I’ll never forget that first early early morning. We’d flown all through the night, sleeping here and there, but nothing that you’d call quality. Probably due to the fact that we were way too excited. I couldn’t wrap my mind around that fact that in just a few hours I would be there. I would be in New York! We landed in JFK, grabbed our luggage and made our way to the subway that would take us all the way up to the top of Manhattan. I’d never ridden the subway before and it was the strangest thing to me. How is this speeding through tunnels all the way down there? How are all these people going to fit in here? What’s the smell? Where are all these people going?! After about an hour of traveling, we decided to head up and out to get some fresh air. We were exhausted, tired, and sweaty. But I’ll never forget emerging from the subway up into the big city. It was real. And it was alive. I didn’t know where to look first and I did my best not to trip over Juan in front of me, or trip anyone with my giant suitcase I was pulling. As exhausted as I was, I couldn’t wait to see as much as I could of this incredible place.
Finally, after another hour of walking and subway-ing, we made it to where we were staying in Inwood. We crashed pretty hard for a few hours. Ignoring the fact that it was hot and humid (Because apparently people in the city don’t have AC?!). Despite how tired and sweaty we were, we got dressed and headed out. I’m actually surprised by how much we saw that first day. We walked around the bottom of Central Park, FAO Schwartz, Times Square, dozens of stores on 5th Ave., Trump Tower, Niketown, etc. It was so incredible to just be there and soak it all in. And can we talking about the graham cracker ice cream from the Trump Tower cafe? Definitely a highlight of the trip. At night we walked around Washington Heights and ate dinner in this little Irish pub. Juan showed me his old apartment in the area and some other places around it. I remember being blown away with how green everything was, despite being in the city. I also remember thinking, “Man, Times Square is dirty. And crazy.” Ha! The whole trip I was just always in awe of the sea of people going every which way. It was truly A successful first day, and one that ended with a solid night of much needed sleep.