My Apologies for the delay I know this blog post has been in demand but I have included lots of pics and info to make up for it! (Grab a cuppa)
We booked our trip to New York through Cassidy Travel which I would recommend because I found it took a lot of the stress away knowing that if we had any issues we had a fall back. We booked 7 nights in New York and flew with AerLingus which I would highly recommend – I’m not a great flyer but I think this trip changed that I was really surprised how fast the flight went and we were so well looked after.
Our accommodation was in the Edisson Hotel in Times Square, we didn’t realise how amazing the location was going to be and when people say its just a short walk to Times Square they are not joking it is a 1 minute walk to the ticket office in Times Square so you are in the heart of all the action.
Although we went in February the cold was totally manageable, during the day I had a scarf, parka and hat on and at night I generally wore my camel duster with a hat and scarf. Boots most days and runners also, if you take anything from this please let it be that comfort is most important! We walked everywhere and I mean everywhere, traffic is so slow in New York its much quicker just to walk and you will be tired – but its oh so worth it!
The morning after we arrived we woke quite early & I hopped out of bed and opened the window but all of a sudden my feet were wet! I stood me head out the window and nothing could have prepared me for the winter wonderland that had happened in a short few hours! There was a crazy amount of snow falling!! I have to say it was almost like a dream but I did quickly worry it was going to scupper our plans for the day, but when we got a street level there was none resting on the roads or pavements apparently it is because the subway is under the city and so hit that it melts when it hits the steers plus companies are responsible for the pavement outside their premises so they have to keep it clear! We grabbed a coffee, caught the tour bus (a must if it’s your first time in the city and barter with them we got a 4 day ticket for the price of a 2 day about $70 each) and our intention was to go around on the bus and get our bearings but when we got close to Battery Park we couldn’t believe our eyes and hopped off, it was only then we got to really see the beauty of the snow, it was like something from a movie.. I had never seen snow rest in branches like that. Such a beautiful sight I’ll never forgot it took my breath away!
It did snow another couple of times before we left but it never inhibited anything that we wanted to do.
Before we went I had booked a couple of restaurants on advise from people who had already been and they said there is just so much choice it is difficult to make a decision when you are there and tired in the evenings – its so true, our faves were Carmines – authentic Italian family style cooking, 5 napkin burger – American burger restaurant and a fab restaurant in Little Italy that served woodfire cooked pizzas and Italian beers yum! We had breakfast in Ellens Stardust Diner one morning – all of the waiters are aspiring Broadway performers and every time someone gets a big part in a show their picture goes up on the wall and the resign, they sing while they are waiting your table and its not uncommon for them to be belting a hit from on top of a table – very different but great atmosphere! I would recommend that you try go in the evening though.
We also popped into Carlos Bakery for a few sweet treats, be prepared to pay over the odds but wow! so tasty.
We of course did all the touristy things like 9/11 memorial, St Patricks, Central Park, Rockerfeller Centre, Intrepid Sea and Air Museum (great for the boys!) etc and again it was just everything I imagined and more, steam really comes out of the grids in the road, fire engines are constantly whizzing by and you will see a New York cop on every street! We found the tour bus great because it takes you to all the main attractions especially when you don’t quite have your bearings on the city, but thankfully New York is one of the easiest cities to navigate because they operate a grid system. Check out the amazing pic below from the top of the Rockerfeller Centre – incredible views out over central park and the city! I would recommend early morning we went on a Sunday morning and it seemed like New York was still asleep we sat up the very top and took in the view for about an hour it was such an amazing experience.
We also went out to Ellis Island and past the Statue of liberty we didn’t actually get off at the Statue because we felt we would be too close up to it to appreciate its size and scale,and they were not letting people climb up inside that day due to the wind but once we got to Ellis Island they explained that emigrants coming in on boats would see the Statue which symbolised freedom and a better life, but they had to go to Ellis Island first which really was hell on earth for a lot of people that arrived there and not everyone made it through. When you arrived on Ellis Island you walk the journey though the Island as your ancestors would have. It was quite a journey.
I do love the sightseeing end of things but on the second last day I had bought nothing so we decided to head out to Jersey Gardens outlet shopping mall. We got the bus from the Port terminal which was pretty stress free and easy to navigate by all accounts, and it only took about a short 30 minute journey, when we got their you arrive in at the information desk and if you show your passport you get a discount that makes all the items pretty much tax free and the items are already discounted. I had a small field day in Nine West on shoes and Gap but clothes wise I did find that dressy clothes were a different style to what we would wear generally but my husband found it great for Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren shirts, t-shirts etc. In my opinion Jersey Gardens would seem to have more mainstream high street type shops than some other the other outlets that would have higher end designers but that suited me fine. Nothing will prepare you for how huge these shopping malls are! Top tip here would be to bring out an empty suitcase – we were so glad we did because although we didn’t buy huge amounts you do so much mileage that carrying heavy bags would have been a nightmare.
We went to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, I have seen the travelling show from the Westend but this was absolutely amazing and the difference with the permanent set really was fantastic, it is one of my favourite shows and possibly even more so now! A little tip if you are there on a Monday – Broadway is closed with the exception of about 3 shows (Phantom being one) and if you get tickets for the Monday show they are significantly, also you can get half price tickets daily for all of the other shows from the ticket office in Times Square.
My “luxury must do” is definitely to go and have a drink in the revolving restaurant at the top of the Marriott in Times Square, the views were spectacular and it was so amazing to see the city at night with all the bright lights. It takes an hour for the restaurant to fully revolve and you can have dinner here too, we opted for some Champagne cocktails! The lights of the city at night were so beautiful!
As holidays go this was by far our best yet, I really don’t know how future holidays are going to live up to it, we will certainly be returning soon! When we go back I would like to do more museums, Greenwich Village, Soho and Chinatown to mention a few.
If you guys have any more specific questions or would like me to focus in on anything just pop me a message or a snapchat: chandhhblog