Our little, whirlwind trip up to New York City was nothing short of an unforgettable adventure. There are so many things to do and see in this city, sleeping seems like a silly waste of time (and as the title suggests, we hardly slept at all).
I went to New York with my friends for a few days, after they were so kind as to help me move into my apartment. But before I talk about New York, I want to tell you briefly about our day before we left for New York. (OK, maybe I just want to vent a little. And if you don’t want to read the rant, skip to the next Times Square picture. Haha.)
My pre-New York City Rant
This day first became interesting when I realized the place my husband and I were moving into did not have an elevator. This was only an issue for moving purposes because my friend and I had to move all of my stuff and also had to walk up a flight of stairs. (Thank you again, Trina!).
Also, while we were in the process of moving all of my worldly possessions from the van up a flight of stairs, we had ordered a pizza. It was supposed to arrive in a half hour. It took over an hour and half to get to us. So, that was frustrating… and I get pretty crabby when I’m not fed.(“Hangry” is real thing!) And when we finally got the pizza it really was not a good pizza. I love garlic, but even I had a hard time choking that pizza down because it was so garlicky! And I don’t think there was sauce on it? Weird.
Oh, and before the pizza arrived, I had to call Hertz to see where I should drop the van off that I had rented from them. Let me just say, that Hertz has the absolute worst customer service I have ever encountered in my life! I only wanted to know which location (because there are 3 of them by me) I should take the van to. The customer service lady was so snippy and rude, that I seriously thought I was on some kind of a hidden camera show…and at any minute someone was going to jump out and say, “Haha! Don’t worry people aren’t actually this mean, it was all just a joke! Look, you’re on camera!” However, that was not the case…and she couldn’t even tell me where to take the van! I had to call the Appleton location (which is where I got it from), and then they had to call someone to figure out where I was supposed to take it. (So, moral of the story…rent your cars from Enterprise, Hertz stinks.)
Then, once I finally got the van to where it needed to go, my friend called a cab from Aaa Princeton Taxi to pick us up. It was supposed to be there in 10-15 minutes. Perfect! However, after more than a half hour went by, my friend called the company to see where our cab was. The taxi company lady literally hollered at my friend and hung up! When my friend called back, the lady actually said, “Oh, you again. Let me check.” Good grief! After all of that we saw our cab go by the Hertz building 5 times before we stood at the edge of the highway and waved him down. This was one and a half hours after he was supposed to come! (Moral of this story, don’t ever take a cab in Princeton?)
Let’s just say, that all of our little difficulties made it that much more exciting to finally get to New York! Our train ride into New York City went smoothly and so did our cab ride to our hotel. The Holiday Inn we stayed at that night was very, very nice and clean! It was smooth sailing from here on out!
(Oh, and again, let me apologize for the picture quality in this post! I left the DSLR camera at home, because I was just too tired to lug it around by this point. These pictures are all from my phone. Sorry!)
New York Adventures
After we got ourselves situated in our hotel we took a walk up to Times Square, but first stopped at a little Chinese restaurant for dinner. The place was called Happy Main Noodle, and it was so darn good! I had the Spicy Basil Chicken and loved it.
After our dinner, we wandered around Times Square and did a little shopping. I am here to tell you, that H&M has become one of my new favorite stores. (I haven’t fallen in love with it quite as much as ModCloth, but it’s a close 2nd!)
The next day we woke up bright and early to go to The Empire State Building. We did the audio tour, which was probably interesting…but I’m not going to lie, I have a hard time paying attention to audio tours (except the Alcatraz one, that’s a fantastic audio tour). I prefer to read rather than listen.
I did not realize the viewing area at the Empire State Building is open and not enclosed in glass (like the Willis Tower a.k.a Sears Tower in Chicago). I’m a bit afraid of heights, so I was momentarily panicked. However, the walls were high enough that I didn’t feel unsafe…and I was able to snap some photos of the city without having a panic attack.
We spent the rest of the day doing a little shopping here and there, and we also went over by the Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I’m looking forward to coming back to the Rockefeller Center at Christmas time. I’ll put it in writing here, and you can all hold me to it…but I WILL ice skate here at Christmas time. (I may break some bones, or at the very least, fall on my butt…but I swear I’ll do it!)
We made our way back to our hotel, and freshened up a little before dinner. We decided on Indian food for that night’s cuisine. I had not had Indian food since I was in India, and was a little worried on whether or not I was going to be able to stomach it. (I was sick for most of the trip in India, so, Indian food no longer sounded appealing to me.) However, I was so happy with the food at Nirvana! It was such a nice place, and the waitstaff were all super friendly. It reminded me that I do indeed enjoy Indian food. Wahoo!
We wandered past Grand Central Station and made our way to a few more stores that evening. (I may have gone into another H&M. Haha.) We also saw The Empire State Building at night. It’s very pretty!
