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Tuesday, 28 May 2019

FIVE DAYS IN NEW YORK: ITINERARY FOR A FAMILY TRIP - PART 5

May 28, 2019

Our Family Trip Itinerary

1.Madison Square Garden

2. Madison Square Park

3. Lego Store

4. Flatiron Building

5. Chinatown

6. Little Italy

7. SoHo, Greenwich Village and Chelsea

8. High Line Park

9. Galleries in Chelsea

10. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum


With incredible speed we reached the last day of our trip to New York. As we already knew, it would never be possible to see everything we wanted but we still had many plans for this day. The trip was tiring, but it was a weariness we easily forgot because of all the magic we were seeing.

Our days were being full and we felt that the programmed days allowed us to make the most of life in the city. Of course, as it was a family trip, we ended up not really getting to know New York's nightlife, which must be fabulous, but during the day we tried to make the most of it.

Madison Square Garden

This complex is world-renowned for its memorable musical performances, as well as being the "home" of four of the city's professional teams, including the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL Ice Hockey Team) the New York Liberty (WNBA) and the New York Titans (NLL lacrosse team).

Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity (for financial reasons) to watch any show in this mythical room, but we did not want to miss the chance to walk around and see its exterior.

As the exterior is not extraordinary, we leave here a delicious video of a concert of the LCD Soundsystem in this room, to see how special it is.


Madison Square Park

Then we took a short walk to Madison Square Park. When we talk about parks in New York, we always think of Central Park, which is really fabulous. But Madison Square Park turned out to be a beautiful surprise. In the midst of the tall buildings of New York and the bustle of its streets, it is an ideal place to rest, to look at nature and, of course, the squirrels, as we have also found them here. It is a garden full of trees and very well cared for, frequented by both locals and tourists, and also by many dogs, because there is a Dog Park there.

In addition to this oasis in mid-Manhattan, if you are looking for a place to eat, we can not forget that there is a Shake Shack in this park, which we loved when we went on our second day in New York (see HERE).

Lego Store

The previous day we had visited the Lego Store of Rockefeller Center (you can see HERE our visit to the store) but when we were walking towards the Flatiron Building, we had the nice surprise of finding a new one Lego shop, which we had to visit, something that cannot fail in a family trip.

This store was not as impressive as the one at the Rockefeller Center, maybe because it is the second one to be visited and the desire to visit it at first was enormous. But this is a very large store too and as it was not so crowded, it allowed us to play with laos in a more relaxed way and have a great time.

Flatiron Building

Our next step was to see the Flatiron Building, which was right next to the Lego Store. This was one of the first skyscrapers in the city and its name is due to its shape, which resembles an iron ironing board. 

It's not allowed to visit its interior but it is well worth the walk next to it, because it is one of the unique images of New York. It is also great for taking your photos, we just wish for good luck to get you done without having people to pass in front of you.

Chinatown

Although we were able to walk all the way, as the distance was still great, we took the subway to Canal St to Chinatown. Before we refer to Chinatown, just a word about the Metro in New York, This is an experience you have to do, even though we have already traveled by metro in several countries around the world but walking in New York is different. It is difficult to explain, we can ensure that we always feel very safe and that we strongly recommend this experience but it is difficult to put into words, we just say the classic Just Do It.

Another unique experience is entering Chinatown. Here it seems that he entered another world, in another country. You will enter the middle of an immense confusion, in which in the first moments you will feel invaded by multiple sound stimuli, visual, olfactory ... Many people love it, others hate it. It is true that you will find a very disorganized place, even dirty but the truth is that we loved it, and the huge offer of restaurants led us soon to look for where to have lunch, needless to say, in a restaurant of Chinese food. It is also possible to find other gastronomic offerings, incidentally, even a McDonald's exists there, with Chinese characters.

But we went after the Chinese meal and we loved it. Prices very good, dishes immense and full of flavor, we loved it. After lunch, we got lost in the streets, where you will find hundreds of little shops that sell everything you can imagine. If you want to buy counterfeit goods from famous brands, here is your place.

