Indoor Skydiving!!!!

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Using vouchers we got for Christmas we were able to go indoor skydiving at Airkix in Milton Keynes.

Before we could start we had to watch a safety video and learn lots of hand signals, our instructor would use them to make sure we were in a good flight position and could understand what we needed to do. We had to make sure we paid attention to everything our instructor was telling us as we wouldn’t be able to hear him in the wind tunnel.

We then put on our equipment we each got suits , googles ,  earplugs, and helmets. Maisy and I choose helmets with teddies just so we could really top off our look!  Finally we were ready to fly!

Before my first go I was quite nervous as I didn’t really know what to expect. The instructor called me forward , I took a deep breath and jumped…  In less than a second I was swept off my feet with the air blasting me in the face, the instructor was signaling for me to straighten my legs but it was very hard to concentrate when screaming and laughing at the same time! It sounds silly but I wasn’t expecting the wind to be so strong.When I finally got the hang of it my go was over and I left the wind tunnel with a massive adrenaline rush.

 

On our next go our instructor asked us if we wanted to do that high fly,  this is where the instructor takes you up to the top of the wind tunnel and spins you around until you glide down. However the high fly cost an extra £6 each which was a bit annoying but we asked our parents and they said we could do it. It was amazing spinning around the  wind tunnel and gradually floating up. I wasn’t able to look down as it would ruin my flight position but afterwards I looked up and it seemed pretty high!

 

After everyone had had two turns the instructor said we had some time left over for anyone who wanted an extra turn but this would cost another £12 each, Masiy and I really wanted to do this and our parents said we could as we should make the most of the experience. This extra go turned out to be the best one of the three as we got to learn some tricks such as controlling how to go up and down and how to spin in circles. We also got to do a mini high fly and we did a lot of flying with out the help of the instructor.

 

At the end of our flight we were given certificates that said what we had achieved and how well, this was so if we came back the instructor would know what level we were so we could learn new tricks.  We left Milton Keynes believing we could fly!

Should you visit ?

Indoor skydiving is a great experience and you should definitely go if you have the chance. The extra turn and high fly are amazing , flying is not cheap but, it is well worth it, so I thank Father Christmas for this opportunity!

Where’s Abbie Rating

11/10 !!!

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http://www.airkix.com/discover-airkix/discover-indoor-skydiving.aspx

 

 

New York Round Up

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We did so many amazing things in New York that it would be impossible to blog about all of them! So below are some of the highlights.

The Beast

The Beast is a speed boat that takes you along the Hudson river and around the Statue of Liberty. In my opinion the Beast gives you the best views of the Statue and the staff on board will take photos for you. Beware you get really wet as you speed up the river going at 45mph , luckily for us it was such a hot day that we dried off very quickly. On the journey back the driver did lots of spins and tricks it was excellent!

http://ridethebeast.com/

Ellen’s Stardust diner

Ellen’s Stardust diner is a classic 1950’s american restaurant in Times Square. What makes Ellen’s so different is that it’s so much more than a restaurant, the waiters and staff are all budding Broadway stars many have been productions and some are waiting for their big break. The atmosphere is really great and the staff sing show tunes as you eat. It makes you want to dance and sing with them and you almost forget to eat which is a shame as the food is lovely!

 

http://www.ellensstardustdiner.com/

The Ride

The Ride is a bus tour that goes around Time Square and the surrounding area. The Ride is unlike any other bus tour. First you sit facing outwards looking at the pavement and your tour guides get the whole bus involved in singing dancing etc. The guides also get people on the pavement involved although most don’t realise whats going on!  Our guide was really funny we were there during Fleet week (when the navy is in town) and every time we passed some sailors in their uniform she went crazy! The other amazing thing about the ride is that the guide will point out someone on the street ; first it was a Ups delivery man and then suddenly they burst in to song and a hip hop dance routine or a ballet or a comedy routine and you realise they are part of the performance!

 

https://experiencetheride.com/

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds in New York was not so different from London although some of the people we didn’t know who they were as they were American stars and it wasn’t as busy as London. There were some models that we hadn’t seen before so we manged to get some good photos, but some of them really didn’t look like who they were meant to be!

