Ever since I was a child, I have always dreamed of one day going to New York City. For as long as I can remember I have had a fascination with  everything New York related…… Even my favourite film The Dark Knight is based there. Last year in June my dreams started to come true when me and my best friend decided to go for it and book the trip of a lifetime. The excitement grew stronger and stronger as each month passed until finally March 2020 arrived. 7 weeks later whilst in lockdown as I type this I count my lucky stars I still got the chance to visit this amazing city.

On our way to NYC – 10th March 2020

Waking up blurry eyed at 5am I quickly came around and felt the excitement rush through me as the day was finally here, the day I went to New York. Checking in at the airport and walking through to the gate was all a blur, all I could think of was later today I will be standing in Times Square soaking it all in. The flight felt like the longest journey ever which I knew it would when all things seem to take longer when you are waiting for it, but 7 hours and 20 minutes later we finally landed at Newark Airport. We grabbed a yellow taxi to take us to our hotel, excitement building rapidly as I sat in a yellow taxi one of the main things you see in films and TV shows. After some slight road rage from the driver we eventually got to our hotel, checked in, dumped our bags and ventured out onto the streets of the Big Apple. The first thing we headed straight to was Times Square.  Standing on the famous red steps soaking it all in from the hustle and bustle of people walking by, hearing and seeing steam from the subway grills and the never ending flashing neon lights from the sky scrapers that surrounded us and the constant sound of sirens I felt like I had walked onto a movie set.

After staying in Times Square, we realised how close we were to Grand Central Station so headed straight to it. I have seen Grand Central Station in the films and it always amazed me how big, colourful and busy it was. When we got there, it was everything I thought it would be and more. We stood amongst the busy crowd of people rushing to and from work it was just like it was in films, big, colourful and busy.


Looking back at all my memories of the trip I realised  how long this blog would be, so I have decided I am going to pick out the top 3 moments I enjoyed the most from this trip, here goes:

1.Helicopter Ride

This was extra special to me as I was unaware this was booked until the day before our flight. This treat was a birthday surprise forme from my best friend who knew going on a helicopter ride was one of the things to do on my bucket list. The above picture of the helicopter was the exact one we went on (Yes, I know what you are probably thinking, where are the doors) that was the other surprise to it, there wasn’t any doors for the full journey. The adrenalin that day was the best feeling I have ever experienced, and yes, the above picture is my feet casually dangling out of the helicopter.  I was thoroughly enjoying the views but who wouldn’t if you had the potentially once in a lifetime opportunity to do it.


2.Rockefeller Center Top of The Rock!

I have lost track of the amount of times I have liked these exact pictures on Instagram over the years thinking one day I will get to upload my own pictures to my account. Mission accomplished I have now done this and believe me the views were definitely worth the wait to upload. When I got to the top and opened the double glass doors I was unexpectedly greeted with a calm and peaceful atmosphere which surprised me with the amount of people that were onthe deck. I have never seen such amazing views before, the amount you see whilst you are up there is incredible and the bonus is there is no time limit as to how long you can stay up there so you can take it in your own stride and take as many pictures as you want. This was definitely one of my favourite spots and if you get a chance to go to New York I strongly recommend you visit this attraction.

3.Central Park Carriage Tour

Being a massive Beatles fan I really wanted to go on a carriage tour around Central Park as it covered the John Lennon Imagine sign as well as stopping outside the penthouse he used to live in, our tour guide told us how his wife still lives there. This tour lasted for an hour and believe me it was well worth the money. The tour included seeing the Strawberry Fields, Imagine mosaic sign, Alice in Wonderland sculpture, scenes where the film Home Alone 2 was filmed, Belvedere Castle, the famous waterfall featured in the opening scenes of the sitcom friends and the penthouse where Lady Ga Ga lives. (We did wave to her, but we do not think she was in) and many more. After the carriage ride, we carried on exploring Central Park and 33,000 steps later that day (and a massive blister to prove it) it was safe to say we were shattered.

Unfortunately, whilst we were in New York the situation with COVID 19 started which closed a few of the attractions we wanted to see, one of them being the Ground Zero memorial museum and the majority of the Broadway shows. Luckily whilst on my awesome helicopter ride, I managed to get an aerial  view of the area, so it was not a total loss, and this gives me the perfect excuse to save up and book to visit this amazing city once again preferably at Christmas time.

Time to leave

Sadly, before we knew it we were back in the taxi heading back through the manic traffic to the airport.  From the minute we landed in New York to the minute we took back off on the plane it was the adventure I had always dreamed of and again I count my lucky stars that I got the chance to still go ahead with the trip before COVID 19 lockdown completely took over.

If anyone is thinking of booking to go when this unprecedented time in the world is over, I would say do it.  I think the one thing we can learn from what is happening now is that if you have a dream follow it because sadly for the many thousands of people who have not survived this awful pandemic it is too late.

So, there you have it, my top 3 incredible memories of New York that I will cherish forever. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as I did writing it and hope it has made you want to have a look at booking a trip once normality resumes.

Until then, everyone at Activfirst hopes you can stay home and stay safe during these uncertain times.