I recently got back this week from a 3 day break/work trip to New York City. Brace yourself for the length of this post, as I will go into some detail, but feel free to just scroll through and look at the pics if you want to! For the others who want to read about my full experience, well, here you go!
For this trip, I decided to take a different mode of transportation that I had never taken before…train! Because of this trip, I discovered my love of trains! I was never one of those kids that loved playing with train toys or obsessed with trains like many other children were, but now I get the appeal! It is like flying, yet having more leg room and getting to see gorgeous scenery that you do not get on a plane! (I rode with Amtrak)
There were a few stops along the way, most notably for me…Quantico, VA! Criminal Minds is one of my favorite shows if not my favorite and I was so stoked that I took a picture of the station and screenshot my phone of the Quantico weather haha. I also am possibly interested in a career for the FBI and Penelope Garcia is the bomb dot com ❤
*ahem* Anyways, we had several more stops at other train stations such as Union Station in DC and Newark Penn Station. Shortly after, it was announced that Penn Station NY was next! I started fidgeting around, both from anxiety and excitement. Anxiety because I was hoping NYC would live up to the vision of it in my head, and excitement because…well I was excited!
Within a couple of minutes…I could see it…the NYC skyline, particularly the Empire State Building!!! Not making this up AT ALL…I teared up. I don’t even know why! If I wasn’t with my dad, I probably would have cried a little, but I was already embarrassed about tearing up so that wasn’t gonna happen lol.
We got off at the Penn Station stop and immediately you knew you were in New York. It was like a freaking airport! A very busy airport! It was busier than some of the other airports I’ve been to! There were shops, restaurants, gates, waiting areas, screens, crowds of people, etc. To put the size of it in perspective, the train station that I left from only had 1 gate and the only available food was through…a vending machine!
Once we were finally able to find an exit of the freaking place, we noticed what was DIRECTLY next to the train station…Madison Square Garden! So of course, I had to snap a picture! I also snapped a picture of the street we were on and could feel the NYC energy!
I’ve been to cities before like Los Angeles multiple times, heck I live in a city (obviously a smaller one though), so this was completely different. I know this makes me sounds like a little kid, but I didn’t expect ALL the buildings to be so…well…TALL. If you know me though, I LOVE THE CITY. Hence, why I go to school in the city! I love being surrounded by buildings, crowded sidewalks filled with people holding Starbucks on their way to work, and just a lively vibe in general! After just standing there staring like the tourist I was, I got an Uber and then my dad and I arrived at the hotel I booked about 3 weeks in advance.
The Roosevelt, The Great Dame of New York. It is a 4 star hotel, and since I booked early, I got quite a good deal with Expedia! We checked in and I was very pleasantly surprised! I had been reading countless reviews. Some good, some terrible so I was kind of nervous, but the fears were unfounded! The room was very spacious, neat, bathroom was clean, beds were extremely comfortable and big, a safe was in the closet, and overall it was great! The only thing I wasn’t fond of was the long elevator waits. There are about 6 elevators, but you have to remember that the hotel has been around since sometime around the early 1900’s. They were especially slow since they are in the process of ironically, improving the elevators so I couldn’t really complain. Everyone was polite, specifically the gift shop man!
So after getting our stuff up to the room, we had to decide what to eat for dinner. What’s a good place to eat when you don’t know where the good places are in town to eat…McDonalds! Yes, we ate McDonald’s our first night in NYC, but I didn’t mind it one bit. I could always eat more Chicken McNuggets! The McDonald’s we went to was actually 3 stories! And there was also a BEDAZZLED one that I spotted! Pictured below is the bedazzled McDonald’s sign as well as a random selfie of me near the McDonald’s in Time Square hehe!
Speaking of Times Square, that is actually the first place we visited! It was walking distance from our hotel and after my phone GPS got really confused and sent us walking the opposite way, we finally found it! Before leaving for NY, everyone told me how crowded it was and how it wasn’t their fave mostly because of the crowds…and well, they were right about the crowds! It didn’t stop me from stopping on the side of the sidewalk and snapping a couple of pics though!
Surprisingly, the crowds didn’t really annoy me! I love Time’s Square! After walking through, we walked back to the hotel since it was already getting dark and we knew we had the whole next day to explore more of the city!
We got up around 9:30AM the next morning and knew it was Sunday so…it was church time! My mom is very religious, so of course I had planned to plan this out in advance to calm her worries since my mom couldn’t go on the trip because she was working 😦 Anyways, after researching I found out that St. Patrick’s Cathedral was only .2 miles away! Basically a 2 minute walk. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is known for many holding funerals and burials for famous and well-known people! I snapped this picture inside. It was absolutely gorgeous!
