Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New York & My last days in America

The Statue Of Liberty
Hello there! During my exchange year I got to spend some more time in my favorite city: New York. I wasn't with my parents or host family this time... but with my grandparents! I don't think a lot of exchange students have their grandparents come over during their year, so I'm really glad I got to see them. Only a few weeks after the trip I had to say goodbye to Greenville. In this blogpost I'll tell you about our week in New York and my last few days in the USA.

On April 20th my grandparents flew from Amsterdam to New York and I flew from Greenville to New York! We met at the airport and couldn't be happier to see each other again. I'm really close with my grandparents so it had been hard to miss them.

Our first selfie together after 9 months! 
During the first nights we stayed at a hotel close to Little Italy and Chinatown. During the second half of the trip we stayed at a hotel close to Times Square. Two totally different neighborhoods that were really fun to explore. One of the first things we did was taking the boat to Liberty and Ellis Island. Liberty Island is where the Statue of Liberty is, and Ellis Island is where the immigrants coming to the USA arrived. I really liked Ellis Island because I can kinda relate to the immigrants: being in a new country with a new language. But, they had a way harder time because they didn't have anyone to look out for them.
Some of the other places we visited were the 9/11 memorial and museum, Brooklyn, Times Square (obviously), Wall Street and New York University.

On Liberty Island
One of my favorite things was definitely the guided tour we did through the headquarters of the United Nations. We got to see all the famous halls and chambers. In the future, I want to work at an organization like that so it was really cool to see for me.

Can you see me working here? 
A thing you almost have to do when in New York is going to a Broadway show! Of course we did this as well; we saw the musical 'The Phantom of the Opera'. If you love musicals like me, you'll also love this one. The music and story are amazing.

We also worked out a bit, by doing a bike tour through Central Park. This had a Dutch - speaking guide which was fun because I finally got to see some more Dutch people. We saw the whole park, went to a Shakespeare garden and even climbed a castle!

Group pic at the fountain in Central Park! 
The very last thing we did was going up on the elevator to the 'Top Of The Rock'. This is an amazing observation deck at Rockefeller Center. The view is gorgeous.

Just a few more pictures! The first one says 'City of Dreams', which I loved because New York is my favorite city. The second one is a really interesting breakfast we had in Brooklyn, the dish is called 'Egg in a Cloud'.

My lovely grandparents 
Walking on the Brooklyn Bridge
Now on to my last days in the USA. Those were the busiest days I've ever had, because I had to see all my friends before I left! With my friend Rachel I went to Humane Society, which is an animal protection organization. This is where people bring their pets if they don't want them anymore or can't take care of them. There were tons of kittens and puppies, but also big cats and dogs. You can just pick them up and cuddle with them. We spent hours there. ;-)

With three of my friends I went to a crêpe place (called Tandem) in a town close to Greenville. I'd been wanting to go there all year already, but for some reason it never happened. I'm so happy I got to go because the crêpes were delicious. I tried both the sweet and savory ones and I can definitely say it was my best breakfast ever.

Crêpes & coffee
I also visited the mall, ate a corndog for the first time, had a typical Mexican dinner, went to my last football game, visited my favorite coffee shop for the last time, laughed and cried.

The mom of my friend Naomi made us traditional Mexican food. So good! 
I also celebrated my 18th birthday on May 30th! I was at a friends house that morning and her family made this whole special breakfast for me, with balloons and presents. So sweet! For lunch I went downtown with a group of friends to have pizza and eat ice cream. And I had dinner with my host family at night. They also gave me cake and sweet presents. It was my first birthday without my Dutch family but it still was an awesome day. A big thanks to my friends and host family for making it so great.

Ice cream in downtown Greenville

The night before I left all my friends came over to my house for a goodbye party! It was a fun but emotional night, with lots of pictures, American snacks and farewells. It was hard to believe that I wouldn't see them for a long time after that night. I'm sure I'll see them again though, because I'm planning to come back to visit.  So I didn't want to say goodbye but instead said 'See you soon!'.

Goodbyes are hard...
Everyone who came out to my goodbye party! 


  1. I like to see Phantom of Opera.
    I will go back to NY this end of the year.
    Take care,Sarah.
    You have unforgettable memories in your life.

  2. Nice that you've enjoyed it. Studying in USA is priceless!

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