Travel Diary | NYC 2017 | Day 1 – Travelling to New York
26th September 2017
I’ve returned from my holiday, which can only mean one thing: another Travel Diary series!! ✈️✈️✈️
Last time I went to New York I managed to write a post for everyday we were there. I’d like to do this again but I may end up combining the last few days into one post as we took those days a lot slower. We’ll just have to wait and see!
Also, I don’t think this series will be as photo heavy as the last one New York one was. I don’t know why but neither of us felt like taking many pictures. We were just too busy living in the moment, and being present, as cheesy as that sounds. It made a lovely change.
Anyway, here is day 1: Flying to New York, the hotel, Times Square, Bryant Park and Grand Central Station.
Travelling to New York
On Bank Holiday Monday, we woke up at 4:30am and headed to Manchester Airport.
I learned a lot from my last trip to New York which helped me to plan for this holiday. For instance, we discovered that the service on British Airways flights is terrible, so although we booked the holiday through British Airways (it was easier and cheaper) we chose to fly with American Airlines. Plus, this meant we could fly directly from Manchester. 😉
I’m not saying American Airlines are perfect. Especially after we were first in line for an upgrade on the way home and they gave it to someone else instead, but they’re better than BA. Just saying.
I was also disappointed to discover that American Airlines use smaller, older planes to fly out of Manchester which don’t have individual TV screens. This made for a very boring flight! However, I’d rather sacrifice the screens than have to fly from London. Swings and roundabouts.
Anyway, the food on the flight was good and we ended up having a free seat next to us which meant we had so much extra space. I tried to sleep but sadly I didn’t; partly because I have to be really comfortable before I fall asleep, partly because I was too excited.
The highlight of the flight was a guy on our flight who looked like Heisenberg from Breaking Bad. Like, he dressed the same and everything. It was funny watching the American Airlines staff do the security checks with him, asking questions like “What do you do for a living?”. 😂
Once we landed at JFK, it took about an hour to get through immigration, but at least this meant our bags were waiting for us when we got through. We’d booked a transfer to the hotel as a part of the package which made life easier.
I love the journey into New York. I remember how amazed I was by everything the first time I went because, you know, America! I think Tyrone felt the same way as it was his first time in the USA. Once again, I got excited driving past the site of the 1964 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows. Tyrone thought it looked a bit of a dump.
We stayed at the Omni Berkshire Place which is close to the Rockefeller Center. Honestly, I cannot recommend this hotel enough. It was probably the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in.
The location was perfect. As I say, it was close to the Rockefeller, and also about a 15 minute walk from Times Square and Central Park. There was a terrace on the 17th floor with views over St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The bed was insanely comfortable. The only problem with this is that it made getting up in a morning so much more difficult. 🙈 Our room was at the back of the hotel, so the view wasn’t much, but it meant it was so quite at night. I very much appreciated this!
In an effort to beat the jet lag, as soon as we arrived at the hotel we showered and then went out to explore. We aimed to stay up until 9pm and we did it. The struggle was worth it in the end as we immediately got into a normal sleep routine.
First stop: Times Square. I wouldn’t recommend you go to Times Square if you’ve been awake for like 20 hours, because it’s hard work. But fortunately for us it wasn’t too busy.
🗽 Top tip: Don’t have your photo taken with the people dressed up as characters (see Pauline’s post) and don’t take the “free” CDs from the guys trying to hand them out.
I took Tyrone to the Hersey’s World shop so he could witness the massive Reese’s peanut butter cups that are like over 1,000 calories each. We ended up buying a pack! (“F*ck it! We’re in America!“)
I was disappointed to discover the famous Toys R Us store, which had a Ferris Wheel in the entrance, had closed down and moved to a smaller store. We went in the new store, but it just wasn’t the same. We also checked out the Midtown Comics just off Times Square which is always a pleasure to visit.
Feeling hungry, we hunted down some dollar pizza. We went to a place just off Times Square than seemed really popular with the locals. Honestly, don’t knock dollar pizza until you’ve tried it. It was actually really tasty!
We continued to walk while eating out pizza, and we ended up in Bryant Park. Bryant Park is definitely my favourite park in New York. It’s right next to the New York Public Library, which is where Carrie Bradshaw didn’t get married. We did go in the library later in the week, so I’ll tell you about that in a different post.
We bought some overpriced pretzels and sat in the park. I was sleep deprived but I was so, so happy.
🗽 Top tip: The further you get away from Times Square, the cheaper the street food vendors get. Or so it seems.
Grand Central Station
After resting our legs it was on to Grand Central Station, which is close to Bryant Park. Of course, we found the Whispering Gallery (Whispering Wall, Whispering Arch, what ever it’s called) and tried it out. Here’s a video that shows you what it is if you’ve never heard of it before.
I’m pleased to say it worked!
Then we headed back to the hotel and were in bed for 9pm.
We’d made it! We’d survived the journey to America, and we were ready for a week of exploring!
Stay tuned for day 2 when I’ll be showing you the views from the tallest building in New York.
Here are the posts from my last trip to New York if you are interest:
- Travel Diary | NYC Day 1 | Flying, hotel and Times Square
- Travel Diary | NYC Day 2 | Ground Zero, Staten Island Ferry and Central Park
- Travel Diary | NYC Day 3 | Empire State Building and Grand Central Station
- Travel Diary | NYC Day 4 | Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island