Empire State and Chocolate!

Day Two of New York and I was still adjusting to the new surroundings and the time zone. When I woke at six a.m., my body was still telling me it was eleven a.m. I found it difficult to get back to sleep that morning.

The day was just as exciting as the first. We stopped for breakfast like the previous morning, only this time we went to a different place. It was a restaurant but also connected to a hotel. Jarrod and I ordered buttermilk pancakes (when in America you just have to). There were chocolate chip with maple syrup and delicious! Only difference between mine and Jarrod’s was he ordered a side of bacon. He offered a bit for me to have with the leftover maple syrup on my plate and there was nothing quite like it. America know how to do good- but pretty unhealthy- food.

After, we made our way to the Empire State Building. I found this super exciting because I’ve always wondered what it would be like to see all of Manhattan. I had never been higher than the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth so this was obviously a huge step higher. There was a big process to go through first, like security in an airport (when I saw those dreaded conveyer belts and daunting walking-through scanners I had flashbacks back to Heathrow and began to panic again). Everything was fine this time. No red lights flashing, no scary full body container scanner and no guards aiming guns at me telling me to put my hands up (..okay, the latter never happened but I was worried that it would!) Once we were up the building- floor eighty I think it was- everything seemed so calm. We could see the entire city- we even saw the Statue of Liberty! I took so many photos that I was worried I wasn’t going to have enough memory on my SD card. Here’s just a few, otherwise this post will be scroll-central (I don’t fancy giving you even more finger cramp from scrolling).

Our next mission was to find that chocolate/dessert bar that I had briefly mentioned previously. However, on the way something caught my eye… A Build-a-Bear workshop. For the longest time I had wanted to go into one of those workshops. So before getting food, I somehow ended up creating a teddy bear. The skin I chose was a normal-looking bear but the inside of his ears and his feet were New York themed- blue with the outlines of skyscrapers and on one of his feet the letters ‘NYC’ in red. I knew I had to get this one in particular just as a reminder of this wonderful trip. I chose casual clothing, clothing I would pick out for myself, a pair of black jeans, black converse-type trainers and a hoodie with ‘Brooklyn’ on the front. Just because of the Brooklyn hoodie I decided to name him Brooklyn. I also picked up some sparkly sunglasses which just completes the look. Jarrod, being the lovely guy he is wanted to pay for it. I just assumed it was my Christmas present but no, he wanted to give it tome right away. I do not deserve him.

Once finished picking clothes, skins getting stuffed, and making vows with a love heart to put in the bear’s stuffing, we caught a cab and drove to Union Square to Max Brenner’s chocolate bar. It was fair to say that Jarrod and I were extremely excited. We had seen this place on Facebook ages ago which looked incredible and we said we would go one day. I just assumed it was everything sweet but I was wrong. It was a proper restaurant with amazing food. I had a macaroni cheese with chicken which was divine. Jarrod had a chicken alfredo and his parents shared a pizza which all looked equally as tasty. Of course, it was all about the dessert though. We ordered their famous chocolate fondue; three fondues, milk chocolate, toffee and a choice of either dark or white chocolate with a bowl of strawberries and bananas and a bowl of chocolate cake, cookies and marshmallows. There was even a mini grill to toast our marshmallows before dipping in chocolate. If you ever find yourself in New York, I 100% recommend this place. Great for lunch/dinner but also great for just a treat.

When we were full of great tasting food and chocolate, we decided to walk back to the hotel. Just outside of the restaurant however, was another Christmas market. There were lots of stalls selling pictures, accessories, jewellery, homeware and even a stall which sold bandannas and tags for dogs. I was tempted to pick up a ‘I Love NY’ tag for Lexie but knowing her, it would fly off her collar, because of how hyperactive she is, and it will never be seen again. Macy’s was another place we visited. I had heard so much about it but had never been before. It reminded me of a House of Fraser back at home. I was more impressed by the Christmas decorations though.

I was knackered by the time we got back to the hotel. We spent a bit of time in our room before heading out for dinner. I Facetimed Chantal in the meantime and updated her on everything we had done and what we were planning to do. It was late where for her back home so the call didn’t last too long until she went to bed.

Dinner was lovely. We went to a restaurant just up the road from the hotel called Rue 57 which did all sorts for food. There was a sushi menu as well as things like steak, salad and pasta. Everything about the meal was great, the food, the company, the location but it had to be ruined right at the very end. The waiter who served us was quite jolly, he was joking around with us all evening so when we had paid and was just leaving he asked if anything was wrong with our meal because we had tipped 10% (which is a pretty generous tip- $30) but apparently, “our standard tip is 15%.” I thought he was joking again so I laughed but then I realised he wasn’t and I couldn’t believe that he was actually asking for more money. He was lucky he got tipped at all. Despite that incident, we still had a lovely meal and a lovely day.

-Emily

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