Little Italy

After our visit through Chinatown we walked towards Little Italy. Here we were a little disillusioned. It is true that the streets are more beautiful than Chinatown but, Little Italy seems to be being invaded by Chinatown and, aside from beautiful, nicely decorated streets and some restaurants, the experience ends quickly.

As we were not going to eat there because we already had lunch, the tour was fast and we quickly headed to Soho, which is a short walk away.

 SoHo, Greenwich Village and Chelsea

Then we took a walk through SoHo, Greenwich Village and Chelsea as we headed for High Line Park. This tour, of about 2 kms we take to know where the New Yorkers live and, reveals how the city managed to modernize and restructure, maintaining its old charm. These neighborhoods have been subjected to enormous architectural regeneration, which makes it perfect for living or, in our case, to walk through it.

It is in this area of ​​the city that several artists have lofts, and we find several art galleries, which mix with fashion shops of international companies and countless restaurants for all budgets, where the will to enter is enormous. This is an area of ​​the city that, unlike others, allows us to have a picture of what it's like to live in New York.

High Line Park

This is one of New York's newest parks but it is already an image of the city and it is perfect in the city. The idea itself may seem strange but, it results in perfection. The idea was to build, in an old railway line, a park that stretches along several streets of the city and, truthfully, it was beautiful.

This park is suspended in the air and, along its route, you can enjoy the art facilities around it, the various stalls, small markets and sales, enjoy the extraordinary view through the middle of Manhattan and, whenever you want to sit will have numerous banks for this purpose.

This park is situated in an area that stretches from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 30th Street between 10th and 11th avenues, as you can see here on Google Maps.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Well, this was an issue that left us a bit sad but we were already telling it to be difficult to achieve. Neither of us had ever been able to see an Aircraft Carrier closely and we wanted to visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. But we also knew that it would be very difficult to have time on this last day to do it, and we were already prepared for the impossibility of visiting it, not least because the museum closes at 5pm. But one of the reasons we did not prioritize this visit was because we had other plans for the next step of our trip, namely in Washington, which we will talk about soon on our blog.

For it was near the closing hour that we arrived. The Museum is right next to the Hudson River and we made it about 2 kms walk to the Museum (good thing we took the stroller, our salvation) and, although tired, we were happy to have done it, because we loved it see the Intrepid, even if only on its outside.

For those who can see the museum as a whole, know that besides knowing the Aircraft Carrier, you can still see the space shuttle Enterprise, the prototype used by NASA, as well as the Growler submarine.

To better plan your visit, click HERE on the official website of the museum, where you can see their schedules and prices.

After this visit, we made the walk to our hotel, having bought on the way a pizza to eat in our room. The rest of the night was dedicated to rest and pack, for tomorrow we would go to the next stage of our family trip in America, Washington.

So this ware the 5 days of our Family Trip to New York. We hope our tips help you to program you trip to this great city. Do not forget to leave a Like, and to comment and share our Non Stop Family blog.

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Five days in New York: Itinerary for a family trip - PART 4

May 28, 2019
When we get to the fourth day of our trip, we began to realize how fast time passes when we are having fun and in New York we feel that time flies!

As we have always liked to mention, when we travel, we like to organize our itineraries in order to reconcile the tastes of children and adults, although this is often confused, as it is not easy to say what it is for children and what it is for adults and, this our fourth day spent so much for that experience.


We will leave our itinerary for the day in New York and then we will describe the various steps we have taken.

1- Lego Store in Rockefeller Center

2- St. Patrick's Cathedral

3- Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock

4- NBC Studios and Radio City Music Hall

5- Lunch at the Carnegie Delli

6- Toy store FAO Schwarz

7- Apple Store 5th Avenue

8- Plaza Hotel

9- Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

10- The Morgan Library & Museum


Lego Store in Rockefeller Center

At the beginning of this article, we were talking about how difficult it is sometimes to separate activities for children from adult to adult, as they often blend and confuse. Our first destination of the day was precisely this mix. In Portugal (our country), unfortunately there is no large store dedicated to lego, so the offer is not the best. Of course, when we want to buy something that we do not find in a store, we currently have the option online, which has often served us (we're crazy at home, too), but getting lost in a Lego store was something " of the family very much desired, so this was our first destination of the day. Needless to say, how excited our son (and his father) was.


