What do you get when you take a small-town girl from the United States and make her fall in love with traveling and cities? It turns into a woman who plans a trip with her bestie to visit the biggest city in America: New York City. My friend and I usually take a birthday trip in March, but this one was going to be our biggest and still is. She had never flown on a plane before, so we had to change that. We decided on a weekend trip since we both knew we would probably be overwhelmed by the number of people and could do most of the things we wanted to do in that amount of time. I had been to Los Angeles the year before. I didn’t have any expectations with that trip, but I left knowing that if I never went there again, it would be okay. I wanted to experience NYC, but I also had the mentality of getting in and getting out. It would make sense that I would fall in love with the city and have been dying to go back for the past five years.
We stayed up all night and drove three hours to Indy to make our early morning flight on a Friday morning. We were both excited and nervous, running on no sleep and Starbucks. It was a quick flight from Indianapolis to LaGuardia. Before we knew it, we were walking through Central Park. We stayed at a hotel a few blocks away from Times Square. We walked a lot that first day and had to nap before heading out again that night. Once we got up, we got ready and went to see a Broadway play! Since we were in a central location, we walked to the theater to see Anastasia. It was beautiful and happened to be the one-year anniversary of its opening. Also, we got to see Chris Evans from across the street since he was in a play while we were there. Seeing how we were in the city that never sleeps, we decided to head back to the room, change our clothes, and head back out to explore at midnight. We went to Times Square and the Disney store since it was right there. It’s safe to say we had a great first day in the Big Apple, even if we were delirious from the lack of sleep.
Our first and last full day in the city and we had a lot to fit into it. We started our day at Grand Central Station since that also happened to be the closest subway stop to our hotel and we needed to get to the Statue of Liberty. We booked tickets to go all the way up to the crown of Lady Liberty. There was a small, spiral staircase leading us up. To end our time there, we got to go to Ellis Island, which being a history nerd, I loved. After we took the ferry back to Battery Park, we were back on the island and had the rest of the day to explore the city! One thing we wanted to do was try to find Taylor Swift’s house. It took some work since the street signs were taken down for this specific reason, but we found it! We didn’t gawk too long and made our way to our next destination. I didn’t think we would have enough time for the museum part, but we did walk around outside at the 9/11 memorial. Our trip was in 2018, 17 years after the attack, but it was still eerie and most people were respectful. I saw a guy smoking. He threw his cigarette butt on the ground. I almost said something, but I decided against it. A little bit later, I saw a no-smoking sign and regretted not speaking up. We headed back to the hotel for a while. We ordered a pizza for dinner and wanted some authentic New York pizza. However, after we ordered it, we didn’t get confirmation so we were doubting if we were going to get the pizza or not. And since neither one of us likes calling places, we ordered online from Domino’s. Surprise: we got both pizzas, turned on Friends, and had a great time. But don’t think this was the end of our night! No, we ended our night at the top of the Empire State Building with a great view of the city!
Our whirlwind trip was winding down come Sunday morning. We had time for brunch at the hotel and then had to make it to the airport. With all of the good times and great memories we had on that trip, I also remember that I was very depressed during that time. I’m glad that I have a friend that put up with me bawling in the gift shop of the Empire State Building or being bitchy about little details. Next time I’m in New York City, I want to see so many shows and venture into the different boroughs. I loved the atmosphere and seeing all those people doing their own thing and not giving a damn about what others were doing around them. It was such a different way of life than the one that I grew up in. The one where everyone knows everybody and your secrets aren’t safe. Maybe that’s what was so appealing about it.