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New York New York Part 1,2,3,4,5 and finally 6.


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New York New York Part 1


Musings

Posted by min200 Mon, March 09, 2015 13:51:52


Time to knock a big trip off of the bucket list and this trip was three years in the making because everytime we managed to save up enough money to book it something came along with the kids needing things so as the savings hot the mark just before Christmas I booked the trip in quick before fate could throw us another curve ball!


Now I have family in America so have been over there a few times before but New York would be a first and I wanted to see the city that never sleeps (my arse it doesn't) for myself along with all of the tourist bits it's famous for.


The trip didn't start off well after driving from our home toward Birmingham Airport I started to have an IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) attack so by the time we arrived I was buckled over in two wondering if I was going to be able to make from the drivers seat in the car park to the nearest toilet in the airport without giving myself cause to change my lower clothing. Thankfully I made it. With the first round of that horror dealt with we set off to look at the departure board to discover our flight to America had been cancelled, of course it had the day was fast getting worse, so we walked over to the check in desk to see what the plan of action was. Not too bad they said we just needed to hop on a flight firstly to Dublin then a connection an hour later to JFK in New York. A different airport than we had booked but seeing as we were just catching a cab into the city no worries and they gave us vouchers for breakfast which was nice.


After a couple of hours hanging around eating not a lot and several painful trips to the toilet for me later we noticed the gate number wasn't coming up for the flight to Dublin even though it was nearly time to take off. Half an hour later and fifteen minutes after take off time we were directed to a gate put on a plane and sat there for some time like lemons then when we took off we were over an hour and a half late and going to miss our connecting flight...the day was not going well. I asked a stewardess what we had to do about missing our connection and seeing as over half of the plane load of passengers they had wee in the same boat she went to see the captain who contacted Dublin then let us know that because there were so many folks that needed to get that flight to America they would be holding it until we all arrived and cleared American immigration. I looked at Wifey confused then a stewardess confused “America administration...in Dublin?” Yep the American border is now in Dublin airport so that took a while to clear as well much to the pissed off faces of the people stuck on the flight to JFK if looks could kill most of us that came from Birmingham airport would now be dead.


We had made it onto the flight though and with time made up in flight we should on be an hour or so behind schedule upon landing. How that works I do not know but hey I was happy with the result. The flight was painless and we landed without crashing which seemed good considering the day we were having so we walked to baggage claim and our suitcase was one of the first on the line our luck was turning as we made our way to the taxi rank. We were there informed it was a set fare which was even better and we jumped into your typical yankie yellow cab and the next round of hell arrived moments later.


I had been told that New York taxi drivers were bad by a friend who had been there before but nothing prepared me for the ride that followed honestly it was something that Amusement Parks would deem to dangerous to use for fear of giving folk heart attacks or strokes. He left the airport gently enough leaving me thinking my friend was talking crap but as soon as we hit the interstate directly off of the airport he unleashed hell in the form of a rejected formula one driver that had decided banger racing was probably the best idea for him now. How he missed the cars he was cutting up forcing them out of lanes and off of the road I do not know because with thirty seconds I deemed the best course of action I could do was to close my eyes tight and pray.


Up ahead the traffic had pulled up in a huge jam but this wasn't a problem for our driver he just cut right across 4 lanes then drove along another lane that I couldn't see but he could straight up the slip road into an area I found out later was called Jamaica Queens and not an area you would willing enter unless you absolutely had to. He weaved through the snow along tight streets with parked cars both sides forcing people to slip and slide out of his way as quickly as they could in case they got mown down straight into another long traffic queue up to lights in the distance. It was then that I noticed the thumping music from my right and as I turned I found four obvious gang members in the next car staring at me and into the Taxi. Now I did point out this area was rough right? Well now I was getting more than a little concerned as these guys strained to see what we had in the cab. Thankfully the traffic started to move again and they disappeared from view for about fifteen seconds in which time we had stopped again and they had moved over the the left side of the Taxi in their motor and were busy looking on at Wifey and what she had on her side of the taxi. Even the cab driver started looking nervous when their thumping music stopped.


Thankfully at this moment the traffic cleared and we were back onto whacky taxi races weaving in and out of lanes blaring his horn, which seemed to be a common theme for driving in New York, then the way ahead cleared and we careered into Manhattan through some tunnel at a hundred miles per hour. He pointed out some landmarks at warp speed forcing me to open my eyes to the blurred terror of passing buildings then shot across Times Square in a flash and skidded to a halt outside our Hotel where I have to admit I have never gotten out of a motor so quickly in my life.


