Welcome to the Big Apple

After a restless night sleep due to waking up with the noise of the fan, snoring, people pottering about, as well as my foot pain, I was happy to leave the hostel life and head to our AirBnB in New York. The hostel is comfortable, just the atmosphere isn’t quite SE Asia level. A lot of people are travelling alone and stay in bed all the time; no one really wanted to talk.

After checking out we headed towards the main Philly train station, where we were picking up our car for the day. There was a lot of faff. Being UK residents, the Avis system just couldn’t comprehend that we didn’t live in a State. By the time we got to the car, it was around 11am and we were an hour behind schedule.

Friends and family who see my Facebook feed already know how this went down. We hired a convertible Mustang, but that wasn’t available. Instead we were given a yellow Chevrolet Camaro, one of my favourite cars. It’s the Bumblebee car from the Transformers movies. A Mustang would’ve been nice but this was just so much joy!

My first thought was, it is huge! I drive a Corsa back home, which is tiny in comparison. The bonnet is long, and the car is really wide so it took a little while for us both to get used to the fact we were driving a car that basically took up most of a lane. I thought freeway lanes were wide?!

It was a dream to drive. Could so easily ecelerate, and the steering was really responsive to the slightest of movements. It took a while to get used to the fact that the windows were tiny, and we couldn’t really see a thing.

Trying to get out of the car park mildly scared the shizzle out of me. It was a tiny, tight bend and I was like, ummmm what?! Of course I did it fine; just wasn’t expecting my first challenge of driving to be within 10 seconds and it being a narrow, tight car park exit.

Almost immediately I used my left foot on the brake, expecting the clutch. Lol. Time to head to the outlet shopping centre, which was about a 45 minute drive.

As soon as we parked up, I ate a peanut butter and chocolate cronut I had bought earlier. And yes they are as amazing as the hype makes them out to be.

That dash though 👌🏽

Time to shop! We didn’t have enough time at the outlet, but we spend an hour in Hot Topic – a shop made for geeks. We were in heaven!

I bought several items:

  • Harley Quinn “Daddy’s Lil Monster cap”
  • Harley Quinn themed long socks, and Joker themed long socks (they were buy one get one half price)
  • A pack of TMNT masks. They were $3 and there was absolutely no way I was going to pass that opportunity up
  • Hufflepuff Quidditch team jersey
  • Hufflepuff cardigan
  • Wonder Woman corset with a matching cape

I usually think I look a bit like a bedraggled dog, but I can’t help but think awww in this picture. I look so cute and adorable.

We also had a Starbucks Unicorn Frappucino, on launch day. We’ll forever hold that title. It was sweet and sour, quite tasty.

After a quick rush round the other shops, including two new pairs of Converse to add to my collection, we were back on the road. 

This time Emily had a go driving. I was definitely more nervous being a passenger than when I was driving; I think that’s just me being a bit of a control freak. Emily did good – there was one guy who completely cut her up by undertaking her as two lanes merged into one. She handled it 👍🏽

After about an hour or so, we swapped over and I drove us the home stretch. Emily was in charge of photograph duties.

Seeing the New York skyline was quite exciting. It was really cloudy and grey, so I had to edit it a bit with Instagram.

We drove through the Lincoln Tunnel…

But did catch a closer glimpse of the Empire State Building before we went in.

Okay how many more stops before we are in the city?!

Emily was very excited at this point.

Then out the other side…

Here are some photos of me driving in NYC traffic. Left arm was just chilling out on the door frame. I was a natural.

It got dark really quickly!

We needed to refuel. When I saw this petrol station I was just like, **** how am I gonna get the car in there. But of course I did. Filling up half the tank cost just over $20.

It was sad saying farewell to my baby. I shouted, “look after her!” from afar.

Our AirBnB was about 10 minutes walk away so off we went, dragging our luggages and carrying our shopping. We are living in an apartment, with the owner, Elsy. She has her quarters locked off, and this clearly suits her lifestyle. I think I would hate to share my home in such a way; she converted her lounge into a spare bedroom. It’s comfortable and in a great location (Upper East Side). And it’s nice that the only issue we will have is when we need to use the bathroom at the same time.

We popped out for dinner to a pizza joint a few doors up. I ordered a slice of pizza with pasta on it, just because. The pizza and drinks came to $21. We were so English we asked for a knife and fork (mainly because we needed to slice our slices up to share!)

What a fun day. I was absolutely shattered by the end of it. I can’t believe I drove around Manhattan and through Central Park!!! And then woke up to the sound of taxis and construction work. New York New York.


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