Spot the Tourists

Day 24; New York City; 26th July 

Waking up wasn't pleasant. 
We had to pack our shit, throw loads away and sort ourselves out ready for our 8am departure for breakfast. 
Not just any breakfast might I add ....iHop breakfast!
We met Maho & Colin for one final excursion to the iHop 'down the road', me & Emily lugging all our bags with us. 
iHop was just great, I panic ordered though and do regret opting for the chocolate pancakes because there was just too much chocolate; I know theres no such thing but seriously my blood was turning into chocolate. 

Bellys full we had more goodbyes and started our journey via tube across into Manhattan.
I never want to go on a tube in New York again.
We had a right mare just trying to get through the barrier, which led to a backlog of busy and frustrated New Yorkers trying to get their tubes to work. Oops
It was a stressful start to the day and realised we'd gotten on the wrong tube in a panic so had to do a quick change to get us on the right track towards our hotel; The Wolcott Hotel. 
We stepped out of the tube station and I burst
Scaring a man walking past, Emily laughed. She had already been to New York so was just excited to see my reaction to everything. 
We checked in and dumped our stuff in our room ready for our first day of New York adventure. 

We chose to do a 2 day bus pass with BigBus and today was designated 'Downtown' route. 
First stop was Chinatown. 
It was still very early so wasn't very busy but we had a wonder round and then found ourselves in Little Italy. 
Now as mentioned I love postcards.
Walking past a shop I noticed a sign which I had to do a double take;
18 postcards ... for $1
Wait, what?! 
I give $1 and I get 18 glorious postcards??!!

So im stocking up on 18 postcards, and we notice Statue of Liberty foam crown hats inside; we had already booked the tour for today so it would be rude not to buy hats!
It was turning into a wonderful day already!
I also bought the obligatory I <3 NY shirt. 
Back on the bus we head down Broadway and get off close to the One Trade Centre.
Oh my. 
Oh my oh my.
What a building.
It was so pretty! 
If, no. When I return to New York I will make sure I go to the top of that building! 

We wondered round and visited Ground Zero and the two towers memorials.
They were so simple and so beautiful its hard to imagine 2 giant sky scrapers once standing there. 
The memorial area itself was perfect and wasn't OTT. 

Down to Wall St to visit the wolf ;) 
& see the New York Stock Exchange.
All the buildings were very grand & even though you were in the middle of tons of tall sky scrapers there wasn't actually much shade to avoid the heat. 
We soon found the breeze as we popped out at the tip of Manhattan through battery park as we made our way to collect our Statue of Liberty tickets. 
We still had a while to wait before our boat so we made a start on ticking off the New York food on our bucket list; pretzels & hot dogs for lunch (Y). 

Onto the boat and we set sail for Liberty Island. 
The views of the New York skyline were amazing. 
Onto the island we had a quick toilet break where I was able to shove on my I <3 NY tshirt and foam hats ready for the perfect tourist photos! 
Feast your eyes of these babies! 

We hadn't just booked to see the statue, oh no. We'd booked to climb up the steps into the crown of Lady Liberty herself!
It sounded great. 
Sounded :/
We had a fair few flights of steps to climb, up and up we went and it was fine.
Until you had to climb the last set of stairs into the crown.
Oh my god. 
It was the smallest little spiral staircase I've ever seen. 
You basically had to crawl up on your hands and feet.
It was horrible, I absolutely hated it and thought it was going to burst into a panic attack any moment. 
I had Emily shouting encouragement from above so we eventually made it. 

The crown itself its actually very small and not the easiest to take great selfies in to prove you're in the crown!
If you want to say you've done it then yeah pay the extra to do the tour but once you've done it, for me anyway, I don't need to do it again.
& frankly you couldn't pay me to make me go in that spiral staircase again!!
Endless snaps back outside and it was time to head back to the city.

The spiral staircase of doom. 

We're in the crown I swear!

Back on the bus we headed back uptown. 
There was a bit of a drive before the next stop at Times Square so naturally we both started nodding off. 
Could not stay awake! 
We arrived at Times Square and it was magical!
So many people everywhere and all those flashing billboards and lights.
Emily's friend from Uni was actually in New York as well so we arranged to meet him and our hotel later on so we could go out for dinner and some drinks! 

We walked for blocks and blocks before deciding where to eat and settled on a Chinese restaurant. 
We got a taxi to Greenwich and found a cute bar and had our first real New York Cosmopolitans
I enjoyed. 
More drinks later and we decided to head back uptown to Times Square to see it at night.
So many more flashing lights! 
We even made it onto the screen! 

We called it a night and headed back to the Wolcott to get a good night sleep ready for our final day in New York & the US :( 

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