Hello everyone, and Merry Christmas from the Big Apple! After a long day of cooking and other festivities, I’ve sat down to write my final blog post about my November trip to New York. You should read part 1 and part 2 first.

Day 8 – Saturday

On Saturday we arose bright and early, but left the apartment rather reluctantly as we had day two of the open-top bus tour to look forward to. The Uptown loop took us up and down both sides of Central Park, as well as around Columbia University, Morningside Heights and Harlem. We were shown the current and previous addresses of many New York based celebrities such as Yoko Ono, Robert De Nero and Sting, though the highlight was definitely “these buildings were constructed between 1909 and 1929, so they’re real historic”. The earliest date mentioned on the tour was 1860, not surprising in a city settled in 1624 compared to London’s 43 AD.

Some pics from the Uptown tour - Riverside church, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Peace Fountain and New Jersey over the Hudson

After two hours, we could barely feel our fingers, and our feet hurt to walk on. We had the option of taking a Brooklyn tour, a night tour, and a ferry out to Liberty Island, but despite the fact we’d already paid for them we decided to pass and just go shopping.

After stopping in at Bill’s Bar and Burger for a chilli dog, disco fries (what the hell?) and a classic American milkshake, we hit the shops. We found a ton of things we both wanted – a coat for Tom, some boots for me – but actually passed on purchasing them in hopes that next week’s Black Friday would mean better deals. In the end I only bought a pair of jeans, my first pair in 5 years. On the way back we saw Times Square at night for the first time – WOW, did it really come alive. I can truly see why people call it the Crossroads of the World.

Times Square by night

That evening we had planned all along to be our “night on the town”. We decided to head to the nearest bar, but a few moments after ordering realised a) it was a gay bar and b) there was a private function on. Feeling like we were imposing, we awkwardly finished our drinks and politely left. Instead we wandered for a few more streets and came across piano bar Don’t Tell Mama. In short, it was amazing. The incredible pianist played live requests for four hours straight, and both the waitress and bartender went up on stage for performances. The dark lighting and table service meant we drank more than we’d planned, both in alcohol consumption and financially, but I wouldn’t change it for anything – it was one of the most fun nights out I’ve ever had.

Day 9 – Sunday

The bright lights of morning came only too soon. Then the brighter lights of midday. Then at 1pm we woke up and realised I had to leave for the airport in just over two hours! Panic stations, everyone! Between frantically stuffing things into my suitcase, recovering from my horrible hangover, and thinking I’d lost Tom’s expensive-to-replace room key, it wasn’t my finest hour. Somehow we got everything together and were just about to leave on time… when I decided to double check my exact flight time. Having check it, I took off my coat and sat down on the bed.

“Tom, my flight’s at 9pm, not 7pm…”

That was when it hit me. I was leaving. Not just Tom, not just New York, but both, together. I was leaving the place where I felt like I belonged, to go back home to the hustle and bustle and stress of “real life”. And I started crying.

Two hours later, when we tried to get the subway, failed, then hailed a cab, I was calmer. But resolved. I was coming back. But not for two weeks, as originally planned. I was coming back for the final 5 and a half weeks of Tom’s stay. I had to run it by my major clients, but I couldn’t see them saying no. I was going to make my dream of living in Manhattan come true.

I just had to get through the next few weeks apart.

To keep up to date with my New York adventures over the next month, keep tabs on this blog or follow me on Instagram.

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