New in New York

Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it: New York, New York! Okay, so I may not be leaving today, even though I would be down to go! As you might have guessed by now, I’m going to write a little something about last weekend. Because last weekend I was in the Big Apple!

Friday, July 14th, 2017, 13.00 pm. At this time we were on the bus, on our way to New York. We had to travel about four hours before we would be in New York, at Times Square. Traffic was bad and this caused us to spend almost six hours in the bus instead of four. However, people could sleep, study, socialize and relax during this time before getting overwhelmed by all the impressions that New York had in store for us. After a long drive, we were dropped off at Times Square. We were finally in former New Amsterdam!

First things first: food. We got some time off the schedule to grab a bite, do a little sight seeing, buy some souvenirs or do whatever you wanted to do in Times Square. Four of us decided to eat New York pizza and do sight seeing and souvenir shopping at the same time. Time went by crazy fast and soon it was time to return to our pick-up point. The bus drove us to our hotel, about 30 minutes from downtown New York. The hotel was great: the beds were very comfortable and breakfast was good.

Day no. 1 in the Big Apple. We did a lot of things. We started out at Rockefeller Center. You could choose to go to the top of the Rock; so we did. I mean, how often are you in New York? (I don’t know about you guys of course, but I’m not regularly in NYC…) The view was amazing! The sky had cleared and we had a magnificent view over New York. Afterward, it was time to do the famous walk-over-the-Brooklyn-Bridge-moment. We drove to the Brooklyn Bridge, walked to Manhattan and had some free time to grab lunch before continuing with the program.

After lunch, we could either choose to go on a boat tour to see the Statue of Liberty or have some time off to do your own thing. I chose the first option; bring it on! The boat was packed when we arrived, but soon people started to move. Initially, we were on the upper deck of the boat. However, we soon moved to the lower deck to have a better view. I found a perfect spot by an open window so that I could take my pictures. The tour was just amazing, we saw tons of things; I still have to look back at my pictures to let it all soak in a little.

The next thing on our program was walking via Wall Street to Ground Zero. In Wall Street, we saw, of course, the bull and the girl. There were so many people that taking a decent picture of either the bull or the girl was pretty much impossible. However, I gave it my best shot; the results will follow though… We soon followed our trip to Ground Zero: the two infinity pools and the new World Trade Center. Both were incredibly impressive. The pools are massive and when you’re standing so close to the new WTC, you feel amazingly small. It was very special to be there; stand on the ground where so many lives were lost, where so many people had fought for their lives or for the lives of others.

Dinner time was in Soho. Fortunately for me, I got to go shopping in NYC, because apparently that is something very special. Not for me though, I can go to H&M also in the Netherlands: we even have multiple in Groningen. However, we spend a lot of time in the stores in Soho before ending up in a fancy restaurant and missing our bus. We had to Uber home: also quite an experience. After a long and tiring day, we finally arrived at our hotel and it didn’t take long before we all were asleep (at least most of us).

The next day started out in Central Park. We saw the famous fountain that most of you might know from Home Alone 2. I knew the fountain from Gossip Girl though. We had several hours to spend in or around Central Park before going to the Highline. I ended up having a Sunday’s brunch at a rooftop bar with an astonishing view. Our two tour guides took us to this amazing place where there was sun, food, and music. What else do you need to spend brunch in NYC?

The Highline was the next stop in NYC. Pretty impressive how they turned an old railway into this park. You can walk for miles above the streets of New York. However, we didn’t have that long, so we just walked a little before heading back to our bus. The last stop was very short. The bus driver was kind enough to stop for a moment in New Jersey to let us have a take-your-photo-of-the-most-amazing-view-of-NYC-moment. We all rushed out of the bus, took our photos and got back on the road.

The trip back to D.C. went smooth. No big hiccups, no annoying traffic, just a smooth drive back to the United States’ capital. The weekend was amazing. Short, way too short, but oh so amazing. Unfortunately, we didn’t see everything, which is of course completely understandable when you’re only there for one good day. Shout out to our tour guides though for putting up with us during this trip. New York City was amazing! I certainly have to go back another time to experience NYC further! For now, the last week has arrived. Doing things, seeing things we want to see, spending time with friends, making memories. That’s all I have to worry about now. First thing tomorrow: the National Air and Space Museum! Let’s go!

Stay tuned!

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