th Street and passing the Rockefeller Center we realised that we were going the wrong way. Given the blizzard, this had taken us quite a long time and we had to practically run back several blocks to find the theatre. We eventually found it and got into our seats just as the music was starting. Avenue Q was excellent, I’ve wanted to see it for a while and I really enjoyed it and will probably be humming several inappropriate songs for a while. After the show had finished, we wrapped back up in our layers and headed back out into the snow. There were huge drifts in the sides of buildings and the strong wind meant frequent white outs as we walked along. Luckily, there was a subway station just along the street with trains to Brooklyn, so we ran in out of the snow and gradually thawed out on the ride back to the apartment. Getting off the train at Ralph Avenue we were greeted by a platform covered with snow drifts, which was certainly interesting given that we were 2 flights of stairs underground. Once we emerged onto the street we were faced with the reality of the snow without an army of people clearing it off the pavements as they had been in Manhattan. In places it was up to my thighs and it took us a couple of minutes to work out which way we were going. It is only 2 blocks to the apartment from the station but it must have taken us a good half an hour to do the walk, especially with poor Hannah struggling with her knee. Eventually we got back to the apartment and through the snow on the steps to find that the people staying downstairs had locked us out. We rang the bell, banged on the door and shouted and although we could hear them, they either didn’t hear us, or decided to leave us out in the blizzard. Luckily, on returning the night before Lizzie and Hannah had accidentally popped out the glass (plastic) in the door and knew that it was removable, so we popped it out and reached around to let ourselves in. Once in we slid the glass back in and headed upstairs to warm up and dry off, with the blizzard still howling outside.  All in all a very enjoyable day, although we were amused to find out that 30 inches of snow had fallen, and a state of emergency had been declared, while we merrily dealt with it as we went about our plans for the day.