NYC 5 – biking the fabulous Central Park on our last day

NYC 4 – Where we left off…

We had just enjoyed the past two days hooking up with friends that knew their way around the city! 9/11 memorial, junk, Grand Central Station… jam packed and so fun!

But our very last day was next… and it turned out to be one of our fav drama filled epic days in the city EVER..

The one of a kind Bow Bridge in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
I don’t know what it is about the word ‘Central Park‘, but I needed… nooooo… NEEEEEEDED to be in this place.

Before going to NYC, I use to google searched it, then select images to just stare…

Our stay nearly didn’t allow time for this one. It was kinda 9/11 (my son’s deal) or the park (my deal). I was willing to give up my dream, but I will admit, I white knuckled the phone while making the call to reserve the Statue of Liberty boat tour as it was by the 9/11.

But (STOMP!!!!) I wanted the park… worse than a pony!

And then as luck would have it, Miriam took us to the 9/11 (that’s a big fat CHECK, son!) and we had our last day, Monday, all to our park lovin’ selves.

I happily bypassed the statue tour if I could have my park!

And weather wise, it was the nicest day in the city thus far. How did that happen?

The edge of Central Park from the road in New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
If you were to have seen me, you’d think the park was some movie star I had been in love with my entire life. I was THAT excited to see those trees, upon coming up from yet another hole in the (subway) ground.

Rental bikes in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
And then there they were.

BIKES!!!!! This had to be the only way to see the park, yes?

So we grabbed a couple, and started the somewhat longish walking trek along the trails until we hit the park road.

Bike roads in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
This is a park road. This road wound around the ENTIRE park. GIDDY wasn’t even close…

We hopped on those bikes, and started to ride… until… what in blazes… ?!?!?

The rental bike with the midget seat in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Did you notice anything slightly amiss in that first bike picture? Scroll back one more time.

For the sharp shooters in the crowd, the seat was…. short.

So I dismounted the bike, trying to figure out how to raise the thing. The adjustment device was broken off, so I was stuck.

For 2 seconds, I thought of returning the bike for another, but figured… meh… whatever! I’m sure it’ll be just fine. even if my knees did bang my chin

It was such a long walk back after all.

But little did I know how long the ride was ahead… or what it entailed…

Gorgeous trees, and super long benches in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
This park was even MORE than I dreamed about. There were vast areas, those with rolling hills, quaint bridges, and some attractions. And the bridges…. swoon!

Walking a gorgeous path in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
There were so many side shooting pathways were you could only walk, which was cool! I wouldn’t have wanted to wander in these areas any other way. It would have been too fast.

Plus… this helped me stretch my scrunched up legs a little… (that’s the first tip that things were about to go VERY wrong…)

Walking a gorgeous path with a bridge in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Walking a gorgeous path with a bridge in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Ohhhh goodness! I can’t believe we were ever even here! Every single turn you made was picture taking perfect!

Gorgeous trees bending over flowerbeds along the water in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Scenic shot of trees against the tall city buildings from inside Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
And then we hit a hill. It was small, but I noticed pretty quick my speed was diminishing fast.

I tried to stand up and ride, but that was a loss too. Drat! So I dismounted the bike and walked up the hill… surely there wouldn’t be many hills anyway, right??

Scenic shot of trees against the tall city buildings from inside Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Once we hit the other side of the hill, all systems were a go! I hopped back on and we enjoyed the warm breeze among all the gorgeous trees, standing against tall stunning building backdrops. 

Spectacular!

But… another hill? Hmm…

Oh well, here’s a path. Let’s stop. (like I had a choice anyway…)

Walking paths through Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Walking paths through Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
So pretty! And as luck would have it, we were near a gated entry into the park…

Food truck just outside of Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
So we sat for a spell, with food ordered from the food truck.

Then something rather comical happened. As we sat on the bench minding our own biz, an irate customer got mad at the vendor for the high priced water his friend just chose to buy.

The friend said nothing. But the arguer had lots to say. At one point, the customer and the vendor operator started yelling at each other, and while I watched on like a shocked deer in headlights, my son was quietly cracking up.

Like seriously, it was not just a comment. It went on and on and on and on and on…. x I have no idea how long.

Who knew water could be such a hot topic?

After the guy left, I got up and bought one to make the vendor operator feel better.

Plus, I was feeling I’d need it anyway… more knee knockin’ hills to come I’m sure.

Well, the park ended up getting prettier and prettier.

Central Park pond in New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Boat dock under tall trees in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Tree lined water in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net

The one of a kind Bow Bridge in Central Park, New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.netAnd then I found it. IT! My beloved Bow Bridge I had been dreaming about for so long!

You needed to walk down a few paths to find it… and I’m so glad we had stopped where we did, otherwise we would have missed it!