 

 

https://www.madametussauds.com/new-york/en/

 

There were many other amazing places that we went whilst in New York such as Grand Central Station, The Water Taxi, Open Top Bus tour, The 9/11 museum any many many more. We wouldn’t have been able to do many of the things with out our New York Passes these we bought before we went and it gave us free entry to all the places we visited.

http://www.attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk/new-york-attraction-tickets/new-york-multi-attraction-passes/new-york-pass

 

 

Central Park

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When in New York visiting Central Park is a must, at first our plan was to hire bikes and cycle around but on the way we were stopped by men selling rickshaw tours. They said that because Central Park is very hilly and so big we would only last  about 10 minutes before giving up! We were able to haggle a good price so decided to give it a go and set off on our rickshaw tour.

The rickshaw tour was great, we got to see many famous buildings and spots such as the bridge from Enchanted,  the friends fountain, Mr Popper’s Penguins cafe and Smurf rock.Many of these things we wouldn’t have noticed or got to without a guide,He also stopped at the best places to take pictures.

 

Our guide pointed out to us where all the celebrities live and how much their apartments cost it was unbelievable how much they were. Whist in central park its easy to forget that you are in the centre of one of the busiest cities in the world!

Parts of the park are open to traffic and our guide loved making us scream by weaving in and out of the cars! Our guide told us many interesting things and was very funny! One of the best things about having a guide was that he showed us things we would never have found or realised they were there. We saw fascinating architecture and statues we even saw a couple having wedding photos taken.

 

Should you visit?

You can visit central park either on foot, bike ride horse & carriage etc. By hiring a rickshaw we got to see so much more than we ever would on our own we were lucky to have such a funny and friendly guide who really made our trip.

 

Where’s Abbie rating

10/10

 

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http://www.centralparknyc.org/

Empire State v’s Rockefeller

New York is well known for it’s skyscrapers and many of these you can go to the top of, to see spectacular views of the city. None are more famous than the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Tower. We were lucky enough to go to the top of both, we had done some research and we decided it was best to do the Empire State building at night and Rockefeller during the day. So which is best …

Empire State Building

The Empire State building has 103 floors and is 381m tall (443.2m tall including the antenna). We arrived at around 8pm and then we queued and we queued and we queued forever it was packed ! Every time we turned a corner and we thought we were almost at the top we joined yet another queue. As we finally got near the top (by this time it was almost 10pm) there was one last queue or you could decide to do the last 6 floors via the stairs, foolishly we decided the stairs would be a good idea it nearly finished us off!

 

When we got to the top and onto the observation deck it was a little disappointing  because it was so crowded it was difficult to get near the edge to see the views. As we fought our way to the edge the views were spectacular but you had very little time to take it all in before you were jostled out of the way.

 

 

Rockefeller Tower

Part of the Rockefeller centre (well known for its Christmas tree and skating rink) It was built in 1931 and is 260m tall (much smaller than the Empire state building) and has 70 floors. We had decided to visit the Rockefeller centre during the day and given how busy the Empire State building was we were prepared for the worst.However as soon as we got there it felt much calmer and less crowded we went straight up in the first lift it was amazing as it has a glass roof with lights and images of the tower being shown and it was really fast 43 seconds to go 67 floors – it really makes your tummy flip!

When we got on to the observation deck  we couldn’t have been more surprised – there was hardly anyone there it made all the difference as you could take your time and look from every side of the tower.  Although not as high as the Empire the views are certainly no less breathtaking you can all the way across Central Park and you can see how huge it is, you can see the whole of New York from every direction.

So which tower is the best?

Because of the crowds at the Empire State building it’s hard to compare the two fairly. I did however prefer the views from Rockefeller as I enjoyed looking out over Central Park and the lift was fun too!

Should you visit?

We used our New York passes so they were included in the price of our pass. I would recommend doing both towers. But if you only have the chance of doing one I would suggest the Rockefeller and I would say it is best to do it during the day.

Where’s Abbie Rating

Empire State Building 7/10

Rockefeller Tower 9/10

http://www.esbnyc.com/

https://www.topoftherocknyc.com/

 

 

 

The New York Skyline

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While we were in New York we took a helicopter trip along the Hudson river. Having never been in a helicopter before I didn’t know what to expect, mum was worried because she is scared of heights! When we arrived at the heliport we had to tell them how much we weigh I became rather concerned as I was sure the weight my mum said she was was more like the weight she would like to be rather than the weight she really is!

