This time last year we spent a week in New York City for New Year's Eve. We left Monday and came back Saturday. My boyfriend, Josh, and I went with two of my friends, Nikki and Jeremy. It was a blast.
Monday, Dec. 28th - The day we left for NYC. We drove separately from Nikki and Jeremy. We decided to take more of the straight through route, going by Pittsburgh and their outrageous tolls. Nikki and Jeremy drove the smart way and went through Northern PA and hardly hit any tolls. Josh and I made 3 stops, mainly to switch places driving. Fun fact, I hate driving. It took us about 8 hours total.
The worst part was trying to find the hotel. We stayed in New Jersey, the last bus stop before the city. So we were trying to find the hotel, I was driving, we had the GPS on, I think I missed a road and accidentally went across the bridge into NYC.... If anyone knows how I drive, I cannot drive in traffic. At all. Well, we drove into the south end of the city, on accident, at night, and I had to find a way to get back onto this toll bridge. I eventually got back onto the bridge, paid another toll and went back to Jersey. When we got back to the Jersey side, the road split, into three exits, none were really even labeled as to where they went. GPS didn't say which one to go on so I picked one, it was wrong, it took us back into NYC. By this point I was freaking out. We got back to Jersey and I tried to pull off to the side to figure out what way I should go, people were not having it. They were honking and I was crying and I just went, I picked another exit and drove. It actually ended up being the right one but I was still super flustered. We paid the toll for that bridge at least 8 times. We finally got to the hotel, Nikki and Jeremy were already there so we checked in, and I just collapsed in the bed for the night.
Tuesday, Dec. 29th - Our first day in the city! We bundled up and hopped on the bus, all four of us. We went straight to Times Square. If you haven't been there, it's really cool. All of the stores are HUGE. We went to Toys-R-Us, they have a ferris wheel inside the store! My other favorite stores were M&M and Disney. After a few hours of shopping we went to this little deli for lunch/dinner, I got some fruit and a sandwich and my total was $22.... Welcome to New York right? We went shopping for awhile longer and then we headed to Rockefeller Center. We went under the Rockefeller building and saw all the shops under there, saw the skating rink there, went to the Lego Store, and saw the big Christmas tree. All very cool.
Next we took the subway (everyone's first time except for me) up to Central Park. Once we got there, Josh and I went ice skating at Wollman's Rink while Nikki and Jeremy walked around the park. It was so pretty! It was dark and all of the city lights lit up the night. It was just foggy enough to cut off the top of the buildings and I thought it looked so cool, the pictures don't do it justice. By far my favorite thing that we did on this trip. After skating and walking around the park some more, we headed back to the hotel.
Wednesday, Dec. 30th - We spent most of this day by ourselves, just Josh and I. We woke up and headed down to the 9-11 Memorial. We saw One World Trade Center and the Memorial itself. We did not go to into the museum though, the line was very very long, we added that to our list to do when we go back to NYC. Next, we walked down to Wall Street and saw the Charging Bull. We couldn't see the front of it because of all the people surrounding it so we went to the butt of the bull. Yes, the girl in the picture is rubbing the bulls balls... After we got a picture of the butt, we walked down to the Staten Island Ferry.
If you don't know, the Staten Island Ferry is completely free and it goes right by the Statue of Liberty. We rode it to Staten Island and back to Manhattan. We just went by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, we decided not to visit the statue on this trip. Once we got back to Manhattan we walked along the East River up to the Brooklyn Bridge. Then we took the subway up to the Flatiron Building.
We saw the Flatiron Building, went to the Lego Store right there, and we could even see the Empire State Building from there. We took some pictures there, obviously, and headed to dinner at Smashburger. Nikki called and asked us to meet up with them again on Times Square, so we did.
When we met up with Nikki and Jeremy, we walked over to Ripley's Believe It or Not and went in there. I was honestly unsure of how it would be but it turned out to be pretty interesting! All the fun facts wore us out so we went back to the hotel after that.
Thursday, Dec. 31st - New Year's Eve! We actually didn't get out to the city until 11:30am. It takes a long time to put on 4 layers and stuff your jackets full of snacks for the day. Fun fact, you are not allowed to take bags or purses into Times Square for New Year's Eve. They had a giant dumpster full of confiscated bags of people entering the Square. They had all these gated off sections for all of us crazies that were there to see the ball drop. We got into the first section at 11:45am, it was super crowded. We were so excited when we got there so we took tons of pictures and just took everything in. About an hour passed and we started playing cards, we played for an hour or so then got bored. We then decided to take a nap. I get to say I slept in the streets of New York now haha. We woke up to them moving us to another section, closer to the ball. This section was a little less crowded. We played some more cards and again looked around for a bathroom, there were none. People were wearing diapers, peeing in bottles, or peeing in the street. It was gross. We started to talk to the people around us, one couple was from London, England and had just gotten engaged, they were ecstatic about being in Times Square. We played more cards and ate more of our snacks that we had stuffed inside our many layers. That's basically what we did for eight hours.
Around 8pm they started all of the fun activities. They passed out our big purple hats and balloons. We got to see all of the microphone checks and test runs for all of the performers, which was pretty cool, we got to see all of their real personalities and how they interact with their crews. Then we watched the real performances and the party really started. With one million people counting down with you, the final countdown was really cool! There were fireworks too! At midnight everyone celebrated and the confetti started! There was so much confetti! They were throwing it out of windows from the buildings around us and from the rooftops. The confetti started out in these giant balls and separated as it got closer to the ground. They played the song 'New York, New York' by Frank Sinatra and it fit the scene perfectly! About five or ten minutes after the ball dropped, the NYPD came in and started herding us all out. We walked back to the bus station, were on a bus by 12:30am, and were in our beds at the hotel by 1:00am. I fell asleep almost immediately.
Friday, Jan. 1st - We slept in until 12:30pm and the first thing we did was watch the Buckeyes play in the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame. Josh and I got very mad and loud when Bosa got ejected. Nikki and Jeremy thought we were crazy. After the game was over we went into the city and went to Grand Central Station and grabbed some food. We also went to the Waldorf Hotel because I really wanted to go there. I wanted to go into the elevators and do the scene from the movie Serendipity (one of my favorites) but the elevators were closed off to guests only. So we walked around the hotel for a minute, went back to Grand Central Station and headed back to the hotel. It wasn't a very exciting last day but we were just ready to go home.
Saturday, Jan. 2nd - We woke up early, packed our bags, and headed home. This time Josh and I drove along the northern part of Pennsylvania to miss all the tolls like Nikki and Jeremy did. We got back to our house late and just went to bed.
Overall the trip was amazing. I love New York City and I know everyone else had a great time too. As for New Year's Eve on Time's Square, I'm glad I did it, but I will probably never do it again. If the whole day was like the last few hours with all the concerts and fun, I might do it again, but literally sitting in one place for 12 hours, not having anything to do, freezing our butts off, and barely having any food or drinks all day, it wasn't that great in my opinion. It was a great experience but definitely a one time thing.