Wednesday, 15 July 2015

New York Day 2

Day two was without a doubt the most jam packed day! We got up nice add early and headed the the Statue of Liberty to beat the crowds. This was a great plan as we were on the second boat of the day, and queue was a fraction of the size of when I went later on in the day last year. The only downside was that the ice cream stand wasn't open. Which obviously ruined my whole day.

Next up we visited the 9/11 memorial. I had hoped to visit the museum this year, but we didn't realise you needed to pre book tickets. You can pre book a time there, but the queue to do that was so long and was directly in the sun. Being the palest person in the world, I don't think my skin would have coped with this, so we decided to give it a miss. The memorial is a lovely place, but makes you feel very emotional. It's crazy to think that such a tragic event took place right there. I was particularly affected by seeing a white rose placed in the name of one of the victims.

After grabbing something to eat, we had a scroll down to Wall St. Because thanks to Leo that's now a super cool place to have a picture of!

We headed to Soho to have a look around the shops, and of course being a major KUWTK junkie I did have to visit the DASH store. It wasn't what I expected at all. It was a lot smaller for a start. Sadly the place didn't have a very friendly vibe, and nothing had prices on. Sneaky. Being the nerd I am, I had a quick look on their website before the trip so knew all the clothes were way out of my price range. I decided top play it safe and grabbed 2 pencils and 2 key rings. I was pretty shocked when I got to the till and they said it came to $36! 

In the evening we went back to Times Square again to see it all lit up. It looks much better at night, but is still ridiculously busy. For dinner, we went to The Hard Rock Cafe. This was the third Hard Rock that I had been to, and was definitely the best. The place was huge. We were told there was a 40 minute wait, but we were sat at a table within 20 minutes. I had the fajitas, and they were fantastic. I loved the fact you had to create your own. My friend had a salad and it was massive. She most definitely got her money worth for a salad.

On the way back to the hotel, my friend got her photo taken with a snake.. and a muscly man. Most of the people in Times Square charge you to have a photo with them. This one was $5, and I have to say, you couldn't pay me to touch that snake!!!

Monday, 13 July 2015

New York Take 2 - Day 1

Last month saw my return to the concrete jungle. I went back to New York for my friends 21st birthday. This trip gave me a completely different view of New York. I was there for longer this time. 6 days to be precise. It was incredibly tiring and my feet were killing me by day 3.

Day 1 and we arrived at JFK in the morning. We decided to get a shuttle to our hostel. This cost us $16 each and it dropped us at Port Authority bus station where we jumped on he subway down to Chelsea. Note: Getting the subway is not easy with a big suitcase! In hindsight we probably should have just got a taxi...
Unfortunately the hostel hadn't given us very clear instructions on how to get there so after standing around gawping and looking lost for a bit, a friendly american (rare in NYC) came to our aid. Turns out we were pretty far away. After a pretty long walk in pretty crazy heat, we finally found the tiny, completely missable entrance to our hostel.

We stayed in City Rooms NYC which in the end did turn out to be in a great location for sightseeing. We were a two-minute walk from Penn Station, which was handy for the subway and had a seven eleven right next door.
I will admit, due to previous experiences in hostels, I really was not happy about staying in another. And was sulking beforehand that we weren't going to a hotel. However I would recommend this hostel to any one on a budget, as it was the nicest I have ever been to.
We stayed in the room named Brooklyn. It came with a double bed - pretty comfortable, air con, a fridge, a sink, clothes rack, and a safe. For a hostel, it was a fairly spacious room, and there was a cleaner that came in everyday and changed towels and bins. In the reception area they offered coffee for free in the mornings and there was also a cold water machine which was handy for filling our bottles up.

The place only had two downsides. Firstly the shared bathrooms. Being a hostel, there had to be something that made in hostel like! To be fair, they were incredibly clean. The toilets were tiny. Any taller than me and you would probably find them uncomfortable. The showers were more spacious and were separate to the toilets, but weren't very powerful. The second downside was the layout. This is New York so the building was taller rather than wider, which meant a heck of a lot of stairs. We were on the third floor so it was a challenge to get the suitcases up and down. Luckily when we arrived there was a male member of staff there to carry my case for me.

By the time we had settled in I was completely knackered. I knew the day wasn't going to last much longer for me. We took a stroll to Times Square which was about 15 minutes away. I don't know if its an age thing or because I had seen it before, but the place didn't have the same feel as last time I was there. The crowds were not appealing and I felt in the way everywhere I stood. Don't get me wrong, it was still pretty cool to be stood in Times Square. But it just didn't feel as magical as last year. We had a browse around a few of the shops. Including the massive Forever 21. I remember when I went in last year and initially thought it was incredibly small for their New York store. I then noticed the escalators that went down...way down!

On our trip to Times Square, we also spotted the Naked Cowboy! I was so determined to find him this year as previously I hadn't. And people hadn't believed me when I told them he was a real New York thing/person. He was taking selfies with tourists but the crowd was too big so I took a sneaky shot from behind.

I didn't last much longer and headed back to bed, because at this point I had been awake for about 26 hours, which wasn't working well for me...

Day 2 coming soon.