A few months ago – actually, it was more than six months now! – we went away on a six-week trip around America for our honeymoon! Now that we’re back, I’m doing a pretty thorough job of documenting it on my blog. I wrote one BIG post about the trip already, but as I’m the sort of person who likes surprises, and because it was already pretty long, I decided to take one thing from each place we went to – except for Chicago and Canada because we weren’t there for long – and talk about it in detail for those that want to know bits about it before they go or are just interested in our experience.
If you’re like me in the sense that you like to be surprised and don’t want “spoilers” about something before you visit a place, you can read about everything we did in less detail in the original blog, here! I will be going into a bit of detail – not too much – here, so just keep that in mind!
So far on the trip, we had traveled down from San Francisco to Los Angeles via Greyhound bus. We then left L.A on a big Amtrak train which took us to San Antonio, and from there it was short bus ride to Dallas! We Then flew from Love Field Airport to New Orleans, and after that, we got a long distance train – over 40 hours, with a 9 hour stop over in Chicago – to Washington, DC! From there, it was another short bus ride to New York City – our final destination.
I loved New York way more than I thought I would. I was worried it would be too busy and lively for me. Actually, a lot of the time we spent there was quite relaxing, even though we had a really jam packed schedule!
During our time there, we went to the MET, Top of the Rock, The Empire State Building, and of course a lot of general sight seeing, like the Flat Iron building, the Friends apartment and the High Line Park plus much much more!
I loved everything we did, but we had one particularly enjoyable day out to Central Park. After a relaxed breakfast involving 3 mimosas – they were on offer – we headed to the Park with a small repast, some books and my diary.
Originally built on 778 acres of land, the park is now an impressive 843 acres – only slightly smaller than Golden Gate Park in San Francisco! If you really want to enjoy the park, I would recommend spending a whole day there, paying attention to the maps, and planning where you want to go. There is A LOT see and do.
We started at the Tavern on The Green, which was super busy! If you want a table, I would book in advance, but we were happy to sit at the bar. It was here that the day became known as “Four Mimosa Day” as that was our beverage of choice! It was originally a sheepfold for the sheep that grazed Sheep Meadow, but became a restaurant in 1934! Well worth a stop!
From the Tavern, its a very short walk to Strawberry Fields, somewhere I really wanted to see. It’s a living memorial to John Lennon, shaded with gorgeous trees and featuring a mosaic tribute with the word “Imagine” on it. It’s very hard to stop and pay your respects or even get a photo, as many people stop to pose for their own snaps. However, my husband managed to get a quick photo of it, during a brief quiet moment.
Strawberry Fields is very beautiful in it’s simplicity. A tranquil, meditative spot, it was a great choice for our picnic. We chose a spot and sat for quite a while, eating our snacks, writing, reading and soaking up the sun. It was glorious and so peaceful.
After our nice relax, we had quite a long walk around the park, trying to see as much of it as possible – although we somehow still missed a lot of it! As I can’t quite remember the route we took, I’ll list what we saw instead of doing it in order –
- The Alice in Wonderland Statue – Similarly to the “Imagine” mosaic, this is hard to photograph as so many people flock to it to have their own photos taken with it. It’s a fascinating sculpture! It’s intricate design depicts the characters of the book sitting on a large mushroom.
- Obelisk – Also known as Cleopatra’s Needle, it’s the oldest outdoor monument in NYC! It can also be seen from inside the MET.
- Great Lawn – We had stroll along side this, and it was here that I finally got to see a baseball game in action!
- Reservoir – Named after Jackie Kennedy Onassis, it features a 1.58 mile running track, and has a gorgeous skyline as it’s backdrop.
- The Mall and Literary Walk – Adorned with a large number of American Elms, this is not only a gorgeous place to stroll but is also vital part of the parks environment.
- Bethesda Fountain – This is a stunning fountain, and like many we saw whilst we were there, was switched off! The angel that tops the statue is the Angel of the Water, and was commissioned to commemorate the Cronon Water system.
- Conservatory Garden – The formal garden is breathtaking! We were particularly lucky, being there in spring time as lots of the flowers were in bloom. One big garden is formed by three smaller gardens – Italian, French and English.
- Conservatory Water – This a lovely place to stop and people watch! There are many different activities going on here, probably most famously the sailing of model boats.
- Laser Rink and Pool – We didn’t actually see the ice rink, but we did see the huge empty pool! I’m sure that it’s fabulous in the summer.
- Minton Tile Ceiling at Bethesda Terrace – The terrace – feature the fountain mentioned above – and the arcade, with the tiled ceiling are gorgeous! There was actually a wedding party having photos taken whilst we were there. It’s very elegant and peaceful.
There is so MUCH to see in the park, we missed a lot of it and we spent pretty much the whole day there! We did plan some of the things we wanted to see but really just wandered from place to place. If you do want see EVERYTHING, you definitely need to take a marked map in with you!
It really is one of the most magical places I’ve ever been! There is something for everyone in the park, with seasonally changing activities and plants, to an array of events from storytelling by the Hans Christian Anderson statue to varying tours to fitness activities and more! It’s also worth noting that for such a busy place, there are also many tranquil spots for quiet reflection.
It would be amazing to see it year round – the frozen lake filled with ice skaters, the trees turning in autumn and seeing the pool filled in summer – but seeing it in spring was glorious, especially the daffodils in the English garden.
Here is snippet from my diary that I kept whilst we were away –
“We walked around the park for about five and a half hours, and there was still so much we didn’t see. We did see the reservoir the conservatory garden, the pool and more – it was very beautiful and we even saw three raccoons!”
Sadly, this brings us to the end of my America blogs, as a few days after this we left! We’ve been back for just over nine months, and I miss it every day. I can’t wait for the day that we can go back, although I really hope I don’t ever have to pick just one place because I loved every second of it. I just can’t believe that this time last year we were still planning for the most amazing honeymoon we could have asked for. In those six weeks, we did so much and we saw even more, and there is still more we wanted to see!