OK so it was an early start with the alarm going off at 4.30am but such is life when you are on an early flight from Heathrow and you live nearer to Gatwick! Still journey to the airport went smoothly as did the check in etc. The same couldn’t be said of the chap next to me who was being told he couldn’t take his birthday present from his mum in his hand luggage. It was a saw. Oddly, rather than put it in his suitcase he told them to bin it!!! No idea why, it wouldn’t have taken a couple of seconds and he was there much longer messing around the way he did.
This leads me onto possibly one of the oddest thing I can remember happening on a flight. Two people who had checked in ‘were not willing to comply with the security arrangements and had decided not to fly. No other explanation offered so just left wondering what could have caused such a decision.
Rest of flight was uneventful, so that just left the dreaded immigration process. In relation to what everyone else has said I was expecting to be waiting ages to be served and in reality I was done and out of the area ready to go to get the subway within 30mins. I have no idea what others say to these guys but it clearly isn’t the right thing.
So I’m now officially in America! I get to the hotel a bit early and have to go for a walk. With Central Park on my doorstep its the obvious choice. The colours are wonderful with so many different trees that the autumn leaf colour change give a wonderful spectrum. Hopefully some of the photos will bring this out.
Time has now passed and I’m ready to check-in. I’m moved to a single bed room, which is fine as it saves a bit of money. Unfortunately the keycard won’t work. Actually that’s not strictly true. It’s not the keycard, it’s the actual lock as several keycards won’t work. It’s a room change but that’s fine. The room is small but functional. The view is of roof tops and other skyscrapers, but both of them are fine as I’m only sleeping and leaving my bags there.
I don’t now if New Yorkers realise the type of place they live in. It’s easy to spot the tourists as (like me) they are all looking up as they walk. New Yorkers don’t do that, and I suspect it is because they have seen them all before. I think it’s ashame because the sense of awe is great for a first timer and it would be great if that could be kept.
By this time I’m starting to get a little hungry. I don’t want to eat much as I’ve eaten twice on the plane. So there’s only one small nibble I can have. It’s a Hershey bar. So a bit of a restock on energy and I’m off again.
My original thoughts when looking at the subway maps was that I was never going to be able to follow it. In reality it’s fairly easy, esp if you’ve been on the London tube. The trick to it is knowing if you are heading up and down town, or towards Queens or Manhattan, and then knowing the street/avenue intersection that you need to get off at. The express trains have been very useful for where I am for quickly getting into the hub of town.
Now New York is a city of surprises. As I come out of the subway rather than be greeted by a skyscraper infront of me is a pleasant looking church. It makes a refreshing change. Truth be told New York has loads of them, all with wonderful architecture. They are just a little bit smaller than, well just about every other building, even if some of them are big for a church.
So I’m off on a shopping hunt, or rather a shop hunt. Bloomingdales! I was wondering if I was going to miss it. No fear of that given the season. There in the distance is a building with lights streaming down it’s front. Though this won’t help me get any freebies, I wasn’t very impressed with the shop itself. Just didn’t really have anything that appealed to me. Next stop Macys.
What a difference! Both in terms of goods on offer and price. Much more like it and much less strain on the wallet. The other stunning thing is the Christmas windows. Mini rollercoasters, the lot! So its time for a bit of shopping.
Purchases made, it’s closing in on 9pm and I’ve been on the go for about 22 hours after about 6 hours of sleep the night before. Unsurprisingly I’m starting to flag. So it’s back to base to get some sleep and hope that by keeping going till a decent time to turn in for the day I won’t suffer too much from jetlag. Night.