We walked along the pier to our helicopter and there were lots of helicopters waiting and taking off it was very noisy and windy I thought we might be blown over the edge into the water!  We were told where we had to sit I was lucky and got to sit in the front. We had to wear headphones because of the noise and the pilot could talk to us through the headphones.

As we took off the helicopter tips forward this felt really weird, Our pilot introduced himself and started to tell us about the things we could see. I was surprised by how noisy it was but it was also really smooth and although we were flying high it wasn’t scary even mum enjoyed it!

We headed towards the Statue of Liberty first and as we flew around it we had fantastic views .

As we flew up the river we could see in detail the Manhattan skyline we could see many of the places we had visited. They looked so different form the sky you could see how the skyscrapers dwarfed the other buildings.

My favourite part of the trip was the way it felt when the helicopter twisted and turned in the sky. It was amazing to see all the landmarks from new heights!

 

As we came back to the pier we saw a NYPD helicopter land. We seemed to glide and land really softly which I wasn’t expecting.

 

Should you visit?

If you are visiting New York and get the chance then a helicopter ride is a must, it’s a great way to see all the sights and is an incredible experience.

Where’s Abbie rating

10/10

 

http://www.libertyhelicopter.com/

 

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New York New York

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If you read my last post you will have noticed I recently visited New York (lots of posts to write but haven’t had any time!)

We flew to New York with Delta airlines although the flight was 7 hours it didn’t seem that long we had lots of films to watch and we were constantly being given food and drinks so the time seemed to go quite quickly. When we arrived at JFK we were picked up by a limo which was a lovely surprise and we were driven to the house we were staying in on Staten Island.

 

New York is a huge city full of amazing landmarks and busy with crowds of people. We had a lot to cram into 5 days but we manged to see most of the city by using one of the City Open Top Bus Tours. As well as seeing all the sights we were told lots of information about the buildings like where celebrities live and famous sights from films.

 

 

 

Statue of Liberty

Because we stayed on Staten Island we past the Statue of Liberty every day., however we got a much better view when we went on the beast, the water taxi and the helicopter (in fact we probably saw the Statue of Liberty from every possible angle !)

 

Grand Central Station

“It’s grand and it’s central”- quoted from Madagascar. I love Madagascar so it was great to see the clock that Melmen got stuck on his head !

 

 

Times Square 

Times Square is probably one of the busiest places in New York but it is probably one of my favourite places as I loved all the big billboards and massive shops, also when we were in Times Square I had a caricature portrait sketched.

 

Stereotypes of New York 

Everything in New York is just as you would expect like big graffiti , yellow taxis, hot dog stands, dunkin donuts ( we ate a lot of dunkin donuts! And every dunkin donuts we went in they were policemen eating donuts !)

 

 

Should You Visit?

If you are ever in New York sight seeing is a must! Be prepared to walk miles as in 5 days we walked 53 miles!

Where’s Abbie rating

10/10

 

Aladdin on Broadway!

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While visiting New York we were lucky enough to get tickets to see Aladdin (opening in London June 2016) Having always enjoyed the film I was looking forward to watching the musical.

Our seats were near the top of the theatre we had a good view and as we were high up we could also see how the effects such as the genie appearing were done. This only added to our excitement.

The story keeps very close to the original film with the addition of a few new songs and characters. The stage comes alive with the hustle and bustle of the market place the costumes were bright and colourful and really stood out. The singing and dancing was amazing. American audiences are very different to British ones there is much more clapping and cheering , it makes it really fun and lively.

It was then time for the genie to appear ( played by James Monroe Iglehart) in the film the genie is such a strong character that I was wondering how this would be brought to the stage. Straight away the genie was so full of energy  and stage presence that he immediately connected with the audience receiving lots of cheers in the process!

As the story continued we were wondering how the magic carpet was going to be done. After lots of thought we still have no clue how it worked,there were no stings to be seen! They really were they flying through the sky on the magic carpet!

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All  of the effects were truly amazing from the way the genie appeared, to the cave rising from the sand, to the market, to the palace the music and the costumes.It was everything you would expect from a Broadway show. The audience being so enthusiastic really added to the magic.

