First I flew out to Orlando to meet my then boyfriend. I spent a few nights at the Hard Rock Hotel and spent my days relaxing by the pool which was good to get over the jet lag. I also celebrated my 25th Birthday whilst there and went to Universal City Walk in the evening and ended up at Rising Star Karaoke where people get up and sing with a live band, it was good fun.
A couple of days later and we were going to drive up to New Jersey to spend some time with the boyfriends friends and family and of course to visit The Big Apple! We stayed over night in South Carolina and the next day we arrived in New Jersey. It had been a lovely sunny drive up and we even passed through Washington where I managed to catch a glimpse of The Monument and The Thomas Jefferson Memorial building. Unfortunately we didn’t have time for a tea break at Baracks place.
We spent a lot of time with the boyfriends friends and family at their houses where we spent the days outside in the lovely sunshine and we went out for meals. Then it was time to spend the day in Manhattan, we got the Staten Island Ferry over. it was such a lovely warm day that there was a haze over everything. It started to clear up as we approached, we passed the Statue Of Liberty, I had always imagined it would be much bigger than it actually was. It was a nice way to arrive passing the statue as so many have in the past. Then we started to approach the Manhattan skyline, there were so many different looking buildings all at different heights. Some were older looking buildings made from brick and they were surrounded by newer looking glass and metal buildings.
Finally I had set foot in New York, we were going to walk a little before using the Subway to get around quickly and easily. We walked passed the bronze Bull outside the Stock Exchange and then passed the new Twin Towers where construction was still taking place. We were getting hungry at this point so it was time for a hot dog from one of the street vendors. I had no idea until after I’d eaten it that they are locally known as “dirty water dogs” gross! Still it did me no harm.
Then it was time to get the Subway to Times Square. We walked around and spotted all the different shows that were on at the time. I can imagine it would have looked more impressive at night time. Next it was on to the place I had wanted to go ever since I’d watched Sleepless in Seattle, The Empire State Building!
We walked to Fifth Avenue and there it was and it looked exactly like it does in all the movies. I was not going to leave without going up to the top, so we went inside and it was a lovely entrance. It was very busy, it was actually Fleet Week which is where the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard dock in a variety of major cities for 1 week and get to visit it’s tourist attractions. Anyway I was prepared to wait, we had to go through a security area just like you do at the airport, then you pay and then you go to several different areas where you queue up. Just when you think you’re getting somewhere you realise it’s just another queue. When we finally got to the lift to take us up I realised why it had been taking so long, they were really small and couldn’t take many up at a time. Also they did not look anything like the lifts they show on Sleepless in Seattle with the silhouettes on the doors. After a couple of hours we made it onto the 86th floor observatory deck, the most famous observatory in the world! The views were very impressive and you could walk all the way around to get 360 views. I saw the Brooklyn Bridge, The Hudson River and East River, The Chrysler Building and could just about make out The Statue of Liberty through the haze. The only disappointment for me was that Tom Hanks was not up there waiting for me!
Once we had made it back down it decided to rain so all in all we were very lucky that it hadn’t rained when we were up on the observatory deck! I had wanted to go to Central Park next but didn’t fancy it in the rain so we decided to get the Subway and make our way back to the ferry. For our last night before flying back to Orlando we stayed in a hotel with great views of the city and Brooklyn Bridge.
I would have loved to have spent a bit more time in Manhattan but I’ll probably go back one day maybe around Christmas time as it would be even more magical then!