Chronicles of one girl's journey to London - from conception to eventual migration.

USA

I have been to a few cities in the good ol' US of A, even residing in New York for 4 weeks before we moved to Toronto. Not long enough to count as a New Yorker, but long enough to learn a few things. Like Americans not knowing the difference between a Pakistani and a Hispanic girl. But that's what they're known for there, aren't they? Blind ignorance.

Orlando, Florida - actually Orange County, Florida as that is where Disneyland actually is!
This was the first American city and state I visited. It was part of the Grade 7 trip from Dubai to Disneyland and Amsterdam. My recollection of this trip comes in glimpses. I remember standing in line for the rides. I remember not being able to eat very much because we were told it wasn't "halal" by one of the teacher/chaperones. I lived on french fries and cheese sandwiches. I remember the planetarium show. I remember going on the Tower of Terror, and not really being terrified. Somewhere, someone has a picture of me laughing on this ride. I remember a LOT of fat Americans. It's like all large Americans insist on going to Disneyland. We were there over Christmas and I do remember the Christmas parade in blazing sunshine. And, of course, I remember the castle. Each day, a little bus came and took us to the park for us to explore more of it. It was a lot of fun and I wish I could remember more of it.

New York, New York
As I mentioned, I have stayed here for up to 4 weeks once. I have been to New York several times in my life, it being so close to Toronto (a mere 10 hour drive) and also where my mother's sister used to live. When she was there, we stayed in Jackson Heights in Queens. It's ghetto. I'm sorry to anyone who lives there. However, I am confident that anyone who lives there will not be offended and will most likely nod along with me. While there, I have also been to Brooklyn, Long Island, driven through the Bronx and Harlem, been to a friend's house in Flushing Meadows, and of course seen Manhattan. I have always felt New York City is where dreams go to burst into a flame of fortune and success (businessmen who have seen otherwise, please don't ruin my rose-tinted view).

It's impossible to walk in NYC without seeing something of interest or popularity. There's Ground Zero (and I was also lucky enough to have seen and been inside the Twin Towers before they were taken from us), the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building (although both look very similar, the Empire State is the taller of the two), Times Square and the Red Steps, Central Park, NYU, Wall Street and the Stock Exchange, Statue of Liberty, NBC Studios and on and on. There are a hundred different restaurants and cafes to go to, the shopping is amazing and, if this is your thing, the celebrity spotting is meant to be some of the best! This might be lame but the best suggestion is to just GO there. Go and experience and be overwhelmed and take it all in like it's meant to be.

Within New York state, I have also been to Buffalo as it's just on the Canadian border by Niagara Falls. It is nothing special at all, and looks quite gray and industrial. We've also drive through Albany, Syracuse and a couple of other places whose names escape me.

New Jersey
My mother's best friend lives here so we've been here as many times as we've been to New York. I haven't been to the Jersey Shore side everyone may know so well but, instead, to the little villages in the suburbs. The nicer bits, one might say. It's a nice place, very cosy and I hope not to change this nice view I have of it, thankyouverymuch Snooki. 

Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware

The aunt that once lived in Queens moved to Virginia a few years ago. So, our annual road trips went in a slightly different direction. And Virginia is beautiful. It's home to the Pentagon - which I have driven past but not seen up close - and home to Tyson's Corner, an awesome shopping district in Fairfax County.

On one trip there, our aunt and uncle drove us through Alexandria in Virginia, which is beautifully quaint, then on through Maryland, Washington DC to see the White House, Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument and also to Delaware. This entire area is just gorgeous. 

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