After months of saving, my daughter and I visited New York City in August. This marked the beginning of our three destination, month long holiday. The flight was somewhat long but good and we landed at around midday so our day was not really wasted. We got off the plane soon after landing in order to be able beat the queue at the customs department (we got this idea after spending hours awaiting clearance whenever we travelled). Sure enough, we got our clearance in under twenty minutes so we got a taxi to Hotel 41 that is in Times Square. We had made an online booking because this is one of the few budget accommodation options that are on high demand. If anything, we were quite sure that we were not going to spend much of our time in the hotel rooms.
It was not long before we got to our hotel and the staff here helped us to check in. The hotel was not only clean, but also well decorated and yes, well worth our bucks even though the rooms were small. Moreover, the location was great. We were obviously hungry so we set out to find a restaurant where we would have our first meal after familiarizing with our hotel room. Luckily for us, we spotted a Desi Food Truck just as we stepped out of the hotel. Although I was not for the idea, I caved in to the pressure from my daughter who insisted that we try something new. This meant that we would also get to save on transport. Thank goodness we had no regrets after all because the Haleem and chicken tikka masala that we dug our teeth into were mouth watering.
Later on, we went to central park, marking the beginning of our escapades in New York. Although this park receives so many tourists which I found to be a little irritating because of the crowds, it is a must visit. No access fee is required and so we walked just like everyone else. The park is so huge that you cannot exhaust it all in a single day. In addition, there are a number of activities that you can enjoy here among them swimming, bird watching and biking to name but a few. Since we were a bit tired from travelling, we settled down at a cool corner where we had time to bond with my daughter as well as review our itinerary of the places that we would visit. Later in the evening, we went back to our hotel freshened up and went to a nearby restaurant for dinner before retiring to bed in readiness for the next day.
While I cannot give a comprehensive breakdown of our seven days in New York, I will share our experiences of some of the activities and attractions that we enjoyed visiting the most on our first visit to New York City apart from central park. First off is the Top of the Rock or Empire State building that allows you to have a breathtaking view of Manhattan from the viewing deck on the 86th floor. It is also a perfect photographic point. For just $22, the experience is truly amazing. The other place that we visited that I would recommend is the Wall Street (World’s financial capital) in Lower Manhattan. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge was another memorable experience considering how famous the bridge is.
Another exciting place that we visited was the Statue of liberty that also has a museum with the most exclusive ticket in this city. Unfortunately, we were not able to get into the interior because of the upgrades that were going on at the time. Nonetheless, we had fun here as we went for the statue of liberty boat tour instead.
We also explored a number of museums because I of the wealth of knowledge that I usually find on such places whenever I travel. If you share in my passion, you will definitely appreciate The Museum of the City of New York and the International Center for Photography that house amazing collections that date back to the earlier centuries. I almost said this was the highlight of our stay in New York City until I remembered the 9/11 memorial. This is particularly because I lost a childhood friend in this tragic terrorist attack and I had always longed to visit the site. I was such an emotional moment and I could not stop the hot tears that were running down my cheeks. Thankfully, my daughter was my pillar of strength.
Another amazing feature that puzzled me was the Subway. Yes, we got an opportunity of ride through the hole in the ground just to feel the gist of it. While at it, I must mention that Times Square is also another must visit attraction as it is home to the city’s transport hub.
We visited so many places within our seven days stay in this city. Interestingly, by the time we left for our next destination, we had not been to a quarter of the places because New York City is one of the destinations that are bursting with attractions as well as activities that you cannot exhaust in a single visit. This means we may return to New York in due time.