It’s o1:23am in America and I’m currently in Washington, DC. We arrived on Wednesday – late afternoon via car. We decided to do a mini road trip from New York to Washington, DC. It was so exciting but nerve-racking! Americans drive on the opposite side of the road (right). The road signs are similar to ours but the streets can get confusing. We took a slow drive and admired the scenery – the green trees that lit up the highways and the beautiful bridges that left me in a state of awe.
Everything is so pretty and many of the roads reminded me of home. It took us around 4 and half hours in total to reach Washington, DC. We stopped half way in a small town called Wilmington for one night.
Wilmington has an entirely different vibe compare to New York. It’s much calmer and quieter. We booked in a heritage home (200-years-old) house that we found on Airbnb to have a homely experience. So worth it! If you travelling on a budget – Airbnb is a great service to use. The owner was super friendly and welcoming. He was the first person to make Kitana smile on this trip! Yes, it took Kitana over a week to start enjoying herself in this beautiful country.
Things have been really hectic; Kitana reacted completely different from what I initially expected.
New York is a beautiful city but it is busy and overwhelming for kids. We spent more time in the hotel room than I wanted to but I realized it was the best for my daughter and I just had to do it even though I had itchy feet to explore the city.
All Kitana wanted to do was sleep and be in a closed environment with her father and I. The first couple days she cried and held on to me everywhere we went. She refused to even sit in the stroller. I ended up walking around carrying her in my arms for hours – Vije and I took turns to carry her but it became too much.
Instead of enjoying the city, we became frustrated and exhausted. She refused to try anything new – she only ate comfort food (food she could relate to home).
I didn’t realize how difficult this trip would be for Kitana. I expected too much from her. She’s still jet lagged but every day it is getting better.
Highlights from our stay in New York:
- We didn’t visit every place on my bucket list but that’s okay because I’ve learnt that you can’t see New York in one week… There’s so much to do and see! I definitely plan on coming back.
- We did the Brooklyn food tour which is a must if you a foodie.
- We went on the Citysightseeing bus which helped us learn more about the history of the city.
- Times Square is amazing – I stood in one spot for a good couple minutes trying to take in everything around me. It’s so much better than how it looks in the movies!
- We visited the Disney store with Kitana. I really wish we had one in South Africa – the experience was amazing and they have soooo many awesome items.
- We spent two nights at One hotel central park which was incredible! A must-stay hotel if you want to splurge a bit.
- The World trade centre memorial visit was a bit emotional for me but peaceful even though I was surround by hundreds of people.
- We went to the New York Baby expo which is way smaller than ours. Still can’t believe it.
- I really enjoyed the architecture in New York. It’s Instagram heaven!
Did you know?
It would take a person 54 years (7 days a week) to visit every restaurant in New York.
WHAT I’VE LEARNT about NEW YORK thus far:
- It’s expensive to live in the city. Everything is pricey including food.
- There is a China town, Little Italy and even an Indian town where you can get good food and genuine fakes.
- Crime isn’t a big issue – you can roam the streets freely.
- Many stores close between 11am – 1am in the morning.
- The pharmacy is opened 24/7.
- Starbucks is like literally in every corner!
- Most people walk or take public transport to get around because traffic is always an issue.
- New Yorkers have no patience in traffic. There’s only one tune you will hear – “Peep Peep”.
- They love their big cars – lots of SUVS on the road, especially in black.
- Celebs are always around.
- The city never sleeps – something is always happening!
Honestly, there’s so much to write about the city. This isn’t my last post. It’s a city you will either fall in love with immediately or learn to love over time. It wasn’t love at first site for me. It was overwhelming.
People are everywhere and the roads are always busy. I can’t even imagine what went through Kitana’s mind when she first saw this.
She’s doing much better now that we are in smaller towns and I’m praying she remains this way for the rest of the trip.
Vije will be back in New York for 3 months starting in June for work – not sure if I will be back so soon especially with the kids.
Wow Shan, so beautiful and I definitely can relate having 2 lil one’s, I am not sure how they will cope with an overseas trip, All the best to Vije on his new endeavour, he is a great photographer and will be missed , big hugs and strength to you ,I know when jay moved to Jhb and I was still in Durban for 6 months it was challenging,can’t imagine what I will do if he was in New York, you are brave hun 🙂
New York is the most amazing city. I’ve been to L.A., and I’ve been to Chicago. They’re great, but neither one of them compares to NYC.
I have never been to NYC. I live in Chicago, but there’s just something about visiting NYC that I have to go! I hear it’s fantastic.
It is fun to see NYC from someone’e perspective that is not from the USA. I have been to NY many times and you are right you can’t see everything in a week and despite what TV says NYC is overall pretty safe. I was just in South Africa and that was wonderful too!
NYC sound pretty busy and like it was a big change for you all. I am glad you were able to experience it and gain some perspective on what NYC is like at least.
I have never been to NYC. New York is such a big and busy city, I think I will be excited and overwhelmed at the same time.
Ive been to New York twice now, each time for four days and I STILL havent got to everything on my list. And I wasn’t even traveling with a kid.
Times Square is definitely my favorite place when I visit New York. I love the hustle and bustle there and the beauty of it all is simply breathtaking.
I have never been to NYC before. I think it would be a nice experience though. It looks like such a beautiful city.
Hubby had been to New York many times. I haven’t been there yet, but it surely is on my bucket list. Love all the photos!
I have never been to New York, but it is somewhere that I have always wanted to go. I do believe I will wait until my kids are older so the trip wont be so overwhelming for them.
We just got back from NYC last week and it was phenomenal. Hope your little one is feeling more ready to explore
I love NYC!! I went their last summer for the third or fourth time and I think I grow more in love with it every time I go. LOVE your pics!
I haven’t had the opportunity to go to New York City. I hope that I can one day. I want to see a live Jimmy Fallon show too.
I loved NYC when I visited! Such a wonderful bustling city with so much to do. I need to go back though, I went with some girls who just wanted to shop instead of see all the cultural stuff.
New York is a city I’ve always wanted to visit, but it’s just so expensive. I have visited Washington DC several times and always love visiting the historic sites and such.