Young Travel Writers 2015

Eleanor Percival, 7

Last updated 21st July 2022

Author: Eleanor Percival
Age: 7

When my Mum and Dad told me that I was going to New York I couldn’t believe it! I’d never seen New York in real life before – only in movies – plus I’d never been on a plane before either. I wanted to see all the famous things I’ve seen in films. When we arrived, the streets were full of yellow taxis honking their horns and school buses just like the one in The Simpsons.

I really wanted to see the zoo from Madagascar so we walked through Central Park and finally we saw the clock at the entrance with its stone statues of the characters – a hippo, a lion, a zebra and a giraffe. It was snowing a little bit but not enough to have a snowball fight like they do in Elf. I danced along pretending I was in Enchanted. After the zoo we went to a huge toyshop called FAO Schwarz and saw the piano that they jump on in Big.

After brunch (pancakes with maple syrup – yum!) we went to a big white building shaped like a spiral. It was called the Guggenheim. Inside, the exhibition was a bit boring for me but I immediately recognised it from the scene in Mr Popper’s Penguins where they all slide down the swirly slopes. I really desperately wanted to go to the American Museum of Natural History to see all the things from Night at the Museum. But when I got inside I was so disappointed that I cried. It didn’t look anything like it does in the film. Where was the dinosaur? Where was Teddy Roosevelt on his horse? Luckily we asked a friendly guide who gave us a sheet of the things they have and don’t have from the film. At least they had Dum-Dum who was about five times taller than me. There was also a stuffed monkey that was the same species as Dexter but not quite so naughty!

The next day we went on a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. It looked smaller than I imagined which reminded me of Dru’s line in Despicable Me: “We stole the Statue of Liberty; the small one from Las Vegas “. We also got to see the Empire State building – well, you could see it from everywhere you looked. At night it was shimmering in the darkness. I bought a little snow globe in a souvenir shop for my teacher showing King Kong climbing up the side. As an even more special treat I went to see Matilda on Broadway – which is one of my favourite books and films. I sat really near the aisle and Miss Trunchbull came really close – but I wasn’t scared. Not even a little bit. I ate lots of ice cream and waffles, saw lots of dogs, everything was bigger and more colourful but my favourite thing of all was seeing it all come to life – just like in the movies.