So we headed there in the morning to Rockefeller Center, going straight to the Lego store, where we lost for a LONG time. Besides the purchases we made, it was wonderful to be able to just play with legos, to explore and see, to see. We had never seen the possibility of buying only the pieces we wanted, as well as combining our mini figures and buying, we really loved it. As for prices, udo depends on the exchange rate, but when we went there (2015) the prices compensated when compared with Europe. However, it is worth a lot.

St. Patrick's Cathedral


This Cathedral, just in the middle of Fifth Avenue near Rockefeller Center is both impressive as beautiful on the outside, but what impressed us most is its interior and, in particular, the silence that prevails there. As you enter, you quickly forget you are on 5th Avenue. No doubt a must-stop in this Cathedral that was built between 1858 and 1878 and designed by architect James Renwick, Jr. and is a historic building in New York City.

If you want to know more about your hostory and opening hours, you can consult its official site HERE.

Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock

After leaving the Lego Store, we continue to peer through the Rockefeller Center. This conundrum of buildings is huge and even more stunning near Christmas, where there is placed the famous giant Christmas tree as well as the skating rink. As we did not go in the winter, but in the summer, we could not enjoy these attractions but the Rockefeller Center is in itself very captivating, luxurious and worth to spend a few hours here, especially to climb to the Top of the Rock.

Top of the Rock

The Top of the Rock was our second choice to see New York City at the height of its splendor, and the main reasons we wanted to climb this skyscraper was also because it offers the possibility, on the one hand, to observe the skyline of the city with Empire Estate, which is beautiful and another reason is that it makes it possible to see Central Park on the opposite side.
We did this visit before lunch, with a beautiful day of sun and, as we bought our tickets online (see HERE how to buy your ticket), we saved valuable time and, although there were many people when we went, we did not spend much time at wait and, we always get a clear view over the city.

Still at Rockefeller Center, do not forget to check out NBC studios, where the famous Saturday Night Live program is filmed, as well as stroll along Radio City Music Hall.

NBC Studios

We have just passed NBC studios but for those who are a fan, there is the possibility of doing a Tour, which will allow you to know the backstage of some of the most famous programs in the world (for example, we love Jimmy Fallon, who records his shows here).


If you wish to take this tour, you can access more information HERE. There is also the possibility of attending some of the shows that take place (including that of Jimmy Fallon) but this often requires a few hours of waiting. The way to get the ticket differs for each show, so here is a LINK that will explain the different steps to get your ticket as well as some important tips.

Radio City Music Hall

This concert hall and radio is iconic in New York, but here we just walk by the door to explore its façade. However, if you want to know better or even go to a concert, check the link HERE.


Lunch at the Carnegie Delli

The morning was already huge and despite a mid-morning snack, it was time for lunch, and we are forced to say that we were fans of pastrami sandwiches and after our wonderful experience at Katz's Delicatessen (you can see HERE on our third day in New York), today we were planning to go in the direction of another Delli also famous for selling the best pastrami sandwiches in New York, namely the Carnegie Delli.

This location is relatively close to the Rockefeller Center, so the walking time has been shortened but upon arrival we found a considerable queue at the door. This is usually a sign of good food, but hunger is already tight. However, we waited there and after about an hour we managed to eat our pastrami sandwich and also did not resist sampling the cheesecake.


We are obliged to say that, both are fabulous. We loved pastrami sandwiches as well as cheesecake, to the point that we can not tell you what the best sandwich is, whether it's Katz's Delicatessen or Carnegie Delli. We wood love to challenge the reader to try both but, but unfortunately, this property has already closed in its old location, so anyone who is going to stroll around New York will not be able to tell us about their experience. You can see here a video about the closing of Carnegie Delli and the huge queues that were created for those who wanted to taste these flavors one last time.
However, we have to say that our experience at Katz's Deli was most enjoyable. On the one hand, our expectations were already high due to the passion for the film that took us first to the place (When Harry met Sally) but, although both spaces were spectacular, we had a care by the staff at Katz's Delicatessen very more sympathetic, unlike the Carnegie Delli that, in our experience, was not the best.

