Hello from New York city!
I’m having a wonderful time here in the land of the Big Apple. We’ve done so much over the past few days but here is what we did on the Tuesday (technically the first day, post travelling).
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I haven’t flown since I was seven so I was quite unsure of what to expect. My alarm sounded at 3:20 a.m and I groggily got ready to leave with Jarrod and his parents. I’d never been to Heathrow Airport before so I was quite surprised by how big it was. It was quite scary. What made it even more scary was the fact that the machine you walk through at security went off as I walked through. I had to then stand in this scanner with my feet apart, my hands in the air and looking straight ahead. You can imagine that I was totally shitting myself at this point. Even though I knew I had nothing dangerous or illegal or me, I still questioned everything.
After a long, long flight of seven hours, we finally arrived in the United States of America and I was so discombobulated. Our flight was at 8:50 a.m. and it was 11 a.m. when we touched ground. I felt like I had lost an entire day by the time we got to the hotel at around 2 p.m. (Immigration was an absolute joke- queued for over an hour). I made the mistake of falling asleep at around four and ended up waking up at quarter to ten at night! Jet lag is definitely another new experience.
Today was so much more interesting. As we explored I kept thinking to myself ‘this isn’t real’. I couldn’t believe that I was actually walking the streets of one of the places on my bucket list to visit. Streets I had seen on television and in movies! Whenever I thought about New York I always knew it was busy of course but I expected the pavements to be much busier. It was surprisingly quiet.
We stopped for breakfast at ‘Brooklyn American Diner’ which was amazing and then shortly after we were off to explore the sights. We started with a place Jarrod and I had seen on Facebook… M&M’s World. The place was three stories high with tubes and tubes of M&M’s on tap, including fourteen exclusive flavours to the New York branch. I never knew M&M’s had such a popularity until I saw all the clothes, crockery and utensils the store sold. Across the road was a Disney store that we decided to go to and it was like I had walked into DisneyWorld or something. Toys, apparel, everything a child could wish for. We made our way to Times Square which looked incredible with all the billboards and the traffic on the road. I felt like I was part of a movie which featured Times Square.
Many pictures later, we decided to make our way to the library however, on the way we spotted a little Christmas market. The market had many stalls for bags, candles, jewellery and most importantly, the best hot chocolate I have ever had and quite possibly the best in the world. Jarrod and I had seen another restaurant we wanted to venture to called Max Brenner, a chocolate/dessert bar and they had a stall there. A product of theirs that we saw featured in a video was their hot chocolate and I honestly thought nothing couldn’t taste that good but I was wrong. It was amazing. I wish we had it back in England.
We arrived at the library and I was stunned. At first I questioned if it even was a library, it looked more like a museum. There were wonderful artworks, articulate designs, and books of course. It was quite interesting to learn the history behind it. Afterwards, we went to Grand Central Station and it definitely was grand. However, all I kept thinking about was Madagascar, when Melmen got his head stuck in the clock.
Rockefeller Centre was next. It was beautiful. There was of course the marvellous Christmas tree and an ice rink. Jarrod wanted to go into the Lego shop (no surprise there). It was heaving with people though, as you can imagine.
After walking ten miles across the city (TEN MILES!) we made our way back to the hotel for a bit before heading back out again to explore Central Park, literally opposite our hotel. The sun had begun to set so it was much colder but it didn’t make it any less beautiful. We saw the ice rink, the gift shop and just had a very pleasant walk. Whilst we were there, we decided to catch a ride on one of the horses and carriages that were all queued up outside the park. It was lovely, especially as the sun had fully gone down and we were riding around the park at night, with only the lamps in the park and the lights on the buildings.
Tuesday was a great way to kick off our first day exploring the sights. There’s so much to do here, I keep wondering how we can fit everything in!