Off to New York
A very exciting early rise today at 6am to make our way to the airport for New York. We packed the night before which was handy as we had to checkout and catch a shuttle to the airport to try and organise a special check-in for the Draco Malfoy staff that Lilly bought at Harry Potter World. We had to tape up the box and label it and make sure they would accept it. All went well except for being slugged $25 each of our checked-in bags (only in America).
The flight took around 2¾ hours. We had not been tipped off to reserve seats well in advance (when we bought them a couple of months ago back in Sydney). We only reserved them over the phone one week before flying. This left us with very little choice when trying to get 4 seats together. We then tried 2 x 2 and we ended up with two seats in the Exit row and two seats a couple of rows back. The problem was that children are not allowed to sit in the Exit row, so Annie & I had to take those seats and Lil & Jem had to sit two rows back. I think I was more nervous than the girls were. They are no longer rattled by take-off and landing as they have done it a few times now and we could easily see them from where we were but we had never let them sit on their own in the plane before. After the first hour, I think I settled down… They hadn’t a clue about my nerves, other than me checking on them every five minutes! Of course, they were fine. As usual, it was the adult with the separation anxiety!
We arrived in a freezing New York, which was a big change from the spectacular weather in Orlando. A strong breeze was blowing and man, was it was icy. The trip from the airport was, well, interesting. Everything you’ve ever seen on a show or movie depicting organise chaos on New York streets are all true. Yellow cabs and buses everywhere, criss-crossing, honking and cutting in and out of lanes and a decent speed. Rattling. It is a wonder that there isn’t more accidents. Our driver told us he drives in Manhattan every day, and today was pretty quiet! No one could pay me enough money to risk driving in Manhattan. Crazy stuff. Going into the Tunnel, there were cars merging and crossing from everywhere, completely ignoring lane markings. It reminded me a lot of drivers in Rome where street signs, signals and rules appeared to only be a suggestion.
We arrived at the hotel in one piece. We are in a very good location being only a few blocks from Time Square and our street runs parallel to Broadway. Here is a link to see where we are:
After five or six laps of the revolving doors at the entrance, we went in to find the check-in queue was about 50 deep. Apparently is has been like that all day. It is Easter Weekend and there were a couple of Conventions on, each with individual attendee bookings rather than the group as a whole. In addition, there is a wedding party arriving along with all of their guests. The floor manager told us there was in excess of 800 check-ins that day as proceeded to thank us for our patience. Finally got to the front of the line and was told our room wasn’t ready. It is now 6pm, we are tired, hungry and no longer patient. After a little word with the floor manager, they kindly offered us dinner in the hotel restaurant and our room was finally ready at 8pm! Early to bed for a well-earned sleep.