However, nothing that has spoiled our experience at the place, which was great and we love it.

FAO Schwarz Toy Store

One of the movies that marked our life was the celebrated BIG, with the most iconic scene taking place in a toy store with actor Tom Hanks dancing and playing on a giant piano. Well, this store, which also features Home Alone 2, is FAO Schwarz, and we had the opportunity to visit it, and our son, to walk and play the famous piano on the floor.
We just do not know if anyone who liked it most was him or us but, it's a wonderful experience. In addition to the piano, you'll find all the toys you can imagine, from the traditional to the modern, and it's one of those experiences that is perfect for children and adults alike.
Unfortunately, after our trip, we learned that the store closed almost immediately after our trip. However, for those preparing their trip to New York, you can visit the new store from November 16, 2018. However, it is not located in its former location, but at number 30 Rockefeller Plaza .

To learn more about the store and its history, be sure to check out their website HERE.

Apple Store 5th Avenue

Just near the old FAO Schwarz store is the 5th Avenue Apple Store. We did just a quick visit and, the glass cube on the outside was what most captivated us.
However, if you are coming to buy new technologies from Apple, we recommend Apple's Grand Central Terminal store, as it is usually less crowded and easier to get a better service (learn more HERE at the post on our second day in New York ).

Plaza Hotel

Whoever has seen Home Alone 2, you will not forget that the hotel where Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is staying in New York is the Plaza Hotel. This luxury hotel is a historic landmark of the city and, also one of the most luxurious. However, it is a long way from our financial capabilities, so we just admire its exterior and wander around, dreaming that maybe one day we can stay there.
See here this when "Kevin" arrives at the hotel and gets a help from Trump.

Museum of Modern Art (Moma)

One of the museums that we adults wanted to visit was the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and after researching information at home, we discovered that it was possible to visit it free of charge on Friday afternoon, so we organized the itinerary of our family trip in New York to leave a few hours on Friday afternoon to see the museum.
If you would like to visit the museum (which we highly recommend), we advise you to address it a little before 4 pm on Friday. The queue to enter for free at the Museum starts at the door that leads to 54 street (you can see the exact spot here on Google maps). Although the queue is big, after 4:00 p.m., you will see that it will take very little time to enter, and you will appreciate all the moments that will pass there.

If you wish to know more about the museum, timetables, prices, temporary exhibitions, or purchase tickets online for other dates, you can consult the website of the same HERE.

The Morgan Library & Museum

There at home we are fans of books and libraries and from the birth of our son we have tried to convey this passion to our son (which has been very successful to date, we are very fortunately forced to acknowledge.


One of the visits we most want to do is not, however, one of the most famous attractions in New York, unfairly, we must say. We spoke to The Morgan Library & Museum which, it was our last visit of the day. Well, after our visit to MoMA, we went down 5th Avenue (there's always something new and interesting on that avenue) and we went to our new destination, The Morgan Library & Museum (you can see the exact location on Google Maps HERE).

This Library & Museum was the former home / office / library of the famous JP Morgan banker, who resided in New York. The house itself is impressive, with a beautiful architecture that achieves a perfect blend of old and modern. When we made our visit, there was a convertible music flow, which made the whole visit more perfect.

Check this cool youtube video so you get to know a litle more:
For us, the main reason for our visit was the precious collection inside those walls. On this visit, we could see a bible printed in the Gutemberg press, Mozart's original scores, Ravel, Lizt, Livos and original texts by Faust, Goethe, books with hundreds of years, even Bob Dylan's writings !!! It is an exhibition that deserves much in time that there will be. Besides, there are temporary exhibitions that you can visit.

And why did we go on Friday too? Because once again we could make this precious visit for free! Also The Morgan Library & Museum offers the possibility to visit it free of charge on Friday, from 7pm to 9pm, something that we made the most of.

If you would like to know more about prices, times and temporary exhibitions, be sure to check out their official website HERE. Although this is not one of New York's best known places, we highly recommend your visit, we promise you will not regret it.