Of course he then stood outside his Taxi with our cases and this being America was waiting upon me to tip him for the worst ride if my life. Apparently ten percent is the norm for your authentic New York taxi ride experience.


http://www.nickysmith.me

Edited by min200
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New York New York Part 2


Musings

Posted by min200 Mon, March 09, 2015 16:42:23


Part 2.


We stayed at The Edison Hotel on 47th Street just off of Times Square so nice and central. The hotel itself is an Art Deco type 1940's style place that looks grand in the foyer but the hallways on each floor were pretty dated and worn but clean. The rooms were clean with good beds along with the tiniest onsuite bathroom I have ever seen! Remember that IBS issue I spoke of earlier well it lasted a couple of days and I banged my head on the sink while sitting onto the throne more than once so small yes indeed!


Not that it mattered much we were only going to be sleeping there so jet lagged to hell and it only being the early afternoon local time instead of bedtime on our body clocks we headed out into the city.


Wifey had been planning this trip for a few months now and I am pretty sure she had walked most of the city already via google earth so there she was with an itinerary for the few days we were going to be there and I got promptly dragged off towards the Rockafella Centre via Times Square. Everything was going to be via Times Square as we were staying there but it looked like it did on the TV just smaller smellier noisier and full of people who wanted to flog you something every six feet. I have to admit I put on my growly mean bast*rd face which put off all but the most determined who got barked at by me for their persistence.


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And it was cold. Not just a bit nippy but hat scarf gloves and big bloody coat freezing with snow on the ground cold. I was feeling rough my arse kept twitching although by now I had nothing left to give on that front I was grumpy inside but I knew that I had to pull it together and not spoil this bucket list trip of ours.


We carried on through New York's iconic streets that were spoiled to me because I have been to other American cities before and they looked exactly the same as this one toward The Rockafella. It was ok a nice ice rink some shops some more shops Policemen on every corner of it but we wanted to see the city from on high so we bought tickets for 7pm to see it at night and went to find some food.


I asked a copper where the best place to get some meaty food from was and he looked at me like I was stupid saying “there's a burger joint a few blocks over” I replied “We were looking for something meaty not a burger but you know steak ribs something like that” he replied with a look of are you stupid on his face and said again “there's a burger place a few blocks over” No name of the burger place a few blocks over or any acknowledgement I had said something different. Either there was a glitch in the Matrix or he was an ignorant pig...I decided on the latter and walked away before I said something I regretted.


We decided to walk around for a few blocks to see what we could find and ran straight into St Patricks Church which looks like the Cathedral in Santiago de Compestella. We like old buildings and wandered straight in but as nice as the place was it was missing something the original has and that for a start is age. This place was a hundred or so years old but nice enough undergoing renovation even though it's a baby in Church terms. Each chapel within was set out nicely quietly trying to mug you for cash instead of shouting at you to get it. Overall worth a visit if you have half an hour to kill.


Stomachs now rumbling like mad letting us know that if we were not going to be sleeping like we should be we needed to add fuel into the equation we set off looking for something meaty to eat without wandering too far from our appointment with the sky deck at the Rockafella. We could find bugger all for a few blocks apart from TGI Fridays...I don't want to eat that slop here let alone there so we went back to the Rockafella and found a small diner type place under it and bought some grub there. Steak chicken cold fries served up in a plastic container and only $50 for the two of us...nice. Wifey told me to stop moaning about prices it was a city and it would cat a lot to eat which we knew before leaving home didn't make it any easier though.


Still it was time to go up to the sky deck bit or so I thought until the dreadfully helpful miserable git of a bloke guarding the lift rudely and I do mean rude in the way you want to smash someone in the face for talking to you like that informed us we were five minutes early and would have to wait which we started to do to be told “Somewhere else”. New York and I were not getting off to a very good start.


A five minute lap of the shops and we were back at the lift that had no queue to see the happy I want to smack him in the face chap who opened the doors for us slimly said “have a nice day” and off up to the top floor we went.


The view was expensive I mean impressive. You could indeed see the whole of the city from up there through big sheets of plastic so no one could decide to end their days there. I can think of better ways of doing it myself than a voluntary 70 floor dive but hey there must be a problem to have to put that stuff up in the first place. I thought maybe it was health and safety issues but after seeing how the workmen around the city were doing stuff over the next couple of days I am pretty sure they don't have the H&E stuff like we have to comply with here. Anyway the view really was superb the sun had gone down and night had drawn in leaving breathtaking views on all four sides.



