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Northampton Girls Tour Diary in New York

Thursday July 16, 2015

Day 1, the start of our NYC adventure 

Grand Central Station

Awesome -that's the best way to describe our first two days in nyc!

So to start from the beginning .....the journey to the airport and the flight itself went smoothly with most of the girls sleeping and watching films. Their behaviour was of course impeccable and they were a joy to be with. ❤️ #fromtheheart

We arrived early and then encountered the New York traffic - some of the girls got very excited by the sight of a yellow school bus while others seneraded us by singing Alicia Keys 'Empire State -New York #talentedyear12

Check-in took a while as we were early but eventually we were off on our first mammoth walking tour #mapreadingboyMrK. We headed to 9th Avenue for some food and then on to Bryant Park, a place where New Yorkers hangout and do New Yorkey things. After cleaning out the free popcorn stall we then headed for Grand Central Station which is so much more than just a train station #how bigareareamericanfoodportions

Fact from Grand Central Station - in 1963 Penn Station was demolished but Grand Central was saved by the people of New York who protested and signed a petition to stop it from being raised to the ground.

When we got back to the hotel we were definitely ready for our beds #abigapplebants (Year 12 have assured us that that will make sense to all the young people!!!)

KLY

 

Day 2, Tuesday 7th July - we love NYC (even if we do have blisters)

Northampton Girls 4


Tuesday was a fantastic (very hot) day out! We packed so much in.

We started with a walking tour which was a real hit with all! All guides were great and we learnt endless facts and the history of downtown Manhattan! Our guides were so impressed with our girls - particularly their enthusiasm, despite the heat! A highlight for many was our visit to St. Paul's Chapel, which was a very moving experience! For nearly a year after the 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre. St. Pauls Chapel served as a relief mission for recovery workers at Ground Zero. Students were touched by the following poem:

It stood. Not a window broken.
Not a stone dislodged.
It stood when nothing else did.
It stood when terrorists brought September down.
It stood among myths. It stood among ruins.

To stand was its purpose, long lines prove that.
It stands, and around it now, a shrine of letters,
poems, acrostics litter the heart.
It is the standing people want:
To grieve, serve and tend
celebrate the lasting stone of St. Paul's Chapel.

And deep into its thick breath, the largest banner
fittingly from Oklahoma climbs heavenward
with hands as stars, hands as stripes, hands as a flag;
and a rescuer reaches for a stuffed toy
to collect a touch;
and George Washington's pew doesn't go unused.

Charity fills a hole of two.

It stood in place of other sorts.
It stood when nothing else could.
The great had fallen, as the brute hardware came down.

It stood.

Our walking tour ended with lunch and then an exciting trip to Century 21 followed by Times Square. Most of students purses were considerably lighter after day 2 in the Big Apple!

 

Day 3, Wednesday 8th July

Northampton Girls 2

We are having an amazing time and are so proud of all the girls! Here is our NSG dance off squads take on day 3 of our fun filled trip! 

Today we started off with an insightful tour of the Tenement Museum, a location enriched with immigrant history and what we would now label "sweatshops". They thankfully equipped us with fans to waft ourselves with also! #lovinglife

Moving swiftly on we were treated to a lovely lunch by our spiffing educators to which the food was delightful!

(Moving swiftly on. We were then treated to a lovely lunch by MK Dawg, Garns, Nealmeister, #Lochster and JP Boi. 'Twas fabulous.

We then went to Ground Zero. It was a touching reminder of those who sadly lost their lives. It also made us realise just how colossal the Twin Towers were and how disastrous the events of 9/11must have been.

We searched for refreshments and found ourselves in front of an ice cream van. "It's a miracle!" we thought, "an ice cream would be greatly appreciated! "How delightful they look!". However, little did we know a great mugging off was about to commence. We were bought our ice creams; each of the students lining up one by one, adding to the tally. The ice cream man's face growing in delight and satisfaction as he raked in the dollars. 

ALL 350 OF THEM!!!!!

Oh how we were deceived.  Post-consumption we realised the ice cream van had no prices on the outer side. WHAT BRILLIANT SALESMANSHIP. THANKYOU GOOD SIR.

We then went on the Staten Island ferry to see good ol' Libby. She was absolutely radiant. But in all honesty it was an incredible and surreal experience seeing this monumental landmark in person. It was unforgettable.

