27.07.2012 - 31.07.2012
After a pleasant flight from Costa Rica we arrived in Orlando where we were due to spend about three hours before our connecting flight to New York. Unfortunately as we arrived we learnt all flights to New York were delayed due to bad storms – particularly a lot of lightening and even some small tornadoes! In the end we were only delayed and hour and a half, and were quite happy to wait rather than be struck by lightening. Boarding the plane we were quick to realise we had a slight loon sitting in front of us who was being very rude to the staff and going on about his luggage they had taken off him. After about 10 minutes of disputes his luggage was found a few rows behind, where he had put it, and due to his behaviour he was escorted of the plane! It was like being in a soap opera as our fellow passengers applauded his departure! Despite it being the middle of the night neither of us slept and we arrived in New York at about 2am rather sleepy. Being budget travellers obviously we had no accommodation booked until the following night so we found a comfy spot on the tiled floor to get forty winks. We loitered around the baggage claims area for a good seven hours before heading to the city centre to find our hotel! Arriving at the hotel we were informed we were unable to check in for another four hours – oh good! – so we left our bags and wandered the hot streets of New York in our rather hot walking boots and jeans – always sensible in 30 degree heat!!
Coming to New York at the end of the trip was, in hindsight, perhaps not the best idea (Sarah takes full responsibility for this decision) – being a very expensive city and our funds generally being very low. So, prior to arrival a lot of research took place on “free things to do in New York” and we successfully saw New York on the shortest shoestring possible! Here are a few things we managed to fit in to our New York experience:
1. Central Park – a lovely free place to spend time
2. Free music – we saw a great band called The Givers, playing in Central Park
3. Queuing for free theatre tickets – we queued twice to see a free show in Central Park, unsuccessful both times although very close! The second time was exciting as an un-claimed rucksack was noted on a nearby bench and we the whole queue had to be moved whilst the specialists were called in to assess the situation!
4. Museum of Moving Images – free! – an excellent museum where we learnt about the history of TVs, video games, film making and such like! Followed by an amazing(ly cheap) Italian meal nearby!
5. Staten Island Ferry – free! – a boat trip across to Staten Island passing the Statue of Liberty and taking in excellent views of Manhatten Island
6. Visit to Wall Street and the new World Trade Centre buildings
7. Brooklyn Bridge – a night-time wander across Brooklyn Bridge to take in Manhatten’s impressive skyline
8. A spot of window shopping in Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s – we weren’t made to feel overly welcome in any of the posher stores – potentially a little underdressed and Joe’s flip flop kept breaking every five steps so he had to stop, take it off and fix it! Not sure this is a normal occurrence in Bloomingdales!
As well as the free activities we also sampled some of New York’s excellent food, notably a wonderful Japanese meal, a very tasty Italian, a huge bagel and lots of good New York coffee.
We were also very lucky to see Warhorse (thank you!!) at the theatre which was excellent although contained some very dodgy British accents.
After major concerns regarding our pre-booked hotel (terrible reviews) it turned out to be everything we needed complete with very rude staff, but with free soap and towels (luxury!), actual air conditioning, an adequate room and amazing location – views of the Empire State Building just out of our hotel! We can only assume other visitors had not spent seven weeks travelling Central America prior to their stay!
In was very strange to be back in such a developed place after our time in Central America but potentially a good transition prior to coming home. We can’t believe we are at the end of our trip – but here we are sitting at the airport in New York, awaiting our British Airways flight Olympics Bound!!
We have had the most amazing trip and can happily say it has not gone by quickly – it seems such a long time ago we were rafting in Costa Rica and that wasn’t even a week ago! New Zealand is a distant, but amazing memory and Bangkok must have happened a few years back! If anyone is still reading our blog - Congratulations! - Give yourself a pat on the back, and breathe a sigh of relief – this is the end! You have done well!
We look forward to seeing you all!
PS. We do have an exciting August coming up so do let us know if you require any further reading....