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.