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New York looked amazing. But it was cold on the ground so with the wind on the 70th floor it was frostbite bitter and after twenty minutes we were done and heading back to the hotel trying to keep our eyes open and legs moving. Soon enough we were collapsed face down in our bed and snoring the extra long day away. It was 10pm local time.


We were awake at 4am don't you just love jet lag!


justturned40.co.uk

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Min.

Did you venture away from manhatten at all?

I have a friend who emigrated years ago and has lived in Queens, Brooklyn etc. Wonderfully strange places.

First time we went over was 99 I think for the boxing. Amazing place.

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Cheers folks :)

No we walked all over the place but were only there for a few days doing the touristy bit. I have family in Kentucky so we have spent quite a bit of time down that way and I do like "the south"

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New York New York Part 3


Musings

Posted by min200 Tue, March 10, 2015 20:56:52


Reading back over the last couple of entries it may have come across that I am a bit of a miserable sod and although this may be true at times it is not the norm for me but I had been in a lot of pain for 20 plus hours and I admit my temper was a bit on the short side. After a good six hours sleep though my body felt better I felt refreshed and surprisingly Wifey was in a good mood even though she had not got her normal ten hours sleep overnight must have been because e were on holiday.


We managed to stay in bed until 5am but gave up then and got up. I set of fin search of tea, how British of me, because the Yanks don't have tea facilities in the bedrooms for some strange reason or maybe its us Brits that are odd...who am I kidding it's them the weirdo's tea should be available everywhere!


Oh before I go on I forgot one thing from the first night when Wifey and I got back to the Hotel we decided on a quick nightcap as we sometimes do at home and walked into the hotel bar where I ordered a vodka and coke along with a disarrano and coke. The barman filled and I mean filled the glasses with ice stuck a shot in each then added a dribble of coke around the icebergs pushed them towards me and said “that's $24 please” $24 BLOODY DOLLARS FOR TWO DRINKS!!! After asking him where the rest of the bottles were for that price I handed him exactly $24 and the look of disgust on his face at the lack of tip was priceless but there was no way I was paying anymore for the smallest shots most expensive shots in history!


Back to the morning and the tea hunt was on. Turns out all you could get in the hotel was expensive booze but I Was directed to a 24 hour Deli a couple of doors down where I could get a cup. Deli's are superb places they look like newsagents from the outside but when you walk in they are full of loads of hot and cold food at normal prices along with every hot drink you can think of. Two large cups of tea and breakfast cobs later sold to me at the grand sum of $16 I went back to our room like a superb hunter with a kill.


We like to walk and what better place to do it than a city on an island set out in a grid pattern with everything within an hour and fifteen minutes of where you are staying. Being the first full day Wifey had planned a busy one so we set off walking about half past six heading south down towards Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty. It was still very cold but we walked at a good pace taking in the city as we went passing block after block on quiet side walks so is New York the city that never sleeps?...no no it's not.


How do you get lost in a grid system of a city it should be impossible but we were busy looking around and branched off at some point into NYC University which was nice to walk through but when we hit the other side of the campus we were a few blocks off of where we were supposed to be so I asked a UPS delivery chap where Broadway was as we were walking to Battery park to which he replied with a shocked look on his face “You are walking!?!” yes yes we are I explained as he tried to direct us to a tube station but after I explained we had already walked from Times Square he nearly fell over pointed us in the right direction saying it was three blocks over and twenty blocks or so down. He walked away shaking his head muttering “crazy Brits” We giggled to ourselves shaking our heads muttering “Lazy Yanks”


Another half an hour of walking later we came across a rather large bronze bull with the biggest pair of nuts I have ever seen on one! Not that I go out of my way looking at bull's nuts but you know the odd time out walking you come across a herd with a bull in it normally doing the business with it's cows nuts swinging free in the air...jesus wept I am digging the hole deeper here lets just say the bronze bull had an impressive under carriage.