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Should you visit?

If you are visiting New York a Broadway show is definitely something you should do and Aladdin doesn’t disappoint. If you are in London tickets for the same production of Aladdin are now on sale.

Where’s Abbie rating

10/10

 

http://www.aladdinthemusical.com/   (Broadway show)

http://www.aladdinthemusical.co.uk/  (London show)

aladdintoronto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oasis Camel Safari

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Recently we visited Oasis Camel Park near Halesworth. Oasis Camel Park is a family run farm that specializes in looking after camels.

 

When we arrived at the centre we we given some food to feed the goats, horses, sheep, donkeys,  and lamas. At first I was a bit scared of the animals eating from my hands but I soon got used to it (although it was a bit slimy!)

 

Before we went on our camel safari we were able to see all the baby rabbits and guinea pigs. I absolutely loved this they were so cute and fluffy; It’s a shame this part wasn’t open all day because I just wanted to keep going back!

 

We were then ready to go on the lama trek. I didn’t know what to expect and  I was a little bit scared of the lama’s at first. We were given 3 lama’s to walk around the park on our own and it was really relaxing to walk around with them. They were really friendly and gentle one of them liked looking into the camera to have its photo taken! They were very greedy and stopped to eat everything!

When we had finished the Lama trek it was time for our camel safari. The first thing you notice is how big the camels are, they are huge. We had to climb on a platform to get onto our camel it was rather uncomfortable and bumpy but really good. The people leading us on the camel told us lots of information about them so we learnt a lot. The camels looked a bit shaggy and scruffy because they  are loosing their winter coats. The staff were lovely and really friendly and helpful they made the safari fun . We walked for about half an hour which doesn’t  sound long but by the time we had finished I was feeling it in my legs!

 

After the safari we had lunch which was provided. It was a hot sunny day so we sat outside, Again the staff were very helpful and friendly. After lunch we had a look around the park and fed more of the animals.

Should you visit?

We were lucky with the weather it was a very hot day so the perfect weather for a camel safari. The Oasis park is a fantastic place to visit and has something for the whole family. It is such a great experience ride a camel, Oasis Camel Park is well worth a visit.

Where’s Abbie Ratting 

9/10

http://www.oasiscamelpark.co.uk/

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Harry Potter Studio Tour

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My sister Maisy is a huge Harry Potter fan and recently she visited The Harry Potter studio tour, this is her blog.

As soon as you arrive in the car park the first thing you notice is how big the studios are they are huge! I couldn’t wait to get inside.

As we waited in the queue we passed Harry Potters room under the stairs.We then went into a large room where we watched a short film about Harry Potter. We were then led into the Great Hall.

The Great Hall is amazing and as soon as I walked in it felt as if I was in one of the movies! The attention to detail is extraordinary . At the end of the hall there were models of the teachers from Hogwarts. They were wearing the actual costumes from the films even the shoes; there were scuffs on Professor Snape’s shoes.

From the hall we walked around the other sets and saw many props and costumes. I liked the wigs as most of the characters had to wear wigs even Harry! To be up close to the props and sets was like I was in the film the sets were so big, my favourite was Dumbledore’s office.

A new addition to the tour is the Hogwarts Express.They have re-created platform 9 3/4 and you can climb aboard the Hogwarts Express each carriage is set up as a scene from one of the films.

Half way around the tour it was time to try Butter Beer! Butter Beer was disgusting!!! Mum liked the creamy topping but neither of us liked the ‘beer’.

 

Outside on the Lot we came across the Knight Bus, Privet Drive and other exhibits we then went into the 2nd stage of the tour where there were more props and sets. We were able to walk along Diagon Alley, this set is huge and you see many more details that you miss on-screen.

Finally the tour ends at Hogwarts Castle as you enter the room it is truly breathtaking to see every detail from all angles as you walk around the edge of the castle.

 

Should you visit?

Even if you are not a Harry Potter fan you will be fascinated by the scale and detail of the sets on the tour. If you are a fan you will discover things you never knew or had seen before. Entry slots are timed so there are no big crowds as you go around so booking is advisable.

 

Where’s Maisy Rating

10/10 !!!

https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/