Four weeks ago today, bags packed and tickets triple checked, hubby and I set off for what would be the most amazing trip of our lives so far.
Arriving at our local airport at 4am for the first leg of the marathon journey which was completed 28 hours later when we landed at JFK.
How do I begin to tell you all about this adventure? What do you want to know?
Through tired eyes I looked out upon the bright lights of New York city as the shuttle bus wound its way through the streets toward our hotel.
Past Time Square, street names familiar from a life time of tv and movies. Our first glimpses of the city shining bright as I craned my neck to seek out the landmarks.
Our room in our “Upper West side” hotel, looked out over Central Park. A little disappointing was the hotel’s decision to put us in a “double double” and try to pass it off as an upgrade. But it was New York and if it meant separate beds, we would survive. And no, it wasn’t possible to push them together.
7 nights at that hotel. A week of exploring.
3 art museums, The Metropolitan, MoMA, and The Whitney. Finally I could stand in front of stunning originals by masters that I had only ever seen before in books and on the net. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Picasso, Warhol, Gauguin, Cezanne, Kahlo, O’Keefe Rothko, Pollock, Dali….the list goes on. Amazing, beautiful thought-provoking art in beautiful surroundings.
New York has some of the most beautiful architecture that I have ever seen.
We took the double-decker tourist bus. Rode the Staten Island ferry and stood in awe of Lady Liberty. Another view of the city from a helicopter, and from the top of the Rockefeller Centre. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
We conquered the subway, and walked…miles and miles.
Times Square was an assault on the senses and Macy’s was dangerous to the wallet.
And then there was the food.
Burgers of course, and the obligatory street side hotdog. Cheesecake, and waffles. Huge cookies still warm and buttery from the little bakery three steps down and popular enough to get queues.
Starbucks coffee, an extra shot required.
Bagels, fresh with lashings of cream cheese. Shake shack burgers with cheese fries had the potential to become an addiction. Pasta, Pizza and even amazing Thai.
Little cramped restaurants, packed to the brim with happy customers.
Not night owls, we did spend one evening in the centre of town, enjoying a tourist bus called “The Ride”. Laughs and entertainment both on the bus and on the pavement with street performers and dancers appearing just to put on a show for the passengers.
Of course, how could this Aussie come to NYC and not see a show. Kinky Boots on Broadway. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
New York is noise, colour, people, food, and more noise.
New Yorkers are lovely people. The look a little startled when greeted by random Aussies in the grocery store, but usually they are more than happy for a chat.
So what else would you like to know about the New York portion of our trip?
Yes, we went to the 911 memorial and walked the High Line.
And crossed the Brooklyn Bridge.
I saw a squirrel, actually a lot of squirrels, but the first was in Central Park, just past Strawberry Fields. I also saw a young man with a chameleon there too.
We got a little lost, but that is all part of the adventure.
Most of you would have no idea how exciting it was to see a New Yorker curse an errant driver with a classic “hey, we’re walking here”, or the sheer thrill of recognising buildings from TV shows and realising that the cafe you are sitting in, was part of a movie you love.
People have asked me what I thought was the best bit of the trip and I struggle. I loved New York, in all her brash noisy self. She was glitter and music and humanity.
Even crammed in a subway train at peak hour, unsure if Hubby had even made it on, I still felt excited. Possibly less excited by the proximity of the very large man’s armpit as the train rocked and shuddered towards our stop.
Each day had its own adventures and as such, I will remember NYC always.
We left our hotel early, the sun coming up as we headed to the airport.
Next stop Phoenix, Arizona.