US trip, second stop: New York

AND I’M BACK! This is the second instalment of my US trip blogs (hopefully, there’ll be four).

After San Francisco, we flew to New York via the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey. From the airport, we rode the Go Airlink Shuttle going to New York. It’s a shared shuttle that costs only $20 USD per person. It will drop you off na to your hotel in Manhattan. It’s very convenient and affordable. The only downside is that you’ll have to wait for the next available schedule. In our case, we had to wait around 30 minutes to ride the van. Once we were inside the van, since we were the first to ride, we had to wait for the other passengers pa from different flights and go to the other terminals. I think before we finally started to head for New York, we were inside the van mga 1.5 hours. For us it was okay because we didn’t have any plans for the rest of the day, but the other passengers who were with us missed the Broadway play they were supposed to watch at 7 PM. The drive to Manhattan was around two hours (take note: it was a Tuesday, rush hour), and once in Manhattan, the shuttle driver will drop off passengers one by one in their hotel. You’re lucky if you’re the first one to be dropped off; but if not, tulog ka nalang muna (like what I did). We arrived at the EWR airport at 4:30 pm, and arrived at the hotel at around 8:30 PM.

Ang haba ng paragraph na ‘yon ah! Nakahinga ba kayo kakabasa? HAHAHA. Anyway, I’ll show you a picture muna. And disclaimer: I don’t have too many kwentos in NY (I think). So baka maiksi at boring lang ito.

That’s Rey. He’s a very good friend of ours who’s based in Singapore. We used to work together when I was still in SG. SOBRANG LAUGHTRIP NIYAN. When we’re together, kinakabag talaga ako kakatawa! We met with him in New York for this vacation. Sobrang kaladkarin niyan ni Rey! Kevin and I book our flights without consulting him, then we just tell him where we’re going, then before we know it, naka-book na yan. HAHA. We were with him also last year sa Europe naman.

Anyway, mabalik sa chronological order ulit. We were booked in Parker New York. It’s part of the Hyatt family (alam niyo na ‘yan, dahil ‘yan sa discount ng Tito ko HAHA). The location is good kasi it’s between Central Park and Times Square. Both are 10 minutes walk lang.

After checking in, Kevin and I went to the nearest Halal Guys to buy dinner. Kevin and I like Middle Eastern food so we were so excited to try the original Halal Guys. And the verdict is: okay naman! HAHAHA. Kevin grew up in Saudi. When my parents-in-law go home to the Philippines, may dala silang food from Saudi at ANG SARAP TALAGA. Mataas ang standard ni Kevin sa garlic sauce hahaha. So when we tried Halal Guys, just like its branch in Manila, it was just okay.

Rey arrived at the hotel that night din. We walked to Times Square na din that night just to check what’s the fuss (what’s the fuss?!?!??!?!?? HAHAHA). Then we went back to the hotel na din.

DAY 2. We woke up 11AM. San ka naman nakakita ng bakasyunistang tulog hanggang 11 AM?! HAHA. Jetlag kasi, sorry na! It was raining that day, and because we woke up late pa, konti lang napuntahan namin! First was Central Park (as in bungad lang!).

We probably only saw 1% of Central Park but it was soooo beautiful! Lalo dahil Autumn. These pictures don’t give justice to what it’s like in real life. Imagine such abundant trees amidst concrete jungle?! Ang ganda talaga even in the gloomy weather!

We then walked from Central Park (59th street) to 15th street where Rey had to get his things. 44 blocks din yon ah!!! It was tiring but it was a good idea din because we were able to see a lot of beautiful buildings that we would have not seen if we took the subway.

Ginagawa pa talaga yung Flatiron nung dumaan kami. May kulambo!

After Rey got his things, we had dinner at Jollibee. HAHAHA. Don’t judge us. Walang Jabi sa Sydney so we were more than happy to eat there! Ang laki din ng peach mango pie nila, guys! Too bad walang ganong size sa Pinas! (Wala nang picture ha?! Alam niyo na istura ng Jabi — same lang din sa NY hahaha). Also, nagtrain na kami hahaha! It was our first New York subway experience and what they say about it is true: medyo madumi nga! Hehe. But it wasn’t unbearable naman. Hindi lang siya malinis.

Dumaan na rin kami sa kapit-bahay naming Times Square on the way back to the hotel.

DAY 3. It was still raining kaya we weren’t able to visit a lot of places. Or even if we were, hindi ko ganon na-enjoy!

First stop was Raging Bull, then we walked to Ground Zero (we weren’t able to go inside anymore), Chelsea Market, then The High Line, and finally The Vessel. We went back to the hotel muna (as you would notice, ang hilig hilig namin ni Kebs bumalik sa hotel talaga kasi gusto namin yung nagpapahinga at nap! HAHAHA).

That night, we watched the Broadway Musical The Book of Mormon. I enjoyed that show so much! I wasn’t expecting it to be that good (probably one of the most entertaining Musical I’ve watched). Also probably the only musical show that didn’t make Kevin sleepy hahaha. It wasn’t the most visually appealing, but the storyline was great! I highly recommend it. I’m glad it was the first-ever play that Rey watched.

After the play, we went to the The Empire State Building Observation Deck. AAAAHHHHH. To see New York at night 86 floors high was so dreamy.

DAY 4. FINALLY, THE SUN WAS OUT!!! It was time to see The Statue of Liberty (fun fact: Mami’s name is Liberty, that’s where the “Li” part of my name came from).

We had lots of nice pictures in there. Lahat ata ng anggulo ni Liberty, in-aura-han namin. Usually it would be one of us taking pictures of the other two. But we were lucky enough to meet three Pinays who took photos of us (alam niyo yan mga turista: pag nakakita ng Pinoy, magpapa-picture sa kanila). Pero si Ate was so extra naman. Pinagppose niya kami ng mga tulad neto!!!!

Ate: “Itaas ang kamay, ang elbows, tuwid!”

Liisa: TOTOO BA?! *checks Rey and Kevin out*


Anyway, in the end, sumunod nalang din ako kasi nakataas na kamay nila.

Kevin and Rey: “Gawin mo nalang, para matapos na”

HAHAHAHA. Mej pushy kasi si ate!

May photo din naman kami na di pinilit ang posing.

After that, we went to Brooklyn Bridge. Nagpa-picture lang talaga kami don ni Kevin.

We watched Aladdin that night. There were parts na nakaka-antok for us (maybe because we had heavy dinner in Shake Shack right before the show, and nagbeer pa nga si Kevin), but when Aladdin and Princess Jasmine were in the carpet and sang A Whole New World na, major goosebumps!!! Literal ata nakanganga ako during that whole song! The whole show was a feast for the eyes talaga!

After the play, we met with Rey and had drinks in Hard Rock. I thoroughly enjoyed that also. Kevin and I don’t really go out for drinks here in Sydney kasi mahal — we usually just drink cheap wine at home. That’s why siguro I like having this kind of moments when we travel, hehehe.

Day 5 was Day 1 of Las Vegas na. Hehe. We flew out of New York na this day.

I LOVED NEW YORK. I sometimes feel like the only thing I really saw in NY was Times Square, but writing this made me realise madami din naman pala kaming napuntahan hahaha. But unlike SF, Kevin and I didn’t prepare for our NY trip. We didn’t know what were the must-sees and must-dos (I still don’t know)! Umasa lang kami kay Rey.

That’s why we’ll definitely go back! Next time probably longer (maybe at least a week long?). And hopefully, hindi na maulan! We’d really like to explore more.

Mahaba na din pala tong blog entry ko noh? Hahaha. Until next naman! I have two more entries for this series!

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