New York, New York

The last stop on my little adventure and the one that I was most excited for was New York. I think everyone dreams of going to the ‘Big Apple’ at some stage and I was so excited to spend a few days there exploring. It was going to be the best way to end my five months of travel and being away from home. I headed out from Washington bright and early to get the bus which would be my chariot to the ‘city that never sleeps’. The bus was cheaper than flying and would only take 4 hours 30 minutes to get me there. It was my first time on a Greyhound bus and I was impressed, each seat had plenty of room to make the journey comfortable, we had WiFi and plugs making the journey go by quickly. Before I knew it the iconic New York skyline was coming into view and it sunk in that this was really happening, I was in New York.

 

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Hello New York!

 

I was staying at Row NYC Hotel which was only about a five-minute walk from the bus terminal which was perfect. It is a four-star hotel on 8th avenue which is just around the corner from Time Square. It is perfectly situated right in the center of the hustle and bustle meaning I could walk to all the places I wanted to go with ease. The hotel is perfect, the room was a nice size with a comfy bed, there is also a 24-hour gym if you don’t get enough exercise from all the sightseeing.  The staff were all extremely friendly and helpful even when I had trouble checking in with cards being blocked as I was in a different country. They were very patient and helpful throughout the whole process and also throughout my stay.

 

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The Fountain in Central Park
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Grand Central Station

 

There are so many things to do in New York that although I did lots I know that there is still so much more that I can do and see, just an excuse for another trip. I was there for 3 days so I had time to do some wandering and get to know the city a little bit. The amazing thing about American cities is how they are organized in blocks so that you can’t really get lost. You just keep taking a turn and eventually you will end up back where you started, it’s great. After of course heading to Time Square for the first but not last time of my trip I headed to Central Park to have a look around. The New York Marathon was on the day I went some parts of the park were closed off but it was still amazing to walk through. The park is such an iconic setting for many films it was amazing to stroll around and recognize many of the places. The trees were various shades of yellow and orange which was beautiful. I headed to explore the Upper East Side after wandering around the park. It was nice to explore having no real plan as to where I wanted to go but I just made a turn here and a turn there and saw where I ended up. I also by accident found Grand Central Station where I had a Gossip Girl moment, it really is an amazing building.

 

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The view from the Top of the Rock
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Ice skating rink in Central Park

 

Something that has to be done when you go to New York is to see it from the sky, or as high up as you can get because it truly is amazing. I decided to head to the Rockefeller Building and head to the top. I booked my ticket for just when it was getting dark so that I could see the city come to life at night and I certainly was not disappointed. A great thing about the Rockefeller Budiling is that it gives you a direct view of the Empire State Building which when it is lit up at night is an impressive sight. I think I spent about 30 minutes on the top just staring out at the city. It is something that I highly recommend you do if you head to the city because the views are spectacular and you get to look at the city from a different perspective. After this I headed back to Time Square to see it in all it’s flashing glory even at night it feels like daytime because it is so bright.  Joining the crowds of tourists trying to get that perfect shot of the iconic square.

 

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Time Square in all it’s glory

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I decided that no trip to New York would be complete without trying to navigate the famous Subway. I have to say with the help of google maps I was able to find my way very easily and got where I needed to go, so success. I took the subway down to see the 9/11 memorial and explore a bit of the financial district. I can still remember seeing the 9/11 attacks happening on the news so being at the sight and seeing all the names was very stirring. Seeing how the city has come back and grown stronger was inspiring. I also kind of by accident found my way to the waterfront to see the Statue of Liberty across the bay. Sometimes taking a wrong turn can lead to something wonderful. I walked along wall street past the stock exchange where I’m sure many a deal has been made. I was able to navigate my way back to my hotel on the Subway even having to get a different train back. I was very proud of myself I have to say. I must have had a look that I knew what I was doing because I got asked for directions from 3 or 4 people, I apparently looked like I was a local. That I call an accomplishment.

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On my last day, my flight was not until 10pm so I had all day to explore. I left my bag in the hotel and headed to the Museum of National History to spend the day. I think I spent around 2 hours just looking at the exhibits, killing time.  When I finally decided to leave the heavens had decided to open. I had been so lucky with the weather up to now with all the places that I had been so that it only stared in my last hours was not too bad. After navigating the wet streets I made it back to my hotel, got my suitcase and then hopped in a taxi to head back home. After 5 months away it was nice to be heading back to see family and friends, sleep in my own bed and not have to live out of a suitcase for a while.

Never fear my next adventures are never far from my mind, it’s just a matter of deciding where I want to go. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Emma

xx

 

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