It was in April of 2011 that I visited New York City. I went with my grandmother (Mimi) and my best friend Hilori. We initially decided to make the trek from Orlando to New York because of a theater troupe that was performing in New Hampshire, but our travels brought us to the big city.
Hilori and I flew from the Orlando International Airport in the later afternoon and arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire sometime in the evening. The flight was smooth but left us exhausted and ready for sleep. After all – we had a big day ahead of us. We drove to Mimi’s house in Merrimack, New Hampshire and spent the night, waking early to catch a bus from Nashua to Boston, Massachusetts; then a train from Boston to New York City. The train ride was long, but the sights beyond the windows were astounding. Especially when we neared the city – the tall buildings looming high in the distance, the afternoon sun blazing overhead. Mimi was asleep in one of the seats and Hilori and I chatted away, excited about our new adventure.
We arrived at South Station, making our way through the bustling crowds and out to the streets, attempting to find a taxi that would lead us to our first destination: Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
This wasn’t a planned stop. We had been wandering around 42nd Street in New York, looking at the sights, deciding what thrills we should partake in. Upon seeing the museum, we knew we had to visit. We bought our tickets and began to explore the museum, seeing things we never thought were real, such as the over-8-foot-tall Robert Wadlow, the fattest man in New York, shrunken heads, and a mural made entirely of postage stamps. By the time we left the museum, we were hungry and had only two hours until we were set to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theater. We found a little restaurant close to the theater and had our first New York meal. We changed our clothes in the bathroom, dressing up for the night.
The play was phenomenal. We were all fans of the movie and the play was no disappointment. The atmosphere, the music, the acting – simply the best. Upon leaving the theater, we found a taxi and made our way to our hotel for the first time. The trip took probably two hours, what with the busy New York nightlife traffic but we had no problem finding the hotel and settling in.
The next morning, we decided to explore the city. We took bus tours as well as travelled on the Staten Island ferry, attempting to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. However, it was our way back to the mainland that I realized the historical impact of that trip across the water. I stood, imaging myself as an immigrant in the early 1900s, seeing America – the land of the free – for the very first time. The trip was breathtaking.
When we returned to the city, we made our way to the Museum of Modern Art which was having a special Tim Burton exhibit that week. Hilori and I love Tim Burton’s work and were thoroughly amazed.
That evening, we returned to New Hampshire after another day of exploring and flew back to Florida, a camera full of pictures and a head full of fun memories.
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