So this is where my last instalment begins. Technically there should have been ten of these posts to signify the ten weeks I was travelling, yet some posts took on more days than just that week so I went a bit wrong somewhere. But still, there is a lot of inspirational travelling fodder for you to have a read of. To look back at some of the other posts from this series, just try the Travelling label. So lets get on with it.
After leaving my trekkers in Newark, I headed to Newark train station to rendezvous with my big brother, Alex. We had planned to meet months previously, when I decided that my trip doesn’t take in a few areas that I had really wanted to visit, mainly New York. So we managed to meet on the same train and headed towards Asbury Park. For those who may have never heard of Asbury, it is famously known as a hot spot for Bruce Springsteen fans as he spends and spent a lot of his time there, and as me and my brother are big Boss fans, we took up the pilgrimage.
We first headed to our hotel to drop off our bags, stopping at The Berkeley hotel for two nights. After sleeping on hostel beds and the floor for 64 days, I could not wait for an awesome hotel, and I certainly got that. The most prestigious hotel in Asbury, unknown to us, so I walked into the lobby with my hair a mess and a dirty back pack on, to find wives and daughters tottering around on heels with designer handbags everywhere. I very quickly changed and showered so that I too could appear somewhat respectable. At this point it was getting later so we headed into Asbury to find somewhere to eat. However, as it was a Saturday evening in a seaside resort, and a small one at that, the queues for restaurants were reaching over two hours, so we had to choose one and head to some bars whilst we waited to be sat. We chose a gorgeous bar with a rooftop terrace to look over the Asbury boardwalk and sea view and sat chatting about the last two months. Finally we ate at a lovely italian and again I talked at my brother about previous goings-on.
The next day was our walking day. We set off out of the Berkeley quite early and began walking down the boardwalk through about 4 other different resorts until finally we got to the corner of 10th Avenue and E Street, the supposed place that spurred the naming of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Ive put a picture up above of me stood next to the street sign, and the street sign we walked 8 miles round trip for. But yet, it was still awesome to see it. We then walked back, taking in a few more spots like Madam Maries and the Stone Pony bar that Bruce is supposed to still drink at now and again. As the weather was so beautiful, after returning back I took an opportunity to sunbathe by the pool, and the first time Id sunbathed since Vegas over a month previous. We got ourselves ready and headed down Cookman Ave to find ourselves another lovely place to eat. We did and ate absolutely loads before heading back to the boardwalk and choosing our rooftop terrace bar again. That evening, the Stone Pony were hosting a rock gig on their huge stage to the rear of the bar, so we sat and watched Shinedown playing whilst sat with a cider on the terrace. Pretty awesome.
The next day we had to wake at 6am to journey back to New York and up to Boston, Massachusetts. After fumbling through New York with two suitcases to get to the Greyhound stop at Port Authority Bus station from NY Penn station, we took up the four hour bus journey to Boston. Finally arriving there, we got a taxi to our hostel, the 40 Berkeley. I wouldn’t overly recommend this hostel as it was the most basic hostel of my entire trip, with just two horrible beds in a tiny prison style room, yet it was okay for what we needed, just no luxury whatsoever.
We headed into Boston taking in some of the sights and skyscrapers and headed to McGreevys irish bar for drinks and to look at where the Dropkick Murphys often hang out. I then decided that I need some retail therapy so we took a few streets to Newbury street and walked all the way up through Boutiques and high street stores, taking in Johnny Cupcakes on the way through. We had a big walk through the city afterwards and made our way to the Harbour, stopping at a fish restaurant where I tried Lobster for the first time. I don’t think Ill try it again yet at least I gave it a go in Boston as Id promised myself.
The next day we took a little trip to Harvard to walk around the campus. Although not the most exhilarating part of my trip, it was a place that I can tick off my list and we still had fun imagining what studying there is actually like. Very posh indeed. We then headed back to the Quincy markets and struggled to work out what to eat out of the huge selection of vendors. It reminded me so much of Camden food market, but even cleaner and neater, so you can imagine how hard it was to choose what to eat. We then shopped a little more and took in a few more sights before eating more Market food for tea and heading back to the hostel for an early night.
The next day was finally the time for New York. We made our way back down through Boston and landed in New York in the late afternoon. We again got set up in my final hostel of the trip which actually was more of an apartment than a hostel. Yet we were happy to drop bags and get ready. FYI we stopped in the New York Dream Hostel, which like I said wasn’t a hostel and wasn’t exactly a dream, yet it was an okay price for being on 9th avenue just below Times Square. Anyway, we headed into the city to meet up with my Dad and his partner, who had travelled into New York that day so that we could spend five days together as a four in New York. This took some persuading of course, a few months previously, but I was so happy when my Dad said he was up for it.
So we met them in Smiths bar on 8th Ave and my dad was so happy to see me, practically laughing and shouting the whole bar down when he saw me walk in. Such a lovely way to see my Dad again after being away for so long. We ate and talked about the last few months over food and ciders and then made our way to Times Square together to see it all lit up with the hustle and bustle, awesome.
