So with Thomas booking flights to Colorado, we decided to do a few fun things during his last week on the East Coast. The first thing we wanted to do was surprise, surprise: go surfing! This being the last chance for Thomas to even see the ocean before heading to land-locked Colorado! So we decided to head just south of JFK Airport, to Long Beach, Long Island. This is the beach we had been to a few times earlier in the year, and thought it would be the easy 45 min drive for some amazing waves. The waves were scheduled to be monstrous, due to the hurricanes that were pushing up some swell from further in the south.
|Evening beach picnic|
We left pretty late, around 3 pm, and unfortunately hit some crazy New York traffic once we got into Queens. We decided to disobey the GPS and get off the highway and drive the back rodes all the way through NYC and Long Island. This might not have been the best idea, as it ended up taking us nearly 3 hours to get to the beach, but the highway wouldn't have been as interesting at least! The waves were far too large and scary for me to go surfing, but I enjoyed laying on the beach, reading, writing and taking heaps of pictures of course! There were hundreds and hundreds of surfers along the beach, but Thomas jumped right in! I couldn't tell him apart from the rest of the surfers out there though!
Thomas came out once to make some sandwiches for dinner with me, and then we both enjoyed watching the sunset, me from the beach and Thomas from the waves! He stayed out there far after it had gotten dark! It was quite strange to be at the beach and watching an amazing sunset while NYC could be seen in the distance!
So I managed to convinced Thomas to come into Manhattan with me one more time before he left so that we could do a few things we had both wanted to do for awhile. First on our agenda, was to go to the 9/11 memorial. We decided to go into the city on September 12th, so it was appropriate to pay our respects at the memorial so close to the anniversary. Before we visited the memorial we walked around one of my favorite places, South Street Seaport, and the new esplanade by the Brooklyn Bridge.
We didn't know what to expect from the memorial, first impression was a long queue and some hefty security. Again, because it was the day after the victim's families came for a private ceremony at the memorial, flags, photos, letters etc. were everywhere. It is a wounderful memorial, the way the water cascades down into the pools then down again in the centre to where you cannot see the end of the cascade really makes it feel as if the water is pouring into the centre of the earth, somehow I found this a beautiful tribute to the lives lost.
I only learned about the High Line earlier this summer, but since the moment we learned about it, Thomas and I have been waiting for the perfect day to walk this amazing park. Built in the 1930s, the High Line was originally an elevated freight train line lifting the trains above the streets to prevent accidents and deaths. In 2010 it was transformed into an elevated public park. Wildflowers, trees, grasses, train tracks, vendors, lounge chairs and a cafe make the park a fantastic escape from the street level hussle and bussle of NYC, along with the charm of this amazing historic structure.
|The High Line from street level|
|The High Line from High Line level|
We decided to walk all day, eventually going from from the WTC to the High Line, ending up in Times Square, about 6 miles! I don't know anyone who has ever walked nearly half of Manhattan before! The High Line is quite possibly the coolest free attraction in NYC. I was in awe of the whole thing, and yes took wayyyyyy too many pictures, but it was MAGNIFICENT!
Once off the High Line we kept walking all the way up to Times Square. We walked to the new Pie Face! The Australian pie chain that just opened a few months ago, and is the first in the US! It had been awhile since we had an authentic pie, and it was so nice to get one, but their sausage rolls were the best!
Soon after, we meet up with my friend Elaina and her boyfriend at a bar near Times Square. We sat outside on their balcony and enjoyed a few pints before stealing the pint glasses and catching our train back to Stamford. It was a nice way to say good-bye to the East Coast.