NYC and other stories
I have been reflecting on our trip to the States for a couple of weeks now and I finally feel like I have mulled over every single detail and emotion that took place during our holiday. I feel that I can finally put my thoughts into words on paper or, well, type them in here with excitement. The first thing that I have to say is that I feel very fortunate to have someone by my side who enjoys traveling and exploration as much as I do and who truly takes every new experience in like it's a gasp of fresh air. Thank you for this trip!
For me, half of the fun about traveling is the planning part, where you look up all the cool places to visit, find tiny little cafes where to have breakfast and read historic facts and urban legends about the place you're going to visit. It's like traveling before actually hitting the destination. So, where exactly did we go for two weeks? Let me tell you, it was a lot of places!
Our first week was spent in New York and we stayed at a hotel on Wall Street, just minutes away from the Staten Island Ferry stop. We explored around the city like madmen, waking up at dawn and getting to bed in the early hours of the morning - I felt like we couldn't waste a second of that precious time. It's true that New York has a vibe to it, almost like a rhythm that everyone follows. If the city would be a color, it would be yellow. The cabs, the lines on the subway floors, the silk shirts on girlfriends who brunch together on Sundays and talk about their vacation to the Hamptons, the shining lights during the nighttime. Every day spent there was like a completely surreal adventure, because everything was new - the heat, the people, the sounds and the feelings. At one point, we stumbled upon a beautiful park in the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge and it was completely covered in fairy lights and there were fireflies buzzing around. I was just standing there, in the dark, sobbing and laughing at the same time, saying to Oliver "I'm so happy, I'm just so happy, I can't believe this". It's one of these moments that burns into your brain and probably lives there until you die. New York had a lot to offer, but this will forever be my favorite moment there.
After a week there, we rented a dream, I mean, a car - but not only a car, but a convertible electric blue Ford Mustang. My God, this was a fun thing to drive! We drove around quite a bit and it didn't get boring once, because it was so cool to see the changing landscape, spot the licence plates from all over America, see how life is different outside of the big city. During the week-ish period when we had the car, we drove to New Haven, where we checked out Yale and I had a Gilmore Girls moment in front of the Durfee Residence Hall. From there, we drove to Breakneck Ridge and slept in an old school camper van overlooking the Hudson River. A favorite moment from there was definitely the time we discovered a little creek in the forest where we swam around for hours, because it was about 37 degrees outside. It was the definition of a paradise oasis.
After that, we headed to Washington DC for the 4th of July and had such a great time seeing the parade and all of the historic buildings. We definitely had a strange feeling standing in front of the White House. If Obama would have still been in the office, we probably would have fangirled all over the place waving flags and so on. But the best part of Washington was definitely meeting friends! We met up with Oliver's friend from the US Embassy times and it was such a nice day that we spent together. We were invited to a beautiful dinner at her and her boyfriend's place and it was just so great to talk about everything that's happening in the world right now and just share our different experiences. Although it was our first time in Washington, the whole evening left us with a warm and beautiful homey feeling. After the dinner, Oliver and I decided to grab some bikes and we went on a midnight drive across the city. It was gorgeous - imagine that it had been the most crowded day and now, it was a ghost town, with no people in sight and all of the buildings were lit up like Christmas trees. But the night was over before we knew it and it was time to venture on.
You know this song by John Denver "Take Me Home, Country Roads"? Well, we had been listening to it a lot during the last year and we decided that we had to go to West Virginia, no matter what. So we drove and we drove and the roads leading to Shenandoah River were breathtaking. We did a whitewater rafting tour and swam in three different states during three hours and once again, talking to the locals was what made it special. After that, it was time to go crazy in an enormous outlet and then head back to NY. I don't think I've ever seen Oliver getting so excited over shopping, he definitely went all in, haha. At the end of the trip, we still had a couple of days which we spent in Brooklyn and I fell in love with the city even more. It was also great to meet some friends during our last days there. I have to say, that it's really cool to have friends and acquaintances scattered around the globe like that, because every time you travel, you get to see a whole new perspective.
I have left out a lot of the experiences that we had, but I think that in order to touch every subject, I would have to write a book!
Stay tuned, because I think that my next post is going to be all about eating in NY - what to focus on, where to go and what places I loved the most. Someday soon I will also definitely talk about Glossier (I died and went to heaven) and list some of my favorite places to visit in NY.