Let’s talk about flights shall we? Because we waited an extra night to book our tickets, the Air Canada price for the direct flight shot up a couple of hundred bucks, so Josh and I felt cheap and opted for the one connection through Chicago so we could fly mostly on our points from the visa card that we’ve been collecting for 3 years or so. We’d never flown with this very common airline in the states before (not mentioning any names, but you can guess), but that might have been the last, for it was not the best experience we’ve ever had. Here’s why.
They have an inefficient check in counter, that charges you for your one and only bag, they don’t serve any snacks, even for a cost. We were offered beverages once, but no more casual water down the isle which was a special treat I now see that West Jet offers, along with their bits and bites or cookies.
The flight attendants were near-elderly (which was fine) but not well put together or overly friendly, with boring blazay announcments in that harsh deep smoker voice that we all love.
There were no tv’s, no headphones for music even. The plane was old, and haggard, and rattled like mad. The bathroom was from 1984 and was smaller than my broom closet, if I had one. Watch your head when you stand up.
They cancelled our connecting flight and let us go to La Guardia instead of Newark, which is fine I guess, because they said the flight crew didn’t show up. Right, or your other flight was just half empty and you tried to save some money. Then, of course, our luggage got mis-directed and ended up being seudo-lost until the next morning. I understand this is a risk of travelling, but I had just mentioned to mom that morning about how the electronic system was so great, and decreased errors. That’s now 2 lost or misdirected luggage in 3 trips. Hmm.
On a side note, not related to the airline I know, but worth mentioning for a giggle: mom ended up sitting with a nice lady from a far away country, known for their smelly food (which I love by the way, but not the smell). I giggled as mom told us across the isle that she might have to move up a couple of rows to an empty seat due to fragrance, when the lady continued to seal the deal by removing her shoes just after take off. Just after the seat belt sign went off, mom relocated, and I glanced over to see she also had 6 toes on each foot!
New York is definitely an interesting place, with lots of things to do, places to go, and people to see. The first night in Time Square, walking out of our hotel was a bit overwhelming; the lights, the sounds, the people dodging, the sellers, and just so may things to look at. It took a bit to get used to again, as with any arrival to a new city.
We opted for the hop on hop off, bus tour, and the new york pass. Since we didn’t do any museums I’m not sure if this was totally worth the money, but it was close, and i’ll have to check out the calculations later. The downside was that you had to wait for the buses, and make sure they were going the right direction, and it was slow. On the upside, the tour guide explained lots of details and sights, and most of them were rather informative, also you got to ride above ground and see everthing. Downside again, it was cold and there was a “glass” scraped plastic roof dome above you to (upside) keep you dry and warmer but was impossible to take photos through.
On day one, we did the blue line all the way around, checked out all the neighbourhoods, including brooklyn on the purple line. Near the bridge at a cafe we had some lunch, food was mediocre and the staff were initially not friendly, but they warmed up. I am starting to think New Yorkers don’t LOVE tourists. The view from the Rockerfeller was pretty good and worth the go, we were lucky we didn’t have to wait in line, there wasn’t one anyway.
It was pouring rain and freezing, so we tried to stay on the bus most of the day. For dinner we went to a restaurant a couple blocks off Time Square called Via Italia. It was a great birthday dinner. From there we checked out the Toys ‘R Us, and got an ice cream bar, for my birthday “cake”. Disapointingly, we saw the ice cream store down in the basement of the Toy Store afterwards. Sad.
Day Two we did the red line uptown, with a SLOW start to the morning, we went to 3 different stupid stops to find a bus with seats and the right color. Time Square McDonalds fed us breakfast, and with a neat decor, its worth going to check it out. The cashiers at the counter were insanely pushy and loud, or shall I say rushy… next…. next… over here.. excuse me… next… hurrying everyone through in New York style just like in the deli on our first night. Trying to get through the volumes of people that must go through there. At least its efficient.
On the bus, after this, we stopped at the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world. Then drove through Harlem, before getting off in Central Park to rent bikes, eat hot dogs, and sip hot chocolate. Some running chick was swearing and grumbling at all the bikes along the path where she ran “I hate New York…… Morons”. Grouchy people die sooner, even if you’re a marathon runner, doesn’t she know this?! Anyway, I added to, then checked that off my bucket list: biking through Central Park. Then, we walked back to the hotel, and all the way to Grand Central Terminal for a peak, just after I purchased a new pair of shoes. Happy Birthday to me.
Actually, I switched my birthday from yesterday to today, because the sun was shining, I ate McDonalds for breakfast, biked happily through Central Park, hot dog (or tube steak as our bus driver called it) with hot chocolate for lunch, and Japanese Ramen soup for dinner from Sapporo (just off 49th and 7th), followed by my favorite chocolate brownie ice cream! It was a good day of sight seeing and photo taking, and hopefully the rain stays mostly away tommorrow for my next favorite thing; shopping!
We saw an update on Nixon, at home with his doggy sitter. A photo on her facebook page with him resting on the cough with his head up on her pregnant belly. So good to see he’s feeeling snuggly and loved while we’re away.