No trip to Beijing should be complete until you’ve viewed the immense Forbidden City from above- and the place to do that is at Jingshan Park. We happened to visit on day 9 of our trip… our last day, so we ended it as any busy trip should- with a lazy Sunday morning stroll through a park.
Day 9 costs:
Breakfast included in hotel stay
Jingshan Park entry: $0.58
Train to airport $8.16
Lunch at airport $19
Day 9 Total: $27.74
Total costs in country: $2,220 for 2 people
Plane tickets: $860
Visa Cost: $490
Dog Sitter: $120
Phone Bill: $100
Total Trip Costs for 2 people: $3,800
Unfortunately that’s all we got to try that weekend but other honorable mentions based on local recommendations include:
1. Greek Streak for your Mediterranean craving
2. Los 2 Amigos
3. Sherald’s Drive in
$80-$95/ night for hotel room
$60-$95 for cabins *pet friendly
Sleeps 4, book through AirBnb
Upscale apartment located in a historic 1918 building on Helper’s main street. Within walking distance to the local, market, two restaurants, art galleries, museum, the river walkway and everything else Helper’s historic main street has to offer.
Sleeps 4, book through AirBnb
Helper House is a cozy, single level home located on Helper’s Historic Main Street. Located close to the River Walkway, this charming house is in an ideal location for all of your explorations in Central Utah. Across the street is our famous “Big John”, Utah’s tallest coal miner, and less than 10 miles away is the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum. You also will have a front row seat for the annual Helper Arts Festival and Utah’s Christmas Town’s Main Street Light Parade.
Artist’s River House $115/night
Sleeps 4, book through AirBnb
100 year old family home, restored with modern aesthetic yet maintaining original charm. King bed in bedroom with fold-down couch in living room and floor space for air mattress.
One block from historic downtown Helper with easy access to two diners, western mining and railroad museum, artist studios and antique shops.
2 Bedroom House $59/night
Sleeps 6, book through AirBnb
Entire upstairs of a house with Stylish decor – stainless appliances, warm blue interior paint, laminate flooring, & full tile shower with glass surround. An affordable place for a whole family.
Airbnb Guest Suite $35/night
Sleeps up to 5 guests, book through AirBnb
A 375sq ft space with a private secure entrance and private bathroom. There are no shared spaces. There’s a king size bed, sleeper sofa, and space for additional travellers! Perfect for budget minded travelers looking for a clean, safe and cozy space. Enjoy WiFi and Netflix.
The only way to ride the Hogwarts Express is to buy a park to park pass. (park hopper) which seeing as we only had 1 day, worked fine for us. It’s a quick train ride but everything is so authentic! I loved how not only did they have a little show in the window of “passing scenery” but the opaque doors of our train cabins also showed people walking by and talking outside your door. It was pretty cool.
… And to grab another Butterbeer but this time FROZEN and let me tell you, I wish I’d had time to buy like 3 more of these babies because it was twice as good Frozen. Oh man it was crazy delicious.
- Hotel: $400
- Parking: $23 for both days/ night
- Park Admission for 1 day park hopper: $350 for both of us
- We skipped breakfast
- Butterbeer: $14 or $7 each (doesn’t matter frozen or not) It’s worth it friends
- Giant slice of pizza with salad and breadstick at Fantastic 4: $12
- Guiness Stew and Pumpkin Juice: about $20 the stew was just under 14 and the drink made up the rest
- Margarittaville Nachos: $14 and could seriously feed like 3 or 4 people plus drinks and tip $40
- 2nd night in the hotel at the cheap Quality Inn not 10 minutes from the park: $50
- The Forbidden Journey: 4 times
- Dragon Challenge: 6 times (4 on the blue, 2 on the red)
- Hulk coaster: 4 times
- Spider Man: twice
- King Kong: twice
- Jurassic Park: twice
- Hogwarts Express: twice
- Escape from Gringotts: twice
- The Mummy: 4 times
- Dr. Doom fear fall, Ripsaw Falls, Dr. Seuss Merry Go Round, Hipogriff coaster, Poseidon’s Fury, RiprideRockit coaster, Transformers, MIB, ET, Simpsons all once
NYC Day 2: Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and Central Park
Despite the late night Broadway show before, we were up early and determined to hit the rest of the list. So first up was Brooklyn. It took about 40 min to get to the Bagel Store on Bedford Ave between 2 subway lines and less than mile of walking.
BUT the excitement did NOT stop there! OH NO cause the connecting train we’d planned on turned out to be an unholy expensive AMTRAK train and NOT the Shoreline east train even though it was on their schedule. That coupled with a ticketing agent telling us the next train wouldn’t leave for another hour had us in PANIC mode. We checked everything from bus schedules to Uber prices but just when we gave into our defeat by purchasing Sbarro pizza (the worst pizza ever) we discovered the ticketing guy was WRONG and there was a train departing only 30 minutes later than we had expected. So rush we did and home we got just in time to throw more bags and be on our way to our next destination!
So there you have it my NYC experience, a bit of doom & gloom, to glorious broadway, to bagels in Brooklyn, sunshine in Central Park, and plowing down people in Grand Central. Certainly an adventure I won’t forget
Costs of the day:
Rainbow bagel with funfetti shmear: something like $6.50. I believe it was a dollar or 2 more than the normal bagels.
black & white cookie also from the bagel store: $3
Ferry from Williamsburg to Brooklyn Bridge: $2.5 pp
All activities were free today
oh! except for the wild taxi ride which ended up around $7 pp
The trains to get back was the same as day before: $24.75
And of course the terrible Sbarro pizza was like $6 but a girls gotta eat.
Total for the day: $49.75 just under 50
Miles walked: around 5.5 with almost about half of that just in Central Park.
But luckily enough, Hotel Watson had a room ready for us 1.5 hours early so we were able to go right up, dry off and change, and formulate a new approach for the day as we had previously wanted to explore Central Park.
NEW PLAN: Take the Subway downtown to the Chelsea Market since that was inside and see if we could bide our time till the rain let up.
So from there the trail ended not too far from Hell’s Kitchen so we hopped on the subway to check out Times Square. and the rain rained on. lol but we checked out a few souvenir shops searching for the one magnet that would speak to my soul (none ever did. I am a connoisseur of magnets and NYC seriously let me down on this front) and grabbed a street gyro (which turned out to be pretty delicious.)
And from there on it was a short walk (like .7 miles) back to our hotel.
Once out of the show we hit up a CVS/ or some other drug store to grab out weight in water bottles lol. Then we again walked back to the hotel (again in the rain which consequently soaked my 3rd pair of shoes)
Right around the corner from both Mystic and Stonington is Ender’s Island. (every time I heard it I couldn’t NOT think of Ender’s game…) It’s a cool little Monastic Caltholic retreat on it’s own Island… kind of. You drive over a very narrow little road to get out to it.
And now onto the hike around Bluff Point state park in Groton. (Right around the corner from both the Griswold battle field and Nautilus museum. Groton is happening place ya’ll!
This state park is used for all sorts of activities including hiking,
mountain biking, fishing, and general beach going although it’s a bit of a walk to the beaches.
And finally the last great activity was kayaking out in Old Lyme. We went in the evening on one of the few days it didn’t rain lol and it was absolutely peaceful. Nothing like floating on a river with some drinks and good friends. Thanks again Katie!