Trip Start Dec 13, 2013
Trip End Jan 21, 2014

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What I did
Empire State Building New York City
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Statue of Liberty New York City
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Today we all woke early and made our way to the tour bus stop near our apartment. We planned to do the entire city tour today so that we could get our bearings and also tick off a few of the New York sights that we just had to see. We started in Times Square which was crazy busy due to all the preparations for the annual ball drop! The streets were already blocked off and people lining up and it wasn't even 9am yet! Once we were in the bus we caught a glimpse of the Empire State Building, fifth avenue shopping district, Macy's, Maddison square gardens, the flat iron building, soho, city hall, Chinatown, the 9/11 memorial and our final stop... The statue of liberty/ Staten Island.

We got off the bus and the cold hit us worse than ever before. We were all so rugged up but the wind pierced through our clothing. The boys got hot dogs and pretzels from the corner stand- so American!! We walked to the Staten Island ferry station and caught the ferry to Staten Island. We didn't get the tourist ferry ride to the actual statue as the line was so long just to buy tickets then we would have to line up all over again to get on the ferry. However, we could see so much from our ferry ride- views of the city and Brooklyn bridge and we got up close and personal with the lady of liberty herself! I had been told that she was quite little so I was expecting her to be much smaller. I was pleasantly surprised and loved seeing this unreal American icon. It was absolutely freezing on the ferry- especially since we were outside on the deck to ensure that we could capture the best photos!

Once we got back, we walked to the bus, got on and made our way back to the apartment. We could not physically handle anymore of the cold! Our toes, fingers and lips were stinging and thats with gloves, two pairs of socks and boots! On our street we found the best Japanese restaurant so we all enjoyed some warm miso soup, sushi and Japanese cuisine (I had mango chicken) before heading back to our hotel.

Being New Year's Eve tonight we planned to have a few drinks at home before trying out luck in Times Square. After josh and Jenelle put the kids to sleep, we got some New York pizza slices to kick off our American New Years! They were massive pieces and so so good! We also decided that we would bring in the new year on the roof of our apartment where we could see the massive screens, hear the festivities and feel the energy that this city was all about!

At around 9pm Jenelle, Paul and I (with hand and toe warmers in tow) ventured out into the city that never sleeps to tackle crowds and experience Times Square on New Year's Eve! Roads were blocked off, police at every corner, bag checks, litter galore and people everywhere! There are no words to describe how packed this place was. We had to walk a few blocks just to get access! We made out way in until we literally could not get any further. It was so cold, I don't know how people could have stood there all day! There is no way I could have. So after an hour or so of the cold, crazy crowds and lack of toilets/drinks, we made our way bank to the apartment where we could continue on.

Jenelle and I decided to leave the boys at home and experience the bar culture in the area. We just went to a local bar on our street but it was so great bring New Years and so close to the ball drop! We met lots of friendly people including our amazing bar tender who took it on himself to ensure we had enough free shots and drinks to last a lifetime! Let's just say when we looked at the clock to discover it was 11pm, we knew we had been having too much fun and it was probably time to get back to the boys.

Sitting altogether in our New York apartment, drinking, laughing, talking and feeling completely blessed- we brought in 2014. I don't know if any other New Year's Eve could ever compare to this one- another tick on the bucket list!

So excited for the adventures, journeys, memories and moments that the coming year will bring... I have a feeling it's going to be a good one!

Happy New Year friends, family and followers... Hope you had a good one.

With love,
Simone xx
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