Hope you’re all well, I am back at Uni now for exams… AHHH! Thought I would cheer myself up and take my mind off things by writing about my trip to New York over Christmas with my family!
We flew out on on the morning of Christmas Eve, we were super lucky because we were upgraded to business class because Dad had lots of flyer miles. Business class was such an experience; seats that turned to beds; proper food that actually tasted nice; duvet’s and blankets for a proper sleep; washbag full of goodies; lovely crew on hand to bring you lots of snacks! Honestly it was incredible, talk about a good start to a once in a lifetime trip!!
We landed and got to our hotel in the early evening, because we were all so shattered from travelling, we all had a little wander round Times Square before grabbing hot dogs and pretzels and heading to bed.
Waking up on Christmas in a hotel room was odd, but Santa brought us all matching Christmas pj’s and Terry’s chocolate orange, which was perfect. Mum had quite the plan for our Christmas day, we were first headed up to the Top of the Rock aka The Rockefeller Centre. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, sunny blue skies that made the perfect photo! It really was surreal looking down on Manhattan, some of the skyscrapers were not even that far below where we were stood! We got the most perfect view of the Empire State Building too.
After the Rockefeller Centre, we walked through the city to Central Park, with the perfect weather it was so lovely to wander through the park and see the various buskers and famous sites within.
Then it was time for Christmas lunch, a little different to what we were used to but equally as yummy. We ate at Toni Di Napoli’s and had an italian buffet style dinner; caprese salad; fresh buffalo mozzarella; spaghetti and meatballs; Ravioli; and sorbet. We were stuffed after! Still feeling a bit jet lagged and very full from dinner, we went back to the hotel for a quick rest before the evenings activities.
In the evening we went to the Empire State Building to get a view of the city at night. The queues were quite long but definitely worth the wait.
It was so amazing to see the city all lit up, all the individual lights of the many many skyscrapers.
Boxing Day we were up early because we had to catch the ferry over to Liberty Island .
It was so incredible to see it up close and learn all about it. I would 100% recommend the audio guides because you can pick and choose the bits of information to hear about, gives you a different perspective of it all!
You could also get a fantastic view back on Manhattan.
The ferry then took us over to Ellis Island where we got to explore more of New York’s history, it was so interesting to learn about how Ellis Island worked and what happened there, again the audio guides were well worth it. Also got to see my relatives name on the board!
When the ferry dropped us back onto the mainland we did a walking tour to see some more of the sights. On our walk we visited; Wall Street; New York Stock Exhange; 9/11 Memorial.
After our long walk we headed back to the Hotel before heading out later that night to a fab Mexican restaurant .
On the 27th we set to do the 9/11 Memorial Museum, it was a powerful experience, so many emotions, but well worth the trip. It was fascinating to look into the history step by step and see the individual items and stories left behind, very moving.
After paying our respects we set off on more walking. We saw the famous Macy’s Building; Flat Iron Building; Madison Square Park; Washington Square Park; Friends Building; and the Highline Walk.
Tired out from all our walking (again) we headed back to the hotel before exploring Times Square again to find dinner later that evening, which was delicious Dim Sum!
28th marked another day of Mum’s fabulous walking tours. Beginning at Bryant Park we explored the Christmas stalls and watched an impromptu ice skating performance on the rink by a figure skater who was amazing! We then moved onto the New York Library which was spectacular, so ornate!
Next stop Grand Central Terminal which reminded me of the many films it’s featured in, especially Madagascar! Then onto the Chrysler Building and the UN building which were both spectacular.
Then we looped back to Saks on 5th Avenue to see the fabulous window displays. Along this street we saw St Patrick’s Cathedral and many more extravagant window displays in all the posh shops. ￼
Next up was Bloomingdales which had the best decoration inside, a star sign theme of display models all dressed ornately. We saw the Guggenheim Museum (from the outside), then headed back to the hotel once again tired out from all the walking (sense a theme yet?).
29th Marked our last full day in New York, we headed over on the subway to Brooklyn. We explored the DUMBO district and it’s little shops before heading to the banks to get some photos of the two bridges. The architecture was truly amazing, the bridges were so impressive.
We then had famous Brooklyn pizza at Grimaldi’s, which was absolutely delicious, so I can definitely understand the hype! The pizzas were huge and tasted soooo fresh!
After fuelling up we did the busy walk across Brooklyn Bridge, which was certainly impressive, the architecture up close was even better!
To finish our spectacular trip in the best way, we had tickets for the Rockettes show at Radio City and if you’re going at Christmas this show is a must watch! So so incredible, the dancers and the dancing was stunning, an absolute hit,. The dance routines were so impressive it took your breath away!
The 30th was departure day, we said our goodbyes to New York and taxied to the airport. We were once again upgraded to business as there were lots of spare seats, the Christmas magic was still working hard! We were able to sleep through the flight to try and avoid jet lag as much as possible which was the absolute best.
In summary, the absolute trip of a lifetime in which I enjoyed every single second. So many precious memories with my family made that I’ll treasure forever. Honestly, I would give up Christmas presents every year to just make memories, experiences are better than material things in my eyes.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my recount and if you’re planning a visit that it helps you decide where to go. I love writing posts like these to look back on later on, to reminisce.
That’s all for this week,
See ya laters,
Niamhy 😉 x