I arrived to NY on Thursday hiked an hour to the amazing hotel haha! (the walk was well worth it) On Friday, I toured two schools, Pace University and NYU. Not onto my third day in New York-
Okay so unlike the night before (where I went to bed after 3am...), I actually attempted to fall asleep a bit earlier so I could wake up early and explore the city! I'll just say that sleeping in a foreign city all by yourself is very hard!! Maybe it's the fact that I was all alone that bothered me or maybe the idea that I have so much adventures I could experience here that kept me from sleeping. Either way, I'll admit that I slept with a "mini night light" because I was scared haha.
I woke up pretty early (around 8 am) and quickly got up and ready to go out. I had done research the night before for fun activities in NYC that cost little to nothing and decided to take on the challenge of walking the Brooklyn Bridge and exploring Brooklyn. I got up, put on comfy clothes/shoes, grabbed breakfast, and went towards the bridge!
|On my way to the bridge.. I sort of got lost..|
|Can you spot me?|
As soon as I found the bridge, I was so excited! I had seen the pictures of it online, but nothing compared to seeing it in person. I just couldn't believe how big it was and how beautifully designed it was! There were also many people on the bridge with me.. some were tourist like me while others were just running or biking on it as if it was there normal routine! The bridge was a only a little bit longer than a mile so I calculated that it wouldn't take over an hour (including stopping for pictures) for me to get to Brooklyn!
|I actually see my hotel from here!!!|
As I mentioned before, the weather was gorgeous this day so I tried my best to take as many photos as possible! The only difficult part was getting a picture of me on the bridge since I didn't have anyone I knew to take it for me lol. The bridge itself was quite amazing! There was a section just for walkers and to the sides of us. I could see and feel the cars zooming by underneath me and I actually took a little video of me walking a section of the bridge! I actually walked the bridge pretty slowly and turned around many times to get a glimpse of the view behind me. What I saw was so surreal. For one, I could see the statue of liberty and the Manhattan skyline just put me in awe! hehe I really did feel as if I was in a movie!
Something that I noticed on the bridge intrigued me. As I was walking, I noticed that on the sides of the bridge, there were locks. It wasn't just one lock, but rather a couple bunches of locks.. at certain parts of the bridge, there were sides literally covered with these little locks. I had no idea why, but from what was written on the locks, I came to the conclusion that it had something to do with relationships. I later researched this and learned that I was right!!
At the end of the bridge, there were a set of stairs. I was nervous at first because the stairs were a bit sketchy looking, but I noticed that everyone was taking them so I just went along with the crowd. On the bridge, even though I was by myself, I didn't really feel scared at all because there were so many people on it with me! haha
After getting to the bottom of the stairs, I was under a bridge with the sign "Welcome to Brooklyn" on it and right then I knew I had made it!! I was in Brooklyn!! I even called home to my little sister and mom to tell them haha. My sister had no reaction while my mom sort of freaked out lol. I on the hand was just super proud and ready to explore!
I had researched Brooklyn and had a few places in mind of where I wanted to visit.. unfortunately, I could not for the life of me figure out how to get to those places so I was stuck with either the choice to go left or right.. I chose to go left and ended up in a beautiful, quiet park! It was amazing for me to see how calm and peaceful the park was in comparison to the rest of the city. I mean I could hear bird chirping when I was at the park! I took that opportunity to just sit down for a few minutes, relax and take everything in. I was in the city, but at the same time, I still had a bit of the country side here with me haha!
After resting for a few moments, I set off again towards what looked like a farmers market!! I am a huge lover of anything fresh so I couldn't resist buying myself a bag of apples and a muffin from two of the stalls! I also got some really delicious samples of cheese here! I ate my mini lunch on the go as I continued walking... Did I know where I was going... no not really haha? I just kept walking and hoped not to get lost!! I kept walking and walking until I hit a huge street with just shopping centers! I immediately recognized it as a place I had seen online and decided to check out the stores there! I did not anticipate to buy anything, but long story short, I ended up just having to buy a new bathing suit from Aerie! (I'll share pics later since I already have too many photos in this post haha)
After my shopping trip, I walked all the way back to the bridge and wanted to head back to the hotel until I looked down at the clock and realized ... it was only 11?? What.. I thought to myself. I still had half a day left to explore so I made the decision to go in the opposite direction, right, and see what I would encounter. It turns out that I ended up in a place that I wanted to see all along.. a little place by the name of Dumbo! I read online that this neighborhood was very quirky and filled with fun shops!
It was true!! The buildings in the neighborhood had a interesting feel to it and all the shops were ridiculous. I saw numerous shops ever corner I turned! I did more window shopping than actual shopping there because I have to admit, the prices were a bit inflated there!! I did end up getting some candy and mints there though because they were just ohh so cute!
