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Published: August 17th 2010
I got told I had to use up some annual leave at work or lose it, fantastic, time off work the only question where to go, the dollar was weak and I needed to buy my girlfriend an engagement ring and I’ve always wanted to go to New York, so it was a simple choice, we flew out on xmas day, which made it a lot cheaper.
When we landed in New York we took a cab to our hotel, when we arrived on the street we started counting up the numbers......oh wait where is our hotel, there was just a big construction site where our hotel was supposed to be, maybe we have the wrong number, nope right number, oh no. It wasn’t as bad as we first thought, yes it was a construction site but it was still open, we thought it had closed down and we’d have to try to find somewhere else on xmas day.
After we checked in we walked to the Empire State Building, passing the Flat Iron building along the way, and bought tickets for the hop on hop off bus tour, every city I go to I get on these buses,
I usually try to do a full loop on the bus (you get the best pics on the top deck anyway), it usually takes an hour and a half, then on the second loop I’ll go to things I liked the look of on the first loop and actually get off and go inside. However being that it was December it was freezing, we couldn’t stay on the open top bus for an hour and a half.
We went inside the Empire State Building and went to the top, my god it was cold but the views were amazing, after we went to Grand Central Station and walked past the Chrysler Building, I didn’t realise how big the buildings would be, they were so big that when I went to the buildings to take a picture I couldn’t fit the buildings in the shot so had to walk away in order to fit them in lol.
A lot of places were closed on xmas day but we had seen most of the things we wanted to see already, we were pretty tired so went back to the hotel for dinner and an early night. When we woke up
in the morning, about 6am (damn jetlag), we had breakfast in a big grand hall within our hotel, it was pretty impressive but we were the only ones there, then we got back on to the hop on hop off bus. We went to the Statue of Liberty first of all, the ferry ride over was freezing and when we got there it started to rain but we didn’t mind.
Wall Street, check, Ground Zero, check, Times Square, check we were seeing the sights and fast. By the end of day two we had seen almost all of the sights we had wanted to see, we had another four days here yet, I’m sure the ring shopping will take some time though. We had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and I decided to use the Hard Rock queue jump card I had purchased in Las Vegas as there were loads of people, I smugly walked up to the counter and showed my card “that’s the queue jump queue over there”, I looked over at about 20 people and was definitely bought down a few pegs, we didn’t have to wait long and we were at a table, dinner
and the atmosphere were awesome as per usual (I love the Hard Rock Cafe).
The next morning we set out on a mission to find a ring, we headed for the diamond district and started the adventure, we looked in a few shops and after only an hour of searching she had found a ring she liked, “how much?” I said “$5500” he said, “no I’m sorry that’s out of my price range I’m afraid” I said as I headed towards the door, “no wait a minute” he said “what type of price are you looking for, maybe we can do a deal”. Got ya! I gave myself a budget of £2500, I knew Nikki loved this ring and it was almost the price I wanted I’m sure I could haggle him down. $5000 was about £2500 at the time, Nikki knew my budget and so I thought she would have realised what I was doing....she didn’t, “how about $5000?” he said, just as I thought I was about to start saving money Nikki shouted “we’ll take it”, nooooooooooooo. Bless her she got so excited that it was now within my budget she couldn’t help herself, but even though it
was at the high end of my budget it was worth it to see how happy she was.
To celebrate we went for a helicopter ride over New York, the views were amazing, as we flew over Yankee stadium the pilot pointed down at a xmas tree on the pitchers mount “that’s because the manager wants a new pitcher for xmas”. We went to Bloomingdales and some other shops I can’t remember the name of (I zone out when I’m taken shopping with Nikki), everything was perfect, only problem we had 3 days left in New York and had seen and done everything we wanted to do, so we decided to book a train ticket to go to Washington for the day.
We woke up early as usual and went to the train station, by 10am we were in Washington, needless to say we got tickets for the hop on hop off bus tour, we didn’t really have time to go in to anything but we still got to have the typical tourist pics taken with the White House and the Lincoln Memorial, amongst other things. After our whirlwind trip around Washington we warmed up on the train
back to New York, it was then that we decided to go to Philadelphia the next day.
Another early morning, but as we were still on English time it didn’t bother us too much, when we arrived in Philadelphia we were the only people on the street, we walked out of the train station but started to walk in the wrong direction for the city centre, my god it was like the ghetto, just as we got near the centre we saw a vision of heaven, a hop on hop off bus company lol. We bought tickets and got on, there wasn’t that many things to see here so we could get off and have a look around, first stop the Liberty Bell, we also saw Benjamin Franklin’s coffin and the house of Betsy Ross, the woman that made the first ever American flag.
On our last day we went for one last walk around Central Park, I tried to find an ice rink so we could go ice skating but gave up after five minutes as I was too cold, one last thing to see, the building from the opening credits for the TV show Friends, I
love that show. Our flight home was on New Year’s Eve so we actually missed celebrating it anywhere as we were in the air (another thing that made the holiday cheaper), another trip another three pins in the map.
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