One could argue I time traveled. For two weeks in December, myself and a good friend hopped from New York, to London, to Old York, roaming the world's largest concrete jungle to walking The Shambles.
I hadn't seen my friend in over four years. So to start, it was it not only amazing to reconnect, but the entire trip was spontaneously booked two months prior. We had no itinerary. It was simply pack and go.
We arrived in New York and stayed in Chinatown, which was one of many awesome decisions we made. As soon as we dropped our bags, we rushed out to nom on some incredible dim sum. From there, our time in New York was packed with dive bars, site seeing, Olympic walking, jazz, santas, snow, history, everything Big Apple.
It was beyond exciting experiencing the sites I never was able to 18 years ago, when I once lived in Jersey. So this time around, we soared to the top of the Empire State Building, strolled through Central Park, ooed and aahed over the Oculus, cried at the 9/11 memorial and museum, laughed out loud at local improv, drank all the beer, vibed to some serious jazz, made our way to Ellis Island, the list goes on. We wasted no time. Every minute was packed with an adventure, but before we knew it, our five NY days were up. It was time for us to hop over to the UK. (Keep in mind, this was the first time I ever traveled to Europe.)
First off, my friend maybe the biggest history buff I know. He truly was my personal UK tour guide. Not only was it incredible to learn about the history of London and York, but his wealth of knowledge was quite mind-blowing. The European history I was once taught in grade school came to life. I had the opportunity to see the West Minster, the Houses of Parliament, The War Rooms, Buckingham Palace, St. James Palace, London Bridge, Tower of London, ALL the history (I really don’t want to name them all). But another personal history in the making was attending a Chelsea game. I’m a huge sports fan, so diving into a live match was exciting.
Long story short, my entire UK experience was also one hell of a pub crawl. It’s almost a sin to walk around the streets of London with out a mulled wine. Throw a shot of brandy or whiskey in there and you’re good to go!
On our last leg of our trip we decided to take the train up to York. So like I said, New York to Old York. Time travel, baby. Old York was incredible. The journey started with a depature from Kings Cross. So for all you Harry Potter fans, you can only image how much I was geeking out. Not to mention the streets of York felt like the movie set. The Shambles (a street in York) was basically Hogsmeade.
York’s quaint architecture yet vast history brought the city to life with so much character. Folks were very kind, and the Christmas Market was on point. I could ramble on about the Ghost Tour, Dungeons, bars, restaurants, the hotel/convent we stayed in (totally convinced was haunted btw), but I’m not going to. The entire trip truly was unreal, and I would not have changed a minute of it. We made the most of our time, and I don’t think we could have planned it that way.
Now onto the next adventure!
(Shout out to PK for being the best travel buddy, and if anyone actually read through the entire post, thanks for taking the time!)