After we came back to NY from our Niagara-Canada tour, it was evening, we collected our luggages from Schwartz Travel, and checked into the Big Apple Hostel (a 4 bed dorm).
We had time to take a walk at Times Square and saw the newly opened Disney store (literally, because it had not opened yet before we left for Niagara-Canada). Whether you have kids or are a kid-at-heart, you really must pop into this store! Even just admiring the store decor is a good enough reason, I say. Not convinced? Let the pictures do the convincing.
One of each, please
I almost carted home one of these!
In case you're wondering, I did succumb and bought the following from the Disney store (tell me, who can resist?): a Minnie Mouse Lady Liberty Tee shirt and 3 hanging ornaments (as seen in the first picture above) of Alice in Wonderland, Tinkerbell Fairy and Goofy and friends in a Mouse shaped hot air balloon.
We returned to the hostel at around 9 pm, and that was when we encountered the nastiest room-mate ever. She was already fast asleep when we entered the room upon turning on the lights, and she yelled at us to switch off the lights. So we obliged, and tried as quietly as possible (in the dark) to pull our stuff out from our luggages so we could take a shower. Obviously we took some time, and made some noise, and this ever-charming lady yelled at us again. Honestly, I would have yelled back at this woman if not for the fear that she would steal our stuff while we were away. Come on, woman, if you expect privacy, please book a hotel room, not a hostel's 4 bed dorm.
And so after our bath, we went to the reception and requested for a private room. Paid extra, and then we moved our luggages out to our new room with great pleasure. I've never met such a hostile hostelite in all my years of backpacking, honestly.
The next day, we walked to Port Authority at 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Ave to take a bus that we've pre-booked to Woodbury Premium Outlet. The round trip ticket cost US$37. A long queue had already formed by 8 am, and most passengers had with them pull along luggages (to stuff their purchases, I suppose). We were fortunate to be the last 2 to board the bus, the next bus would have arrived an hour later.
Some tips regarding shopping in a factory outlet village.
1. Pre-book bus tickets
2. Sign up online at the outlet website for exclusive coupons for subscribers only. Print those coupons out.
3. Arrive early at bus pick up
4. Plan your route
5. Wear a slim fitted top and jeans so that you can easily slip on and off new clothes without having to queue up for fitting rooms
It was very cold that day, as you can see from the overcast sky in the picture. At some point, it even started to snow! That was the first time I encountered snow in NY, admittedly, it isn't all that romantic and pretty, especially when it's freezing. We had to use our brollies when strolling from store to store, since the village isn't sheltered between stores.
Despite that miserably cold weather, shopping was great. My spoils were:
1. DKNY dark denim jeggings at just US$16.99 and DKNY waterfall cardigan
2. Polo Ralph Lauren grey checked wool gloves (when I realised my own gloves were woefully inadequete in this climate) and a black lambskin wallet of the same brand for my brother
3. Coach brown leather Madison bag with long strap and leather moisturiser (Coach had a 20% discount storewide that day!)
3. Loccitane rice foaming cleanser (lost mine on the 2nd day, and have been using Milk's)
4. Victorinox classic yellow Swiss army knife
5. Crabtree and Evelyn La Source body scrub and wash (very cheap, do you know the brand originated from the US, and not UK as commonly thought?)
6. Le Sportsac cosmetic pouch and a weekender duffel bag of the same brand
7. Nike girl's track pants, ankle socks and a white golf dri fit polo tee for Dad
8. Calvin Klein cuff links for my brother
9. Kate Spade safety pins print cosmetic pouch and a pink and striped iphone 3GS cover for myself (just US$21!)
I didn't think I bought alot, you should have seen the number of shopping bags the other shoppers were carrying!
So this concludes our shopping in NYC experience. We move on to Niagara-Canada next.
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