The first installment in my Traveling USA series. We flew to New York, then flew to San Francisco and rented a car, we drove to Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and up the coast to San Francisco. So starting at the beginning…
Boyfriend and I left Manchester Airport, UK at about 9:30am on the 31st March. We had got up about 4am that morning and traveled 3300 miles West and 6 hours back in time arriving in Newark, New Jersey at 12pm ish local time or 17pm UK time. So by that point we had been awake for 13hours.
There is an airport airtrain that takes you through the terminals and out to the NJ Transit stop and that was all fairly easy. The ride into New York took 40mins or so and we got out at Penn Station New York (careful not get off at the Penn Station Newark!). I had already looked up in advance places that we could leave our luggage and there seems to be a few in that area but we used Short Term Stow 270 West 36th Street. It costs us $10 a bag and made life soooo much easier!
We had prebooked timed tickets for Top of the Rock at 5pm so we had a lot to fit in! First and most important- we ate food! We were quite hungry and wandered around looking for places that I had looked up before we arrived but they were closed down:( So we found a deli and got burgers, which hit the spot. There was baseball on in the background, pictures of celebrities on the wall, and before our food arrive the waiter brought a pickle on a plate! We had arrived!
We also did the Public Library which is an incredible building, and free for a wander around although there is a security guard checking bags. We also saw the Grand Central Terminal which was also impressive but at rush hour quite busy. We went downstairs and wandered into the deli-market area and I wanted to buy ALL the food but we couldn’t take anything with us. We saw Radio City Music Hall, the Flat Iron building, and the Empire State’s Building (walked past it without realising as it isn’t very impressive from the bottom!).
And we went to Rockefeller Center for our trip to the top, we bought our tickets before we left the UK online and I paid extra to get some free photos. One thing about America is that EVERYWHERE you go they will take your photo when you arrive for you to buy later, the TOTR ones were the only ones we got because I had already paid for them. We were very lucky it was a clear sunny day and we had a great view, it was also a weekday and not really peak tourist season so, although there were people, the crowds were minimal. The timed tickets also mean you’re not queuing that long, which was the main reason we went to the Top of the Rock instead of the top of the Empire State’s Building.
Day one ended with us trying to track down our host to get a key for our accommodation. The NYC subway system is incredibly confusing for the uninitiated; no signs, no maps, no staff, no phone signal. We walked up and down stairs many times carrying very suitcases trying to figure out where to go. When we finally got to our accommodation, got showered and changed it was about 9pm (3am UK time) and we had been awake for 23hours.
Stay tuned for part two!