Hello lovelies! I wanted to post this the other day, but these New York posts are time consuming y’know! So here it is, our final day in New York- it came around so fast :( We had literally had the time of our lives, but now it was almost time to go back home to England.
In the morning, I don’t think we left the hotel until after 11am as we were packing everything up and trying to squeeze all our purchases into our luggage! We weighed it in the lobby, and it came in at just under 25kg for our ginormous case (which you can see in the background below) and that was the allowance!
I look happy here, but of course I was sad to leave our lovely room with gorgeous walk-in shower and fancy products! In a way though, we were ready to come home because we were so tired, although we were dreading the long journey back through JFK, Heathrow, Manchester Airport, Leeds and finally home to Harrogate!
We left our cases with the hotel (they were so accommodating- I couldn’t recommend Distrikt Hotel enough) and headed out for one last look at our favourite places in Times Square. On the way, we stopped off at Dunkin’ Donuts for what was our cheapest meal in NYC! As it was quite late, we didn’t have much. I had a Salted Caramel hot chocolate and Pumpkin Pie donut (both delicious, but I could feel my arteries screaming), and George had an Iced Mocha and the most processed-looking grilled cheese I have ever seen! It did however taste pretty good, and because we were all about the stereotypical American food, the greasiness was all part of the experience!
We went back to Midtown Comics, one of our favourite places and somewhere we went most days as it was open till Midnight, and on the same street as our hotel (West 42nd)! They had so many POP! figures there that we couldn’t choose just one, but we eventually settled on Sully from Monster’s Inc and told ourselves there was always next time!
I loved the street signs and, as a design nerd, I couldn’t help but snap a few pictures! This one was quite high up on the corner opposite Midtown Comics, hence the fuzziness.
I loved the huge Eyewitness News billboard in Times Square, and this picture I took of it with the yellow cabs below just sums up New York really!
And where would we be without one final trip to Toys R Us? I took a picture of my favourite Baymax plush, but we had already packed up our cases so purchases now had to be pretty small! We bought some more souvenirs and presents for our families, then decided we were completely beat.
How cool is the ginormous hand on top of Madame Tussauds?
Although we weren’t incredibly hungry, we headed to Ruby Tuesday in Times Square for a sit down and some lunch- our last meal in the Big Apple! It was tasty, although incredibly expensive for what it was and considering its location once you’re in the upstairs seating area, its not the biggest of places and we couldn’t get a window seat. I’ll mention them briefly in my food post, because the grub was pretty tasty and the portions were HUGE!
Me being happy to be sat down, then realising I was sad to leave New York…
See you next time, Midtown Comics!
Adios, Port Authority!
Bye bye, Distrikt Hotel :(
Now, this was where the nightmare started. I mentioned in my previous post that the city had gotten incredibly busy since the Rockefeller Tree was lit, and because of the protests too. Roads had been closed in the process, and we had no idea how bad the traffic was. We booked our car from the hotel to the airport for 4 o’clock for our flight at 6.30pm, but luckily it came earlier so we left at 3.45pm. I immediately panicked when the driver told us he had just come from the airport and the city was gridlocked. He said he’d take us a different way that was longer, but where traffic would be moving so we might get there faster. I seriously regretted not booking the car earlier, especially as we were ready to leave by 2pm!
I found it difficult to savour our last views of the city, as I was too busy chewing my fingers to bits and clock-watching. We drove along the West side of Central Park and then through the middle onto the East side and out of the city. This alone took over an hour, so it’s safe to say I was freaking out when we still had to drive all the way through Queens. The bag drop for our flight closed at 5.30pm, and we ended up arriving at the airport at 5.35, completely stressed out. Before you say anything, I understood then as I understand now that I was a complete IDIOT for not booking the car earlier. It’s because we both hate waiting around in airports, but I’ve now learnt it’s far better to wait around than miss your bag drop or worse, your flight.
When we arrived at the bag drop, huffing and puffing from running to the terminal, the staff immediately sent us away even though we were less than 10 minutes late! At Customer Information, they seemed to think we could still have our bags put on the plane, but when they rang up we were point-blank refused. I found the check-in staff very rude and unhelpful, and the customer information staff were pretty miserable too. I was beside myself, thinking we would have to sleep overnight at the airport, imagining all the worst-case scenarios. It turned out to be the best-case scenario for our situation- we were booked on a flight just an hour later than our original, to the tune of $300, which luckily we had left over as we took way more money than we needed! We dropped our bags and went through security and, although our flight was slightly delayed, we got on eventually and found out the flight time was less than 6 hours because of tailwinds!
Virgin do spoil you with food and drink and, although the hot meal on the way back wasn’t up to much, it was very welcome after our hard day. There was a bit of turbulence on the way back, which I can’t say I enjoyed, but I just buried my head in George’s shoulder until it was over. I was way too tired to get all worked up about it, but despite this I only slept for about 10 minutes the whole flight!
When we arrived back at Heathrow, we still had 4 hours until our connection to Manchester thanks to the Virgin staff rebooking that too. The staff at Heathrow were much more helpful, and said that if it weren’t for our luggage, we could have got on our previous connection. They gave us £10 each to spend on breakfast, so we headed to a cafe for a Full English and a smoothie as we both felt pretty disgusting, starving, and beyond tired. After tucking in, we headed to a quiet area of the terminal and dozed off, setting an alarm so we had plenty of time to get to our connection! When we woke up, we were surrounded by people boarding a flight at the gate- it was a weird feeling, especially as I literally looked like a corpse (I have photographic evidence).
Back over good old England! Below is a photo of the plane we came back from NY on that George spotted- the biggest plane we’d ever been on and pretty impressive.
So, 6 hours later than we should have been, we originally arrived back at our freezing cold flat and completely crashed. We stuck the fire on, grabbed the duvet and took to the sofa to watch Muppet’s Christmas Carol (my all-time favourite Christmas movie). We actually slept through the entire thing and woke up at the end credits! Then decided it was time to get into bed, and slept for 15 hours- definitely needed that!
My phone still thought we were in New York, and this message had stayed from the previous day- wish we’d seen that sooner!
Thankfully, I contacted Virgin Atlantic when we got home to tell them about our bad experience at JFK and then to commend the staff at Heathrow for being so helpful. They replied and offered us £80 in Love To Shop vouchers- result! It really is worth getting in touch with a company if you’ve had bad service, as it helps them out with training as well as hopefully gaining some reimbursement for your bad experience. We were able to treat ourselves to a meal at Bella Italia and also have some left over to spend on ourselves!
So there you have it! What an amazing time we had in my favourite city in the world. So what were my favourite bits?
Seeing the city lights of New York for the first time
Visiting Times Square for the first time
The Top of the Rock and seeing the Empire State in all its glory
St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue is STUNNING
Times Square Disney Store
Matilda on Broadway
Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. in Times Square
Seeing the city at night from the top of the Empire State Building
Our carriage ride in Central Park
Getting my Marc Jacobs watch
Eating a burger the size of my face at Junior’s Diner
Toys R Us Times Square
Watching the world go by in Grand Central Terminal
We had a fantastic time in New York and are already planning our next visit! Look out for my future posts featuring tips and my favourite places to eat. If you haven’t read up on the rest of our trip, go take a look here and here!
Have you ever been to New York? Ever had a flight disaster like us? Which company do you like to fly with? Please leave any recommendations on New York for our next trip!