Beautiful Travels, Family, Posts

New York or Bust

My husband and I had purchased our 2016, 28-foot travel trailer in December 2015. We had been wanting to do this for quite a while and decided on an early Christmas gift for the both of us and so we took the plunge! Our vacations began by taking quick trips here and there and then quickly ventured into planning longer vacations that lasted at least a week or more. With so many wonderful places to see, we were really excited to travel across this beautiful country of ours and start our adventures. So with that being said, purchasing a travel trailer was the way to go!

We had already gone on multiple trips, from Houston to the West Coast and then from Houston to the East Coast. But we were ready to head north! We actually made a sort of a game out of planning the destination of each of our trips. We always took turns choosing where we would go. But I would typically be in charge of finding the perfect or semi-perfect RV parks to call home.

All Set-Up! Our home for the next 10 days!
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The view from our RV. Poconos, Pensylvania KOA RV Park

It was my turn to choose and the one place that I really wanted to visit was New York. My husband was born and raised in Franklin, New Jersey (Sussex County) so he had his heart set on going back to his old hometown. He had his heart set on visiting the house that his dad built, the house he grew up in. Well, we compromised and together we chose The Poconos in Pennsylvania. With only a forty-five minute drive to New Jersey and a little over an hour to New York. We even decided to throw in a two day trip to Washington to tour The White House. Yes, we had a lot planned on our “vacation plate”. But, we were all in! We knew this was the way to go. Besides, we could leave our trailer parked in the Poconos and take day trips to New Jersey and my all-time favorite place, New York

Welcome to the Big Apple!

I was so excited! The day had arrived to head to New York. Once we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, I was like a kid on Christmas morning! I had a list of over twenty-five places that I wanted to see. My poor husband, he told me to make a list and I did! To be honest, half of the places on my list, involved us just either walking or driving by. But getting a picture was a must!

Brooklyn Bridge, New York

We drive a big Ford F350 so trying to find a place to park was an adventure in itself. But once we did, we set out to complete “my list”. We parked in a building that took us right into Grand Central Station. It was about 9:00 am on Tuesday Morning. There were hustle and bustle of people everywhere. I’ve lived in Houston most of my life and I’m used to crowds of people, but this was almost overwhelming!

Grand Central Station

Once outside of Grand Central Station, it was like a madhouse with people everywhere. We realized that traipsing on foot around New York City was not the way to go, so we decided to climb aboard the “BIGBUS Tour Bus” and see the sights that way. The best thing about this is that you’re able to jump off and hop back on when you are ready to check out the sights, up close and personal. http://www.bigbustours.com


One big thing we came to realize, is that visiting New York City is like visiting Disney World. There is absolutely no way you can cram everything into a day or two! But since we had so many other places on our plate during this 10-day trip, we would check off as many things that we could off of my list during our two days in New York.

Things Remembered

First up, Central Park. I can’t tell you how many movies I have watched, where the characters were doing something in Central Park. From just taking a stroll to laying on a blanket. It was simply awesome! When you first walk in and see the beautiful scenery, you feel like you could be a part of any movie. It’s amazing to know that most of the people their, live in New York and being there was just part of their normal daily routine. You can definitely tell the difference between the locals and the tourist! We clearly made it obvious!

“Strawberry Fields Forever”

Once a Beatles fan, always a Beatles fan So, it was high on my list to visit Strawberry Fields. This area is part of a 2.5 acre landscaped section in New York City’s Central Park and it’s dedicated to the memory of former Beatles member, the late John Lennon. The park was designed by the landscape architect Bruce Kelly, and the park is named after the Beatles’ song, “Strawberry Fields Forever” which was written by John Lennon.

The Beautiful “Imagine” lies in the center of Strawberry Fields and was designed by a team of artists in Naples, Italy. It was named after the famous song sung by John Lennon, “Imagine”.

When walking through the park, there are so many people there playing the music that was sung by John Lennon. Vendors are selling John Lennon memorabilia. But there one sensation that seemed to consume me. There are serenity and peacefulness there. You can feel it, it is eerily calming. Once you walk off the park, the calming feeling simply disappears.

“Strawberry Fields Forever……….”

The Hustle and Bustle of Times Square

Times Square

When you first walk into Times Square. It feels like you’ve entered a huge party! The people, the sounds, the food and all of those billboards! You don’t know where to look first. When we were there, the Houston Astros were in town playing the New York Yankees in the playoffs. I proudly and bravely I might add wore my Astros t-shirt, while walking through New York. I’d also like to say that we beat the Yankees and eventually advanced to and WON the 2017 World Series!!

A must place to eat in the heart of Times Square is The Brooklyn Diner. The ambiance will take you back to earlier days. But the food with blow you away. Might I suggest the Chicken Pot Pie? When ordering this, be sure to bring your appetite and prepare to share it with someone, this thing is huge! It’s a bit on the expensive side, but it is money well spent.

A Must-Have!!

We were able to see almost everything on my list, but frankly, we were running out of time and we were already on day two of our two day New York excursion. But the most important place for us was saved for the very last…

One World Trade Center Memorial Ground Zero

Are there really any words to be said about Ground Zero? I had my heart set on taking the tour through the museum. But the crowd of people just waiting in line outside of the building was completely intimidating. We were being told that the wait to get in was well over an hour. Sadly, we were unable to wait in like because the time where our truck was parked was due to expire. We did, however, walk through to the waterfall memorial.

The list of names goes on and on and on. My heart was breaking all over again, even after all of these years. There were so many people there. Saying their silent prayers, remembering their loved ones or may be thinking back to September 11, 2001. The entire area was so quiet, almost peaceful. Respecting the souls of the precious lives lost, this is what was happening at that very moment and we were a part of it. I will never forget that feeling. It was and still is so powerful. Just thinking about it now, I feel my heart start to beat fast. So fast, that I almost want to cry.

If you are only given one place alone to visit in New York, you must make it Ground Zero. Paying your respect to so many innocent people. The awareness and feeling you experience will absolutely stay with you forever.

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  1. I’ve only been to New York state. New York City looks very different! Times Square sounds surreal.

    1. So much more that that I still want to see! I can’t wait for our next trip there!

  2. Brenda, I am with you on “loving” New York! We were there in 2003, and no one was ready to talk about it yet, and there was emptiness and sorrow surrounding the area where the Towers use to stand. Memorials were all over! Great post on your journey!

    1. Thanks, Denise. Can’t wait to go back. So many beautiful things to see there! 🙂

  3. I went to NYC for the first time last month, and I totally get what you mean about the crowds. Even though I’ve been in big crowd settings before, the first day in NYC is overwhelming. I think seeing movies and knowing what to expect helps, but being in the thick of it can make you dizzy. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to acclimate to it, but by the end of the week, I was maneuvering through the streets like a local.

  4. Beautifully written! Thanks for sharing this Brenda.

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