Although we managed to arrive in August for the first time in the States, we chose to spend our winter vacation there as well. And because we wanted to go somewhere warm, we chose the state of Florida.
We had a direct flight from Frankfurt to New York, then we rented a car and drove almost 1800 km to Florida, where we were going to spend Christmas and the end of the year.
We couldn’t get to New York during the winter holidays without seeing the famous decorated Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.
Although we only had one evening to spend in New York and we were tired after the 8-hour flight, the wait at customs and the drive from the airport to the hotel, we left our bags in the room and headed to Rockefeller Plaza. This year, a 24 m tall Norwegian spruce was chosen, which weighed 12 tons and was decorated with an 8 km long installation with around 50,000 multicolored lights.
The three-dimensional star at the top of the tree was designed in 2018, weighs 408 kg and has 70 points covered with 3 million Swarovski crystals.
The decorating and lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree is a national tradition that began in 1933. The famous tree was featured in the movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
Of course we also walked through Times Square again. Full of life, color and lights, Times Square was just as impressive as the first time we saw it.
Because we are Harry Potter fans and we didn’t have time in August, we now managed to get to the Harry Potter Shop. Located at 935 Broadway, Harry Potter New York spans 3 floors where fans can explore the ‘wizarding world’ in real time.
It’s the world’s largest Harry Potter store where you can try the Butterbeer as well as a range of sweets inspired by the film.
The next day we hit the road and stopped for a short walk in Philadelphia. It is the largest city in Pennsylvania and is notable for its rich history on display at Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed).
We walked around downtown a bit, saw City Hall – a gorgeous building, hard to miss and The Philadelphia Masonic Temple – located across from City Hall.
The Masonic Temple is considered one of the great “wonders” of the Masonic world. Inside are artworks, frescoes, stained glass windows, murals and sculptures, a visual treasure waiting to be discovered by the public.
From Philadelphia we continued our way to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where we stayed, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to see or visit anything, because the next day we woke up in the morning and continued the road to Florida.
The next day we made a short stop in Savannah, Georgia. When most tourists imagine Savannah, the first thought that comes to mind is cobblestone streets lined with old oak trees.
The city offers a gorgeous landscape regardless of the season, which we enjoyed for an hour. Although we didn’t have much time, we walked the narrow streets of the city center, admired the well-preserved architecture and stopped at the famous restaurant The Lady and Sons for lunch.
The last stop was in Palm Bay, where we stayed for the next 3 days.
(The US – December 2021)