Wednesday, 4 January 2017

4 Days In New York City

If you follow me on Twitter, you will have seen that I had spent New Year over in New York. It was a holiday I had always wanted to do and was finally able to do it and it ended up being an amazing trip. I thought I'd share it with you and let you know what we got up to whilst we were there, so I hope you enjoy it! :)

Also a pre warning: This post is longer than I usually post due to it being pretty photo heavy. I preferred to get all the trip condensed down into one long post as opposed to lots of smaller posts so I'd recommend getting yourself a cuppa at the ready just incase or if you cba to read everything, I hope you enjoy the photographs hahaha ;)
Some snaps of the travel day before New Year's Eve. The calm before what became the travel day from hell.
lso a Burger King in Newcastle Airport is just standard for us Northerners!


Our first official day in NYC was also New Year's Day which I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to celebrate whilst I was over there. It was magical wandering around Times Square and seeing the different advertising boards with "Happy New Year!" popping up everywhere. I really felt a strong sense of community and also seeing the confetti in the streets from the aftermath of the night before. We began our first day having brunch at Tick Tock Diner,  where we sipped strawberry milkshakes and filled ourselves up with great food. I finally tried Eggs Benedict, a meal which I've always been keen to try and it did not disappoint! After fuelling up we headed out. We were fortunate enough that where our hotel was situated meant we were not far a walk from all the places we had planned to go.
We began like I said wandering through Times Square on route to Central Park. I popped into one or two souvenir shops to pick up gifts early on. Mini statues of landmarks, Christmas baubles and cute keyrings are my forte. Then we headed towards Central Park which I fell in love with. It was a beautiful sunny day so it was wonderful strolling through the park with the fresh crisp air on my face and seeing the sunlight hit the autumnal leaves scattered on the floor, whilst cute little squirrels pranced around the grass. It was the first time in a long time for me that I felt completely relaxed without a care in the world. Like I was able to completely switch off from any worries I'd previously had and it was complete bliss! I was amazed by what appeared on every turn too. We saw street performers break dancing, choir singers, a guy playing a saxophone, a man playing a record player and we even witnessed a wedding!
Afterwards we headed towards the zoo. The cost for entry to the park was $12 dollars which I personally think is a decent price however I had been warned before we went that there wasn't much to really see but I still wished to experience it. I do agree there wasn't many animals but it was still enjoyable and something to do.  I think the highlights for me were the sea lions and the snow leopards. So cute!
We headed back to the hotel to get ready and then headed back out to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner which was delicious as always! I love the one in Universal in Florida and so was pleased this one lived up to my expectations. I also treated myself to a tshirt afterwards too to match the one I got in the Florida one as well. I went for the twisted mac and cheese with chicken and had my first margarita of 2017 (and hopefully the first of many this year! ;) ).


We spent our second day having brunch at Carragher's pub which was by far one of my favourite meals we had when we were there. It was so appetising! I still crave this meal even now haha! 
Afterwards we walked over to Grand Central Terminal to have a look around and I suddenly felt like I was in Gossip Girl when Serena is first spotted getting off the train. I had major throwbacks to 2007. Aside from that mini fan girl moment, I thought the terminal was amazing, the different times in the world filled the walls, all the intricate architecture toward the beautiful ceiling and the famous Grand Central Station clock that stood out in the centre of all the chaos, as I watched everyone go by wondering where they were headed.
The next stop was to hunt down the Chrysler building as it is my Mam's favourite building and I wanted to take some photos for her to show when I got home, as well as see it for myself in person too. The fact it is special to her has resonated with me for many years and has made me appreciate the beautiful architecture that makes up the building itself. However the weather was no where near as good as the day before so it it was light rain and cloudy so I couldn't get as good a photo as I'd hoped but I'm pleased I got to see it anyway and appreciate it as well as show my Mam the photographs I took.
We also did a little shopping. I treated myself to some Christmas decorations from Henri Bendel, Kat Von D makeup at Sephora which I wasn't intending on originally going in to but ended up happening anyway and some chocolate covered strawberries from Goddiva, as I had previously walked past a few times already and seeing them making the cones at the front of the store drew me in completely. They were so mouth-watering too.
Then we headed back to the hotel and got ready to head out to Madison Square Gardens as we had tickets for the New York Knicks VS Orlando Magic basketball game. I had the most amazing time! The game was fun to watch, I love the energy of the crowd and the effort of the staff go to to get the crowd hyped up and a personal favourite was the Celebrity Row, which showed you which celebrities were in the crowd. Which I felt weirdly star struck by knowing that Michael J Fox and 50 Cent were watching the same match as us (there was others but they were the names I knew of), even though I was not in their proximity haha!  Shoutout to the bf for getting the tickets for my Christmas present too, what a star! I had an amazing night :)


This was the only day we had that poured with rain and was freezing cold but we plodded on. We began walking to the One World Trade Centre and then with brunch at Shake Shack, those hot dogs were delicious! Although the image below seems to show otherwise haha!
Then we walked over to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum which was incredibly emotional as you can obviously imagine it would be. It broke my heart going round and seeing, reading, watching, hearing about it all. I was already tearing up as I went round but there was one moment I couldn't keep it together for much longer and completely broke down in tears after reading a conversation of a voicemail a husband had left his wife from the plane. To be honest, before going in I didn't realise just how completely ignorant I'd been before on the impact it had. The people who escaped, the people who had helped and those who helped and lost their lives, those who were trapped and knew they couldn't get out, those who had to jump from the buildings because they had no other choice, the impact on the streets and all the smoke and rubble, the families that were affected. I could go on. I suppose at the time it happened I was very young so I didn't really understand properly but boy this was an eye opener for me and it really changed my perspective completely. Serves me right for being so ignorant really. Not to sound insensitive in anyway but I was pleased I had been in as I really learned a lot that day and changed my perspective. 
The rest of the day/evening was more cheerful and I finally got to visit the Rockefeller Centre and see the huge tree all lit up that I'd seen for many years on one of my favourite Christmas films: Home Alone 2. As well as get to ice skate around the ice rink there which has been on my bucket list for many years now, so I am pleased I finally got the opportunity to do that. I also finally caught the version exclusive Pokemon, Tauros on PokemonGo and yes I'm still playing it ;) We headed up to Times Square again and went into Olive Garden for dinner before experiencing Times Square all lit up in the evening which was even more incredible than during the day.

This was such a perfect end to the holiday. We got the early viewing from the Top of The Rock and were fortunate enough that the weather had started to pick up, although it was still quite cloudy, we had a clear view from the top which was the main thing so we were happy. By the afternoon the sun was out again which was perfect. Unfortunately because of the weather previously we had to miss out on the Statue of Liberty but we did get to see it on New Year's Eve so that was good enough for me :) We got a taxi over to Brooklyn as we were keen to see the skyline from the Promenade after researching for places to get the best view of it. We had hoped to physically go on the Brooklyn Bridge but we didn't have enough time with it being our last day but I'm happy I got to see it. We realised we were nearly running late and a taxi was going to make us be late. Luckily there was a water taxi nearby and we managed to spontaneously get a ride on the Hudson River back to Manhattan which was really cool. I'd recommend doing that. I was blown away by the view from both the water taxi, the promenade and top of the rock. Those times I had 'pinch me' moments. To be honest the whole trip had been pretty spectacular. Visiting NYC had been on my list of places to visit for years. I'm both thrilled and feeling very fortunate I've been able to save up the money to finally go as I'd had the best time! Roll on to the next adventure! :)
Thank you very much for reading & go reward yourself for making it this far ;)
 Hope you enjoyed the photos :)


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