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A couple of pictures later we got to Battery park which was frozen up and under all sorts of construction so we jumped straight onto the ferry to Staten Island which is free (nice!) and you can see the Statue of Liberty clearly. In the films this grand old monument is of epic proportions standing tall and proud representing the liberty that America is built upon. In real life it looks like a short arse. It is small so small I wondered if we had come to the right place so with no embarrassment I asked a lady American on the boat if it was the real one to which SHE replied “Yep that's it you are not the first to be disappointed” she wasn't wrong and I was very happy that I had not paid for a private boat trip tour but I did find out later you can get a helicopter ride around it for a good price...wish I had known I've always wanted to go in a helicopter...it's now on the bucket list.


So a quick turnaround that involved us getting off of the ferry walking around in a big circle and getting back on it again we headed back into Manhattan.


Next stop was Ground Zero just a short walk from the ferry port and I would like to say here and now what a fantastic memorial the American Nation has put together for those who lost their lives there. It is simple elegant and peaceful. Two waterfalls over dark marble that covers the exact foot print of each tower and is inscribed with the names of those that will never go home again. Simple tree lined walks between the falls kept clean and tidy so the folk that visit there have the ideal environment to pay their respects and remember loved ones. I really take my hat off to the people that designed it built it and those that now look after it. Fitting is an understatement and poignant is somehow not enough.


Time for coffee which is no problem anywhere in the states then the walk back up toward Times Square being dragged into “must see” shops because we were there yawn at least they had free wifi to amuse me with while Wifey ran around like a kid at Christmas. These sort of shops should have a grown up crib type place where us chaps could be left while our women shop away all they would need in them are comfy chairs wifi tea/coffee and maybe a few games consol's for the younger ones and some good books for us older farts.


Soon enough we hit Times Square again where we bought tickets for that evenings performance of Phantom of the Opera (the day went downhill fast for me here) and grabbed some food kissing goodbye to a few hundred more dollars. The evenings show was actually good I didn't enjoy the shouty bits when they whole cast wanted to sing a different song louder than the person stood next to them but overall it was much better than I ever thought it would be but most importantly Wifey being a musical nut job was in her element watching Phantom for the first time in a theatre on Broadway this alone made me smile.


Then it was off to bed as we were shattered from jet lag and the days walking. It was about 10:30pm and we were up again at 05:00 Damn our messed up body clocks...

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New York New York Part 4


Musings

Posted by min200 Thu, March 12, 2015 21:07:07


Another early start but we were not going to fight it there was still plenty to do and see in the city so we started with another quick run to the deli for breakfast where we made a discovery of what can only be described as a plastic glass of yoghurt that had granola and fresh fruit in it. It was superb and healthy to boot which for e is a rarity on the food front. The local news channel was warning of a major snow storm that was due to hit overnight into the next day just when we were supposed to be heading home h=oh well we could worry about it then. American news isn't really like news at all , not that the BBC news is much better these days, it comes in fifteen second snippets delivered at light speed to whoever is watching on a fifteen minute loop just what you need I suppose to fit into your busy lives. As long as you don't want any substance you are good to go!


Today we were heading up north away from Times Square and true to our fashion we decided to walk it all again rather than jump on the subway and miss seeing the city itself. It was cold though really cold and it soon started raining but hell we didn't care we were wrapped up warm and waterproof stomping our way through the blocks.


Wifey giggled like the kid she is toilet humour wise as we passed Trump Towers taking a photo for her friends asking “Is that where we go to do our trumps here?” another photo of Tiffany's which was thankfully closed and saved me an hour in time along with a wedge of cash then Central Park loomed up in the distance. We wanted to walk through Central Park to get to the Natural History Museum but it soon became apparent that was not going to happen as the whole place was still covered in snow and thick frozen ice on the pathways that were impossible to walk on. Liking our bones the shape they are our walk was diverted to skirt around the outside of the park and I am glad it was because this itself was icy enough feeling like a trek into the Arctic itself.


Central Park is massive and I am disappointed didn't get the chance to explore it properly but with the weather against us what can you do? We made it to the Natural History Museum with slightly aching legs from the last couple of days mileage on them. I'm glad we didn't rush because it was still closed and there was quite a queue waiting to get in but we were not left out in the cold for long. Grumpy security guards shouted at everyone to go through the rotating doors where soon after we had our bags searched and sent through a metal detector this was a theme at every tourist building we went to and we were becoming quite used to it now. Then it was time to queue again to pay to go and have a good look around.


