As some of you may be aware I have recently visited New York. This was not just a visit for any old reason, it was mine and my best friends 30th birthdays (mine is December 12th and hers is 12th January), not only that but it has also been our 'silver anniversary' as we like to call it, we have known and been best friends for a whole 25 years.........longer than some marriages, I would go as far to see she is pretty much my sister. I love her to bits and I can't imagine life without her so it seemed fitting we should celebrate in NYC!! Our husbands also came along for the ride :-) Anyway I digress.......this post is all about 'The Big Apple!'.
To be honest I don't know where to begin to write about NYC, there is just so much about this city that has made me fall in love with it and I can't wait to go back! I will do a whistle stop tour of things we did and it will be pretty picture heavy. Myself and Adi travelled a couple of days before Kat and Paul so I was lucky enough to be there for my actual birthday :-)
On arrival it can be pretty overwhelming but we found the best thing was to just go with the flow and just try to be quite relaxed about it all! We stayed pretty much right on Times Square at The Milford which was perfect for what we required (apart from it missing tea and coffee making facilities hmmph, the picture below shows the view from our room on floor 21). The only thing I can compare Times Square to is Leicester Square on acid, it's mental, but also very cool and iconic at the same time!
We did many of the touristy things that we wanted to do (with the exception of Empire State, Carries' doorstep - more me, Wall Street and more of Central Park as it was snowing when we went there, we also didn't see a show on Broadway, we just ran out of time). The 1st day we walked for miles, we also did a bus tour, both in the night and day to get a feel for the area, you can also use the buses as almost a taxi hopping on and off when required. We visited Rockerfeller Plaza (see the pictures above) and spent ages wandering around the streets like 5th Avenue etc.
|Christmas at Tiffany's
I was a very lucky girl and treated to some beautiful Tiffany jewellery so I could really remember my trip, I chose a necklace from the iconic 'Return to Tiffany' collection and I was also surprised with the matching bracelet from my husband. You can view the range by clicking on the link to Tiffany.
|Cartier all decorated
We also visited the very beautiful New York Public Library and Grand Central Station (on separate days) which were both stunning buildings.
We also squeezed in going on the Statten Island (free) ferry so we could get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, next time we go I think I'd like to pay to actually visit her as the Statten Island ferry didn't go as close as I thought it would, it was also bloody freezing so we had to spend most of the journey inside!!
On my birthday evening we ate at The Modern which is part of the Museum of Modern Art, it was very nice but sadly I took no photos, however I think there is probably better places to eat of the same standard.
Our friends arrived on the Friday (13th eek!) and the first thing we did was eat at an amazing steak restaurant called Del Friscos possibly some of the best steak I have ever eaten (mind you the price reflects this!). We then went to Rockerfeller and to the Top of the Rock (observation deck), the night before Adi & I had debated about not doing this as it costs $27 each but my goodness I am glad we did, the views over Manhattan are incredible (even at 10:30pm at night when we went up!), if you are visiting NYC you must do this!
On Saturday it snowed and it snowed! Storm Elektra had hit NYC, this was both exciting and a little inconvenient haha. However we had planned to go ice skating so for it to be snowing while we ice skated in Central Park I have to admit it was magical, I don't think a visit to NYC in December would have been complete without some snow.
I cannot tell you how cold it was! My hair actually froze to a degree so we thought the best option after ice skating was to head to Bloomingdale's, shelter in the warm for a bit and buy makeup (obviously, which I will feature in a separate post), after this we headed to a proper American bar where the bar was well stocked (see picture!) and then we went to FAO Schwarz which is the toy store with the big piano (think films such as Big and most recently The Smurfs).
I am aware that this post is going on for a bit but I have so much to share! I will quickly go through the other bits and pieces that we did (mainly shopping!). We visited the 9/11 memorial and tribute centre, we paid our respects and were genuinely quite moved whilst there, there is a different atmosphere in this area of NYC, calm and almost serene, it's strange. A must visit to pay respects and gather your thoughts.
We did lots of other little things such as pop in to Magnolia Bakery and visit Little Italy and have a traditional pizza but if I tell you about everything we did I would literally be here for days!
I hope you've enjoyed reading about what we got up to in New York, it truly was a memorable break away and I cannot wait to go again.......once our credit cards have recovered!
As always thankyou so much for reading and Happy New Year!
Helly's Top Tips:
-Don't take much with you you will come back with more than you went with.Fact.
-Take a travel cash card, much safer than carrying stacks of cash with you but beware that if you use to pay meals and drinks with it they often add a service charge to it which you don't realise!
- Take comfy shoes and invest in a good guide book with a decent map, we used this one from Amazon which is a perfect hand bag size.
- Remember that in New York/America tax is added at the till and not the advertised price, also tipping is seen as mandatory and at times expect quite alot from you, we tipped what we felt reflected the establishments.