New York State of Mind

Trip Start Sep 26, 2010
Trip End Dec 24, 2010

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Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, December 20, 2010

We left D.C on the iconic Greyhound bus (Simon was very excited about this despite having to wait in the dodgy D.C bus station for an hour) and arrived in NYC 4 hours later.

After trying very hard to get a cab (not quite as easy as it looks on the telly) we eventually arrived at the Roger Williams hotel – bargain of the holiday: boutique hotel in NYC for $125 a night AND we had a view of the Empire State Building!

Me being me immediately wanted to hit the streets as I LOVE NYC but Simon wanted to chill for an hour or so. After much pacing and sighing from me, we eventually headed out to see what NYC is like at night time.

Simon really wanted to see Times Square so we headed up there via Fifth Avenue. Even though I've been to Times Square before it really is an amazing (if tacky) sight. As we were absolutely frozen to the bone we went and had a drink in the bar of the W hotel (not cheap) and watched the lights of Times Square whilst sipping our drinks very slowly – there was no way we could buy another one! Whilst sitting there we decided that we didn’t want to blow a fortune on dinner that night as we were too tired to appreciate spending all that money so we decided to get take away pizza and walk back to the hotel. If anyone’s going to NYC Sbarro is a great place to get cheap take away slices of pizza that are super tasty.

After extracting a promise from Simon that we would be up and off early the following morning, we crashed out for the night.

True to his promise we were out of the hotel by 9 the following morning and found a lovely French patisserie near the hotel (that had gorgeous looking cup cakes and amazing coffee – thank God). We filled up on coffee and croissants there and then went for a walk up Fifth Avenue.

No matter how many times I’ve been to New York (about 9 now) it never fails to excite me. People that live there must surely be in a state of permanent excitement!

Anyway, we took in the skating at the Rockefeller Centre, all the posh shops on Fifth, we went to light a candle for my Nana in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral (a family tradition whenever we are in New York) and then, much to my excitement, we stopped in Tiffany's to look at rings. I wonder what was coming!

It was quite funny, this poor bloke was in there looking at (large) diamonds and he had decided which one he was going to buy. When he was told the price he said that he might faint and the sales lady said in all seriousness; "don’t worry Sir, we have an in house Doctor"!

After mooching round Tiffany’s (and surprisingly not especially liking much) we went for a little walk in Central Park. 

By now we were flagging a bit so I consulted the great guide book that the hotel gave us and we found a typical New York sandwich shop on the corner of Madison and 61st. I also thought that I spotted the guy that was in Desperate Housewives that played Gabby’s politician husband.

Anyway, the plan was to go up the Empire State Building at sunset so we headed back to the hotel via a quick trip round Bloomingdales and had a rest before heading out again around 4pm.

Luckily the queue to the Empire State wasn’t that bad (although the hard sell for all sorts of rubbish that we didn’t need was bad – and we fell for all of it) and we were up there within the hour just in time to see the sun set.

We’d bought a ticket to both floors and spent more time on the 102nd because it was quieter. It really is stunning up there. I’d never been up in the dark either so that was cool!

We’d been up there about an hour and we were about to go when Simon proposed to me. It was very romantic! He says that just as he asked me to marry him the lift door opened and I was bathed in a halo of light! I, of course, said yes!

The rest of our evening was lovely as we had a cocktail at the bottom of the Empire State and I called my parents to tell them. We then headed back to the hotel to change for dinner and went to a great Italian restaurant called Itrulii somewhere around 27th between Lexington and Park. The food was fabulous and we had a great bottle of Barbera.

When we were leaving the front of house man asked if we had a good time and Simon said that we had and it had been special because we had got engaged. He couldn’t believe that we hadn’t told them at the start of the night (I wonder what we would have got had we told them). He then sat us down and gave us a glass of something sparkly, not before asking us how Simon had proposed. Simon told him and he laughed and told us that we had been watching too many movies! Funny!

That was the end to a really perfect day and we went back to the hotel quite drunk – oh and then had another glass of something sparkly in the hotel bar! It really was a very good day!

The following day we were both quite hung over, but determined to head out and see more and make the most of our proper last day of our trip.

We headed down to Soho and had coffee and muffins in Starbucks before walking around Soho for a couple of hours. I love Soho!

Simon wanted to go down to the site of 9/11 so we headed off in that direction. When we got there I think that we both wished that we hadn’t. It’s very depressing down there. Also, surprisingly, the area is quite scruffy

So we hot footed it back uptown to Greenwich Village and wandered round there for a while before stopping in an Italian café in the West Village for coffee and cake. It was a great place, really local. You could tell that the people in there had been coming there for years and knew each other.

At this point exhaustion had set in so we headed back to the hotel via Union Square and the point where Broadway meets Fifth so that we could take a photo of the cool building, the name of which escapes me.

We spent our final night in a little bar/restaurant round the corner from the hotel and had another lovely meal.

Our final day consisted of some shopping (mainly for other people unfortunately) and then we hot footed it down to the tip of Manhattan so that Simon could see the Statue of Liberty. God it was cold down there!

We then took a quick walk down Wall Street before getting the subway back to our hotel.

That was that. The end of an amazing three month holiday that started with my dream in Asia, and ended with Simon’s dream in the USA.

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