The intricate work of Bow Bridge in New York City's Central Park / funkyjunkinteriors.net
The intricate work of Bow Bridge in New York City's Central Park / funkyjunkinteriors.net
SO in love! We bought a couple of ice creams, and people watched.

This is where I started to wonder if we were taking too long… bikes rented out by the hour. But whatever… THIS is the one thing I had to do, so I resolved to quit thinking about it, and just enjoy.

We eventually hopped on the bikes again, when things got really tough. It was like the road turned into some kind of uphill race track. There was absolutely NO WAY I could pedal that bike.

I anxiously looked around for any pro looking bike riders, hoping I could spot someone with tools so I could adjust the seat. I asked a few, but came up empty handed.

Desperate, I decided to try and call the bike place and see if they could bring me one… because by the looks of the map, we weren’t even half way done and this bike was going NO WHERE.

No one answered the phone.

So… with one (many) big sigh(s), I took my midget bike for a walk. A very LOOONNNNGGGG walk.

At one point, my son was curious why it was so hard for me, so we switched bikes. I could suddenly FLY! But he? Complete standstill. 

Goodness… 

The hills were so long, I honestly at that point just wanted to cry. 

The heavy vines over top a bridge in New York City's Central Park / funkyjunkinteriors.net
And that’s when I summoned some work truck. BEGGING for either a ride or tools (he said no to both), he told me that he did have some good news though… for just around the next bend, it was pretty much all downhill from there.

I nearly kissed him. Or maybe I even did. I don’t remember. I just remember pushing that bike with all my mightless might until the downhill began.

At this point, I didn’t DARE get off any more side trails. I needed to take advantage of going down as fast as I could.

The carved shape while looking under a bridge in New York City's Central Park / funkyjunkinteriors.net
And downhill we flew!

Honestly? It was soooooo fabulous! 

Imagine whizzing by the most gorgeous scenery possible. It felt like we were biking through a painting.

I will never forget the feeling.

( And relief… )

A gorgeous bridge in New York City's Central Park / funkyjunkinteriors.net
By the time we got back to the bike place, it was edging to half a day. Egads… if you bike the entire park, it takes about 2 hours.

And that’s when I had a little chit chat with the bike man. He felt so bad about the error, he only billed us BOTH for 1 hour total.

That was a super nice break for sure!

But you know what my son said as soon as we got off our bikes?

A gorgeous bridge in New York City's Central Park / funkyjunkinteriors.net
“Can we come back to NYC next year?”

“Why?”

“I want to go downhill again!”

Music to my ears, boy… and I completely agreed with him. This is the very first thing we’d do if we ever returned. Except next round, on a non midget variety, so we could afford to walk a few more trails.

As we exited the park, I didn’t want to rush. Ok, make that, couldn’t rush. It was like all the wind was completely knocked out of me. MY brain was too numb to put together two thoughts, never mind actual words.

So we sat near this gorgeous bridge, and just… ok, I mean, other than catching my breath, it was hard to leave. This was MY park… I owned it now. And if my legs hadn’t been complete rubber, I’d have biked it all over again that very day. We loved it just that much!

Cavallo's Pizzeria in New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
After flying back on our very last subway ride, (we were pros now!), we decided that NYC pizza was a MUST on our last day. 

We found the perfect place too. The glass doors were wide open, so eating here felt like eating on the street. That is the way to have pizza in NY!

Delish veggie pizza at Cavallo's Pizzeria in New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Delish veggie pizza at Cavallo's Pizzeria in New York City / funkyjunkinteriors.net
So so so so so delicious! It hurts my heart to see these pics. 

After resting up a bit in our room, we started pacing the streets, just to take in one last round of the fabulous night glow.

And it was on one side street, that I spun around and gasped….

The Empire State Building illuminated at night with fast street car action! | funkyjunkinteriors.net

How did I not notice that majestic lit up Empire State Building right there this entire time?

The Empire State Building illuminated at night | funkyjunkinteriors.net
Seriously, this trip was probably one of the most unique we’ve ever been on. Some of it was not what I expected, yet some spots, even better than I could have dreamed of.

But bar none, one of OUR fav things was spending an entire day at Central Park. Just do it! I guess you just can’t take the country out of a farmer’s daughter and her son…

If we ever go back, I’d love to take in the Brooklyn Flea Market (because we’re subway pros now), and the Brooklyn Bridge… and visit brownstones in Brooklyn. I think Brooklyn is a tad on my sights… ya think?! And getting out of the city to see Susan at Long Island would be super cool!

But in all, a week felt right to spend in this fab city! We were ready to come home. (and stop walking…)

Well friends, thanks for joining me for our exciting adventure to NYC, journal style! It made for a slightly unique delivery, but I just had to express everything we felt and did this round. I shot some video too, so if I ever get around to it, I may do a movie / slideshow feature at some point for You Tube. I’ll be sure to add it to the lineup here if it ever becomes ‘a thing’.