The next day in New York was my last full day in the city. So, we had to see the Statue of Liberty! We took the subway to get to the ticket office. My friend had downloaded an app that told us how to get to certain subway stations and which ones to get on, which stops to take, etc. (Click here to see it.) It came in quite handy!
We took the ferry out to the Statue of Liberty and wandered around the island for a little bit to take pictures. It was really neat to finally see the Statue of Liberty up close and personal. However, it was so cold and windy the day we were there, that we didn’t want to stick around too long! I’m hoping to come back this summer and tour the inside (to see the inside you have to do an application process way ahead of time).
We then hopped on the ferry and went to Ellis Island. This was one of my favorite parts of New York. I thought Ellis Island was incredibly interesting, and the museum did a wonderful job of explaining what life was like coming to American through Ellis Island. It makes me really want to learn more about my family history, and see if any relatives possibly passed through here. (A LOT of people had the last name Puls coming through here…but I’m not sure if I’m related to any of them.)
The only unfortunate thing about Ellis Island, is that a good portion of the museum is not currently displayed. This is because Ellis Island suffered quite a bit of damage during Superstorm Sandy. The boilers and electrical systems took the biggest hit, and they still don’t have it all up and working. So, a lot of artifacts and photos are in storage for safekeeping until everything is 100 percent again at the museum.
Our next stop after Ellis Island was the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. We spent the most time here out of any place we visited during this trip. I had been to the Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum and remembered how incredibly emotional that was, but it still didn’t prepare me for what I was going to feel and see at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
Sorry, but I didn’t take any pictures while at the museum… it just felt kind of morbid to me I guess. However, I’ll do my best to explain a bit about what’s inside the museum. The displays in the museum start by giving you history on the Twin Towers and how they were built and interesting facts about them. Such as, the reason why they are able to build so many skyscrapers in Manhattan is because of the large amounts of Schist..a sparkly rock, that can hold up the weight of a skyscraper. (I liked that fact!)
It then transports you back to that fateful day, and shows you just how normal the day had started and that the headlines dominating the papers were about a local election. As you walk through the museum, it takes you through a timeline of each plane crash…and gives detailed information about how every hour of that day unfolded and what the aftermath was like. There’s everything from parts of the original Twin Towers in there, to shoes that survivors were wearing that day, to fire trucks that were used in rescue efforts.
There is also a section of the museum dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the attacks. There’s an audio tape playing as you walk through this portion, where family members and friends are sharing memories about those who had died. To say it was an emotional tour, is quite an understatement. It is something, that if you are in New York, you have to visit for yourself.
We tried to walk to Chinatown after we left the museum. However, I managed to get us a bit lost (I’m not what you would call the world’s greatest navigator). After we did make it to Canal Street (this is where Chinatown is located) it was getting a bit late..so, we hopped on the subway and headed back to the hotel to grab our things and go to a different hotel for the evening.
We stayed at The Paramount that night. It was in a good location because it was right on Times Square (and we were going to try to see a show on Broadway that night). The rooms were OK, nothing special, but we just needed a place to sleep. However, the restaurant that was in this hotel is not the greatest. We grabbed dinner here quickly, because we were planning on going to an 8 p.m. show. None of what we ordered was impressive and it was by no means cheap. This was the only poor dining experience I had while in New York.
Unfortunately, every show we wanted to go to that night was sold out! So, we ended up doing a bit of shopping instead and having a drink at the hotel. (We ended up stopping at a Walgreens to buy our own wine, because the hotel bar’s prices were insane! Haha.)
The next morning we were up well before dawn, to get in line for Good Morning America! We were in line around 6:30 a.m., and we had a pretty good spot (however, there wasn’t any really famous guests that day). It was still fun to watch it being taped. I used to work for a local morning news show, so, it was interesting for me to see that it wasn’t too different of a process…even at a national level. (It was also a good reminder of how grateful I am to not work those crazy hours! Haha.)
While there weren’t any big-name celebrity guests that day, we did get to meet Robin Roberts! She was very nice and came over and chit-chatted with just about everyone, who was up in front. (I was a bit starstruck and panicked. We only ended up making a comment about how cold it was. Haha.)
After Good Morning America, we grabbed breakfast around the corner from the studio and made our way back to The Paramount. My journey across the country had finally come to an end (if you missed my other post about our road trip, click here.) My friends were actually getting on a plane the next morning to head to Chicago! I don’t know how they did it, by the time I got home… I was so tired I slept for 11 hours. Haha.
When I did get back to my husband and our new place….the above picture is what I came back to! Needless to say, we’re not going to be getting any breaks from cold weather here in New Jersey!
This won’t be my last trip to NYC. In fact, my husband and I are talking about heading in this weekend to do some exploring! So, I’ll be doing more posts on NYC as I experience different parts. Thanks for reading this really, really long post all the way to the end.
Let me know if you have any questions, or suggestions for a future post, in the comments!