New York City, a place everyone hopes and dreams of visiting. We’ve all heard about the buildings reaching up to the sky, the smell of the exhausts from the thousands of taxi cabs and the millions of people that crowd the subways and streets. To some it might not sound like a “dream vacation”, but for me I couldn’t wait to arrive! I remember getting off the plane and feeling like I was 6 again. I felt the same way I did when my parents told me we were going to Disney World for the first time.
We were staying at the Plaza, one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed in. There were chandeliers in every room and every piece of furniture was an antique. The Plaza is right on 5th avenue. We looked out of our hotel window and I knew our journey was only about to begin. Right across the street was Central Park. I had never seen anything like it before the luscious green of the trees in the middle of a city with all metal buildings was hard to comprehend. I remember going outside wearing my winter coat, underneath that I wore two jackets and three thermal pants. I definitely looked like a tourist, there was know doubt about it.
I got to haul my first taxi cab, and that was fun. I was hoping for cash cab, but there was no luck. After we took a taxi ride we stopped in Greenwich Village. I got out of the cab and saw NYU and right after that moment I knew that this was were I wanted to go to college. I was beginning to love Manhattan. I felt as if I was in a fairytale, everything seemed so perfect.
We walked a lot! We probably walked a good 20 miles a day, but I didn’t complain the beauty of all the buildings and all the different people were breathtaking. Times Square was like a theme park, all the bright colors and lights, the Broadway signs, MTV, and Madam Tussauds, which is a famous wax museum made my heart race. I couldn’t believe that this was a place that people lived; my mind wouldn’t let me comprehend it.
The subway wasn’t at all bad like people said it would be. There was underground music and I felt at home when I heard it. We took the subway to ground zero. When we got out it was like a different state. The presence of love you felt was overwhelming and I’m still not sure why, but my eyes swelled up with tears. There were people lined all along the memorial fences just starring at the hole in the middle of the city. You could see the chaos that occurred that day when starring so I turned around and faced Trinity Church, which is directly across the street. We walked inside and there were beds were the firefighters, police, doctors, and others slept. I bought a cross necklace in remembrance of 9/11 and after that my mom and I went to the different fire departments and donated money.
Up to this point is when I realized New York was not just a “theme park”, but a place of importance. The words are indescribable on how the trip affected me. I realized I am so blessed to have a family and I need to be more thankful for the things I have in my life. New York isn’t just a state, it’s a place to feel free, alive and loved.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.