Hello, New York City!

“We did it! We made it to NYC!”

My girlfriends Vukica, Sanja, Tijana and I have been trying to manage going on vacations together for the last several years now. However, since we all work for different companies and live in different cities/countries, taking a trip when everyone is available at the same time has often been a challenge. Hence, like always, to make this trip happen we had to plan our vacations a lot in advance. And to share an insider’s secret, we hardly invested any thought on where we should really go as we were too caught up in ensuring that all of us are able to take off and travel at the same time. It was only in October when all four of us were able take a break and thus embark on our “girlfriend time”/ vacation, together.

As fate would have it, we spontaneously decided to go to New York (yes, I agree that Lady Luck was totally smiling down upon us), as Vukica got free plane tickets from her company and asked us if we wanted to go to New York? We screeched a “yes!” (of course) because who in their right mind would say to New York City? Though this trip was really about spending time together and catching up and not really about ticket off a new destination from our bucket-list, we however got really lucky doing it all at the same time because nothing delights us more than travelling as well as hanging out together. So, in the end it turned out to be the perfect combination.

And though planning this whole trip wasn’t as smooth as one would have hoped for, but we managed to work it all out albeit a few hiccups here and there. As already mentioned earlier, we all reside in different cities; however 3 of us managed to meet up the night before the flight and travel together :-)

We had a direct flight from Belgrade to JFK. The flight was quite pleasant and the AirSerbia crew members were great.

The flight lasted for about 9 hours and since I had my besties accompanying me, I really didn’t mind the time. So, when we landed and met up with Sanja, it took some time to sink in that we had actually made it. That we are actually together in New York City.

We took a cab (yellow, of course) to our accommodation. We pre-booked a whole apartment via airbnb since we had decided that the best option would be to rent a whole apartment located in Manhattan. We didn’t book anything fancy since we were sure that we would only be spending our nights in the apartment.

A peek at our apartment. We instantly fell in love with our brick wall interiors

It was already afternoon by the time we reached our apartment and so we just decided to drop our luggage and instantly start exploring the city as we didn’t want to waste any of the precious moments we had, staying indoors. We bought a MetroCard with a 7-day unlimited pass for $32.00 (the Single-Ride ticket costs $3.00, so for us it made more sense to purchase the 7-day unlimited pass, as we really used it a loooooot), and took the subway to Grand Central Terminal, first.

As soon as you exit the subway station and hike up the stairs, this is the first thing you’ll see. It is one of the most popular landmarks located on 42nd Street and Park Avenue.

The Grand Central Terminal is also one of the busiest train stations in the world

And even though we were tired after a long flight, we took several pictures with the iconic clock that stands in the middle, often visible in several movies and TV series.

After this, we continued walking to Times Square which was only a few blocks away. We then walked towards the Bryant Park which we couldn’t bypass without taking a look.

Bryant Park is indeed a great spot to sit, relax, grab a quick bite to eat, watch people or simply take in the sights and sounds of nature. After spending some time in the Park, we decided to return to our apartment to rest a bit as our long flight had indeed tired us out and we didn’t want to feel like zombies by the time it was mid-evening.

It was again around 6 p.m. when we headed out and decided to return back to Times square. Before travelling to New York myself, I would often wonder why everyone seemed to make a big fuss about Times Square. However, one glimpse of it in the evening and I was completely blown away. With its bright lights, gigantic billboards, assorted street entertainers, ample street food trucks, an explosion of lively people- the Times Square indeed manages to find its way into your heart.

We were so mesmerized by our surrounding that we sat on the famed red stairs and just observed the people and all the sights for a while (I love doing this at the airports, too — because a disparate range of people do make for a fascinating watch). The energy and vibe of the place was what dazzled me the most.

After some expansive people watching, we decided to call it a night as we were still quite jet-lagged. However, since everybody says that you wouldn’t be truly experiencing New York if you didn’t try the street food and buy a hot dog from a hot dog truck on the street, we grabbed one each on our way back.

After eating the yummylicious hotdogs, we finally headed back to the apartment. It was a long but a complete fun day. We woke up in Belgrade, flew for 9 hours across half the world, reunited after quite a while at JFK and visited Times Sq. all in one day!!

To read more about my vacation to NYC, click on the link below: https://theflyingfashionista.wordpress.com/category/new-york-city/

In the meanwhile..

Stay fabulous!

Aleksandra Kopanja loves to travel and hence often gets the feeling like the world is her home. She has had the opportunity to visit several countries, explore new places, make amazing memories and I hopes to continue making many many more.

To read more about her travel escapades, visit her blog https://theflyingfashionista.wordpress.com/.

You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.