After mass, we had about an hour to eat, since our Wax Museum tickets were only valid for entry between 2-3PM. We ventured out to where Madame Tussauds (Wax Museum) was and found a nice BBQ Place (Dallas BBQ) right across from it and had a great meal! After that, we walked across the street right into the wax museum! All in all…I am very happy I decided to buy the tickets! It was such a great time and we even got to ride their new 4D Ride! It was fun and entertaining just getting to pose with some of my favorite celebrities. Below are some pictures:
Next stop..The Empire State Building! On the walk to the Empire State Building, we quickly realized that a Pride parade was being held on the street where the ESB sits so it was very chaotic since there were barricades all over, NYPD holding people back, blocked streets, Hilary Clinton and the governor were there etc. Though chaotic, it still was fun getting to witness some of the event!
We eventually made it to the Empire State Building and while walking to the elevators, we got told that it was a great day to be there since everyone was at the parade, there were no lines! Before making it to the elevators, there was a long winding walk and also, we had to go through security just like at an airport. The elevator ride wasn’t bad at all! I do not like heights and I have a fear of getting stuck in an elevator, especially a crowded one, but it was very quick! It counts in tens and your ears pop on the way up due to the altitude, but it was smooth! I snapped the picture below because I’ve never been in a building with more than maybe like 20 floors.
I got tickets for the 86th observatory deck. The view was stunning! Yes, the people on the ground do look like ants! Not only did we get such a great 360 view of the city, but you could actually see the Statue of Liberty! I was happy because I knew we wouldn’t have time to go see it close up, but at least I saw it and got a picture of it (bottom 4th pic)! Well..if you squint really hard, it’s recognizable, but it’s better than nothing right?
After all this, it was already dinner time! We just decided to go to TGI Friday’s on 5th avenue since it was a pretty safe option. I pretty much had the best burger of my life since I had never been to a TGI Friday’s before! Then, we went back to Time’s Square since we knew we had to see it during night. This was probably the night that I knew for sure I was in love with NYC. It was crazy to finally be there in person after seeing it on TV and in the movies for years!
After being there for about an hour and just admiring everything, we finally returned to our hotel exhausted from all the walking.
Today was the day that pretty much was the reason of the entire trip in the 1st place! I am an ambassador for BankMobile (http://bankmobile.com go check it out!!!) and I had a focus group to attend. I was pretty nervous in the morning because the ambassadors never really had met each other since we worked from our respective schools in different places in the US! Overall, the day was great though!! We had discussions about next year’s program, played some fun games, and got to know each other! Also…we got interviewed and filmed!
I knew that we would be filmed because we were told ahead of time, but I definitely wasn’t expecting how fun it would be! I wanted to be an actress ever since I was 7, but well…moving across the country to Hollywood was not something my parents were willing to do and I’m kind of actually glad didn’t happen, because I don’t think I am meant for it lol. I do love being in front of a camera though. I ran 3 Youtube channels throughout the course of high school and half of college, and it was exciting knowing this was pretty legit!
It was a lot more nerve-wracking than I thought it would be. I was always just used to talking to a camera and some lights in my room and filming myself. For this though, we got mic’ed, lights were shining in my eyes, and well..I didn’t want to look stupid or say something stupid haha. This was mostly for the interview part though. After that, we filmed some B-Roll footage for a promotional film for the ambassador program which was fun! We had to do multiple takes sometimes and I definitely felt like I was an actress for like 30 minutes haha. All in all, I had a great time with great people and would definitely do it again!
After the 6 hour event, well…my dad and I ended up at McDonald’s for dinner again. But hey like I said, I could always eat more Chicken Nuggets! And french fries are my favorite food! Before you all get pissy though, I did get to eat New York Pizza during the event so at least I tried something else haha!
And…that was pretty much the end of the trip! The next day, we got up and went back to Pennsylvania Station for the train ride back! I wish it would the trip could have been longer, but I am currently in 3 summer classes, had an exam the next day, and work 2 summer jobs so I couldn’t stay that long 😦 I am definitely very thankful for the AMAZING experience I had though!
With all that being said….I am definitely planning more trips back! And I never thought I would say this…but maybe a permanent trip back? Yes, I want to move to NYC after I graduate college. I still have a year and a half to go so plans and my mind could definitely change, but I wouldn’t mind if I was “forced” to return because of a job offer 😉
Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed reading about my 1st NYC experience! Sorry it was extremely long, but if you made it all the way through and are reading this…yay! haha. So, it is 4th of July weekend, so I want to wish you a very Happy 4th of July! Have fun and be safe!