Thursday 18th September
Depart Heathrow at 9.30am, arrive JFK around 12pm on Virgin Atlantic, uneventful flight, seemed to go pretty quick which was good!
Through immigration in 50 minutes or so and our luggage is already waiting for us so off we go to get a taxi. It’s around 1.30pm now and I am SO excited! I love the drive over the bridge (not sure which one but we enter east of midtown I think!) into the city, it reminds me of a pop-up book when all the buildings suddenly appear, I have a smile from ear to ear and my boyfriend is taking it all in. I will never get bored of that view!!
We now are heading down to Greenwich Village to our accommodation. We meet our host and go to our room, it’s so lovely and cute and already we feel settled and comfortable. After 45 minutes of unpacking I decide we are wasting enough time, New York is waiting to be explored so we go to Christopher Street subway, purchase our $25 metro cards and travel up to Columbus Circle. We walk partly down Central Park South and find our way to Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien – yum!!! This was a good way to start the trip!! I love the way this is so hidden away behind a curtain in the hotel, you would never expect it to be there. After our late lunch we walk to the Rockefeller Center for Top of the Rock but it’s closed until 6.30pm for a private function and we have Yankees tickets for 7pm …hmm, that’s thrown me for a minute as my itinerary needs to be shuffled about a bit! I know …lets walk through as much of Central Park that we can – at least we are heading in the right direction for the Yankees stadium so off we go! We enter on 5th Avenue, not exactly sure what street this is …50-something? We walk and walk and walk – past the Dairy, Bethesda Fountain, The Lake, Bow Bridge, the Ramble, Belvedere Castle overlooking the Great Lawn and Turtle Pond and finally emerge at 85th & Central Park West! Not bad going as we’d only been there a few hours!
Subway up to 161st Street and out onto the street to be greeted by tons of Yankees fans – this is so much fun, the atmosphere was brilliant! Tonight they are playing the Chicago White Sox and it’s the last week of the stadium. We find our seats and a family (granddad, fathers and sons) sit next to us, we are in good company! Behind us are a group of friends who offer to take photos of us and even share their hotdogs. My boyfriend is loving New York and I am so happy!!! By 8.45pm the game was only half way through (Yankees winning!) but the day is catching up with us, we are getting tired and hungry so we decide to head home although we make a brief stop in Times Square so b/f can see all the lights as we have plans for our other nights and might not get the chance to do it again. The subway makes it so easy though. Back on the subway to Christopher Street and find John’s Pizzeria on Bleecker, its 11pm now and this is like a slice of heaven!!!
Bed is calling….we walk one block and flop into our extremely cosy bed, what a day!
Friday 19th September
I wake up at 5am…oh dear only been asleep a few hours but I was expecting it so laze around for a couple of hours and we head out about 8.15am – subway to Grand Central and walk over to the Pershing Square diner for breakfast – I’d seen this place before and thought it looked nice so wanted to give it a try. It was ok, I’ve definitely had better breakfasts in New York but it gave us the start we needed.
When we came out of the diner we took a couple of photos of the Chrysler Building and walked towards NY Public Library (more photos), Empire State Building (more photos) and into Macy’s at 10am – opening time! Bad move …b/f finds the Calvin Klein underwear department, an addiction has begun! Oh no…he is moving onto the socks…we could be in here sometime! Well over 1 hour later (seriously!) he has stocked up and we have to pop back to our apartment so b/f can get changed into shirt and trousers for our lunch at Gordon Ramsay at the London. 15 minutes later off we are heading back towards Midtown again!
We are running about 10 minutes late but I phoned the restaurant and they were fine about it. B/f suggests getting champagne …I say I don't feel like it as it was lunchtime and would make me feel rough later that day, he was a bit grumpy about this …hmm, I think he has been acting a little odd since the airport but maybe he is just tired!? Anyway, we order a couple of cocktails and have a very good 3 course lunch. We both start with tiger prawn ravoli, for main I have the halibut and b/f has beef (which he loved) and we share the apple tarte which was delicious! I really enjoyed this meal although the River Café just beats it in my opinion. It’s around 2.30pm and we decide to head back to the apartment so b/f can get changed, sightseeing is not fun in formal wear and its almost 80 degrees!
From our apartment we walk through to Soho – more shopping for b/f in Foot Locker – Nike trainers are ridiculously cheap for us …and of course more socks! I pop into Sephora for my only purchases of the holiday! Afterwards we walk back to Greenwich Village and I suggest having a little rest in our apartment before we go out that night but b/f says about going to the Rockefeller Center for sunset as we didn’t make it yesterday. It’s his first trip and I am impressed with his enthusiasm so thats fine by me!
20 minutes later there we are, we have to wait 30 minutes for the next slot so sit outside on a bench, relaxing for a short time. Just before sunset we get right to the top – we wanted to get to the highest platform first without the plastic screens to take lots of photos, its very busy up here, not seen it like this before. B/f suggests going down to the next platform, he says it’s quieter down there and there wasn’t actually anyone around so I follow him down the steps and he suggests going over to one of the corners to get a good view of the city. Out of nowhere he says “do you want to get married?” to which I reply “what!?” (oh the romance!) and I see him reaching into his pocket! OH MY GOD, I’M ONE OF THOSE GIRLS I’VE READ ABOUT ON TRIP ADVISOR!!! ha ha ha!!! …and there was a beautiful diamond engagement ring staring back up at me! I cannot believe it, I’m speechless to the point I realised I hadn’t even said yes and the rest is all a bit of a blur! I know we are smiling and I have a ring on my finger and b/f (fiancé!) says “shall we get down from here” which was a good idea cause my legs were like jelly! We get to the bottom and he said “we better make some phone calls” so the next half hour is spent on the phone to my parents and our friends who all knew about it and had been waiting for the call! WOW, I’m in shock! So much so that I couldn’t even think how to get back to the apartment so we just keep walking down 5th Avenue until we have both calmed down and he is telling me how hard it has been to hide the ring (we live together) and all the strange little ways he has been acting all fall into place. He wanted to propose in Central Park, then in Gordon Ramsay, then at the Yankees but things kept going wrong!
Back at the apartment we decide we definitely need a rest but not for long – we have reservations at Café Wha for 9.30pm so soon after have to get ourselves ready and walk 5 minutes from our apartment onto MacDougall Street. So glad we made reservations, this place is heaving! Its $12 each and 2 drink minimum – not a problem!! What a fantastic place, they started off with a comedian who was hilarious (he writes for Chris Rock show) and then the band come on and they sing every type of music you can imagine, everyone is up dancing and singing, it was such good fun and they are very talented. The first show comes to an end but we don’t want to leave, let’s stay for the second show! Vodka after vodka keeps coming (and a little bit of food in between), we meet some girls from California who become our new friends for the night and finally stumble out of there about 3am…I have no idea how we find our way home but somehow we did!!
I will never forget this day!!!!
Part 2 to follow shortly...