I was set on going to places I missed out on last time around. Though I didn’t get to stroll through Central Park or get my fill of Serendipity 3’s Frozen Hot Chocolate this year, I found even more places in the city to fall in love with.
My absolute favorite place we visited was Governors Island. Though technically still part of Manhattan, it takes a ten minute ferry ride to get there. The island used to be closed to the public as a military base for almost two centuries, but a huge chunk of it was sold to the people of New York since then and has been transformed into a beautiful park and public space.
I went with my friends Joyce and Jim again, along with their cousin Paul. The first thing we did was rent bikes, and I managed to get my hands on an adorable light blue Cruiser, complete with a basket in front. The view of the skyline from the island was amazing, and it only got better the more we went around. We kept pointing out specific spaces to each other and said, “You can get married here! …Or here!”—pretty much every ten minutes. We decided that whoever gets married next gets married in Governors Island.
I got to visit New York for the first time just a little over a year ago. It was a very last minute thing; after graduation, I was supposed to visit my aunt in Florida and then fly out to California to see my cousins. I’d been planning the trip for about a year but for some reason held off on booking my ticket until the very end. While I was on the airline website trying to piece together my itinerary, I ended up with something that went from Manila to Tokyo to New York as a point of entry, with a final connecting flight to Tampa.
We spent Christmas in Florida a few months before, so I knew more or less what a flight to the east coast would be like. The difference was that a few months ago, my point of entry was Detroit. This time, it was New York. New York. If I went with that booking, it meant that the first time I would get to step foot on that city was during a two hour layover. I didn’t want that. It was New York—I had to go. Visiting that city had been a dream of mine for years, and I couldn’t possibly fly all that way just to fly out two hours later.
I tinkered around with my booking a bit more and found out that if I took that same exact route, but with New York as a stop instead of just a layover, it would cost exactly the same. Take note: this all happened five days before I was scheduled to leave. Changing my itinerary obviously wasn’t easy, and securing that ticket was a big hassle, but things thankfully went my way. I got to go to New York, and it was everything I imagined it would be. I fell so in love with that city and promised myself I would come back soon. At the time, I didn’t know that soon meant exactly a year later.