Wednesday 7 September 2016
Today was the big day, the start of our adventure. We woke up fairly early and stocked up on eggs and bacon before heading to the airport, London Gatwick. We arrived in good time, enough time in fact to take a quick obligatory travelling photo to post on Facebook, just to let everyone know we were going away for a few months. We flew to New York via Norwegian Airways, an Airline whom I had never flown with before but had heard good things, and on the plus side, the one way flight only set us back £219!
The flight itself was great. Films, complimentary meals and music, what more could we want? Headphones, we had forgotten headphones so had to pay $3 for a pair, not a bad price but one of those annoying things you’d expect to be provided. Nonetheless, we had a safe and pleasant flight. We landed at JFK in the evening and headed straight to the city train which took us a few blocks walk to our hotel. As we were on a budget we booked in to the YMCA hostel which was located on the corner of Central Park and 10 minutes walk to Times Square. I had pre booked a double room as part of a present for Sal’s birthday. Once we were all checked in and showered we hit the hay so we could be up and revived early to explore the Big Apple.
Thursday 8 September 2016
Our alarm went off at 9am and after a quick shower we were up ready and out the door. We headed straight to Times Square and bought one of the best New York bagels I have ever tasted for breakfast, Cream Cheese and bacon, it was divine. We found ourselves a table right in the middle and enjoyed watching the world go by, it was amazing to see so many different characters and cultures in one area. After breakfast, the first tourist attraction on our list was the Rockafeller, we paid $30 or so to go up the Rockafeller and it was well worth it. The views were sensational. This was actually my second visit to New York and my second time up the tower. It was better than before. I visited America in the summer of 2014 were I worked as a soccer coach for 3 months. We took our time up there admiring the views and pointing out the different landmarks. Funny enough, we also bumped into a couple who we were sat next to on the plane, very small world! For the rest of the day we strolled around New York by foot exploring and seeing different landmarks, including; Grand Central station, Empire State building and Madison Square Gardens. For lunch we bought a couple dolla slices from a small place in Chelsea, if anyone knows me then they new pizza is one of my absolute favourites, so dolla slices were heaven. In the evening we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for a couple ciders and enjoyed seeing Times Square at night and admired the lights.
Friday 9 September 2016
Friday morning, our legs were aching from almost clocking up 40,000 steps so we jumped on the subway direct to Ground Zero. The atmosphere was something else, it had an eery feel. You could feel all sorts of emotions. After remembering 9/11 we walked to Battery Park, where we caught the ferry to Liberty Island. Whilst queuing for tickets a guy came up to us and handed a spare ticket he had, which was awfully kind and something we really appreciated. There ferry took us around Liberty Island and Ellis Island, you were also able to see panoramic views of Manhattan, a skyline which will always stick in my mind. We got off the ferry at Liberty Island and admired Lady Liberty, and of course took a few photos! Once back on mainland we walked to Brooklyn Bridge via Wall Street. We decided to walk the whole way across the bridge down into Brooklyn, the bridge itself was a lot longer than we anticipated but the sun was setting over Manhattan so it was worth it. Time was getting on and we were getting pretty hungry. We found a really cool restaurant called ‘The Chip Shop‘ which was located in Cobble Hill. The food was great and the waitress, who was from London, was really nice. We even accompanied a meal with a few ciders and tequilas. After a great day and evening we jumped on the subway and headed back to the hotel to get some well needed sleep.
Saturday 10 September 2016
To start the day we walked to 5th Avenue/50th St. to see St Paul’s Cathedral, we also saw the Trump Tower. Not much to say about that. For lunch we had a Chipotle, I loved Chipotle when I was last in America so it was great to have it again. Since being away we we had racked up thousands of steps so in the afternoon we decided to get a few beers and chill in Central Park. We also hired a rowing boat for a couple of hours from the boat house which was great to end the day.