It’s March and it’s my birthday!
Some friends of ours had asked if we wanted to go to New York earlier in the year and I jumped at the chance, as WE LOVE New York! But for some reason or another it got pushed back and we decided to go instead in March, which was perfect as it was also my birthday! It was also the birthday of the friend who invited us too! Double celebrations! 🙂
We were flying with British Airways (again I hear you say!) and started out our journey from London Heathrow Terminal 5 at 19.20pm, so it meant it would be evening time over in New York when we arrived due to the 5 hour delay and we could try and get our heads into their time zone 🙂
The flight was ok but we all noticed how tightly packed the seats were together in economy and thinking “have they made these seats smaller?!?!” It really did feel like a squeeze! We were not happy! Still, once the drinks were served we soon forgot about the size issue and settled into our flight.
The flight was smooth and the time was passed catching up on all the films I didn’t get round to seeing in the cinema – I do love long haul flights for that!
When we arrived at John F Kennedy Airport in New York, my friend had arranged for our transfers from the airport to our hotel….in a limo! Very cool! 🙂 However, we all were so tired that it was almost wasted on us, as we could barely keep our eyes open and some of us were falling asleep in the limo! lol! Still, was a nice touch though – girl did good! 😉
We were staying at the Hilton Garden Inn in Midtown Manhattan, so right in the heart of all the action! Simon and I both have Diamond Status with Hilton Honor Rewards, and so the staff kindly allowed us to use the benefits of the reward scheme and we had free breakfast every morning and free bottles of water and refreshments, which was great!
In the morning after we had breakfast, we got ready and set out to see New York! As we saw the sights the last time we came we decided that this time around we were just going to venture out and see where the day takes us!
The weather was really weird for March. On some of the days the sun was out but it had a real chill to the air. Then other days it would be overcast but it would be really mild! Strange! Never really knew how to dress for the day!
We decided that we were going to hit the shops and browse and see what was on offer. We picked up a few things from our favourites, Abercrombie & Fitch, and we browsed Saks on Fifth Avenue, running into a Starbucks to pick of one of their fruit refreshers, which tasted delicious, before moving on to even more shops 🙂
Then we met up with our friends and went for a boozy lunch at PJ Clarke’s on 3rd Avenue, a low rise, red bricked building that is an institution in it’s own right and has been standing there since 1884 and is known for it’s oysters and burgers! Plenty of Prosecco was consumed! 😉 🙂
The following day Simon and I went to the Port Authority Terminal and caught a coach to Woodbury Common for even more shopping! We love this retail designer outlet SO MUCH! We both picked up a Burberry Trench for half the price it normally costs in the sale, amongst some other things, so we were really pleased with our shopping trip!
That evening, we met up with our friends again and headed over to the Hyatt Times Square rooftop bar, Bar 54, where we had a great time drinking champagne and cocktails and having an amazing time admiring the view from the rooftop.
Afterwards we headed to Time Square where we had a giggle getting up to mischief and generally “camping it up” 🙂
The following day Simon and I had breakfast at the hotel and then we went to Ground Zero to see the new structure that had been built for the new station that is being constructed. It looks like the shape of a great bird of prey and is quite an extraordinary sight! Or actually, it could be described as a phoenix rising from the ashes, which would be much more appropriate.
We then decided to check out the observation deck in the One World Trade Centre, as it was still being constructed when were last there in August 2014. It was so busy that there was a queue running around the entire building and a “S” shaped queue outside the main entrance, but we managed to buy tickets from a sales office that was quiet that we found as we came via the tunnel that had been built for the new station and the entrance going up to the One World Centre from there. There were hardly any people queuing for tickets, so we were lucky to buy ours for the allocated time we wanted and then head over to the entrance shortly beforehand, skipping the queues 🙂
The ride up to the observation deck was like a theme park ride! It was very, VERY cool! The walls of the elevator were covered with video screens and as you were going up it was telling the story of how New York evolved from a swampy, marshland and then growing into an early city, to the construction of the original World Trade Centre, to then the eventual construction of the One World Trade Centre. As you were going higher and higher, floor by floor, you were getting more of an aerial view of the city as the elevator was continuing upwards, demonstrating the height of the One World Trade Centre as it was reaching the top. Being a gadget freak, that was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen!
But the show didn’t end there. Oh no!
As we got to the top we were lead out of the elevator and into a darkened room and again there were a number of screens up on the wall. The screens started to show scenes around the city of New York, like shots of the famous yellow taxis, to shots of famous landmarks, and all done in a very high quality, film like look. And then, all of a sudden, panels in the wall with the screens started to raise up like a curtain to reveal the New York skyline out towards the Statue of Liberty and Staten Island! It was incredible! What an amazing way to introduce the view from the observation deck! A door to the right then opened and we were then lead to the main observation deck, where the views continue to take your breath away!
The observation deck was 360 degrees, so you could see all aspects of the New York skyline. On one side you could look out across the East River and see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Staten Island, and if you walked around to the other side you could see all of the landmark buildings, like the Empire State Building, Rockefeller and Chrysler Building – incredible!
When we got back in the elevator to go back down the fun began again! This time round the video screens powered up and as you were descending the elevator was flown outside of the building and began to circle it as you descended as if you were on some sort of rollercoaster ride! You would then re-enter the building through one of the windows and then the elevator would descend down through the bare rock that the foundations were laid, before we reached the bottom and the doors opened again! THAT WAS THE COOLEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN IN AN ELEVATOR!!! I wanted to go back up again just to experience that all over again!!! lol! 🙂
I’d definitely recommend that to anyone going to New York, no matter how many times you’ve been! You have to do that, at least once! Amazing!
That evening Simon and I went off to dinner in the West Village. Simon’s brother had kindly bought us a gift voucher for a restaurant called Perry Street, so we decided to check that out and we weren’t disappointed! The restaurant was fabulous! On the corner of the far end of Perry Street and the riverside, it was perfectly located to take in amazing views from the river. The food was amazing, the ambiance was perfect, the cocktails to start the evening were delicious – everything about the place was perfect! A really lovely dinner was had and we said to one another that we’d definitely go back again when we’re back in town!
The next day our friends had arranged to go and see a show on Broadway, The Book of Mormon, so we managed to get tickets before we flew out so we could join them. The show started off with some champagne (of course) and was a riot! We had such a great time and I would recommend you go and see it, though the language is a little rude and may not be to everyone’s taste if you have a delicate disposition – just to warn you! Lots of fun was had though! 🙂
Afterwards we then went to find a rooftop bar as the weather was really nice, where we consumed a lot of Prosecco and numerous cocktails and I don’t really remember very much more after that! lol! Apparently we went to dinner but I have no recollection of that at all! lol!
The next day we were feeling rather rough and had get up early for our flight back to London! Oh, were we feeling delicate or what?! I can tell you, I wasn’t sure I would make it! I could barely eat my food that was served on the plane! lol! 😛
But we made it back in one piece and just like that, we were home and our trip was over! A great time was had by all! 🙂
Until next time! 🙂
*please note – like the previous posts, we are not endorsed, sponsored, paid for, or provided for free, nor is this a product placement or advertisement for British Airways or Hilton. I have been a member of the British Airways Executive Club and Hilton Honor Rewards for over a decade, and all flights and accommodation, in fact EVERYTHING, was paid for by ourselves*