Welcome back! I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write this post… getting a new job and settling back into English life hasn’t provided me with much time to write!
Saturday 5th October – Washington DC
A two hour flight later, Chloe and I had landed in Washington DC! Our hotel room was huge and we ordered in for dinner before going to bed. Our first proper curry in a year… it did not disappoint!!!
Sunday 6th October – Exploring
A year ago today I left the UK… how mad is that?! It was our only full day in DC so we spent it exploring and walking for miles, seeing all the sights. I was obviously really looking forward to New York so I didn’t expect to be blown away by Washington DC, but we both really loved it there.
United States Capitol:
We were absolutely exhausted from all the walking we had done, so we went back for a nap then went out for an evening stroll to find some cookie dough!
Monday 7th October – New York, New York!
At 11:20am we were on the Amtrak train heading to New York! I have always wanted to go so I was very excited. I spent the three hour journey updating my blog.
Once we had arrived, we managed to navigate ourselves with our luggage to our hotel, Hotel Pennsylvania, which wasn’t very far from the station at all. We then went straight back out to see Times Square which was about a 10 minute walk away. I know I’ve said this a lot this year, but I can’t believe I’m really here seeing everything with my own eyes!
We had dinner at the Hard Rock Café then wondered around the shops in Times Square (we obviously had to visit the Disney Store) before getting rained on walking back to the hotel. I can’t wait to see more!
Tuesday 8th October – 5th Avenue
We spent most of the day walking along 5th Avenue looking in all the shops. Thankfully I was at my weight limit for my flight home so I wasn’t tempted to buy all the beautiful things… I did treat myself in Tiffany, though. I’m only human, after all!
We also visited the Top of the Rock observation deck at the Rockerfeller Center. We got the City Pass which gave us a reduced rate on a choice of attractions so I would definitely look into this if you’re planning a trip! The views were incredible and we even saw a wedding taking place up there.
We paid a visit to Black Tap for lunch. You may remember that we went to the one in Vegas before and that it’s where the original crazyshake was invented. This was basically my lunch… yes, that is a whole (giant) slice of cake on top… no, I couldn’t finish it…
That evening, we had booked tickets to see Wicked. If you know me, you’ll know I’m a massive musical theatre fan and Wicked is my favourite show. I’ve seen it a few times in the West End but it’s been a life dream of mine to see it on Broadway. Tonight was the night!!! I basically cried the whole way through and Chloe loved it too; she’d never seen it before. IT’S SO GOOD.
Wednesday 9th October – More Broadway!
We spent most of today back in the theatre, this time watching Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts 1 and 2. We had ‘planned’ this really well as it was the only day that it rained all day!
Again, I’ve seen this once in London and Chloe hadn’t seen it before. I can’t believe how much cheaper our tickets were than in London! It was just as amazing as I remember and I still can’t believe how clever it is. In between shows we ate at Red Lobster than got proper New York cheesecake on the way back to the hotel.
Thursday 10th October – Central Park
Today we did lots more walking and explored Central Park (or part of it, anyway). It’s so pretty and we visited the fountain and the boathouse that are in a few well-known films.
Chloe had caught the theatre bug and wanted to see another show tonight so we got some cheap tickets for Mean Girls. It was on my list of shows I want to see so I was more than happy! It was a great show but had a lot to live up to with the film being as iconic as it is.
As we were leaving the theatre I bumped into a friend from my uni days in Canterbury which was so bizarre! We had a quick catch up outside the theatre and realised that he was on the same flight home as us!
On the way back to our hotel we went to the top of the Empire State Building for the nighttime views. It was so late by this point that barely anyone was up there and the views were amazing, of course. It was incredibly windy so we didn’t stay outside for long!
Friday 11th October – Statue of Liberty
We got the Subway to South Ferry and waited in a very long line to visit the Statue of Liberty. We finally got on the boat to Liberty Island and there she was! A lot smaller than I’d imagined but very cool to see in real life. There was also a new museum there which I found really interesting, as I didn’t really know anything about it.
When we got back to the mainland we walked to Ground Zero; it’s very moving and a beautiful memorial.
We then walked along the Hudson River to the Friends building, which they filmed the exterior of for the TV show. It was really fun seeing it in real life and it’s in such a pretty area.
We continued our walk back to the hotel and saw Washington Square Park and the Flat Iron Building on the way. We finally got back and realised that had almost walked half the length of Manhattan today. No wonder we were exhausted!
Saturday 12th October – Goodbye USA
Today is the day. We are flying home!
We packed up, checked out of the hotel and went to Olive Garden for lunch. The best place for our last meal in the USA! I will miss those breadsticks… We also had a look in Macy’s while we waited to go to the airport and even had a cheeky look round the Bridal Studio…
We weren’t flying until 11pm so we got to the airport quite early. In case you’re wondering, we did see my friend from uni again at the airport! I did some more of my blog while we waited to board our flight, feeling both nervous and excited to go home.
Sunday 13th October – Hello UK
JFK >>> LGW
I spent most of the flight asleep after watching a film. As we began the descent, it felt so weird to be seeing the UK again; I don’t remember it being so green!
Once we were through passport control and baggage claim I felt such a mixture of emotions, knowing that my family was waiting for me on the other side of the arrivals gate. Chloe spotted her family first and ran over then I heard my dad shouting my name. My mum, dad, brother (Matt), fiancé (Matt) and my friends Janine and Sam were there waiting for me. They’d brought their baby, Zach, with them as a surprise; he was born while I was in the USA so I’d not met him before. That made me cry!
We had breakfast in the Wetherspoons that we ate in when I left the UK over a year ago. I barely ate anything as there was so much going on and I felt very overwhelmed, in a good way.
We took my mum home and I got to see my dog (who I probably missed more than anyone else, sorry everyone). We drove back to Matt’s and I slept most of the way… I’d only had about three hours sleep since yesterday morning!
We got back to Matt’s house and his sister had put out a cute set up to welcome me home and we got a proper curry for dinner… it’s good to be back!
We then had an ‘unpacking party’ with lots of Prosecco… we unpacked my cases and did a Marie Kondo style decluttering of my wardrobe; no time like the present! I’ve realised what I actually need and can live without for a year so we were ruthless and threw loads away.
I can’t believe I’m home after the craziest year I will probably ever have…
PS: This the last post I will write about my adventures as my year abroad is over. However, I am still going to write one last post about my program and will probably do little ones here and there when I get the time! Watch this space…
Until then, thanks for sticking with me and reading about my adventures! x