Now my brother had sorted us out an incredible itinerary for the next five days in New York to literally see everything, so if you’re thinking of going, I would highly recommend doing what Im about to mention. Also, make sure you buy the New York City Passes as they are fantastic! Well worth the money, you save so much and you also save time in queues for tickets.
We started the first day by taking in the key areas of central Manhattan. We went up the Empire State Building for a few hours and snapped every angle of the incredible view until it was dinner time. We found the New York Library and sat down in their outdoor cafe for a beautiful lunch. Then we headed to MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art to take in some of the most incredible artists like Picasso, Van Gogh and Warhol. That evening we stayed in Times Square and hit up an old favourite, Planet Hollywood where I gorged on a brownie sundae again. As it was around 8.30pm, me and my brother decided to go back up the Empire State Building with our dual ticket from the City Pass, so this time we could take pictures in the dark with the city lit up. Absolutely gorgeous and something I would highly recommend doing.
Day two in New York was spent this time in Southern Manhattan and Little Italy. We started walking from Times Square towards the Manhattan Bridge at the bottom of the Island. Granted it took us a good few miles, but we made it there and headed over the Bridge, snapping the Brooklyn Bridge just over the water next to us. After arriving in Brooklyn, we walked around towards the Brooklyn Bridge so that we could come back over to Manhattan over the Bridge, therefore taking in both Bridges in the day. Again, it was a great way to see a few different landmarks and take pictures.
As we were so Southern, we then got onto the Staten Island Ferry, a free ferry ride that takes you over to the Island nearby. The point being to take in the Statue of Liberty whilst the boat passes by. Such a great idea for anyone who doesnt want to pay to go on the Central Line Cruises or Statue cruises. We got over to the Island and got straight back onto the boat and came back again, in all taking just over an hour but getting some awesome views. After getting off the boat, we then walked to the new 1 World Trade Center building and Ground Zero. It was so beautifully designed and truly overwhelmed me to go into the area. Two large waterfalls have been built in the ground where the two buildings stood, with the names of the innocent inscribed into metal around the edge of the square falls. So stunning and tastefully designed. After a drink we headed back through Little Italy and ate at an awesome Italian Restaurant on the Italy strip. A subway back to Times Square got us back and into bed exhausted from a good 10 mile walk.
The next day was time for visiting the North of the city. We walked it up to Central Park and stopped at the Dakota Building, where John Lennon was shot over 30 years ago. We continued through the Park and snapped pictures of the beautiful bridges and gardens. We made it to the American Museum of Natural History which was awesome as always, looking around the dinosaur bones and every other historical figures you could imagine. After a hot dog we walked a little further through Central Park, had a quick look in the Metropolitan Museum and walked to the Guggenheim to take a look at the building. We then walked it all the way back down 5th avenue and did some shopping finally, although I didnt pick anything up which I was greatly surprised at. Yet I had bought so much over the two months. Anyway, we quickly went back to the apartment to get changed and made our way out again to a bar called 230 5th, which you have to go to! Absolutely amazing roof terrace bar with the most incredible 20th floor uninterrupted view of the Empire State and the Chrysler building.We stayed up there eating and drinking whilst the sun went down. Although be warned, make sure you know the price of the drinks before you order them as they are incredibly expensive and we bought a $60 bottle of wine without realising, yet the view made it all worth it. You must go!
Finally, the last day, we started with the Central Line Cruise as part of our city passes, that take you around the Statue of Liberty and around the Island with a brilliant commentary of where and what you are looking at. Really brilliant and so cool to see the Island from both sides on the water. We got off and made our way to the Pier to some baseball batting cages, where we all have a go at baseball with an automated machine shooting balls like bullets at you. Awesome though. We then found our way onto the Highline, an old railway line that runs elevated over the city, where you can walk along the refurbished area with beautiful plants and benches set out. That is where we spotted the gorgeous wall mural above and stopped to take in some of the street views. We made our way down onto the streets and flagged a taxi to 5th Avenue again where I wanted to pick up some Nick Air Max. After a little more shopping we went to the Rockefeller Center and made our way up to the views again. This time the views take in Central Park which is so cool to see from so high up, but you can also snap the Empire State Building from this high up. At this point I was so tired from the few months catching up, so we made our way for tea at Ellens Stardust Diner. Do yourself a favour and GO HERE. So so amazing. You eat diner style food whilst being serenaded by the staff who are all training Broadway singers. They sing Broadway and chart tunes whilst you eat and they are all absolutely brilliant. I had the best time and can not recommend this any more.
And that was it. Our journey was over and after a bit of time in the city the next morning, we made our way back to Newark Airport for a long overnight flight home. It has been the most incredible 2 and a half months that I will never forget. I really hope I might have inspired a lot of you with this series and I truly recommend you have a look at Trekamerica and the Trailblazer . I had the time of my life.
I will write a few more posts with recommendations for places you must visit in the States as soon as I get a chance as well as a post on what you may need as essentials for your journey. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these long posts, I have loved reading all of your comments, so thank you so much for those.
Take a look at my Instagram @inthefrow for more images of the past 75 days and I hope you’ve all has amazing summers also x