"Rain rain go away come back another day" says Miss Lochney. Fortunately, she managed to retrieve a poncho from a nice young gentleman. So all was fine and dandy apart from Miss Garner's toe which was annihilated and maimed by Lucy's steel capped boots (Dr Martens).

We all embraced the rain as true Brits do, feeling accustomed to our natural habitat. We made our way to the South Street Seaport where we did some much needed shopping and eating #MaccyDs. As we were on our travels around the area we received an alarming text from Miss G, telling us to report back to the meeting point. Upon arrival, we were greeted by some bangin' tunes so being from a hip Northants background we engaged in some much needed shape cutting in the streets of New York with some delightful Spanish vacationers.

Northampton Girls 5

The boogying then progressed into a competition between Spaniards and Brits. After which, the Spanish conceded defeat and the British proclaiming that once again we had won the war. 

Then, a huge decision was proposed: to return to our humble New York abode (AKA Holiday Inn Express) for relaxation or visit the fabulous Times Square once more? An even split between the choices saw all have a smashing ending to their third day in the Big Apple #thirddaypartay #bigapplebantz2k15

From Lucy, Hannah and Hope :-)

 

Day 4, Thursday 9th July

 Norhtampton Girls


After breakfast we made the 30 minute walk to Central Park, a fabulous area that contributes 7% to Manhattan. Students had the rest of the morning to explore the delights of the park and the surrounding streets, most notably the famous 5th Avenue. We all had a fantastic time; some of the student highlights were the Friends Fountain, and Bloomingdales and FAO Schwarz (the oldest toy store in America) and some purchasing of some iconic pop culture merchandise.

We then made a quick return to the hotel to freshen up for our exciting evening trip to Broadway to see the Gene-ius show Aladdin! It was the perfect ending to our fabulous trip, with some beautiful re-enactments from our thespians Lucy, Hannah and Hope! Lucy also made friends with the cast members thanks to her to excessive purchases of the fan packs and some secret tweeting! Unfortunately when we came out of Broadway there was a torrential downpour and although we got soaked our spirits were not dampened and most made their way back for some much needed pizza!

 

Day 5, Friday 10th July

Nothampton Girls

Day of departure...although there were some sad faces at breakfast, students were happy to be told that they the morning to revisit their favourite spots- most headed straight to Times Square for their final American indulgence! I think Planet Hollywood made most of their profits that day from the ladies of NSG! We then made the long journey home without any hiccups (except a few forgotten liquids at security!!) and all 45 very tired but happy faces were greeted by their loved ones back in Northampton. 

I think it can be agreed by all that the trip was an experience of a lifetime and has broadened many horizons with many students wanting to return to New York (without the teachers in tow!).  Mr K tracked the miles walked during the week by the group....a grand total of 69,000 steps equivalent of 32 miles! I think its safe to say that the sleep was number one on the weekend's agenda! 

Thank you, on behalf of everyone on the trip for an amazing trip to the possibly the world's busiest and most loved city.

 

Student comments

We thought the perfect way to finish our blog would be with a couple of student comments.

Until next time, 

Miss Neal & Miss Garner 

Ebun 
This trip to New York was a great experience for me. More than anything it taught me to be independent which I really need to learn in time for university. I also did a lot of walking which is way more exercise than I am used to. I want to say a massive thank you to all the teachers who organised this trip, it has been wonderful seeing a new environment and trying new things (subway). The theatre show was a great touch and I really enjoyed every part of it. I am definitely coming to New York on holiday in the future. Thank you so much Miss Neal, Miss Garner, Mrs Loughney, Mr Kennedy and Mr Poole it has been a great parting gift from NSG after 7 great years. Will miss you all so much. Ebun 

Xhelani

When I first found out about this trip I remember I was 100% determined to go as I had never gone to America and had though it sounded like an extremely fun trip that NSG had never done before. 

I can now honestly say after going on this trip, it has opened my eyes to the real world and what is out there besides Northampton. It has also made me gain new experiences and helped me realise what is out there besides Northampton. It has also made me gain new experiences and helped me realise where I would like to be in the future. I am so sad that this trip has ended as I have never had so much fun in my entire life and I am extremely thankful for every teacher who put the effort and time into making the trip terrific experience. I think I speak for every student in this trip and the best time of my life and will be an amazing memory.

Thank you so much!