New York Travel Guide Day 4: Madame Tussauds and travel terrors!

Welcome to the last edition of my New York travel guide which includes my trip to Madame Tussauds as well as a collection of travel tips and travel terrors relating to my trip to New York City. I also have part one, part two and part three you can go and look at. This post is all about my trip to Madame Tussauds and my travel nightmares coming home.

Cute kitty in Petco

My final day

So our final day was predominantly spent shopping in New York. I really wanted to visit PetCo for some goodies for my darling angel Tigerlilli and was very sad looking at the pets up for adoption. We also visited the Korean part of New York which had an abundance of skin care and face masks – I am a big fan of Koran skincare! We did also explore the bigger department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s but huge busy places really aren’t my cup of tea! My favourite shop was Bath and Bodywork’s.

The Flat Iron Building New York
The Flat Iron Building

We also saw the Flat Iron Building whilst trying to find Forbidden Planet although it was good to see I wouldn’t make a purpose of wandering that far out without a metro pass unless you’re in that area anyway.

Rupaul Charles waxwork Madame Tussauds
Rupaul Madame Tussaud’s

We also visited Madame Tussaud’s during the evening time and naturally I gravitated straight towards Rupaul! It was full of waxwork models and some more interactive attractions. 

Marvel 4d

We went in the Marvel 4d show which was really good, there was another interactive experience but it involved zombies and this did not sit well with my younger sister. I really enjoyed the waxworks you could really interact with such as the ET one below.

ET waxwork Madame Tussauds New York
ET 

My holiday hell!

The hulk Madame Tussauds New York
The Hulk

So, although I did have a great time, the thing which ruined my holiday was the dilemma’s we faced on the way home (and my next phone bill faced after). Upon travelling on the bus back to Stewart airport we were informed our flight back to Edinburgh was cancelled with no explanation. Another passenger approached us and showed us a text he had received this morning and said they had arranged another Norwegian airlines flight to get them home but my dad hadn’t received any communications from them.

Ghostbusters

Things not going to plan give me major anxiety so this was such an inconvenience. I had to call Norwegian airlines from America who offered me a flight from JFK to Stockholm which had one seat for a family of four, then another flight to Paris which was even later. Then the flight to Edinburgh from Paris was too late as messed with everyone’s plans and work commitments so I ended up opting for a Newcastle flight from Paris which got us home at 3pm but my dad would still have to go to Edinburgh to collect his car. I was ten contacted again and told the Paris flight was delayed and I would miss the Newcastle flight so I had to then fly to Amsterdam before Newcastle.

New York City
NYC

Instead of an hour coach trip from Manhattan to Stewart Airport then a direct flight to Edinburgh followed by a drive home for lunch time I had a coach trip from the airport and back, a taxi ride to JFK airport, a flight to Paris departing at 2am instead of 10:30pm, a flight to Amsterdam and then I finally arrived in Newcastle at 11pm. This was 13 hours later than my estimated arrival. My dad then had to travel to Edinburgh via train to retrieve the car. We were also subjected to tired old planes with no entertainment and although we paid for reserved seats we could not sit together.

My top travel tips for New York

  • Pack for literally anything it could be sunny one day, snowing the next
  • Get discounted entry into some of the main attractions such as the National History Museum (Read travel guide posts 2 or 3)
  • Don’t buy a travel pass for the subway (see travel guide 2)
  • Avoid Norweigan airlines

Thank you so much for reading my travel guides if you would like to visit part one, part two or part three please do so! I hope you’ve enjoyed my insights and if you have any New York related questions please feel free to ask!

Cara x

New York travel guide Day 2: Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO and 9/11 Memorial Museum

Welcome to part two of my New York travel guide, if you haven’t read part one yet then click here and you can read about getting there, my hotel and the sights I saw on day one of my trip.

Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO

The view of New York from Brooklyn
The view of New York from Brooklyn

To start our second day in New York, we got the subway over to Brooklyn heights and explored DUMBO which is the underpass. It was such a hot day and the view of all the skyscrapers was amazing from the other side of the water.