For some strange reason the cashier lady who took our money to get in did not smile when I asked if we could stay until night time to watch all the exhibits come alive she just scowled at me and said NO. I bet she hadn't heard that line before from anyone else referring to all of the Night at the museum films. SO we wandered around looking for dinosaurs which we found (I love Dinosaurs) then meandered some more looking at the other stuff. Now while there is a lot there to look at a great deal of it is very dated and I have to admit to being a little disappointed overall especially as some of the newer stuff cost “extra” to play in but it killed a couple of hours and it's one of those iconic places you must go and have a nose around so I am told.


We headed back to Times square to frequent one of the many eateries on route it started raining then never let up up for the rest of the day but hey ho you only get wet once and it was washing the snow away as for the predicted snow fall if the temperature was rising as fast as it was and raining to boot I had a sneaky feeling the weather folk over in America were not much better than ours so I was not concerned about snow at all.


A leisurely lunch in The Olive Garden which did do good food at very reasonable prices compared to some of the other places we had visited went down well and we set off heading West along 47th Street toward The Intrepid museum and that good folks needs an update all of it's own...


www.nickysmith.me

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New York New York Part 5


Musings

Posted by min200 Sun, March 15, 2015 08:25:06


Part 5.


Err I somehow managed to miss out the visit to Grand Central Station! Now how I did that I do not know so I shall blame it upon being A) Stupid B) Forgetful C) Getting on in years D) Probably just stupid so delete as you please. Grand Central Station again is massive on the TV and in films in real it does indeed cover some platforms there are plenty to go around but the main hall is smaller than you think. It is indeed grand well sculpted and so very very shiny and clean you could probably eat off of it but it is a train station so unless you want to pay a fortune for food or some rubbish in the many shops you really won't be there long in fact budget in enough time for a quick couple of pictures and a bit of a wander...twenty minutes should do it...


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Onto the Intrepid Museum which for me was the best outing of the whole holiday because you see The Intrepid for those that do not know is an aircraft carrier and not just any old aircraft carrier but one that served and got hit several times in the second world war and then played a big part in the space race tracking and recovering the astronauts along with capsules upon their return to earth...I was going to be in full blown geeky heaven.


As we queued up again and bought our entry tickets I turned and looked at my ever loving Wife and informed here “not a word of being bored for the next two to three hours, I have been dragged around shops and sites I was not bothered about but now I am going to be a big kid again” to which she replied “Suck it up Smith you love it now get your arse in there and start looking around” so that just goes to show who wears the trousers in this marriage.


You walk in along the docking pier so you get to appreciate the sheer size of the ship which is huge but compared to modern day standards of aircraft carriers is now quite small! You could either catch the lift up into the Intrepid or walk up the stairs we did the latter as to appreciate the full scale of the ship we were climbing into. First stop was the hanger deck that was full of the ships history planes that flew from it as well as helicopters and space rocket return pods. I was a kid in a sweet shop exploring these exhibits reading the history on the walls enjoying my leisurely walk through the hanger deck but it was soon time to go out “up top” onto the flight deck where more delights awaited me oh I mean us...


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Now the flight deck was a wonder of more flying machines from the last fifty years or so but parked at one end was a Bkackbird Spy plane! A Blackbird Spy Plane!!!!!!!!! I was in awe of this miracle of what was top end engineering when I was a kid it was the best thing made ever invisible to radar crazy fast and it looked the mutts nuts too and here I was looking at it in the flesh I truly was ten again...


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As I wandered with Wifey in an acceptance sort of stroll behind me along the opposite end of the deck I noticed that that end was covered in a huge tent building. I say tent but what I mean is one of those semi permanent buildings that seem to be going up at museums for creating quick easy indoor space so we headed for it going in through the doors where we were met by smiling staff who said “Welcome to the Space Shuttle exhibit do you have your tickets?” I stood dumbfounded while Wifey handed our tickets over then I asked “IS there a Space Shuttle in there?”


“Well yes sir it's the Enterprise”


I thought I would faint.


How had I missed the fact that there was a Space Shuttle on The Intrepid???? I thought I was in geeky heaven before but I had now passed onto and beyond super live with your parents living on the internet 23 hours a day geeky heaven. In a semi scuttle stumbling movement I past through the entrance tunnel coming out right underneath the Enterprise's right wing. I stopped dead taking in the grandeur of the first of the modern day for my generation machines that took people into space. They helped build the space space station launch the Hubble telescope and many other satellites and I was stood right underneath the very first prototype...


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I thought my head would explode I was young again sat crossed legged in my parents living room watching the four channel push button TV as the shuttle launched up from its stand at Cape Canaveral twisting skyward with a plume of flame smoke and sheer power pushing out behind it I still remember thinking I could feel the rumble of it all then being so sure as you can only be when you are young that one day just one day I would be an astronaut leaving Earth's gravitational pull heading for the stars.


