Thursday 19 January 2017

5 Days in New York - Travel Diary Part One

New York, New York, with some air-miles to burn and some time before a trip to Mauritius I booked a long weekend to the big city. This is how we spent our time. 

5 Nights at Sanctuary Hotel
BA Club World Outbound
BA First Inbound

Day 1

Ok so the trip began at our home airport, sunny Glasgow. We checked into our short flight down to London, flew through security via fast track and settled down with a glass of champagne in the Lounge. While we were waiting for our flight we decided to go online and have a look to see if there was any  concerts or shows we could see once we arrived. We did noticed that you can be in the audience for the late night shows but not surprisingly these were all booked up (deff going to book one of these for next time). We then came across Good Morning America where you could book free tickets to watch there live open air concert in Central Park at 6AM so grabbed two of these.

In London we didn’t get much time between flights but did manage into the lounge for a short break where Jess snuck off to the bar to make herself a White Russian!

Our flight to NYC was in a Boing 777 where we had picked the middle two seats in Club World (these are a personal favourite when traveling as a couple, its almost like your own personal cabin). The flight was a 6 hour daytime flight so I settled in with a G & T and turned on the on-board entertainment.   

After a few hours and some tasty food we decided to have a short nap, just because we could. The chairs have an electronic recliner which lower the chair to a full flat position, you then place your foot stool up and the chair effectively becomes a full flat bed.

Arriving at Newark we made our way through immigration (no queue skips here im afraid) and then onwards to our bags. Just when we thought we were through all the security we had to line up again for US customs.

A few hours later we were through and headed to the bus ticket office (well sign posted), there are about 3 or 4 different bus companies doing the trip but found that Newark Airport Express stopped near our hotel so got a ticket with them. Less than 10 minutes after buying our tickets we were on the bus and on our way to Manhattan.

The Sanctuary Hotel, a short 15 minute walk from the bus stop at Bryant Park and situated on 57th street just along from Times Square. From the outside the hotel looked like a tenement building sandwiched in on each side, we didn't really know what to expect but as we walked through the entrance our eyes light up with the swish cool arty interior. After being greeted by some friendly staff and shown to our room we were told that if we needed anything there was a concierge on site who can help with dinner, show tickets or directions.

The rooms are small, but very well designed so they don’t feel claustrophobic, I think most NYC hotels are quite small but you don’t come here to stay in your room so this wasn’t a big issue for us.

Once we got settled into our room it was about 6pm so decided we would go out and have a walk around times square. Time Square is madness! We tried to avoid it for the rest of the trip, nice to see 
and get a photo but just pure madness it was also raining so not a good start on the weather front.

Day 2

The next day we were up bright and early, we decided to miss breakfast at the hotel and instead grabbed a cab up to the middle of central park. Once there we handed over our Good Morning America tickets and headed into what looked like a festival. We got there nice and early so managed to bag ourselves a seat on the bleachers. Just before 7AM and with a decent crowd we went live on good morning America where Hozier came on stage and played a couple of hits while we all threw around a giant beach ball!

Once the concert was over we decided to take a walk back towards the Rockafeller center via central park, it was quite nice at this time of the morning and even managed to stumble upon Central Park Zoo which I got quite excited about as I love Madagascar.

Time for breakfast and nothing says New York like a New York Baked Cheesecake from Magnolia bakery, so we grabbed one each and sat outside the ABC building where yet another live concert was entertaining us as we ate.

10AM and up the Rockefeller Centre, we were unsure whither to go up here or the Empire State building but after some careful thinking, (empire state was an extra 20 min walk) we settled for the Rockefeller Centre. I can definitely say that we were not disappointed, the view from the top of the Rockefeller Centre was incredible. From one side you can see Central Park and from the other you can see the Empire State Building, One Word Trade Centre and you can just make out the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

The rest of the day was spent….. shopping, floors and floors of everything you could ever dream off, Jess was in her element.

After an exciting afternoon of shopping ( I did end up buying a watch) we headed back to the hotel where we got changed, had some dinner & drinks in the bar at our hotel and then headed out to watch Les Misérables.


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