Monday, January 14, 2013

Concrete Jungle Adventure...

If you read my posts from October, you may have seen that Ben and I were supposed to go to New York for our birthdays but Hurricane Sandy hit America. Luckily, we were able to rearrange and have just got back from an incredible trip! :)

We flew with Delta Airways from Heathrow on Monday morning meaning we arrived in New York at around 2pm. We spent the afternoon getting our bearings and met up with a relative of Ben's Aunt who lives in the city. Since being little, I've always wanted to go to New York and first impressions didn't disappoint. I mean, how can you not be impressed by the dazzling lights of Times Square?!

On Tuesday morning we visited the 9/11 Memorial Site; it's hard to describe how I felt as we walked around the two fountains. All I could think about was the sheer size the buildings had been and the huge hole that now takes their place. Around the edge of the fountains are bronze plaques with the names of those who lost their lives. The thing I will always remember from the site is the name of one particular woman followed by the words 'and her unborn child'.
We spent the afternoon walking further Downtown towards Battery Park and got a 20 minute helicopter ride from just past The Staten Island Ferry dock. Although 20 minutes may not seem that long, it is incredible how much of the city you get to see! It was brilliant flying past The Statue of Liberty, over Central Park and down The Hudson River. If you get the chance to see New York in this way, definitely do!

We kicked off Wednesday in Ellen's Stardust Diner - a recommendation from two of my housemates. It's a typical American Diner with breakfast bagels and giant chocolate chip pancakes on the menu. It also has a unique selling point... singing waiters and waitresses! :) They are all aspiring Broadway stars meaning, as we were munching away on the tastiest breakfast, we were treated to the staff belting out brilliant  Broadway tunes. We spent the rest of the day wandering through Central Park, ice skating, exploring The American Museum of Natural History and getting tickets for Mamma Mia. 

Day four and five of the trip were dedicated to finishing off the 'touristy bits' and shopping :) As Thursday morning was bright and sunny, we decided it would be the perfect time to head up The Empire State Building. We went up to the 86th floor and spent about half an hour taking in the amazing views! 

I'm going to do a separate post on the goodies I got but oh wow, shopping in New York is so much fun! I think Bloomingdale's was my favourite shop. It's an incredible department store, although I did get slightly envious of all the beautifully dressed people wandering around the designer departments. My other favourite place was The Beats Audio shop we stumbled upon that happens to be the only one in the world. From the minute I stepped through the door, I was in love! The staff were really friendly, gave excellent information about all of the products and didn't pressure you into buying anything. We were free to roam the store and try out all of the headphones they had on display. They even had a soundproof room you could go in and test out their bigger sound systems. 

New York lived up to everything that I had imagined. I definitely want to go back!! I'm not sure that I would ever be able to live there as there isn't enough greenery for my liking but it is an incredible place.


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