Monday, 12 May 2014

New York 1

To say I was nervous about travelling to New York is an understatement.  It was the first big holiday we have taken when D has needed his wheelie.  I wasn't so bothered about the journey but I wasn't so sure about all the pushing whilst I was in New York.  Still I wasn't going to let it stop us from going somewhere we wanted to share.

I had been to New York with my Mum in Nov 2012 and I totally fell in love with the City which is unusual for me as I don't generally enjoy being in big cities.  So I came home from that trip and my Hubby was jealous so we decided to plan to go together in 2014.

Thankfully we found a BA sale and a friend who also wanted to see New York so we booked it and I started planning our trip.

We booked a taxi, booked an airport hotel for the night and we were off.

N, H and I on our way
 N not really keeping all the wine - can you tell we were excited???

Now, I haven't really been on a flight when you don't have to pay through the nose for anything you want/need onboard.  So I may have  taken full advantage of the drinks trolley!

Did I mention that we were a little giddy (and no, it wasn't to do with the Bacardi we all had).

We flew from Manchester to Newark, via Heathrow. The only issue (and I must remember not to get so grumpy at 5am in the morning) was that Hubby is on medication for his MS.  His bag was scanned 4 times and kept getting stopped by security.  Now, when it first got stopped it went into a separate queue which needed searching by hand.  There was only one poor chap on the hand searching and a huge pile of bags waiting to be searched.  It was searched and checked and went back through the X-ray machine.  It got stopped again, so I thought since it had been searched it had been stopped in error.  When I tried pointing this out, I was told we had to wait at the back of the queue.  Eventually the bag got to the front, and then the man took one look at it, put it back through the machine, telling the operator there were drugs in the bag and it got stopped again.  We were at the back of the queue again!!!!  It was taken back to the machine and it was stopped again.  At this point the man saw our bag, shook his head and gave us the bag.  The worst thing was (apart from it being nearly 6am) the hand searching bit is at a bottle neck of the entire room and people were struggling to get past the wheelchair to get to the gates etc.

We were delayed in Manchester, so by the time we arrived in Heathrow we had 15 minutes to get the connection.  Now the good thing about travelling with a wheelchair is that you can have someone waiting for you and then s/he'll know the quickest route to get to your connection.  So we made it with seconds to spare, and then sat on the tarmac for nearly an hour - Grrrrrrrrrrr and we missed the chance to look at all the shops!!!!!!!!!  Still we were on our way so we weren't really bothered!

Flying into Newark is significantly nicer than into JFK and the journey into the city easier too.  First view of the city below.

View of Downtown from the bus

 We bought tickets for a speedy bus which dropped us off at Grand Central Station.  Fortunately (or unfortunately) my bag never made the flight so the walk (with only one detour going the wrong way) with a wheelchair and 2 suitcases wasn't too hard!! (if you ignore the potholes, and the suitcases trying to take N's shoes off).  We stayed in the Hotel Metro on West 35th Street.  We were all upgraded to a 1 bedroomed family room (3 double beds in each of our rooms!).

The main reason we chose this hotel was the proximity to the Empire State Building (not H&M!)

and Macy's.  Did you know as a foreign tourist you can get a discount in Macy's?  We got a 25% discount on most items.

Hubby had a snooze whilst N and I explored the streets round our hotel.  The weather was glorious and it was so nice just wandering aimlessly with no goal in sight.  For Dinner we went to a local Irish pub on the same road as the hotel.  Now, maybe we should have hesitated a little.  I mean I can handle a sports bar, but when the music is so loud you can't actually talk to the person sat next to you it is too much for me.  Then again, maybe it's just a sign of us getting old-er.

Phew, hope you are still with me.  More on New York soon.

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