Hi! Let me start this post by saying that the reason I write any post is because it is something that I would want to read. We’re not really a travel blog but I think that travelling as a college student is a unique experience and I want to write about it, so I will.
My plans started about a month ago when I decided that I wanted to do something bigger than just a weekend in Disney for Eduardo’s twenty-first birthday. I asked his parents if they would be willing to watch the dogs because my family was going out of town for the weekend so I wouldn’t be able to pay my sister to dog sit for us. Then I asked his uncle if we could use his credit card rewards for airline tickets (I know, this is kind of cheating if we’re talking travel on a budget but later this year we’ll be doing some more travelling where I’ll dive deep into buying airline tickets). And then I booked our hotel.
I’d been to Manhattan three times before this past weekend : when I was sixteen with my mom, we stayed in an Air BnB apartment; when I was eighteen after I graduated high school, I stayed basically in a hostel with twenty-three other people; last spring break Eduardo and I went, we stayed at Hotel Penn. I decided to book Hotel Penn again just because we know it’s not terrible and the price was right. I found the room on Travelocity and on Hotel Penn’s website, it was cheaper on Travelocity but I booked on the hotel site because of the “free” breakfast. Click the link to see how that went. Last year we booked through Travelocity and got free wifi and breakfast with no issue.
We departed from Jacksonville around noon on Friday and arrived in JFK Airport around 3pm. I don’t like taking taxis because I think they’re equally as unsanitary as the subway and superbly overpriced, so we took the Air Train to the subway and took a Manhattan bound E express train to Penn Station!
Originally we were just going to chill in the hotel Friday night but instead we decided to go explore a little bit. The goal was to get to Times Square, we never made it to Times Square but we did see Bryant Park, the New York City Public Library (the big one with the lions), the Chrysler Building, we got candy from Dylan’s Candy Bar, dinner at Chipotle, and made it back to the hotel before midnight.
On Saturday, again our plans were nonexistent, we had breakfast at Cafe R near our hotel and went back to our room so I could work on a paper. Eduardo fell asleep and I started researching what was going on in the city. Last year, Coney Island was closed so we never made it out there. Saturday was actually Coney Island’s soft open before their grand opening on Sunday so I dragged Eduardo out to the original Nathan’s Hot Dogs, took a gander at the Wonder Wheel, and stared at the same beach we have at home. We ate dinner at AG Kitchen in West Manhattan before heading back to the hotel and passing out.
Sunday was Eduardo’s real birthday so it was a day full of whatever he wanted. We started the day at The Smith in East Village, virally known for it’s skillet mac and cheese and campfire s’mores in a jar. We ate and drank before we went and did something totally crazy… Any guesses? We got tattoos! Yep, we’re that obnoxious couple who got matching tattoos. *shrug* After that experience we wandered over to Central Park, I crashed at about two and we went back to the hotel.
We had dinner reservations at the Sugar Factory but as soon as we made it over there we knew it wasn’t for us. Loud and obnoxious and everything was overpriced. We had an ice cream sundae that was good, not great, and hung out around Madison Square Garden a bit before retiring for the evening.
Unfortunately, we had to go home on Monday, our flight got delayed about an hour, no big deal. The culture shock from Manhattan, where thousands of people are crammed into one tiny area, to Jacksonville, where there might be a couple dozen people in the same place, still gets to me.
I love going to New York and I might write a few more, in-depth posts about some of our experiences. However, that’s it for now! Do you like to plan your vacations beforehand or do you just get to where you’re going and go with the flow? Let us know in the comments!
Until next time! Xx