Today was out last full day in New York so we were up and out. After our big breakfast the past few days we thought we would go for something a bit on the lighter side, so a trip to Starbucks across the road it was. We both had a toasted bagel with cream cheese which you really can’t go wrong with for $2 and a tea which was better than the tea we have had for the past few days as well.
Today was all about shopping woo. I had read about the New Jersey Gardens Outlet online and thought we would give this a go. We made our way over to Port Authority Bus Station to get the bus to New Jersey Gardens, once inside the station it was a case of asking someone where to go to get our tickets and the bus as this wasn’t like a bus station at home it had different levels. We asked at the information where to get our tickets, she advised upstairs and told us to take a leaflet with the bus timetable on. We made our way upstairs where again we couldn’t see where to get tickets, so I found an information guy and he told us to go downstairs, I all of a sudden felt like I was on a wild goose chase to get my ticket for the bus and all this running around was eating into important shopping time. We eventually found the booths for the NJ Transit and finally got our tickets for the bus which were around $14 each return (I think) now just to find the bus. Back up the escalator we had a little wander round and asked the information guy where to find the bus and up another escalator we go. When we reached the top of the escalator we were in what seemed like the road, but there are little shelters that you stand in until the bus arrives. It seems like more people know about New Jersey Gardens than I thought, the shelter was extremely busy with people and when the bus turned up we were like squashed sardines. Is it really necessary to push that much to get on a bus, a bus can only seat a certain amount of people and if you don’t get on this one there will be another. Well that was what I wanted to say to everyone but instead I just got carried along with the pushing and shoving until I reached the bus door. Finally after two buses passing and a man nearly pushing me to the floor to get on the bus in front of me and a few cross words from Sam we were finally on a bus and on our way.
The journey to New Jersey Gardens took around 40 minutes however I could of done with some travel sickness pills, they do love to throw those buses around corners. Can you tell this was my first experience of a bus in the US? I think we arrived at New Jersey Gardens around 10.45am and it seemed relatively quiet when we walked in. We grabbed a tourist discount book just as you walk in the door (note they will only accept a passport or driving licence) and then we were off shopping.
New Jersey Gardens is an indoor outlet shopping complex which has 2 floors and lots of shops to please everyone. We spent around 2 hours here buying lots of goodies including clothes from Abercrombie, boots from UGG, nearly half of Bath and Body Works and after taking ages to decide I also got bag from Michael Kors. However, my credit card company clearly decided that I had done too much shopping and decided to block my card when I was trying to pay for the bag, how nice of them. After the most embarrassing episode of being told my card has been declined and having to use Sam’s card to pay we decided to call it a day shopping and head back to Manhattan with all our bargains.
Getting on the bus back to Manhattan wasn’t anywhere near as eventful as the bus to New Jersey Gardens which I was very grateful for, I don’t think I could have coped going through that again with lots of bags on my arms. While on the bus we were doing some research on where to go for dinner. We always like to go for one nice dinner while we are away and on our flight home from Mexico last year someone had recommended Del Frisco’s to us. After reading some reviews online, which seemed positive we were willing to give it a go. We went onto their website and managed to reserve a table for later in the evening easy peasy. When we reached Port Authority Bus Station we walked back to our hotel why we didn’t get the subway I have no idea we had so many bags and it was so heavy. We grabbed a Subway Sandwich just by the hotel and went back to our room to drop all the bags and give my arms and legs a chance to recover from shopping. You can see some of my items I purchased on my Instagram account here.
Before we left the UK we booked tickets for One World Observatory. A little tip for you, they do something called MasterCard Monday (which hopefully they still do if you look it up). If you visit One World Observatory on a Monday and pay with your MasterCard you get 20% off your admission tickets. Anyway, we grabbed our tickets from the room and made our way to the subway station to go to the World Trade Centre stop. The sun was just starting to go down so fingers crossed we would get to see the beautiful sunset from the sky.
