Okay shall we continue?
After 4 hours flight to Washington DC (including transit in Charlotte for the 3rd time), we arrived in DC around noon. This time cari hostel susah sikit because the hostel is situated in George Washington University. After checked in kat Allen Lee Hostel, we took a subway straight to Washington Monument. Weather at that time was nice, warm and windy. This area actually dekat with each other, i mean walking distance to Abraham Lincoln Monument, Capitol Hill, White House, Holocaust Museum dan banyak lagi memorial dan museum, Washington DC ni lebih kepada pentadbiran area, so security agak ketat but not a big problem..cuma kena banyak berjalan la..penat jugak rasanya.. sedar-sedar dah pukul 5.00 petang, patutlah..perut dah berbunyi..we had our last meal pukul 7.00pagi, can you guys imagine?
Apalagi, pusing la cari tempat nak makan, sebabkan terlalu lapar we stopped at Barnes and Noble grabbed bagels and coffee (sounds breakfast meal). Orang lain had their tea time we had our LUNCH cum DINNER. DC is not as quiet as Memphis but around evening, dah mula nak sunyi tapi still ramai orang, on the way back to catch subway, ternampak Hard Rock Cafe, me without any delay jumped in and bought some souvenirs plus pins. Since we had a long day, we decided to get back early to our hostel and had some rest for tomorrow.
Day 9 or 10(doesn't matter)
Aarrh... the weather wasn't that good. It was rainning and cold. The weather couldn't stop us, so our 1st stop was The White House, according to the research this place is the most visited private residence in USA, Graceland is no.2. Kalau tengok betul2 kat depan White House, along Pennsylvania Avenue, ada je protester berkhemah kat situ, polis tak halau as long as you don't cause any trouble. Nowadays, White House tak boleh masuk due to...you know..so to get a clear picture what is inside, they have Visitor Centre about White House nearby. Outside still rainning, we didn't care straight to Holocaust Museum, walked to Capitol Hill, World War II Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial . We didn't shop much here because we didn't have much time .
Tapi kat sini sempat jugak kami ditegur oleh orang Malaysia, tak ingat nama dia, seronoknya dapat berbual dengan orang Malaysia dalam bahasa Malaysia..he..he... nak cerita sikit hostel yang kami duduk ni actually best, walaupun dari luar nampak macam nak runtuh. Sebabnya everything walking distance, 6 blocks from White House (we didn't know at first). Subway dekat, kalau balik malam boleh nampak student kat library, rasa macam study kat sini pulak...
The next day, took quite an early flight to New York City....New York City Here We Come...we landed at John F Kennedy Airport about noon after transit again kat Charlotte (this is for the last time), actually nak cerita sikit pasal Charlotte, North Carolina sebab banyak kali transit kat sini. Tempat ni memang ada sejarahnya.. Ingat tak Wright Brothers? Ala... yang cipta kapal terbang tu.. that is why this place called The First Flight. Ok sambung cerita kita tadi, since kitaorang dah sampai kat JFK airport, teringat pulak movie The Terminal (one of my favourites). Kalau sampai kat New York, shuttle Blue Van is one of the most reliable shuttle services from the airport to downtown NY.
Our hostel this time is American Dream Hostel, terletak di East 24th street and 2nd Avenue, Manhattan. Quite small but convienent to everywhere in New York. Yang paling best from our hostel dah nampak Chrysler Building. Lepas check in , terus grab the map and jalan. Mula-mula tense jugak trying to figure out how does block system works. Tapi about almost an hour ke hulu ke hilir baru we got it right. You guys wanna know what was the first place we when to? Times Square, Faizal yang paling seronok sekali sebab Heroes kan shoot kat situ. As for me, it's the Hard Rock Cafe, Virgin Megastore, Theater District, Planet Hollywood, M&M and Hershey boutique store (hmm... yummy..), Victoria Secrets(ooppsss!), the famous MTV TRL, places to shop and eat. For almost 2weeks, kat New York la.. we had our proper meal, it was KEBAB, sold by push cart man. Push carts can be seen all over the place, the famous one is Sabarette. All this while, we survived by eating bread, fruits, chocolate and coffee. Tough!