I explored the shops down at Dumbo for hours and before I knew it, I had to head back soon so I could get back to my hotel before it became too dark. I got back to my hotel around 4 or 5 and realized just how tired I was!! I had been walking for almost 8 hours straight and wow, I guess the excitement numbed all my senses of being tired and hungry!! I took a mini nap and awoke at night starving! I didn't eat much that day and I wanted food! It was dark outside, but since it was my last night in NYC, I wanted to do something daring.. haha it probably doesn't sound daring to you guys but I did go out and explore the city at night while picking up some much needed food! The city looks even more amazing at night then in the morning!!! I actually spent quite a lot of time out that night by myself haha! I felt quite accomplished!
|Being 55 floors above the ground is scary!!|
Once I got back to the hotel, I decided to make my way to the top, 55th floor of the hotel just to see what it was like! I took the elevator, pushed the 55th floors, and it quickly rose to the top. I got out and to my surprise, the suites up there were for the rich haha. The governor and presidential suites were all up there. The view from that high was also stunning!! I failed to capture a decent photo though, but trust me when I say that it was like nothing I had seen before =)
While I was up there, a hotel worker actually saw me and I was quite embarrassed lol. I explained to them I was curious about what it was like up here and how I wanted photos... they looked at me as if they didn't care and a normal occurrence lol =) I mean I'm sure other people are curious as to what life is like 55 floors above the ground!
After the 55th floor, I headed back to my hotel room and took photos of everything. . !! I needed memories. I even took pictures of the crazy priced snacks ($8 for gummy bears..) that they offered!
I actually began tearing a bit as I took these photos because I really didn't want my adventure to end. I mean I just turned 18 less than a week ago and here I was, in NY. It was so hard to take in.
To keep things short and sweet, I realized that night that a chance to get a trip like this again was slim and I really wanted to make my trip worth it and even more memorable that it already was! I didn't do anything that wild on my trip, but I did step out of my comfort zone and experienced lots of new things. As you may already guess, I did not sleep early that night at all. I was too overwhelmed by my emotions to get some rest haha. . In fact, I barley slept my last night haha!
I woke up around 9... but it was actually 10 thanks to daylight savings and just laid in bed reminiscing about my whole experience. I had to check out of the room before 12 so I started packing around 11:45 haha. I made it out in time!! However after checking out and handing in my card, I found myself super emotional for some reason. I didn't expect it, but I actually began crying and had to sit in the lobby for a while to get my feelings in check. Everything was so overwhelming and I wasn't crying because I regretted the trip, but rather because I didn't want it to end. I would relive it over and over again!
I eventually figured my feelings out and got myself up. The hotel had a service where they would hold your bags.. I took advantage of that and as they held my luggage, I walked around the city one last time! I went everywhere and snapped as many photos as I could. I took it all in - I was here in NYC, I explored, I had fun, I experienced new things, and now I would be going home.
I walked for almost 2 hours and went back to the hotel to pick up my bags. I thought I would be okay to go, but as I picked up my bags and walked out, I felt tears in my eyes again. I didn't want to leave, but I knew it was time. hehe now thinking back... I'm not sure whether the tears were from not wanting to leave or the daunting idea of an hour long walk with my 10+ lbs of luggage in my hands...
Next time, I will pack lighter!!
I finally got to Chinatown and with the help of some people on the streets, I found my way to where my bus stop was. I was just 3 hours early lol. So to pass the time, I went to a nearby bakery\, sat down, and got so much food!! I did not really eat that day since I was so depressed about having to leave that by the time I walked an hour to Chinatown, I was ravenous. I ate 2 breads and 2 desserts in one sitting... the breads to fill my hunger and the desserts to fill my sadness lol =)
As I ate, I took out some of my notes from psychology class and tried to keep my mind off being so sad.
Okay so what happened next is kinda crazy and I think it is okay to share... as I was wiping tears, this guy walks in who looks more or less like my age. This was strange to me because everyone in the bakery were older people so my eyes immediately went to him. I think maybe he noticed me because he sat down and we ended up talking... man did I look terrible at that time! I literally just finished crying a stream of tears and I my outfit was more or less a disaster I couldn't believe someone would want to talk to me haha.
We talked a bit and he actually offered to walk around Chinatown with me! It was so sweet and it definitely brought my mood up!! I just needed someone to talk to since I was a bit lonely on my trip and my emotions were so out of whack. Well anyways, I felt a lot better after talking and I finally was able to come bring myself to accept the fact that my trip was over and that I was going home. I felt a sense of closure on my trip and I realized and believed that I would have the chance to experience this again!
|One final picture of the outside of my hotel!|
My trip to the city is something I know I will remember forever! So much happened that I ran out of room to explain! I saw many new sights, ate some new foods, and experienced some new fun things. I also feel much more confident now and I have actually gained a sense of direction haha. (I get lost all the time , but I made it out alive in NY!) There were parts of my trip that felt like one of those Asian Dramas haha and I will never forget this trip! I am so thankful that I was able to come here and I'm actually glad I came alone as I feel like I've grown and changed a bit as a person! =)
Have you ever walked the Brooklyn Bridge?
Have you had a stranger bring up your mood like what happened to me?
Do you love my pictures haha? (I sure do.. it's hard to believe that I took them!)