Tuesday, 15 November 2011

New York: Day 1

I think the best way for me to chronicle my trip is to document each day I was there. So be prepared for an overhaul of pictures - ready?

I do want to say first and foremost a massive shout out to Virgin Atlantic airways. They have been the best airline I have ever flown with. Their in flight entertainment system was brilliant (I watched Friends with Benefits, The Help and Harry Potter on the way out). Plus, the food was actually edible and I slept as well. Rach had a few tears at first but as soon as she had the sweets and pop corn for the movie watching she was much better. Thanks Virgin!

We arrived really late at night on the 10.11.11. New York is 5 hours behind so it was actually early morning UK time when we got to bed. As I said in my previous post I didn't think I would suffer with a 5 hour difference. I was wrong.

I woke up the next morning with the worst headache and I felt so dizzy, it was rotten. But when I opened my hotel curtains this is what I saw.

 Ground Zero.

In the above photo you can see two squares and that's where the twin towers stood. They have made a stunning water feature for each one with all the names of the people who died engraved in the marble. The rest of it will be trees and a museum. Sadly, we couldn't go inside because this weekend was open to veterans only. As awesome as it was to see the construction and rebuild it was also heartbreaking. The area is much bigger than it appears and there is a constant sense that something is 'missing' there. New York towers above you, you have to crook your head to see the top of buildings and to have this gap just didn't feel right at all. Also, at first I didn't notice but on my last day, there were a couple of loud planes that went over head by the hotel and New Yorkers would instantly look up with 'that look' - it was just another reminder that still 10 years on the fear is still tangible. 

After having pancakes for breakfast we went on the Staten Island cruise and visited Staten, Liberty and Ellis Island. To say I was excited was an understatement. I was about to see the iconic NYC skyline and it didn't disappoint.

 I've seen this so many times in pictures. To see it in front of me was amazing!

We boarded into Liberty Island first. It was my favourite of the islands due to the fact it was picturesque!

My best Miss Liberty impression. She looks absolutely massive up close but in comparison to the skyline she is quite a small tinker!

We then sailed to Ellis Island. This is the island immigrants went to register before being allowed entry to the USA. I am not a museum girl but the museum here is a must see. It has a step by step guide from room to room of how the 'accepting' process went. I found it really interesting and they still have the registry book with all the signatures. Incredible!

 The registry room. Three centuries ago this room was filled with immigrants wanting to start a new life in USA.

Sailing back to Manhattan.

It was at this point in the afternoon that jet lag really began to affect me. I felt so unwell and disorientated. I was popping paracetamol and codeine intermittently every 2 hours to get rid of the pain but nothing was shifting it. I was really annoyed because I was in this magnificent city but all I wanted was my bed!

Afterwards we got the subway (most confusing thing ever!!! Everything is labelled with a colour and a letter. Why can't it just be every subway sticks to one coloured line like London without throwing in letters?! rant over). We got the subway to grand central station where we got Starbucks - nom nom!

 Anyone recognise the Friends with Benefits dancing scene from here?

Then we watched the Veterans Day Parade - I loved it. It made me feel so much better seeing the floats and marching bands. We don't really have that in the UK. 

We then headed to one of my favourite places whilst in NYC. 


I dubbed this 'Crazy Town' because it really is. It's just full of lights, televisions, advertisements and people! Lots and lots of people that you almost feel like your in a different universe. I walked round like a rabbit in headlights and almost felt like I was a little kid saying "I want to go in there" and "Oh I want this! I have to get this!" Haha!!! It really is surreal. My sister's fiance said you just can';t take it all in. There is so much there that you simply can't. For me it was the best place to go shopping.

By 6pm we had burnt out. I needed sleep. Nicola had a sudden onset on pregnancy sickness and we were all just zonked. So Rach and I watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S with a burger king in our hotel beds til we fell asleep.

Best sleep ever! Stick around for Day 2 soon...


Colette said...

I am so excited to be reading this!

I know exactly what you mean about the awful feeling that something is missing at Ground Zero. I find it very, very eerie.

The Statue of Liberty is much smaller than I envisaged. I'm desperate to visit the museum on Ellis Island but Nik's mum isn't a museum person so that's never been on the cards :(

YES, YES, YES TO THE CONFUSING SUBWAY. It took me around a fortnight to suss it out properly, plus I kept forgetting what way was uptown and what was downtown. The UK should be so proud of the tube, it's a thousand times better than the Metro.

Love Grand Central, it's so beautiful. Probably one of my favourite places.

I do love the buzz and the lights of Times Square but it is so, so frustrating to stay in. The shops are great but Soho has exactly the same ones and you can move in them without someone standing on your toes!

Usually when we fly we arrive in New York around 6pm their time obviously our body clocks think it's 11pm. Once we've checked in we usually just crash straight away, that way we can have what we think is a long lie but it's only breakfast time NYC time when we wake up. If that makes sense. I've never felt jetlagged going to NYC, coming back however is a whole other story.

I'm excited for Day 2!

Ashley said...

Rebecca -

Yay for fun trips! I'm so glad that you got to see ground zero. It must have been sad. I went to NY before 9/11 happened, but we didn't make time to stop in NY City and to see the towers :( Wish I did, but now, I really would like to stop in New York just to see Ground Zero. I saw the pictures of the water on the 10th anniversary, and it is beautiful. Glad you are having a good time in NY. Can't wait to see/hear more.

P.S. I didn't know I was on your "blogs that you love" list - I went on there to see if I can find some new reads. I feel so honored. :) Thank you! You're one of my fave blogs too - I still have to update mine!

<3 Ash

Holly said...

So cool! I am ridiculously jealous!!
That's terrible that you felt so sick though, that would have been awful. :(

Alex(andra) said...

Yay!!! Looks amazing! I'm pretty jealous, I've always wanted to visit NY. Sorry you didn't feel so hot, though!

Doria said...

lolz, leave it to me to read day 2 before I read day one. Derp! Lovely pics, still jealous! Thinking even more so about booking a trip for nexxt year ;)

Kristen said...

It sounds like so much fun Becca! Times Square looks extravagant!

Callie Nicole said...

It looks like it was such a great trip, Becca! I would love to visit New York someday - I just feel like every American should see the Statue Of Liberty in person at some point. I'm enjoying these posts about your trip!

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