When we reached One World Observatory it was surprisingly quiet we walked straight through and up to security, straight through security and on to the lift. When you reach the Observatory you go into a room where you watch a projection show, I wont spoil it for anyone that hasn’t been but it is amazing. We spent some time wandering around the observatory taking pictures, however, due to the sun setting we had terrible reflection taking pictures through the glass. The only problem with the Observatory was that you had a lot of people just sitting on the sides playing on their phones which makes it difficult for other people to get in and see the view or take pictures, I think one person got the hint when I was leaning over their head to get a picture. We were not going to get anywhere near the window for the side the sun was setting as people had clearly set up camp until the sun was completely down, so instead we decided to head to the observatory bar. We were really lucky and we managed to get a seat at the bar where we could also see the sky changing from day time to night time with a glass of prosecco in hand, perfect, much better than camping on the floor near the window. Prices were about average for drinks here considering where you were. I had a large glass of prosecco and Sam had 2 Disaronno & Cokes and it came to $45.00 however, they automatically add 18% service to your bill here so our total was $57.09.
After our drinks we went back down to the observatory where it was a lot quieter and took some pictures of the night skyline which was stunning but again the reflection was terrible on the pictures but our patience did eventually pay off and we did get some good shots… eventually.
After One World Observatory we made our way back to the subway station and back to the hotel to get ready for our dinner reservation at Del Frisco’s. The wind had really picked up and it was so cold tonight I wouldn’t say it was a nice stroll back to the subway station more like a fight with the wind and people darting everywhere leaving work. Eventually we were back on the subway and back in the warmth. After getting ready to go out for dinner , we jumped back on the subway for one stop to Rockefeller Center and walked to Del Frisco’s.
Del Frisco’s is a huge restaurant with 2 floors and lots of people. We were taken to a table upstairs which was a little booth to the side of the restaurant. The first thing I didn’t like about this restaurant was how dark it was I could of done with a little bit more light to read the menu if I am honest or maybe just my glasses. Anyway we were greeted by our waiter who then went on to talk us through the whole menu, however, this would of been good if we could hear him over the restaurant noise. That many people in one place all talking does create a loud atmosphere and a waiter trying to talk you through the menu between it all isn’t the easiest thing to listen to. He did try bless him but after he left the table Sam and I had to laugh as we both said we had no idea what he had said. Anyway we both opted for 8oz fillet steak with a side of broccoli and cheesy dauphinois potatoes – definitely not one for the dieters out there. After ordering we were given warm bread and butter, this was lovely however I always fill myself up on it as it’s just there going eat me. Our food came out around half an hour later and it was huge the sides were family size portions, one thing I did like was that they asked us to cut into our steak to make sure it was cooked right for us. The steak was lovely probably not the best fillet steak we have ever had however it still tasted lovely and we both enjoyed it. By the time we had finished our meal we were both so full up and with it being so dark in the restaurant my brain thought it was time for bed and my eyes were nearly in the back of my head stupid jet lag. We decided against pudding as we seen a few come out and as nice as they looked they were huge and we just thought it would be a total waste for us not to eat it, instead we just enjoyed our drinks. Our meal came to $163.31 ($193.31 inc tip).
After leaving Del Frisco’s so full we walked back to the hotel as Sam wanted to grab his camera to get some night shots of the Apple Store – yes he’s photography geek. We walked from the hotel back up towards Central Park and across to the Apple Store on the corner, by this time it was around 11pm so there wasn’t many people coming and going from the Apple Store. Sam set up the camera and I sat on the wall when a guy approached us. Me being me and my natural instinct was oh here we go what is he going to say or do, however, he was in fact just curious to what we were doing with the camera. He was in fact quite a genuine guy who proceeded to tell us all about his life however, it was one of those situations where I didn’t think I was ever going to get away – we did eventually after Sam let him talk to me for over half an hour while he took his photos. After Sam deciding he had the shot we walked back down 5th Avenue looking at all the store windows lit up and continued back to the hotel. We got back to the hotel just after midnight and went straight to bed ready for our final morning/afternoon in city.
New York Travel Diaries | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 5
If you would like to see Sam’s photos from New York click here
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