This was 29/02/12 (Yup! Leap Year) it was a Wednesday and me and my best friend (that is who I went on this crazy journey with by the way so you are going to get to know her pretty well!) left our homes and hopped on a boat... yeah that happens.... and took ourselves off to the coach station. Our coach, of course, was late and we started to get chatting to a lady who we thought was wearing some form of slippers - she was off to Thailand on her own, brave.
Coach turns up and we bundle on and get the awesome seats with the extra leg room near the front! Headphones in and excitement building we were there in no time, Hello Heathrow. Now our flight wasn't until the Thursday so we'd booked the travel lodge at Terminal 5, which by the way was super cheap for 1 night. After alot of wandering around and question asking to anyone in a high viz jacket we managed to get ourselves (and ridiculous amount of luggage) onto a bus and get ourselves to the Travel lodge. Bags in room and tummy's rumbling it was time for dinner. Fish & Chips was the choice, bye bye England (who were actually playing football live at the time of eating this) and then it was off to sleep our last night in England for a while. Although before this we had to watch the last in the series of TOWIE...duh!
DAY 2 (01/03/12)
The day had come, we were up, out and in Heathrow before we knew it and after some luggage issues (someone had a heavy suitcase and that someone wasn't me!) we were through security and in a weather spoons having breakfast. By the way I haven't mentioned yet that we are flying to New York JFK. At this point this would have been the longest flight I had ever been on and the biggest plane , I'd only ever been to Europe before, so my nerves has started. I'm not scared of flying at all I think it was just the thought of being stuck on there for 8hours. Our boarding gate wasn't announced til about 30mins or so before our flight so getting there was a panic and rush but we made it and then it was time to get on the plane.
We'd boooked our seats online and from the looks on the picture we were in a row of 2, just us 2, cosy. We were wrong. We were the window and middle seats and blocked in by a stranger and I hate this. But this stranger turned out to be a guy called Jimmy who was off to New York for his sisters 21st, we had 8 hours together so we got to chat to him quite a bit - Hey Jimmy! So after 8 hours, a few attempted films, a few random conversations and a few photos - we were there.
We were in New York and the excitement had started before we had even left the plane, we had to circle to airport for a bit while Airforce 1 landed in front of us with from what we were told OBAMA on the plane. Amazing start we have just landed and so had the president!
Now it was the point where you need someone to let you in the country, this didn't take too long and was pretty friendly and easy (minus the fact it was about 50degrees I swear) and I was just excited about getting my first ever stamp in my passport.
Yellow taxi virginity taken and around 30minutes later I was gobsmacked. The first time you drive towards the skyline of New York is incredible and it really had hit me that I was there and living the dream.
Our hotel was a Holiday Inn about a 10minute walk from Times Square so once we were there, and had sorted out some tax payments that we had no clue about and kind of just agreed and handed over the cash, we decided that we'd make the most of evening we had left. Our flight had left England around 1pm, took 8 hours so in our heads in was 9pm but in NYC reality it was only 4pm when we landed.
It was now probably around 7ish and I, like any tech-savvy twenty-something, got up my iPhone and it's maps (LIFE SAVER) up and worked out where we were and how to get to the iconic Times Square.
Is all I could think, Times Square at night is such an incredible sight and I hadn't even been in America for a few hours and I was already having the best time of my life. On the way we had past so much and were already getting a feel for the atmosphere of NYC. Madison Square Garden, police on horses, crazy traffic, it was awesome.
Photos taken, excited squeals squealed and a massive macdonalds later and we were exhausted so decided to head back to the hotel and chill for a bit, we knew whatever happened that we would be waking really early the next day so we thought we might aswell take advantage of it and get up and do as much as possible.
Next post - The busiest city day, sightseeing, taxi riding & Broadway show watching.