After ending our fourth day in New York on a less than ideal note, we headed back to the City Clerk’s Office the next morning to legalise our marriage. As we reside in the UK, we would need to have an extended licence to ensure that it was recognised outside of America.
This involved various steps and visiting several different government buildings. We’d assumed this process would take a couple of hours and tried to get it out the way early so that we could enjoy the rest of our day. Wrong! We were so very wrong. After travelling on foot to said buildings and queuing for what seemed like an eternity, this actually ended up taking us over five hours in total. And we thought that eloping would be the quicker option…
To salvage some of our afternoon, we took a trip to the Natural History Museum. We had visited the London one earlier in the year but the American museum was a real ‘bucket list’ destination for us, being geeks and all. After queuing for over two hours (you’d think that being British, we’d be used to queuing but the American ones were so slow) we finally got inside. We’d bought a map to find our bearings over the five floors and started with the famous dinosaur section.
After wandering for a few hours and spotting some familiar faces of ‘Night At The Museum’ fame, Adam and I decided to take a look around Central Park. Whilst making a pit stop for ice-cream, we found ourselves standing right outside the Dakota; the apartment block where John Lennon and Yoko Ono had resided (Yoko still does). This is also a landmark for all of the wrong reasons, as John was murdered in this archway outside of the building in December 1980. Opposite the Dakota is Strawberry Fields; an area of Central Park dedicated the man himself. We wandered through and sat on the grass for while, providing a welcome hour of respite from the hustle and chaos of city life.
We made our way back to Times Square and headed to Madame Tussauds again, in order to buy another two city passes after ‘losing’ ours the day before. As we explained what had happened to the cashier, she promptly produced our original passes and explained that they’d accidently been left there on our first visit! This saved us forking out yet more unallocated cash from our budget and we celebrated by paying the Empire State Building a visit – for the second time!
After queuing for over 90 minutes, we hopped into the elevator and up to the 86th floor. To be fair, the wait was completely worth it. The building was decorated in a gorgeous art deco style and the views were absolutely stunning. I was excited to see just how good this glorious city would look from our next destination; the 102nd floor. I noticed that Adam had gone unusually quiet and didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm. After a while, he admitted that he’d fallen foul to a newly-discovered case of vertigo and couldn’t carry on. As he became alarmingly pale, we swiftly made our way downstairs and back onto solid ground!
By now, it was past midnight so we headed out for more pizza and stopped by the hotel bar for a drink. We got chatting to an Irish businessman who recognised our English/Welsh accents. He bought us drinks and we found ourselves getting steadily drunk whilst exchanging life stories, despite only intending to stop for a nightcap. We ended up pretty intoxicated and I have no idea what time it was when we finally rolled into bed.
Initially waking at 7am, we subconsciously turned the alarm clock off and enjoyed an impromptu lie in until lunchtime! I think the combination of a long, busy day and boozy evening may have been a contributing factor. Annoyed that we’d ‘wasted’ a morning, we promptly headed out and grabbed breakfast, before deciding how to spend our afternoon.
Adam and I walked through the financial district and found ourselves facing ‘Ground Zero’. A sombre and surreal sight, we headed to the 9/11 memorial and museum. Obviously, the events of that fateful day were utterly tragic but I don’t think I ever really understood the true, horrific severity of 9/11 until that very moment. I found it hard to hold back the tears as we learnt of the stories behind the victims, how the events unfolded and seeing the resulting carnage in front of our very eyes.
After this, we didn’t really feel like doing a great deal so headed to Shake Shack for a quick bite to eat then back to our room for the night, to catch up on some much-needed sleep.
This was our last day in New York City. We were due at the airport at around 3pm so didn’t want to venture too far out, just incase we couldn’t get back in time (with the volume of traffic in the city, this was a very real possibly). We were still feeling rather drained, so decided to do some last minute shopping and catch a movie at one of the numerous cinemas.
We opted for ‘The Accountant’, starring Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick. After purchasing our snacks – I say snacks, the portions in America are huge – we settled in and enjoyed the film. It was a great choice; so much so that I wanted to watch it again when we got home, but it wasn’t being released in the UK until later in the year.
We made a stop at Carlos Bakery, of ‘Cake Boss’ fame, and indulged in a cannoli before packing up and making the journey back to JFK. I was genuinely saddened to leave New York City behind. Being an anxious introvert (that’s a fun combo at times) I wasn’t entirely sure how I’d feel, being in one of the biggest cities in the world. New York has a distinct kind of atmosphere that I’ve never felt before when travelling, a magical feeling that flows through the air.
In this iconic city, it almost feels like you’re standing right at the centre of the universe. With so many districts, recognisable landmarks, cultures and people from all walks of life, it turns out that I fell utterly in love with the ‘Big Apple’ for an array of reasons. The people, the sights, the food, that strange atmosphere and everything else that makes this place so famous. If it wasn’t for my responsibilities and lack of funds, I would relocate to NYC in a heartbeat.
We’re planning to take the girls on a trip to New York City in a few years time. There were so many things that we didn’t get the chance to do, such as visit Staten Island, Coney Island, explore more of Brooklyn along with the many restaurants on our foodie bucket list, so it’s the perfect excuse for round two!
If you have any tips on how to make our next visit to New York City even more memorable, then please do share in the comments section below.
Thank you so much for reading and I look forward to sharing our next adventure with you guys soon!