It’s 2016. My dad recently died. My first cat, my first real pet away from home just died. We decide to spend Christmas in New York because I want to get far away from traditional Christmas. Our flights were with IcelandAir which lets you stop off in Iceland at no extra ticket cost which we do on our way back for a couple of days. Spoiler alert Best way to avoid jet lag ever. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Dec 23rd. We fly to Iceland where we change planes and fly to NYC at night. Iceland is beautiful at dusk. It was snowing and even before we got to NYC we were super excited about visiting Iceland in the snow on our return. We switched planes which meant getting off the warm plane and out into the cold snowy emptiness of Iceland. Some poor kids who were going to Florida and were clearly dressed for it had to get off the plane in shorts and a t-shirt.

The change of planes was relatively simple and we were back in the air in no time. It got dark and every so often I’d see the blizzard we were flying through thanks to the blinking lights on the wing. Thinking about it now we were flying over a massive ocean in a blizzard. That’s a lot scarier looking back on it than it was at the time. In flight beer good.

We fly over Portland which was interesting to see. So much bigger than I expected. Every other building had a blinking light on top. Are there seriously that many tall buildings in America that they all need to warn helicopters?

Customs took ages. It was Dec 23rd so yeah pretty understaffed. I think we were there nearly 2 hours. We jump in a cab and head to the city. The big apple. The home of Friends and Spider-Man. We turn a corner and we see it. The Empire State Building lit up for Christmas.

By the time we got to our hotel and our room it was about 10pm. The room was nice but our neighbours had a blender?! Probably for baby food or something as there were a lot of kids making noises. We were on the 46th floor and loved the view but who wants to spend their hotel time next to a blender? We asked and the hotel moved us a few stories down to a peaceful room. Same amazing view. It was great to see the city at night first because we were in for a real surprise when we got up. City / park view. Amazing but I was so exhausted I didn’t even photograph it.

We hadn’t really eaten since Iceland so we headed out for tea, at 10pm EST or about 3 or 4 am GMT. It’s a few hours before Christmas Eve and we’re in a proper NYC diner eating a burger and drinking Brooklyn Lager listening to that unmistakable New York soundtrack. We were in New York.