I would settle for this now though rushing around the Enterprise just looking at it then the second time walking more slowly around taking it all in just soaking up what stood before me noting the re-entry heat tiles tiny windows docking ports and even the landing gear quite frankly in short I loved it.


After quite some time we wandered back out of the Shuttle exhibition and with one last forlorn look over my shoulder knowing I probably will never see another one we headed off to finish exploring the Intrepid. We walked through both of the bridges trying to escape from the helpful staff who wanted to tell us the history of it all in real time then hit the crew decks. These were excellent and set out like it really used to be at sea with all of the living quarters and kitchens they even had there own restaurant down there which would have had been a great dining experience if not for the fact we had had that large lunch earlier.


As we made our way back down to the quay side I noticed yet again something I had missed on the way in....Concorde. I think it says something about the scale of the place that you can actually not notice something the size of a Concorde tucked away in the corner of the quay parked next to the ship. It was surrounded by piles of snow and we couldn't get anywhere near to close to it unfortunately but as excited as I was to see it my brain was in overload and it's probably just as well I couldn't get close to it to put more in there.


With the rain steadily getting heavier we walked back toward our hotel leaving behind the best thing I had done in New York by a mile. The evenings entertainment was my turn to choose so we went off to see Avenue Q at the theatre and if you have not seen any of their stuff look it up on the tinterweb it is extremely funny being a bit like sesame street for adults with no holds barred on the songs they sing about what they sing but be prepared for full puppet nudity!


The end of the night came quickly ending the best day here so far and the rain was still steadily falling washing away what was left of the piles of snow so much for the snow storm the weatherman said would be here by now...


www.justturned40.co.uk

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New York New York Part 6


Musings

Posted by min200 Sun, March 15, 2015 17:29:33


Part 6.


Nope still jet lagged on the last morning but I suppose this was a good thing I thought to myself it will make it easier to drop back into the UK time zone later today. I looked across at the clock on the bedside table again it read 05:30. I was in no rush to get up though we were getting the red eye home and didn't have to be out of the hotel room until 12 noon so no point in just getting out of the room too quickly Wifey just wanted to go shopping again anyway.


Nope no good trying to lie there doing nothing so I got up and looked out of the window to see some snow starting to fall onto a soaking wet city so I wasn't worried. Breakfast again at the Deli two doors down I still cannot recommend these places enough they have good food at great prices but as I walked out of it I came face on into a freezing blizzard. In the space of about ten minutes getting our breakfast sorted the temperature outside had plummeted and the snow had arrived with a vengeance.


We hung around in our room for a few hours relaxing and reading but by 11 am we had had enough and went to check out and do more last minute shopping along with a nice lunch before we would need to head to the airport. The snow was still coming down blizzard style so much so it was hard to see where you were walking and no matter what direction you faced you still seemed to be head on into the storm. We decided it might be a good idea to head to the airport a bit earlier so booked the cab for an hour before we were going to leave before we were assured it would be with us by 2pm.


After giving up on shopping (shame that) Wifey and I headed back into the hotel to find the receptionist happy to see us “finally” because our taxi driver was here already. It was only 1:20pm but the taxi driver told us the interstates were already bad so best to leave now. She wasn't joking! Do you recall how much I hated the terror of the drive into the city? Well we were now doing that drive in a blizzard with four inches of snow on the roads whilst the taxi driver was sending text messages and drifting across two lanes at a time!!! In all fairness she got us to the airport in really good time through good luck near misses several back end slides but in one piece complete with our luggage and me needing a change of pants.


We were allowed to check in early as the flight was still scheduled to leave on time despite the by now howling gale that was going on outside but we made it through security got some more food then settled in for the bit of a wait before the flight left...in short we were now the airlines problem should anything go wrong because of the weather.


I looked outside the storm was still howling but I could just see the airplanes taking off and landing on the runway which was astounding seeing as any airport in Britain shuts down after an inch of snow has fallen. A couple of ploughs cleared our stand ready for the plane to arrive but the snow was falling so heavily it was covered again within minutes along with all of the hard standing I could see they were literally clearing the road in front of planes as they were leaving but leaving they were...