A photo of at the DUMBO underpass with a view of Manhattan Bridge
Photo spot at DUMBO with a view of Manhattan bridge

We walked around for a little while and found the place where a lot of people decide to take Instagram shots in the middle of the road with the Manhattan bridge behind them. I of course, had to join in and get mine took although the sun was very bright and in my eyes so it was hard to get a reasonable shot. I was also very boiling in that coat.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York
Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn bridge was very very busy when we walked over it. Although I can imagine you are able to get some great shots on the bridge it’s very difficult due to the number of people crossing and also the number of people stopping dead in front of you in the middle of the bridge to get a photo themselves. Be nice and find a spot to the side.

The view walking across Brooklyn Bridge
The view walking across Brooklyn Bridge

Staten Island Ferry and The Statue of Liberty

The view of Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry
The view of Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry

We then took another subway to get to the Staten Island ferry.  We weren’t too bothered about actually visiting Ellis Island, we just wanted to see the statue so we opted for the free ferry. It doesn’t take long and gives you a pretty good view of the statue but you need to be quick to get off the boat at Staten Island and then back on another boat to return.

The Statue Of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty

9/11 Memorial Museaum + Ground Zero New York

Inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum
Inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum

This museum and general area of New York is really really upsetting and I can see why some people choose not to visit but it was probably one of the highlights of the trip as I found it absolutely fascinating. 

The 9/11 Memorial Pools
The 9/11 Memorial Pools

We first went to the memorial pools which were placed where the twin towers were and had the names of several people who had lost their lives during 9/11.

Fire engine at the 9/11 Memorial Museum
Fire engine at the 9/11 Memorial Museum

My dad and I then went into the museum which was so interesting and moving, it included lots of information about 9/11 and all of the people involved such as the fire service, police force, ambulance services, animals and all of those who worked in the building

Fire truck 9/11 Memorial Museum
Another fire truck 9/11 Memorial Museum

With my dad actually being  a firefighter we were so captured by the damaged fire trucks and stories of the firefighters that assisted during the fire and it was sad to think that everyone involved woke up to a normal day without any idea what was ahead.

Sirius the police dog, 9/11 memorial museum
Sirius the police dog, 9/11 Memorial Museum

I was also really touched by the story of the police dog, Sirius who was killed during 9/11 and they had a photo dedicated to him. The saddest part was definately the room filled with all the photo’s, items and stories of those who lost their lives which was an exhibition where photo’s were not permitted.

9/11 Memorial Museum
9/11 Memorial Museum

The above photo of the blue tiles also had a touching story behind it as each shade represents one persons memory of the colour of the sky that day. You can find more details on the 9/11 memorial museum here.

My top tips

Subway: A kind homeless man called Austin made us aware of not buying passes for everyone and this saved us a lot of money.  The passes are 40$ per person but buying one card that you can top up saves a lot of money. Up to 4 people can use a card and each journey is 2.75$ so you’re only really paying for what you need.

Free entry to 9/11 Memorial Museum: Visit the museum on a Tuesday just before 5pm and you are allowed to enter for free. They do suggest making a donation and every donation above 5$ you get a free wristband which is a nice thing to remember the place by.

I hope you all enjoyed the second edition of my New York travel guide. Please check out part three here which includes the Museum of Natural History, Central Park.

Thanks for reading,

Cara x

New York travel guide Day 1: Top of the Rock, Grand Central Station and Empire State Building

Recently I took a trip to the big apple with my family as an early gift for my mam’s 50th birthday. The trip lasted 5 days and was completely exhausting so this has took me a while to put together. When researching New York I found most of my help and recommendations came from online websites such as Pintrest, Instagram and other blogs so here is the first part of my five part travel guide to New York city!

Travelling to New York

Outside the Wyndham A New Yorker hotel

My family and I travelled to New York using Norweigan airlines on a direct flight from Edinburgh Airport to Stewart Airport. We travelled from Sunderland to Edinburgh by car and then from Stewart Airport to Manhattan we got the bus which was 20$ each. I will explain more about my flight experiences in a later post but my journey there was tolerable althought the aeroplane had no Wifi or entertainment which was very dissappointing as we were expecting it.

We stayed in the Wyndham A New Yorker hotel on 8th avenue which I was pleasantly surprised with. Although a 3* they were very accomodating, the kind lady at the front desk, Julia, upgraded us to a larger room the second night which had a fantastic view of the Empire State building. I also found the other front desk and security staff very friendly as well as the mail room staff who helped me with my Halloween costume order!

