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NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

Methven, New Zealand
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87 posts
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NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

Finally the day was here - time to have our trip to the other side of the world. I had spent months and months researching and reading so many trip reports (thanks to everyone who has done a trip report or answered one of my many questions in the last 6 months), adding and adjusting our itinerary on Tripit (great itinerary builder!) I had each day broken down, and had added directions and maps. I can happily say it all paid off, we didn’t waste any time, we made only a few adjustments during our trip and managed to fit in an amazing amount. I downloaded several apps, some I found great and some we didn’t use. I would definitely recommend Tripit,, NYC Way and NYC City Guide. We used google maps on our phones, but also carried a wee pop up map, which was useful.

My sister, my son and I left New Zealand and flew into LA – we spent a night in Santa Monica and did a full day tour of LA before flying out to NYC (I’ve put this in as it was a great option as a layover instead of flying straight in and out of a city and not seeing any of it).

Methven, New Zealand
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87 posts
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1. Re: NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

DAY 1

Arrived into JFK and cleared customs etc much quicker than I expected. We were starving and the taxi queue was crazy busy so we found a diner inside the airport and had a great breakfast, (waffles and chicken with a side of mac & cheese – yum) knowing we were going to have a full on day.

We left the airport about 11am and got “hurtled” into the city in a yellow cab! Baptism of fire as far as the NYC traffic goes, I did wonder if we’d live to have our holiday!! Catching our first glances of the skyline left us all speechless and took our mind off the speed and tooting!!

Very, very excited we pulled up to the Yotel and unloaded the luggage with the help of the Yotel Crew who then checked the luggage into their storage system as we were too early to check in to our room.

We grabbed a cab and we went straight to Central Park Zoo. We really enjoyed the zoo, although there were some school groups there and boy were they loud – cute, but LOUD! Highlight was the Red Panda – which my son has had an obsession with since he was a little boy – this was the first time he’d seen a real one, a very happy animal lover!

After leaving the zoo we walked through Central Park (got lost a few times but soooo many helpful people). We sat and watched some street performers for a while, visited some of the art venders etc, and came out at Strawberry Fields. Central Park is beautiful and I’m sure you could spend days there and not see it all. We were fascinated with the squirrels (we don’t have them in NZ!) and were so obviously tourists, taking photos of them! Strawberry Fields was lovely and it was just as interesting watching the obvious JL fans posing for their photos. We sat for quite a while just soaking in the sun (and resting our poor feet!).

We headed to Levain Bakery (as recommended on this forum). I was a little worried when we got to the right address as I couldn’t see the bakery – but as a car pulled out from the curb on the other side of the road, there it was, built into the bottom of a building! We shared an Oatmeal & Raisin cookie and a Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie – and iced coffees. The bakery is very unassuming but wow! those cookies. We were lucky enough to be able to sit up in the window seats and just watch for a while. Revived by the caffeine and sugar we made our way to the American Museum of Natural History.

The museum is huge and fascinating. My son was a little disappointed to discover that so much of the Night At The Museum movie was filmed elsewhere, however the museum itself is beautiful and very well done. A highlight for me was the displays with the taxidermy (I guess they had once been real) animals. The buffalo and the bears – oh my gosh – they were huge and so realistic. I loved them and had to be dragged away! The whale and the sea creatures room was pretty awesome too. Note here – you do not have to pay the $22 they ask you for – that is a recommended entry price – but you can pay whatever you want to pay. We felt with three of us that $22 each was a bit steep, they also have steps of tickets as some things aren’t included in the General ticket – but again, you pay what you want to pay. The gift shop is great and I got some lovely bits to take home.

We popped into Century 21, but I was underwhelmed to be honest. My son got a backpack (which proved to be a godsend for the rest of the trip!)

After a sit down in Lincoln Square for some very good Falafel and some people watching, we hailed a cab and went back to the Yotel to check in. We chose the Yotel because of the location (although advertised as being Time Square it is still a 15 minute walk) and because it looked funky and futuristic. The room was, while not big, bigger than I expected. They are advertised as cabins and compact., and while it was compact it still had a Queen bed, and a double with a bunk overtop. This worked well for us. I had read good things and bad things, won’t go on too much as I have done a review, but it was only for two nights and was fine.

After freshening up walked towards Times Square and stopped at Madame Tussauds (I had purchased tickets online). We spent way longer here than we thought we would, and having never been to one before got very silly posing for heaps of photos!

On to Times Square and a total sensory overload – all I can say is WOW! it lived up to the hype and we spent a couple of hours wandering around, in and out of the shops.

We walked back to the Yotel – stopping for a 99c slice on the way – OMG – might upset a few people here – but that is some of the best pizza I’ve ever had! I did have to drag my sister away from a family who fell in love with her accent and just kept asking her questions and offering her parmesan and garlic salt just to keep her talking! I think they would have taken her home had I not intervened!

Exhausted, we obviously slept well!

Top tip: grab the notepad and pen from your hotel , taxi drivers don’t have the time to interpret your accent and work out where you want to go – they just want to get moving. My sister came up with a system of showing them either the business card, or notepad from the hotel when we wanted to go there, or writing down exactly where we wanted to go BEFORE we hailed a taxi. They seemed to appreciate this and it made things so much easier. One cab driver even gave me his phone to punch the address into his gps!

Hervey Bay...
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2. Re: NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

Great start!

The name of your TR resonates with me so much and I'm looking forward to reading more

Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

Can't wait to hear more! Planning my own trip for October, so great info here - thanks 😊

Scotland
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4. Re: NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

Fab start - you did so much on your first day - wow!

I know what you mean with your title, that's exactly how I feel too when I get back home. Then start looking for good deals for my next trip.

Looking forward to reading more :o)

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
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5. Re: NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

Wow - you packed A LOT into your first day!! Fantastic start to your TR, salkirch!

Glad to hear you loved the dioramas at AMNH...I'm a guide there and could tell you all about how the dioramas are done, including the taxidermy (which is actually a sculptural technique). Also the bison and brown bear dioramas both have great stories behind them! :)

Dallas, Texas...
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for New York City
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6. Re: NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

Great start! We felt the same way after coming back from our last trip this May, so I immediately set out to book the next one (November). It's just a little bit easier to get there for us though ;-)

Dallas, Texas
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for Boston, Orlando, Walt Disney World
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7. Re: NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

Really good start to your NYC trip so far glad you are enjoying.

England
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8. Re: NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

What a great report, can't believe you fitted all of this into one day, especially with a child lol. How old is your son ? We will be in NY in 19 days for our first trip and soooo excited. Waiting for your next installment ;-)

New York City, New...
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for New York City
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9. Re: NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

"We left the airport about 11am and got “hurtled” into the city in a yellow cab!"

Welcome to NYC :)

Keep it coming thanks..!!!

Leeds, United...
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677 posts
17 reviews
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10. Re: NYC Trip Report - I want to go back, now, today!!!

Loving so far. Thanks so much for sharing

can I ask how old is your son? Just I'm traveling with mine who's 9 in August so taking extra note haha

thanks,

Maria x

Edited: 06 July 2014, 19:34