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Our plane arrived on time and we boarded it settled in for the night flight back and pushed off of the stand where we joined a queue taxiing for the runway. Snow fall had calmed but the temperature had dropped quickly again freezing what was on the ground. They had to plough the runway along with doing whatever they do to defrost it. I presume they must have gritted it like on a normal road but I really have no idea what they do with a runway because of the jet engine intakes?


All of this took a couple of hours and as we taxied forward for our turn there were a couple of trucks on the end of the runway de-icing each plane before take off, we had sat long enough for the wings and flaps to freeze up! Man it must have been cold out there.


We lined up on the runway accelerated not quite as hard as usual it seemed but the plane left the ground with no issues much to the relief of those on board including myself. There seemed to be a collective sigh as we climbed up through the turbulence of the storm that had hit a great area of America over the day dumping enough inches of snow to grind the UK to a halt for days on end. It's amazing how the airports state side are geared up so much better for admittedly much worse winters we could learn a thing or two about keeping our infrastructure moving from them.


Wifey does not travel well but mercifully I managed to get to sleep quickly much to her annoyance as she tossed and turned in her seat. She has since admitted to me that after a couple of hours in flight she started to feel most unwell in her stomach with rather a large build up of gas. She held it in while almost everyone else fell asleep then her words not mine “quietly let it all out” Apparently the stench was overpowering she said I stirred from my slumber wrinkling up my nose then covering it as I dropped off again and people in the surrounding seats started to cough and mutter thing s like “for god's sake” “has someone shit themselves?” and “couldn't they go to the bathroom and do it” Wifey at this point now releaved of her stomach ache and being one who revels in all toilet based humour was trying not to laugh out loud causing tears to roll down her face and now hurting her stomach again from laughter body shakes causing more wind to escape much to the detriment of the other passengers.


I'm glad I was asleep through this because in my minds eye I can see it all to clearly having been in these situations with my wife before and if she saw the look on my face she would have been ten times worse and undoubtedly have blamed me for the smell...again.


My nice sleep was soon interrupted anyway with the stewardess coming around with breakfast for us all only a few hours after dinner due to the time difference I don't think many took her up on the offer! We landed on time with no fuss collected our bags and headed home it was nice to have a proper cup of tea when we got there too.



Now I have been giving New York a bit of a bashing here and the folk that we met who lived there so I need to put a couple of things straight not apologise for what I have said thus far because I have meant it but to point out a couple of things to put it all in perspective. New York has some fantastic tourist stuff going on and overall I have enjoyed those no end it truly is a place you need to mark off of your bucket list and if you have never been to America before start there because it is everything you expect America to be from what you have seen on TV and in the movies.


It is a city though and in general every city I have been to folk are less forthcoming to be friendly yes it's a generalisation but one I make from experience and from living in one myself. Folk in London are grumpy buggers Leeds is the same along with where I live now in Nottingham. You say hello to someone on the street and they look at you like you are going to mug them or just point blank ignore you.


My idea of American cities is also tainted because I have been to others before New York and like in any modern city in the world they all have much of the sameness about them. American cities are built in blocks easy to navigate but all to me seem to be from the same template.


I have family in the southern states of America and I love going over there the folk are friendly people say Hi in the street there's lots of space and the pace of life is so much slower. I don't know why but I foolishly expected people to be like that in New York in my head forgetting it is a huge City.


So to round up if you have not been to New York do it save up lots of pennies go and have a look around it's worth a visit. There's plenty to do but go when it's warmer I am sorry I missed out on Central Park I was looking forward to it but I doubt I will ever be back there now there is just too much else in the world to go and see without repeat performances of the same place. Take in a show on Broadway this is a must even for a chap like me who doesn't usually bother with musicals in any form.


Again I will say bring lots of money I have gone on about the price of things but I knew they were going to be high and brought more than enough to cover us for our trip. For us yes Wifey and I four days was more than enough in fact we both would have preferred an early morning flight home not because of the storm that rolled in on us on our final day but because we had done all we wanted to do and it felt like we were just waiting for the day to pass for us to leave. If you want a packed trip aim for that don't waste a minute and bear in mind we did all of this walking around not once getting a tube or bus but we do like walking and we did cover some mileage there.


If New York is on your bucket list do it I am glad we did we have brought home some funny memories.


www.nickysmith.me

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Well written and very enjoyable. Thanks for posting it. :)

 

You are most welcome I am glad you enjoyed my drivel :) There's more at www.nickysmith.me if you are interested and if not now worries and thanks for the compliment!

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