First day in New York

New York Public Library

View of the New York public library
Outside the New York public library

Firstly, we started the day mainly sightseeing and getting our bearings in mid-town which was the area we were staying in. One of our first photo stops was the New York public library which was featured in the popular film, Ghostbusters.

Top of the rock

Ice rink in Rockefeller plaza
Ice rink in Rockefeller plaza

We then headed over to Rockefeller plaza, home of the Rockerfellar centre along with NCB News and various shops and restaurants. We decided our first excursion would be the Top of the Rock, a fantasic view of the New York city skyline. 

View from Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller centre
Views from Top of the Rock

I took a lot of photo’s on Top of the Rock as the view was phenomenal. One side you could see how huge central park is and the other was mainly the large buildings including the Empire State building which you can see above. It’s best to get here early so expect to que both for the tickets and to get into the actual attraction as it’s super busy, I’d also recommend making sure you go on a clear day or you wont see a thing. My family used a New York explorer pass which you can find here on Expedia for 3,4,5 and 7 New York attractions.

Pumpkins in Rockefeller Plaza
Pumpkin decor in Rockefeller Plaza

After that we had a wander around Rockefeller Plaza and visited some cute shops, I really loved the Kawaii shop! My sisters firm favourite however, was definately the Nintendo shop as she went to New York with two soft toys and came back with eight!

Donkey Kong in the Nintendo Store
Statue of Donkey Kong in the Nintendo Store

My favourite meal in New York

Pizza burger from Black Tap New York city
Amazing pizza burger!

After stumbling upon them on their Instagram which is linked here, I could not come to New York and not try Black Tap on my first day. The food completely lived up to the hype and the que outside. I ordered the pizza burger which is above which arrived with the most amazing pizza sauce EVER. The two servers we had which were Daniel and Samantha were also very attentive and since it was so busy they regularly updated us with how long we were expecting to wait.

Cookies 'N' Cream milkshake from Black Tap NYC
This cookies’n’cream milkshake was the best!

I then finished off with this absolutely amazing cookies ‘n’ cream milkshake which had oreo pieces and a huge cookie sandwich on top. The milkshakes here were absolutely amazing and I was so torn whether to opt for this one of the standard cookie milkshake but I would have enjoyed both. My dad also opted for one of these but his was the fruity pebbles version and he also finished that. Although the bill was quite pricey here at 15$ for the milkshake alone it was well worth it and I’d highly recommend you visit if in New York. It also is enough to fill you for the full day as I couldn’t eat anything else!

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station

Our second photo stop was Grand Central Stations. Although not much to do here it’s worth a see and a photo due to it being so famous. There’s a few little shops inside too but they are rather pricey, typical for a train station.

Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station

Empire State building

At the Empire State Building view of New York at night
The view from the Empire State was amazing

We decided to visit the Empire State building by night which was amazing as it was a magical experience seeing the city all light up at night. We decided to go at night as I saw many blogs and Instagram posts recommending it and it was a great recommendation as there was barely any ques! We once again used our New York explorer pass for this and it was our second attraction.

New York at night from the Empire State building
New York at night from the Empire State building

First look around Times Square

Times Square at night
Times Square at night

We ended the evening by having a look around Times Square which was full of people shopping, dining and visiting the theatre. We sadly did not go and see a show because the tickets were very expensive and we couldn’t agree on which one we wanted.  Harry Potter and The Cursed Child would be my choice which was the most expensive (still looks amazing, I will see it one day).

M&M world
M&M world Statue Of Liberty

We did however, visit the M&M’s world which was similar to the one’s I’ve been to in London and Florida and we got bags of the one’s we couldn’t get in a standard pack as it wasn’t worth getting the standard M&M’s as it was around 7$ per half a pound! We also saw a gigantic teddy bear and some other cool shops around Times Square.

I hope you enjoyed the first of my four part travel guide and are looking forward to the next post. Next week I will tell you all about the 9/11 memorial museum and Brooklyn Bridge so keep watching! What’s your favourite place in New York?

You can find part two of the guide here.

I have also added part three here.

Thanks for reading,

Lots of love

Cara x