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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A slice of The Big Apple...

'...while she, glittery voyager of secure destination, steamed down the harbour with whistles whistling and confetti in the air.'

Well, what a wonderful whirlwind the past few weeks have been! A celebratory family holiday, to a girly city break, to more fabby celebrations at my brother's graduation, have left me nostalgic and a little glum now it's all over.
Just as my skin had adapted to those intense pangs of heat, and my ears to the rapid Spanish dialect, my Dad snapped his fingers and brought me back to reality - "you need another job!".

Sadly, this jazzy, jam-packed schedule has plummeted to new lows as I have a solid seven weeks with no more plans, and a mere 62p in my bank. (Admittedly, I shouldn't have bought that coffee and cake with my last fiver...)

Yes, Hols has post-hol blues and now my skin is craving one last bask in those golden hues. Instead, I'm going to have to rely on my blog to transport me back to those fierce few weeks.

However, as I began blathering on about New York in this blogpost my mind scootered off to the bustling streets of Barcelona (I have awful concentration), so I've decided to split my jollies into separate posts for you. Hopefully that way you can catch the hop-on, hop-off bus with me as I guide you round the USA, before we zip through Barcelona's narrower streets via scooter.

Our first destination is New York, my favourite part of the whole family holiday. I anticipated the struggle of writing about NY through fresh eyes as I have already blogged about our school trip there. However, we had planned a range of 'off the beaten track activities' for our visit (literally – Dad had ensured that I had prepped a spreadsheet itinerary), making our whistle-stop tour unique.
Arriving late into Sunday afternoon, a yellow cab whizzed us across the city that was acclimatising to the heat wave (very hot). Despite feeling a little travel weary, our stomachs surpassed the temptation to tuck ourselves into bed, and we headed to a delightful Italian restaurant just off Times Square.

"Now onto the Tkts steps!" - I practically bullied my sleepy family into the heart of a vibrant Times Square. It is in this core of the Apple that one can elevate themselves above the fast paced New York. Just a few steps up and you become an observer of the sights and sounds of this cosmopolitan city, but securing a spot at the top ensures a superior status...

Okay, so onto our first full day - and by far my fave! Where does one go for breakfast to avoid the Monday morning diner rush? My research landed us in the revitalised Chelsea Market. I wish I could say I cherished every last mouthful of those banana pancakes, but my greedy gut gobbled them down in point 3 seconds before my eyes were perusing the bookshop. Yeah, Chelsea Market is kinda cool and the 'Artists & Fleas' section is fun to check out.
Acknowledging my potential to give birth to 3 banana pancakes at any moment, we embarked upon our next part of the spreadsheet (or 'spready' as it became known as)... The Highline! It's located above the streets in a serene setting where locals and tourists alike immerse themselves in the green space. This linear park provides unseen skylines, quirky art and a more relaxed pace of life. There was no denying that this was a highlight! 

After 45 minutes of walking from one end of The Highline to the other, we grabbed a 'make your own salad' to tuck into for our next destination - Governors Island. Just a 10 minute ferry ride from Manhattan transports you to what was an abandoned military base and is now open to the public as a recreational space. 

From biking to baseball, the island offers a range of family friendly activities, and our afternoon was spent strolling along the island (mainly looking for some shade!), admiring the views and swinging in the hammocks!

I think it's safe to say our day was packed with greenery, so our evening was broken up with a more glamorous venture... To the top of the Empire State Building! Hitting the viewing deck at 8:30, we were just in time to catch the last rays of sun setting over the concrete jungle. As the night ticked on and darkness swept across the city, the warm glow of office lights flicked on in domino effect... This really is the city that never sleeps, and one day I want to be a part of it.

Upon my request for a slight detour back to the hotel, we were able to stop off at Bryant Park... (It's almost as if I were seeking these green spaces amongst the lively city!) A park that is encircled by skyscrapers and lit by the office lights, I consider this hidden gem a perfect spot for a first date. 

As couples snuggle together on picnic blankets and clink plastic champagne flutes, it got me thinking - who said Mondays have to be the worst day of the week? 
More to follow about Tuesday and Wednesday in New York...!