It was something me and my boyfriend had always discussed that we wanted to do: Go to New York. The idea of going to somewhere half way around the world began as an aspiration the slowly as life goes on…and life happens to put barriers up it slowly slipped into the shadows until one day we both just thought…
We have this life to live it. There are too many shoulda-Woulda-Coulda’s in reality and being able to look back and say “I had an amazing time! Yes, it cost a bit, but I experienced the world!”.
Our 10 year Anniversary gave us a proper reason, and why not!
So that is what we did.
To say we were excited was an understatement, and finally pulling up to the airport parking, depositing baggage and eventually being greeted by a modern, comfortable (hmmm….well as comfortable as you can be sleeping in the slightly reclined seated position), tech wizard paradise. Being offered free refreshments (including prosecco), snacks and entertainment in World Traveller Plus (Highly recommended on long haul flights) was a brilliant start to the holiday and a soothing finish to a busy few months.
The 8 hours were cloaked by the availability of unlimited film viewing, which obviously had me in heaven and complimentary booze and blankets allowed me to doze. The arrival at JFK was long welcomed, however the airport shuttle transport took over 2 hours for us to arrive at our hotel, and completing the maths of a full 7 hours work day, plus late night flight, adding in another 8 hours on a plane, minus a good nights sleep (unheard of in my world) meant an odd feeling of tiredness: a mixture between dizzy, floating, euphoric, drunk sickly feeling which I could only expect was jetlag. Throwing everything into the hotel suite and figuring out the heating in the room ( and remembering they measure temperature in Fahrenheit rather than Celcius and realizing what wusses we both were when it was cold) we slept…well more like collapsed.
Waking up to these amazing views I felt like Dorothy…it definitely didn’t feel like England anymore. Everything was huge, buildings, food, characters, service charges….
Yes, a lot of our money went on service charges and a particularly famous restaurant (Ahem… “Hard Rock Cafe” in Times Square) really crippled us in this area like a blow to the stomach, we learned and adapted quickly.
We saw the obvious tourist attractions: The Statue of Liberty (*spoiler alert*which was much smaller in reality) Times Square, Madison Square Gardens, Empire State Building, Rockafeller Centre, Central Park and The One World Centre. Two of these were for a slightly different reason and from far more cinematic origins.
As much as we were both interested in seeing where the previous Twin Towers had been and the devastation that the tragedy of the situation that happened there, we made it a must after watching the 2008 biographical documentary, British-made film “Man on Wire”, which chronicles Phillippe Petit’s 1974 High-wire walk between the Twin Towers. An unforgettable, inspiring and truly beautiful experience encapsulating not only the daring stunt but the essential idea of following one’s inner voice to make our dreams reality.
So much so that we booked our Hotel ( The World Centre Hotel) which is literally looking over the Ground Zero site so we ensured we would get amazing views of it. It delivered ten fold.
The second place was Central Park, not only for its fabulous walks, reservoir, wildlife, zoo and cafes but also to see the spot where Kevin Macalister in “Home Alone 2 – Lost in New York” (1992) observed the Plaza Hotel, met the pigeon lady, got lost and caught the crooks.
We used the whole day to explore all of the bridges to try and scope out the exact one, not quite finding the right one. When we came to an area where my beloved new boots decided to maul my feet and caused us to take a detour around sed bridge…resulting in us needing to return the next day to find the bridge immediately…my bad!
After eating some truly epic meals of super-sized portions, seeing the sights and almost getting acclimatized to the time difference it was time to leave and it felt strange as it was the longest time we had spent time together out of the country and delays at JFK because of fog didn’t help out late night tired mood to boot, but we left the Great USA enlightened, inspired and rested. If only I could make it a regular thing to visit areas where my favorite films had been shot….a way to encourage travel definitely, on the other had the credit card company would probably frown upon it…