I don't think I could describe New York City in proper words, but one thing I can tell it's AMAZING, millions of people, thousands of shops, great places to visit and great entertainments too.
Day 12 (I think)
We bought the New York Pass. First thing in the morning , we had a long que for Empire States Building. Since the September 11th, this building considered as city's tallest building (102-story completed in 1931). Guess what? Just to get up there the process took almost 2 hours and we only spent 15 minutes up there. (that's the rules so other people can have their chance), but it was worth every second. From there you can view the whole city in 360 degrees including the famous Brooklyn Bridge.
After that, we took the subway headed to Battery Park to get the ferry for Statue of Liberty. This is one of the places that I always wanted to go. Nowadays, you're not allowed to go up to Lady Liberty due to... you know.. but anyway we had fun. You can even go to Staten Island with the same ferry. Then, we went to the Ground Zero. At this moment they are building a tower called Freedom Tower (if i'm not mistaken). Actually New York City comprises the central island of Manhattan and the four outer boroughs such as Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. Tapi Manhattan yang paling ramai visitor thats including us. 5 days in New York City wasn't enough actually to explore the whole of NY. So, our experience only based on Manhattan. Maybe next trip... i guess...
Not to forget the famous park in the world, Central Park. Memandangkan Central Park ni besar sangat so kitaorang sempat ke Central Park South sahaja. Trumph Tower and Carnegie Hall are there too. Dalam Central Park tu ada macam-macam, such as zoo, ice rink, pond, lake and even theater. On the way back to midtown, we walked along the Fifth Avenue, wow ! Sepanjang jalan penuh dengan designers' boutique tapi we just window shop, the only shop we stopped by was Apple Store.
Back to Midtown, we went for guided tour Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Centre (remember Home Alone?), Madison Square Garden and Broadway. Stopped for our lunch cum dinner at Planet Hollywood. We saw who? Kevin Spacey!!!!! Tapi tak boleh la pergi and simply say hi sebab kena tanya PA dia dulu but anyway we still nampak dia while having our lunch. He..he...
Kat sini, boleh tahan jugak la shopping, Macy's, GAP, Victoria Secrets, Swatch, Virgin Megastore semua tengah ada sale, and it was a few days before Easter, apalagi Shopping Time la..
Woke up early regardless to the cold weather, just to catch NBC tour that we missed yesterday. Grand Terminal is one of my favorites, sebabnya ada market kat situ, bestnya tengok all the fresh flowers, fruits, cheese, breads dan macam2 lah. Market inside the terminal?! Kat sini lah.. we had the most satisfying meal ever, The Kebab. As days go by, we never had enough of New York City. We even stopped at Times Square almost everyday, because Faizal loves so much to go to his favourite shop, Virgin Megastore.
One thing.. actually 3 things that we were really proud of Malaysia when there was one lady that stayed at the hostel asked us where we're from. The moment i said Malaysia, she said, Malaysia, Truly Asia. She's been watching the ads while working in Middle East. She's an American army who's been posting to Iraq and Afghanistan. Second, when the owner asked us to show Malaysia on the map. He was impressed and said, "You're from a small country and travelled this far to get here?" Faizal and I smiled. Thats the reality, even Americans haven't visited to all the states in US, and thats the reason why they thought Kuala Lumpur is a country.
After another 3 days there, on the day before last day we went strolling at the Madison Square Park and only we realized that Flatiron Building is actually nearby our hostel. Those who have watched Spiderman will be noticed that is Daily Bulge's Building. I still shop a few things for loved ones back home on our last day itself before catching our flight. We had such a tremendous time in New York City as well as other states we've been to. If we had another chance, we don't mind going back there again and visit other states of USA while ignoring perceptions about them being paranoid. They're not really.. actually...., they're very nice, friendly and helpful people.
Bye for now!
Okay, another 24 hours to spend on board going home. Malaysia, Truly Asia.
Stay tuned for our Japan trip...