Who: Jelle Collignon and Heidi Willekens
States: New York, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah
When: July 2014
Destinations: New York, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon Village, Flagstaff, Window Rock, Blanding, Moab, Bryce Canyon Village
Sights: Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, Las Vegas Strip, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon National Park, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park
Day 1: Brussel – Newark – New York
Our flight to New York landed on Newark. To get to Manhattan we took a iconic yellow cab to get to our hotel, Hotel Beacon. The trip should have lasted about 30 minutes, but the famous traffic jams in the tunnels thought otherwise.. We finally arrived at the hotel 45 minutes later. On the way we had some amazing views of the New York City skyline. We checked in and went to our room. A very nice room on a high floor with a view of the busy street below.
We dropped our bags in the room and headed for Central Park. We would start our citytrip in Central park. First stop: Central Park Zoo. We must say we were disappointed. There were very few animals in the zoo. A lot of cages were empty. Next was Bethesda Terrace And Fountain. There were a lot of people enjoying the sun near the fountain.
Central Park is a great place to escape from the busy city and there’s always something to see or do. There were even some creative homeless people trying to earn some money. One would tell you a joke for 1 dollar. If you didn’t laugh you got your dollar back!
We had dinner in Dallas BBQ, near the hotel. We had our first burger of the trip!
Before heading back to the hotel we went to the subway station at 72nd street to buy a MetroCard so we could ride the subway for 3 days.
Dag 2: Top of the Rock
We got up early, at 7am to start a busy day. We had breakfast in a bakery right across the street from the hotel before taking the subway to Union Square. We picked up a geocache and headed for Madison Square to see the Flatiron building. This was the first skyscraper of New York. In front of the Flatiron Building we had a nice view of the Empire State Tower. But that tower would have to wait an other day for our visit.
Again we used the subway, now to get to Times Square. This is the New York you mostly see on tv. 5th Avenue and Broadway are the place to be in New York City. The streets are cluttered with led-screen showing advertisements non-stop. We also saw the world-famous ‘Naked Cowboy’ singing his songs.
From Times Square we continued our trip to Bryant Park. This is a lovely park with a lot of terraces. The park is next to the New York Public Library. We were eager to see the large reading room, but unfortunately it was closed for renovations.. We went further to Grand Central Terminal. This is a really magnificent and huge building. On the lowest floor there is a food court where we had lunch: chicken with noodles.
In the afternoon we went to the HQ of United Nations. Due to the incident with a Malaysian plane in Ukrain there was a lot of press here.
Next on the list was the Rockefeller Center to visit Top of the Rock. We took the elevater up to the 67th floor. The sight was magnificent! You really feel tiny. From Top of the Rock you have a great view on Central Park on one side, and a great view on the Empire State Building on the other side. There was a long line for the elevator back down. While we were waiting an American women suddenly said to Heidi: “Hey, I like your shoes!” Thanks! Friendly, those Americans. From Rockefeller Center we went to Macy’s for some shopping.
In the late afternoon we returned to the hotel to freshen up because we had tickets for the 8pm performance of Aladdin in the New Amsterdam Theater.
When we got to our seat in the theater Heidi felt that hers was broken. We went to find someone from the theater and yes, there was a screw missing. An engineer was called to fix it and when he was waiting for his assistent to get spare parts we had a nice conversation. He had recently travelled to Germany with his wife. After about 20 minutes the seat was fixed. The manager of the theater offered us a cd of the show for the inconvenience. A very nice gesture! The show was amazing! Great Disney songs and a lot of humor! Especially the genie was marvelous!
After the show we enjoyed the night-time view of Times Square.