Empire State of Mind

Day 25; New York City; 27th July



Well its safe to say we woke with mixed feelings; excitement for the day ahead of sight-seeing, but sadness because we were flying home that evening.
Up early to pack up our masses of belongings & souvs we went down to reception to check-out and book our taxi for that evening to the airport.
Took advantage of the free muffins for breakfast and set off for our first attraction of the day;
THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING.
Now it was my turn to ask Emily a stupid question
"So can you see Central Park from the top of the Empire State"
She just laughed.


We were staying just a couple of blocks away so was just a short walk before we were in the shadows looking up at the glorious tower!
Literally no queue so we walked through the building winding through all the levels to get to the lift to the 86th floor.
I'm shit-scared of heights but I wanted to say i've been up the Empire State so I had to suck it up!
& boy am I glad I did
The views are something else!
Literally a concrete jungle where dreams are made of ;) 
We stayed up there for a while and I can confirm that YES, you can indeed see Central Park, and the whole of Manhattan & beyond!





It was time for a visit to the souvenir shop (obv) ... I forgot to mention that the night before as I was getting money out, my travel card had said I had more money than I had a few days earlier which I thought was odd because I knew I didn't have that much money left.
So anyway we're in the shop and i'm grabbing all the neccesary items and I say to Em
"Wouldn't it be funny if I got declined"
I actually did.
Turns out my travel card had played tricks on me.
Luckily I had a bit of cash & so did Emily to pay for the souvenirs.
Now I know what you're thinking, surely you'd leave the $40 souvenirs and use the cash you do have for emergencies like food and taxi to the airport incase you've got no money left.
Hahahaha - no don't be silly.
We head for a cash point to try and see what the situation is and typical that as we're walking down the roads we pass tons of souvenir shops with the best deals ever
50 POSTCARDS FOR $1
50!!!!
Find a bank and we both go in to check our travel cards, both weren't working.
Uh ow.
Try my debit card, so does Emily
Not working.
Oh dear.
So we're panicking slightly now.
But we assume it might be something wrong with the bank, so we trek on to find a new one.
Still won't work or show our balances.
Thank the lord though our debit & credit cards start working again so we were able to withdraw money to last us the day.

Feeling better about life we stroll around in the direction of the Rockefeller centre before getting on the bus for the 2nd day of our bustour - this time uptown!
Now as we get on we have to sit downstairs because upstairs is full. We sit in wet seats though and as I jump to get out of the seat I turn and my shorts catch on  piece of metal on the window and rip a hole open in my shorts - right on my bum cheek.
It actually really hurt but I was more worried about the whole of New York seeing my arse cheeks so I had to wrap my jacket round my waist the entire day.
(Update: on further inspection to this injury when I got home it had actually cut and bruised my bum really badly.)
Eventually we got to sit upstairs but tbh the uptown route was a bit boring.
It took a while which was ok but the stops weren't very interesting.


After a lap of Central Park we decided to get off at the Guggenheim Museum and start to walk through the park and get some lunch - pretzels mmm.

It took us a while to walk through the park and it was such a nice park!
So many pretty lakes, open areas, a zoo!
Oh and basically everyone from our trip.
Walking down a path we casually bump into Elle, Nicola & Michael.
More goodbyes and we walk on.
5 minutes down the park and who do we see next .. Sarah!!
Everyone loves the park today!
We end up at the boating pond used in Stuart Little & we head off to see more of the city.
A LONG stroll down 5th Avenue we pass all the pretty & pretty expensive shops.
Oh to be rich.
A quick stop at Grand Central station we tick off another food item off our bucket list; cakes from Magnolia Bakery! So yummy!!
As we're walking down 5th Ave we find those amazing souvenir shops so I spend a good 20 minutes picking 50 postcards, all for $1!
Pinch me surely im dreaming :)




We have some time to kill & 2 things left we want to do, both very important!
1. Eat pizza
2. Visit the DASH store
It just so happens that to get to the DASH store we had to walk 8km straight down through Manhattan!
Dedication for Kim K!
Sadly no Kardashians in the store that day, but we got a few items just to say and show we'd been in!
Now our hunt for pizza began, when we struck gold and found a cute little pizza cafe.
1 massive slice each we ate up and started to worry that we were not 8km from our hotel and not much time to get back in time for the taxi!
We end up hailing down a cab and make it back with time to spare to eat our cupcakes!
Finally got to change out of my holey shorts.






Into our taxi and it was goodbye to the city and on route to JFK.
Check-in was fine & turns out even after getting rid of all my toiletries, towels, loads of clothes I still had 8kg+ weight in my bag! So many souvs!
We have alot of time to walk round the airport and as we do we have one final group encounter.
HELLO ALAN!
He's annoyed because his flight has been delayed so we sit with him while he goes to get some food.
Now. me & Em also got food and it was amazing!
SHAKE SHACK!
What is life.
It was sensational
So much love for this burger! SO MUCH!

Eventually we had to say our final final goodbyes to Alan & New York & the US as we were called for our flight.
10pm and we're leaving our dream holiday back to Wales :(
I can't remember for the life of me what films I watched on the flight but I do remember 2 things:
1. Thomas Cook owe me £5! Yes I remember you swines. "Oh we're just short of change, we'll bring it to you after" Yeah yeah, never saw them again did I! Thieves!
2. Thomas Cook owe me a snack pack meal! You get a meal on the flight. Hadn't even started eating it yet and I fell asleep and they took it and threw it away! THIEVES!

GOODBYE NEW YORK :'(

Hello Colwyn Bay
Sleeping on a plane is never comfortable (well I suppose if you've got those fancy beds in 1st class but we were stuck in economy soz.) so by time we land in the UK we're knackered.
Big Steve (my dad) came to pick us up, late might I add, and we were back in the cold, grey, wet, UK. :/

Back at home I decided to show off all my wonderful souvenirs and attempt to stay awake to try and adjust to UK time. Nope. Asleep on the sofa with my favourite boy keeping my company.
Goodbye USA. I miss you. 
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