Mum handed my sister and me our passports and boarding tickets, hugged us tightly for what seemed like five minutes, and waved goodbye to us as trickled down her cheeks. It sounds strange to say this but I couldn’t stop smiling, and neither could Sarah, my 19-year-old sister who was my guardian for the weekend. She was such a laugh, and always had something funny to say about everything. I knew it was going to be a fun and unforgettable weekend. The plane was due to depart from Heathrow to New York at one that Friday afternoon of the 13th October.
As we sat laughing a joking the departures lounge our flight number was displayed on the huge television screen, and next to it the word ‘Boarding’ flashed. It was time to leave. We picked up hand luggage and headed towards gate number 13. ‘Typical! ‘ I said to myself in my head, ‘Out of all 50 gates I we have to board through the unluckiest number of them all! ‘ Still, I’m not a very superstitious person; I’m just not that keen on flying. Anyway, I didn’t let onto my sister about my nerves, she’d only make me feel worse! We had been sat on the plane for about 3 hours, and only four to go. Like read about memories? Read also Flashbulb memory!
Everyone sat around us had been drinking and so they were all merry and laughing and joking about, that made me feel slightly more relaxed but I still couldn’t wait to get off the plane. I sat in my seat and watched the film ‘Almost Famous’ I was amazed by size of the television and how they fitted in the seat, my sister just laughed at me and told me I needed to get out more. Before I knew it, it was time to land. I fastened my seatbelt and began to feel slightly nauseous as the plane began to descend. We finally landed and after around 10 minutes we were allowed to get up and head to the doors.
As I stepped off the plane the ice cold air hit me and I wrapped my arms around myself to help stay warm. The pilot had said as we landed that it was around -20C but I hadn’t realised how cold that was. We caught a yellow taxi to our ‘motel’ and got straight into bed. We had a long day ahead. I woke up at 8 and we walked to a local cafeteria for a bagel and cup of coffee. I was amazed at everything the surroundings, everything was so different from back home. ‘First stop, the Empire State Building, get a good view of the whole place ok? ‘ I replied to my sister with a nod and a laugh as we looked around to see everyone staring.
I don’t think everyone in the cafeteria was that impressed that she managed to spit out half her bagel as she asked me that question, but I found it amusing and we fell about laughing together. We caught a taxi to the building and entered a lift which took us halfway up the building, we then had to swap to another lift because the building is so tall that having only one lift would cause the cables to snap. Being told this by the guide didn’t exactly help with my fear of heights. Finally, we reached the top and the view was just breathtaking. I had never seen anything like it.
I stood there speechless for about thirty minutes, and looked out over the city for miles. I t was a surreal experience and views that imprinted my mind. Next up, we had to catch a ferry to Statton Island to see the world-famous Statue of Liberty. I took pictures but I knew the photos wouldn’t show the astounding statue that stood for me. We caught a ferry back to the mainland and walked around Time Square. It held a resemblance to Piccadilly Circus, but was somewhat more exciting. We both looked like typical tourists with our huge bags, maps and cameras but everyone around was friendly and helped us with directions.
It was getting late in the afternoon and we had been shopping for an hour or so and ended up in a nail bar. We sat there giggling together as we slurped our chocolate milkshakes and had our nails painted. By 9. 30pm we were both shattered but my sister said there was one last thing we had to do. I had no idea where we were going and all I can remember is it is somewhere off Fifth Avenue but we soon arrived at a huge outside ice rink. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to try skating. We skated for about an hour, it was even colder being on the ice but we both managed to skate round at least once without falling over each other.
We laughed so much and everyone around us laughed at us too but we didn’t care. After that we headed back to the hotel. I collapsed onto the bed still dressed in my clothes and was out like a light. I slept like a log and didn’t wake until the alarm went off at 7 that morning. We headed to the same cafeteria again for our morning bagel and coffee. Soon after that we hit the shops for some serious shopping. The selection of clothes and gadgets was never ending, each shop we entered I had to buy something.
After a good few hours shopping we visited St Patricks’s Cathedral, it was a big tourist attraction -there were a lot of English and Irish people around there, but it wasn’t really that appealing to us so we didn’t stay long. The last place we had left to visit was Ground Zero, we felt that as we were in New York we had to go and pay our respects. The area was devastating and very emotional. The memorial listed all the names of those who had died in the tragedy and I found it really upsetting and felt homesick, even though I had only been away two days.
My sister hugged me and said to me ‘Let it make you realise what you’ve got and don’t take it for granted. This is why you have to live life to the full and take every opportunity that comes along. Its not every day you get taken for a weekend shopping in New York is it? ” she then smiled at me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. She was always capable of putting a smile back on my face, no matter how I felt. My sister had always been known as a joker and so to hear her say something like this really meant a lot. We got back to the hotel mid-afternoon and packed up our bags.
Our flight departed at 6 that evening and we were on our way home. We landed at Heathrow at 1 in the morning. I had slept for most of the plane and car journey home. I walked in the front of the door of my house and inhaled deeply, it smelt of home, and I smiled to myself. The holiday was really fun and it had taught me a lot, it brought me closer to my sister and the advice she gave me at ground zero will stay with me forever, and the new experiences will stay with me forever too. I hope to return back there in the near future, to relive my happy memories.
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