Finished this day, we had decided to return to Korean Town for dinner before heading to the Hotel for the well-deserved rest, but on the way we discovered a street food sale where we were able to eat delicious tacos which turned out to be one of the best meals during our stay, also for very reasonable prices.
We hope you enjoy our itinerary for the fourth day in New York. If you want, you can see our fifth and last day of our family trip in New York by clicking HERE. Do not forget to leave your comment and recommend our Non Stop Family blog, we would love to know your opinion and feedback.

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Friday, 3 May 2019

FIVE DAYS IN NEW YORK: ITINERARY FOR A FAMILY TRIP

May 03, 2019

In recent articles we have been describing our days in the wonderful city of New York. After this perfect trip, we are forced to acknowledge that New York is a perfect city for a Family Trip but, we are always left with the doubt if the 5 days are effectively enough time for the city.

Today we can say that, after the return, we have the feeling that there was still more to see and do but we also thought that, for as long as we stayed, that feeling would continue because, as many people have told us , this is not a city to visit once, you well feel the need to return. And with luck, that is what we would like to do one day, to return to see and do what we did not have time, but also to repeat experiences, because there are many that we would like to do it again.

Of course we invite you to see our posts about the different days in our stay in the city but, in this article, we wanted to join our itinerary, to help you organize your family trip to this fantastic city. Our 5 days were fantastic, and if they were well organized, because there is really a lot to do, so especially in a family trip, we strongly advise you to organize what you want to see each day.

If you want to know detailed information about prices, times and our opinion about each of our experiences, we recommend that you follow the link to our post of the exact day (or see all days), where you will have all the necessary information and, if you want to know something else, feel free to leave your comment, suggestion or question, which we will be happy to help.

Before turning to the detailed description of our days, we wanted to leave two notes. The first is that, when we mentioned that is 5 days in New York, we ended up staying 6 nights, because we did not count the day of arrival and departure, because these are moments when we ended up not enjoying anything from the trip.

We leave the warning to prepare your return home leaving at least 5 hours before departure by plane. Whether arriving or departing from America, this will be very time-consuming (in our case they were), so we advise you to go early to the airport to avoid any problems.

The other note is that to make the most of our stay, and given that it was only 5 days in the city, we made a point of staying in a very central location of Manhattan, what allowed us to save hours on public transportation and we were able to see many of the attractions quickly and walking, something we strongly recommend to anyone visiting New York: walk a lot on the streets.

Of course, being a family trip with a small child, we took advantage of the days, rather than the nightlife of New York, so this is a New York area that our itinerary does not cover. 

But with regard to the days, we always woke up very early (something the time difference with Europe really helped) and we tried to enjoy the day to the fullest. An extra note for the stroller, which allowed our son to rest a lot, even taking his naps while moving between attractions.

Well, let us now turn to the description of our itinerary, and do not be fooled by whoever says otherwise, for we can assure you that New York is really that city that you have to know. All in itself is unforgettable, the movement of the streets, its contrasts, its numerous skyscrapers, the places we used to see in theaters, its museums, everything makes this one of the favorite destinations of millions around the world and , without feeling like being in the middle of a tourist site, because it is a city full of roads by itself.

OUR FAMILY TRIP ITINERARY FOR THE FIRST DAY IN NEW YORK

We were very well located, our hotel, the NH New York Hotel Jolly Madison Towers, was a great starting point to get to know the city and, on this first day, we did not stray too far, always walking but getting to see a lot. This was our itinerary:

1- 5th AVENUE
2- KOREAN TOWN
3- NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
4- BRIANT PARK
5- MACY'S
6- EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
7- TIMES SQUARE

 
OUR FAMILY TRIP ITINERARY FOR THE SECOND DAY IN NEW YORK

Also on this our second day we opted for mostly walking but we headed north in regards to our location. The main purpose of our son was to see the American Museum of Natural History of New York but before and after there existed so much to see.

