Ok so I just landed back in the UK after the most amazing trip to New York City. It has been somewhere I have wanted to go for ages, and after this trip I definitely want to go back, not just for a trip but to live for a while. It is a city with so much character and I can imagine you going back time and time again and always finding something new to see or discover. It was definitely the best 21st birthday a girl could ask for, I was totally spoilt and fell in love with a beautiful city.
Here is a little diary of my time away.
Day one: After a long day travelling from home to New york via Montreal in Canada where we had a mini run in with U.S customs, we arrived in the city in the evening. We managed to find our way to our hotel using the public transport system which I was very impressed with ourselves for. We flew into LaGuardia which meant a bus ride and a subway ride followed by a mini trek with luggage in tow to get to our hotel which was by Madison Square Gardens. Once we had dropped off our bags we headed to times square for some food and tourist activities. The city that never sleeps really never does, we were up for so long and you sort of loose all sense of time. Days roll over into each other and its a weird little bubble that you live in.
We headed downtown to the financial district to visit ground zero. There is a weird sense of stillness by the site where the twin towers stood which is weird because is is a bustling hive of activity with building work all around. As well as visiting the site, we went to the memorial museum. It had such an impact on me as some of the things in the museum show the true magnitude of what happened there. There was a plane window which was found in the rubble and a large piece of twisted iron as well as uniforms of firemen who died on 9/11 and torn clothing of people who had been there that day. Thinking of the human cost of 9/11 makes you realise the importance of the rebuilding of the world trade centre. By walking around the area you see the importance of this as the centre of a community.
After that we headed uptown to central park to take in the weather. It was such a beautiful afternoon to go for a walk in the city. Half way through Andy left me to it so he could go and watch football, typical man, but it was nice to have some time to myself to clarify my thoughts. The park itself is beautiful and changes constantly as you walk through it. Its a not to be missed part of new york! As i was walking I met some interesting characters, everyone was very friendly and it seemed like the happiest place in the city by far.
After this I met back up with Andy and we headed to the empire state building. We were hoping to be there at dusk so we could watch the sunset and the city light up but we were a little early. Still it was by far the most peaceful place in the city. To be in such a busy place and just feel calm and tranquil was such a weird sensation. The views were amazing, and you literally feel on top of the world. For anybody visiting the city for the first time this is definitely a place to go.
Following this and a little power nap we headed downtown again to little Italy to get some pizza. The restaurant we ate at was apparently where the first ever pizza parlour in new york was. The pizza was actually really good, and it was huge!! Great times.
My 21st birthday was going to be the best day of the trip, woken up with beautiful flowers and a birthday card telling me we were going on a shopping spree, but I got SO ill. I had the worst fever ever, and such a stiff neck/back/legs I spent the day in bed trying to sleep it off. Andy went out and would come back on check on me, it was horrible. But by the evening I was starting to feel a lot better, and was well enough to go to Broadway in the evening. Andy bought me tickets to see Mary Poppins for my birthday which was such a lovely gift and the show was really really good. After this we went for ice cream and met with a friend for drinks. It was so nice to see what the nightlife is like in different cities, and New york was definitely one of those places that has a warm evening feeling.
OK so we had to make up for missed time and headed straight to Soho for a spot of shopping. Its really nice to get away from the centre of the city and go to some smaller shops. Some of them are up and coming brands and some are well known but it is a nice mix of shops that give a lovely shopping experience. As well as this we went to the big department stores; Bloomingdale's, Bendles, Macy's, Bergdorf Goodman, Barnys etc. We also shopped our way along 5th avenue and hit some of the designer stores. Andy bought me a Micheal Kors gold watch which is absolutely beautiful. I also splashed some pennies and bought some Marc by Marc Jacob sunglasses. I also stocked up on summer dresses amongst other things. We literally shopped until we dropped and had to have a little nap before heading to the hard rock cafe for dinner. It was so nice to have a nice meal together. Afterwards we went for ice cream and then Andy took me on a horse a carriage ride of the city. We were planning on doing this on my birthday until I was ill so it was nice we still had time for it. Sometimes we forget that we need to take care of ourselves and this was one of those times that I got to treat myself and got spoilt too.
On our last full day we made the most of being tourists y heading down town to go on a boat tour of the harbour and statue of liberty. It was suchhh a humid day so it was nice to be on the water and get a bit of breeze in our lives haha. It was really nice to be able to look at the city for a different view. The empire state building was amazing for this and made the city seam soo peaceful and I guess the boat tour did the same. Being put from the hustle and bustle it just looked like a bunch of still buildings, you couldn't see people or anything which was kind of creepy, kind of nice. After the tour we headed to the Chrysler building. Its supposed to have one of the best sky scraper lobbies in the city and we were not let down. It has a sort of Aztec feel to it, and was definitely worth a visit.
After a spot more shopping in Soho and a cheeky bit of gg spotting, we headed back downtown to walk across the Brooklyn bridge. Its supposed to be one of the most romantic places to watch the sunrise, but sunset was pretty amazing too. There was something so magical about that bridge that I can't quite get over. The structure of the bridge was so inspiring as were the views from it, especially with the sun going down on the city and I guess on our trip. If you go to New York, be sure to walk the bridge, it is amazing.
In our attempt to visit as much as the city as possible we headed to Chinatown for dinner. We ended up in a little Chinese restaurant which was very cute. The meals were massive and I had issues trying to identify what we were eating but it was very tasty and worth the munch. After a final trip to Times Square by evening we headed back to pack and sleep before our stupidly long trip home.
We spent the last day shopping and trying to use up the last of our dollars. Shopping consisted mainly of Macy's. Bags, make up bags etc etc. Its kind of nice to just splash out on things and not have to think about the bills etc too. After 45 in the three story m and m shop, we had a final meal in an Irish pub in times square mainly so Andy could catch a bit more football.
Then began our log trip home. The trek to the airport followed by the worst flight of my life. An aircraft for 100 with just 15 passengers and one air hostess taking off as a massive NY storm rolled in. Worst turbulence ever, I literally screamed at one point where the plane went up and down fasten then a theme park ride. I put my head in Andy's lap and made him sing me silly songs. After an hour or so we landed in Ottawa in Canada to change flight. After dealing with customs and receiving a soaking wet suitcase we were ready to transfer to our flight home. A night flight complete with mid night dinner and morning muffin, nice. After landing back in heathrow and reporting bag damage done at Ottawa we were free to begin our trek home by train. Hours later and after watching an England world cup match we were finally home and able to relax after the best break away.
I will never forget my 21st birthday or my time in NYC. If you haven't been before you must put it on your list of trips to make. It is a place that will always mean something to me and has left me wondering, how can I top that next year?!