It was the day I had been dreading the most, the one I had been wishing wouldn’t come as soon as it did, it was my last day in New York City. The trip had been everything I expected and MORE, the only sad thing is that when you look forward to something for so long and when that moment, event or occasion does arrive, it goes in far too quickly. Do you ever feel like that with things you have been counting down for? Make-up less and as snug as a bug in our newly purchased New York ‘sweaters’ we were ready to savour every moment that we had left in this city before we headed back to our normal lives in the UK.
We wanted one last delicious sit down breakfast, especially after the one we had at Clinton St. Baking Company a few days before, so it was time to put Instagram to good use again. Another Instagram find through the hashtag #nycfoodie was Sara Beth’s, and with many locations around the city to choose from we opted for the Central Park location as this was closest to our hotel and just a stone throw away from the park that stole my heart. As soon as we stepped in the door the place was BUSY, with plenty of families and friends waiting to be seated. Luckily for us a table for two had our name written all over it and was waiting for us as soon as we entered, and so we were seated straight away. This was the one time on the trip when I definitely didn’t feel dressed for the occasion seeing as I had my loungewear on ready for the dreaded flight home later on in the day. However, seeing as it was my last breakfast in America, I wanted to go all out and Sara Beth’s seemed the place to do just that. Bellinis all round then?
With savoury breakfasts being my usual go to, I decided today was the day to switch it up and order something sweet. I had heard great things about American pancakes and had been so excited to try them on the run up to the trip, so it made sense that I ordered the buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and strawberries to put my expectations to the test. Have you ever watched the movie Matilda and sat drooling over the incredible pancakes she makes at the beginning of the movie? This was me when my plate landed on the table. These were the fluffiest, tastiest pancakes I had ever tucked in to and despite the struggle I refused to leave even a crumb on my plate.
I was truly glad to have saved Sara Beth’s till the last day of the trip, it’s true what they say… we had saved the best till last. Having had true American pancakes washed down with the most delicious Bellini, we toasted to the best trip, to friendship and to us continuing to see the world and all its beauty.
A CYCLE ROUND CENTRAL PARK
After the most amazing pancakes we headed to the nearest bike store to hire a bike to burn off not just the calories from breakfast, but from the full trip in general. Included with our New York Explorer Pass was full day bike rental, so what better way to spend our last day than taking in the city but also getting even more exercise (as if 20,000+ steps a day wasn’t enough). It was clear I’d be going on that flight later on in the evening with helmet hair and stiff calfs but it was worth it as we were going back to Central Park to cycle around the FULL park, ‘go hard or go home‘ that’s what I say. Some people look effortlessly beautiful cycling round Central Park like they’re featured in The Devil Wears Prada but me? That was not happening, safety comes first. With my helmet tightly strapped on, backpack on my back (funnily enough) I was ready to go. I hadn’t rode a bike in years but within seconds I was zooming round this partially snow covered park breathing all of the New York air my lungs could physically take in. I felt so care free on that bike, totally oblivious to the fact I’d be back at work in less than 48 hours and back to regular life.
Our first visit to Central Park on Day 3 had us seeing not even half of the park due to its immense size, so seeing it by bike is truly a must if you want to see even more of it without walking as that would take far too long. We managed to cycle around the full park in just over an hour, taking regular breaks to snap some pictures, get a well deserved drink from one of the many pretzel carts, and to stop and push our bikes up some of the more hilly parts of the park. I could only wish I had a park like this on my doorstep as I know for a fact I would hardly ever be out of it, taking regular walks in the sunshine, it’d maybe even encourage me to take up jogging. Central Park is just one of those places that would never get boring, no matter the season, so if you’re planning a trip to New York then one visit to Central Park just won’t be enough.
If you’ve been following my New York posts you can probably guess where we went for lunch…..Turnstyle Underground Market, again! You’ll be glad to hear we tried out yet another food place this time, so I guess that makes it okay that we continued to return to this market throughout the trip. I don’t know what it was about this day, maybe they sensed I was leaving and that I needed comfort food, but every place was offering samples. Of course Holly can never say no to free food so I tried whatever I was offered which resulted in my decision to order from Chick’nCone as the sample had me wanting more.
I went for the Kick’n Ranch chicken waffle cone, which was basically heaven in a cone. I had never tried anything like this in terms of the chicken and waffle cone combination, but it was surprisingly delicious and the combination was just right. The UK is truly missing out on places like this, can the New York food scene send them over some tips please?
After saying goodbye to what became almost like a second home during the trip, Turnstyle Underground Market, we had one final wander around the streets of New York stocking up on American Candy such as Swedish Fish and Pop Tarts to take home, and got our last daily fix of Snapple from the local street vendors. Tip: Buying candy and snacks can be a lot cheaper from the street vendors than local stores and is all part of the New York experience. It was a strange feeling, I had gotten so used to these streets in so little time and was all of a sudden now being whisked back to reality, not knowing when I would return and experience it all over again.
On the walk back to our hotel to collect our luggage, we spotted a local Milk Bar and decided to get in on the hype and try it out for ourselves. We both got the cereal milk soft serve with a topping of fruit crunch. I must say this was unusual and not the kind of ice-cream I’m used to but it’s because of the cereal milk aspect, it was still delicious but really rich so I just couldn’t finish it all, my stomach couldn’t physically take any more food regardless of the fact this was dessert and I usually can’t say no to dessert. This is still good to visit if you are passing by, they apparently do amazing desserts such as the Milk Bar Pie.
New York had brought a true case of wanderlust out in me. I wanted more time there and I wanted more of the world. That was my first ever long haul trip with a friend and considering my fear of flying I was proud I had done it and simply proud of that fact I had conquered such a big city, and had not just conquered it but conquered it so well. I was proud of the itinerary and preparation I put into it, I was proud of the fact I got an opportunity in NEW YORK of all cities one evening because of my blog and my Instagram, seriously?! It was a real pinch me moment. I feel very bittersweet that this blog series has now officially come to an end this evening, in a way typing up these posts on my return made me feel like I was still in my little NYC bubble and now I’m finally getting closure on that, which is strange. I truly hope you enjoyed the posts and when reading them I hope you felt that you were on the trip with me. A trip of a lifetime like this has only inspired me to continue my adventures and to ensure I live the travel life that I set out for myself. Here’s to the next adventure.