An Adventure To New York City

Tuesday, 21 June 2016


And what an adventure it was! If you're a regular reader of my blog, there is a 100% chance that you know about mine and Jack's recent trip to New York City. As a joint 21st birthday present from both of our parents, we headed off to the most incredible city on Earth for four days of freedom and exploration. We managed to cram pretty much everything that we wanted to do into those four short days, ending each day more tired than the last. We honestly had the time of our lives—it was definitely the best birthday present ever!


After arriving on the Saturday evening (and making the mistake of walking 20 blocks to our hotel from the subway with two heavy suitcases... oops), we took a short walk out to Times Square. Absolutely shattered from the journey and the time difference, we headed home for a night of deep sleep before rising for a full day on the Sunday. We spent the day in downtown Manhattan at the World Trade Center Site. It was an extremely moving and emotional day, surrounded by the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks. After taking a small walk around the site ourselves, we paid a visit to the 9/11 Tribute Center. We looked around the building, having our hearts broken by all of the harrowing quotes and pictures encompassing the rooms, before we were then taken on a walking tour of the site by two 9/11 survivors. The ladies explained the layout of the site in present times, including the absolutely outstanding waterfalls that are positioned in the exact spots that the North and South towers stood, and then went on to tell us their own stories of the event. It was a truly poignant experience that I would recommend to everyone visiting New York. We then headed up the One World Trade Center for the spectacular views on the 102nd floor and were blown away by the beauty of the city.


Monday was spent on many bus tours. We headed on the uptown loop that took us all around the edge of Central Park and through the heart of the Upper West Side. Our tour guide pointed out the spot that John Lennon was shot, as well as showing us exactly which part of the park has been renamed 'Strawberry Fields' in his memory. As we headed further uptown, we jumped onto the Bronx loop to go and see Yankee Stadium! Although we didn't manage to go into the stadium itself, we saw its incredible stance from the outside and had a cheeky look in the official gift shop too. On the way back into Manhattan, we swapped back onto the uptown loop and travelled down the Upper East Side of Central Park along 5th Avenue. What a dream to see New York City in all of its glory! Just before heading out for the evening, we headed to the Top of the Rock. The views from the top were more than I ever could have hoped for. Let's put it this way; I have found my absolute favourite place in the entire world. It just completely took my breath away! We then headed down to Greenwich Village to a small comedy show. Jack and I had left tourist central and headed straight into the eye of the New Yorker storm! It was a fantastic experience to live just how real New Yorkers do and we had such a great evening eating fries and mozzarella sticks whilst chuckling away at Colin Quinn.


Tuesday rolled around and it was off to the Statue of Liberty we went! We jumped on a bus downtown, got on a very busy ferry, and headed to Liberty Island. I've got to say, the view of the statue is far more impressive from the boat than it is from standing underneath. The most impressive view from the island is definitely the skyline of Manhattan on the other side of the Hudson, especially with the newly constructed One World Trade Center standing loud and proud. It makes the Empire State look like a baby building in the background! We bought a few sandwiches and a packet of crisps from the diner and had a cute little picnic whilst staring out over the water. What a magical way to spend a Tuesday afternoon! After heading back over to mainland, we headed to Chinatown to experience an authentic Chinese meal. It was incredibly tasty food but with a very strange serving method—my food appeared on the table a good 15 minutes after Jack's did! We then took a walk through Little Italy and ended up at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. That little park holds a special place in my heart. I have never felt so completely relaxed in a city that I don't call home.


Wednesday came far too soon;  it was hotel check-out time! Cry! With only until 5pm to explore the rest of the city, we decided to head down 5th Avenue to experience some of the outstanding shops and then spend an afternoon in the glorious Central Park. We managed to find an incredible pizza place just a few blocks from the park where we shared a magnificent 17" beast. What a way to end a holiday! In Central Park itself, we headed to the zoo for an hour or so of 'oohing' and 'awwing', penguins being my favourite attraction as usual. Both Jack and myself were melting away in the sweltering heat and I have absolutely no idea how the animals were able to cope! Both bears were tucked away in the shade, fast asleep, and the snow leopard was nowhere to be seen. 5pm rolled around and we headed back to the hotel to collect our suitcases, walked to the subway station for the final time, and waved goodbye to our new home away from home.

There's no doubt about it; New York City is one of the greatest places on Earth. Have you ever been?

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