Trip to New York
While standing in the bustling Jacksonville airport, thirteen-year-old me was extremely excited. That day I was surrounded by hundreds of people, with numerous destinations unknown to me. I also had a destination of my own; I was headed to New York City. Ever since I found out my family and I were going to New York City, I looked forward to this day, and now it was here.
The event I was looking forward to the most that day was flying on an airplane. I had never flown before but always wanted to. The first thing we had to do was go through the TSA checks. The lines were shorter than normal, and we quickly went through them. It was amazing to see all the restaurants and stores inside the airport. I felt like I had just walked into a fancy shopping mall. We shopped and went to get something to eat and drink while waiting for our flight. Finally, flight attendants allowed us to board the plane.
Upon boarding the airplane, I was amazed at how crowded it was. The seats were extremely close together, and the middle aisle was quite narrow. There was barely enough space to walk to our seats, and I found it challenging to put the luggage in the carry-on bin. I began to feel claustrophobic. When I finally sat down and began to watch a movie, that feeling went away. Then the pilot told us we were about to take off.
I had the window seat on the airplane and found the scenery beautiful. The entire airport was visible a few seconds after taking off. I had never been that high up in the sky before. Shortly after we were so high up in the sky that I could no longer see the ground, the flight attendant brought us snacks and drinks. The rest of the flight went by fast, and before I knew it we were descending rapidly.
After we landed and got out of the airport, I surveyed my surroundings. There were numerous colossal skyscrapers, multitudes of people, and the roads were filled with thousands of vehicles. There were lines of taxis outside of the airport, and my family and I took one of the taxis to our hotel. I thought “since we are only a few miles away from our hotel, we should be there very soon”. However, this was not the case. After one hour of slowly inching our way through New York City traffic, our hotel was finally in sight. We exited our taxi, and put our luggage in our rooms, and left to explore the city.
I was amazed at how many people were in this city. We had to pay attention to our surroundings to avoid bumping into people on the sidewalks. There were so many famous buildings that I wanted to see. I was thrilled that we had gotten tickets to tour the new One World Trade Center. To get to the top of the building, we had to use the elevator. To make the experience of riding the elevator more interesting, a movie played as we ascended to the top of the skyscraper. Then we were able to explore the One World Trade Center Observatory. There were pristine, glass windows surrounding the observatory. It was slightly terrifying to be so high up and surrounded by the glass, but the view was worth it. It was the perfect birds-eye view of the city.
That evening we went to Times Square. After dark, Times Square was absolutely stunning. After many years of watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve in Times Square, it was hard to believe that I was actually there. The giant billboards that you could see on television were even more striking in person. We went to an M&M’s shop in Times Square also. There were every possible color and flavor of M&M’s in the store. After walking all day we were exhausted. So we left the store and walked back to the hotel.
The next day we went on a tour of New York City. The tour guide guided us to many historical places, like The World Trade Center Memorial, The Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. It was very sobering to learn about the events of 9/11 and to see the names of all those who lost their lives on the Memorial. We climbed the Statue of Liberty and learned about its fascinating history. I also learned about how immigrants from all over the world came to America to start a new life, and how some of them went to the Ellis Island immigrant inspection station. The tour guide told us every detail of what the immigrants went through to be allowed into the United States. By the end of the day, we learned many things we previously did not know about the history of our country.
After a few days, it was time to go home. I was excited to fly again, but also sad that I was leaving New York. It was very cold in New York while we were there, so when we got back to the Jacksonville airport the ninety-degree weather was very surprising. I greatly enjoyed my trip to New York City, and I was grateful that I had the opportunity to learn about the rich history of the city. Hopefully, I can go back to New York City one day.