Hello! Its been so long! I must apologise for not filling you in sooner on life, our travels to America and what I’ve been up to lately. The two biggest bits of news:
- D and I went on an amazing trip to the USA covering New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Shenendoah, Northern Florida and Orlando.
- We got engaged in New York.
New York really lived up to the hype. Growing up the media and friends and family talk about how amazing New York was and truly we had a fantastic time. There’s so much to see and experience, I feel like I could go back and still not do everything I’d love to do.
We stayed in a tiny hotel room in a hotel off 8th Avenue. Apart from the fact that we could only open the cases on the bed, it didn’t really matter as with only 5 days and the whole of New York to explore it was really more of a base to sleep and for that we really only needed somewhere safe with a comfy bed!
We walked about 15 miles each day around the city (pack comfy shoes) and did a lot of the iconic things but I think my favourites were:
- Watching not one but two musicals on Broadway – we got to see Josh Grobin in Natasha and the Great Comet and we saw the opening night of Bandstand. We actually got engaged on the stage at the Imperial Theatre after watching the Great Comet.
- Going to Central Park and seeing iconic places from films and tv programmes.
- Seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (we love a bit of History).
- The shopping. Need I say more?
- Watching Twin Forks in Chinatown.
- Watching Wrestling in a Catholic School Gym in Brooklyn – although I was so jet lagged I fell asleep for a chunk of the match.
- Randomly happening upon Katz’s deli from “When Harry Met Sally”.
- The food! Although we didn’t really actively seek out trendy places to eat we certainly ate really well. We ate in a lovely diner, had some wonderful Chinese Food, ate a lot of pizza and had some delicious pizza in a local deli.
In summary, a trip to New York really doesn’t have to break the bank. We saved a lot before our trip but some of our top tips for keeping costs down were:
- Use the Subway. You can get weekly Subway tickets for about $37 which makes it so much easier to get across the city.
- Food needn’t break the bank. We ate in diners, pizza shops, delis and fast food restaurants. We ate hot dogs from a hot dog stand and we ate a lot of fast food. We found that if you eat in the more residential areas of Manhattan or Brooklyn there is a lot of great food. Notably when we went to the Railroad Diner in the East Village the food was fantastic, the staff were so lovely and the portions were so ridiculous we ate at 10am and didn’t need to eat until the evening.
- If you want to watch something on Broadway – Google Rush Tickets. We got amazing seats to see Natasha and the Great Comet for under $40 (I forget the actual amounts). I actually cried during the final song, something I had wanted to do since I got into theatre was to see a musical on Broadway. You can usually get Rush Tickets for certain musicals if you buy tickets when theatres open at 10am.
- You don’t have to pay the full admission price for the Natural History Museum – it is a suggested donation only.
- Plan ahead, we looked a lot of ticket prices before we went and D put together a vague itinerary so we knew what we were likely to be spending that day and took advice from friends and online reviews to determine what we wanted to do.
- Don’t feel like you have to have a whole new fashionable wardrobe to fit in with the locals! This won’t apply to a lot of readers but it will apply to some. It is really worth noting that although there are some truly stylish people in New York; Sex and the City is a myth. Being on the Subway a lot we noticed we didn’t really stand out as tourists for dressing how we usually do and like everywhere there is a huge variety in how people dress.
If we had just done New York as a short break we would still have had one of the most memorable trips of our lives. I feel like New York was kind to us and we left in a happy bubble, engaged and excited for the rest of our trip.