1- MADISON AVENUE AND CHRYSLER BUILDING
2- COLUMBUS CIRCLE AND TRUMP INTERNATIONAL HOTEL AND TOWER NEW YORK
3- DAKOTA BUILDING AND STRAWBERRY FIELDS
4- AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY OF NEW YORK
5- LUNCH AT SHAKE SHACK
6- CENTRAL PARK
7- THE SOLOMON GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM AND THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ARTS
8- GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL

OUR FAMILY TRIP ITINERARY FOR THE THIRD DAY IN NEW YORK

On this third day in New York we finally got back to using the subway, the first time since we got to the city. And we went to Lower Manhattan and the Financial District where we would spend most of the day.

1- GROUND ZERO - WTC MEMORIAL
2- ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER (FREEDOM TOWER)
3- NEW YORK CITY HALL
4- BROOKLYN BRIDGE
5-D.U.M.B.O.
6- TRINITY CHURCH
7- WALL STREET
8- STATEN ISLAND FERRY AND STATUE OF LIBERTY
9- KATZ'S DELICATESSEN

OUR FAMILY TRIP ITINERARY FOR THE FOURTH DAY IN NEW YORK

On our fourth day we did not get too far from our hotel, we managed to make the whole journey on foot, although we have been through a lot, it was a very intense and rich day, which started with another of our son's great wishes in New York, a visit to the Lego Store at Rockefeller Center.

1- LEGO STORE IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER
2- ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL
3-ROCKEFELLER CENTER AND TOP OF THE ROCK
4- NBC STUDIOS AND RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL
5- LUNCH AT THE CARNEGIE DELLI
6- TOY STORE FAO SCHWARZ
7- APPLE STORE 5th AVENUE
8- PLAZA HOTEL
9- MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (MOMA)
10- THE MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM

OUR FAMILY TRIP ITINERARY FOR THE FIFTH DAY IN NEW YORK

And soon we got to our last day of travel. The first few days had been very intense, but it would not be the last day that we would have the chance to rest. On this day we used public transport again, but even so, it was the days we walked the most.

1. MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
2. MADISON SQUARE PARK
3. LEGO STORE
4. FLATIRON BUILDING
5.CHINATOWN
6. LITTLE ITALY
7. SOHO, GREENWICH VILLAGE AND CHELSEA
8. HIGH LINE PARK
9.GALLERIES IN CHELSEA
10.INTREPID SEA, AIR & SPACE MUSEUM

Where to stay and how to move around the city?

From our experience of traveling with a child, we feel that when we travel to cities, the more central our location becomes, the easier the whole dynamics of the journey becomes, and the more time is gained and fatigue is saved, not only of the child, but also of the children. Of course in New York a hotel in midtown Manhattan never comes cheap, on the contrary but, we made the effort to pay a little more to stay in midtown Manhattan and it made up for that.

This leads to the issue of travel, where if you stay in a central location and, like us, like to walk, much of the city can be seen walking, and this is how you will know so much that does not appear in the tourist routes but ends up being part of what he liked most in New York.

Apart from traveling by foot, we highly recommend the use of the metro. It is very efficient, fast and very good prices. In addition to all these advantages, the metro ride itself is a unique experience, which should be done and, if you have any fear, we leave our experience to feel 100% safe, which we feel throughout our trip.

Are 5 days enough to get to know New York?

In a quick and easy answer, no. He will leave New York with the desire to see more, to be more days and with the awareness that there was much more to see. But as we have already mentioned, we feel that New York, unlike many other cities we have visited, is not a city for one visit, it is to return, and it was with this feeling that we said goodbye.

Planning an itinerary for a family trip to this wonderful city is not easy and needs to be organized and planned, otherwise you will lose several hours and feel even more that you did not enjoy what the city had to offer. Having this city so much to offer, you will have to make choices, you will not be able to see everything, due to lack of time but also for financial reasons, because for many, as is our case, the budget can not do everything. These were our choices which we can not say were the best and that probably will not be yours in its entirety. However, we felt we made a good plan, which allowed us to enjoy the city a lot and see the main points of interest of the city.

We have to get up early and walk a lot on foot so we recommend comfortable shoes and clothes appropriate to the season, do not forget that New York is a very cold city in the winter but also very hot in the summer.

We invite you to see the description of our days, to know more about our experience and to take a more conscious decision and leave the invitation to leave your comments, questions and suggestions, we look forward to your words .


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