Now where are those travel people that just want to send you places so you’ll write about it? My number is…

You can catch up on ALL INSTALMENTS HERE, or:

NYC 1 – WestJet tips and promptly getting lost

NYC 2 – Empire State Building, Macy’s wooden escalator, and Big Daddy’s

NYC 3 – Times Square, the Flower District, Matilda, and defeating the scary subway

NYC 4 – Chelsea Flea Market, 9/11 Memorial, and meeting dear friends

NYC 5 – you are here.

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Categories: Junk Drawer, Travel
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  1. You could spend 10 trips there and not see everything. I love all the re born houses right out of the city. The community gardens are amazing, they have dinners where 200 people can sit and eat fresh from the garden. So much to see, I live in the U.S. and I still haven’t seen everything. N.Y. is my husbands favorite city. Too busy for me but it is full of things to do. Great shows, Hotels, Flea Markets and the most interesting people ever.. ha ha

    • I totally can see that you’d NEVER see it all in this city… it’s just so big and diverse!

      But I also felt that twinge of, “I’m satisfied.” Maybe if I could come home in between and go back, I’d feel more inclined to see more? LOL

      I suppose when you aren’t use to crowds, noise, concrete and sirens, it becomes ‘enough’ after about a week or so… that was my turning point. I was ready to come home.

      But so very glad I went!

  2. Oh my! What a wonderful day in the most wonderful park. It is so wonderful that you are able to experience these wonderful trips with your son and that he wants to go back again even if it is just to ride down hill again haha.
    You made me feel like I was right there with you, I could even (almost) taste that wonderful pizza.
    Thanks so much for sharing with us, and your writing describing everything was just wonderful and so funny. and your parting photo of the Empire Stat Building was beautiful.
    Thanks again I truly enjoyed every picture, and every word.

    • Awww, thanks Patty! This little series was so fun! Blogging is such a cool way to document these experiences that you may soon forget. Gotta do it while the ‘ol memory bank is still in effect! 🙂

  3. I’ve never had any desire to go to New York City, but your posts have been so fun to read. I think your sense of awe and wonder is a lot like mine would be…and that’s what has always kept me from letting NYC creep onto my to-do list. I’m terrified I would be too naive to make it there…get mugged or lost or something…but your adventures are filled with such glee and giddy appreciation and you did great. Maybe I would too! And I totally agree that you should put the Brooklyn Flea on your radar for next time. I have a friend who makes that the central focus of her annual NY excursions and her entire family loves it. Thanks for the adventures. I feel like I was there with you!

    • Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it! This was such an adventure out of my comfort zone, I couldn’t possibly just touch on it! But now I want a subway and that pizza in my area. There are certain things you simply cannot let go of!

  4. You’re so cute, Donna! You go all the way to NYC and your favorite thing is Central Park. You live in an area more beautiful than that!
    Enjoyed reading about your experiences. [But your pizza pic is the same one from your NYC4 post]

    • Haha! We do live in a great area! I was thinking like you… “wow, we go all the way here and what we love best we have at home?” It was very telling!

      And yes, I had to use the same pizza pic because that’s the only pizza pics I took! LOL

  5. Thanks for sharing your adventure. I have never been out East thus far, but it has been a dream of mine to see NYC someday. This just seals the deal for me, sans short bike, lol.

  6. You could definitely start a career as a travel writer, Donna! The park is so unique. New York would not be NY without Central Park. My favorite spot is near the pond where there is a double set of trees. John Lennon lived nearby and they have named an area for him called Strawberry Fields. I so happy that you got to realize one of your lifelong dreams. And I would definitely think about going back next year for another ride down the hills.

    • Well, thanks for the travel comment! I’m patiently waiting to be sent to Ireland myself.

      Who am I kidding… try and stop me if being sent anywhere… adventures are just waiting to happen!

      Next round, definitely getting a bike that fits so I can walk more of the park is top priority! I love facts like the Lennon tip you shared, I did not know that!

  7. Donna, thank you SO much for sharing your trip!!! I’ll never make it to NYC but have always wanted to go. I’m thrilled you and your son had such a wonderful time!! Start planning for next year LOL

  8. Donna,

    Sounds like the trip of a lifetime? Love your pictures and especially the descriptions to go with them. As another said, “makes it feel like we were there with you and your son.”

  9. Ahhh, Donna, the pictures of Central Park are beautiful! You know, I was wondering how large it is. In some of the photos you can only see grass, trees and water. You wouldn’t have know that you were in New York. But, the best part of your story was the bike. Oh my gosh, you had me laugh out loud! A midget bike! You are so funny Donna! At least I can say that because I didn’t have to ride the midget bike! Thanks for the post. I truly enjoyed it and the whole New York series.