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Old 30 Jul 16, 05:50 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Triple Treat Tour Travel Day - LHR-DUB-JFK, Broadway Plaza Hotel and Shake Shack

The previous day is HERE

Saturday 2 July

OMG – the alarm went off at 0250

That’s just unreasonable

In fact its plain evil

Because we were fast asleep – none of that pre flight, awake all night with nerves and excitement malarkey- no, flat out catching flys.

Harsh ,man

We staggered out of bed and called the boys room – dialling very carefully so as not to inadvertently phone the wrong room – imagine how happy you would be if that happened !

They were of course awake – because they never went to sleep

So parents with a little sleep and teens who have been up all night. How’s that going to go in about 13 hours time when we land in New York then ?


We had a coffee and packed up our hand luggage – it was just around this point that the button decided to pop off my travel trousers ( not the infamous white ones).

Dilemma – do I hope the other button holds out ( bearing in mind gtyrel’s trippie travel woes through Dublin and vain search for a sewing kit – Gemma, I feel your pain !) or do I go through the case to find something new and avoid the possibility of my trousers falling down at some point

Most likely during security for maximum effect

Well, tiredness and laziness won, so I just hoped the other button could hold the strain – its not like I even started my holiday eating yet !

We open the door to be greeted by the three teens already there –

please note this is the first and only time that we leave anywhere on time.

The reception is spookily quiet but there is a cab out front so as its 0315 it must be ours.

But it isn’t.

Of course not – I mean who else ordered a cab for this ridiculous hour ?

Well it seems someone did as the cab left – without us.

Just as I am starting a mega fret, Andy asks the night receptionist to phone the company , and lo , it arrives.

In between times there has of course been no grumblings at all about getting up early for a non- existent taxi .

I was even mooting using the night bus as the stop is just outside the hotel.

Pah.

The taxi is sure he was booked for 0330 – nope but never mind, what’s 15 minutes between friends… Just glad someone turned up at all. It cost £25 for a 5 minute journey – if that.

Scandalous. It only cost about £40 for almost an hour from JFK to our hotel !

We are soon arriving here



And so we walk in at 0400 to discover the check in desks are indeed not open.

Sigh, we will check in using the kiosks then and just do bag drop

Maybe not – they don’t work either.

For anyone

So nothing for it but a 60 minute wait for the desks to open at 0500




And take comfort that we are second in the queue and the line behind us is only going to get longer .

Its not so bad and right on time the desks open and we are getting our boarding cards – cases are weighed in at 22, 22 and 18kg.

Loadsaroom !

And we will be re united with them in New York so no faffing in Dublin. Perfect.

And only 3 cases on the way out – mmmm, spare allowance anyone

Given that I spoke to Aer Lingus only the day before to check our seats and that my brain was still not quite awake , I didn’t think to mention the seats again .

In fact I thought we were only getting our boarding cards for the first flight to Dublin and we would be checking in again for the NY flight.

Error !

Not enough coffee had been consumed.

Or maybe my brain was operating on that cold induced fug where your head is about an hour behind the rest of your body.

Whatever, by the time the cards are checked, its too late.

At this point, we skip off to security – taking up multitudinous trays with all our electricals .

And we go through

But my bag is held up and I get a bit ansty as I know there is nothing in here that can an issue

The teens tell me I am a bit defensive

I tell them exactly where they can take their thoughts

It transpires that having last years leftover coins in metallic purse was a dim idea – it shows up as just a dark mass.

Hmm, I just need to make sure one of them takes it through on the way back then !

Released into Terminal 2, there is more open than I thought there would be and the teens go foraging for breakfast – they simply cant wait until Burger King in Dublin.

Of course, having been up all night, by now their body clocks think its about dinner time

All in good spirits though despite it being just after 0530



They come back with these

Breakfast Bap from Leon



Wildly un exciting and slightly extortionate at £3.25 (ish).

They were deemed “ok”.

And did make them thirsty later on.

Jamie declared the muffin to be a bit “ spicy”.

Some terminal wandering was done – this is both literal as in we wandered around the terminal and figurative in that it felt like a lifetime.

We all know airports inject extra minutes into their hours. It’s a secret timezone thing.

I am feeling a bit rubbish with my cold now so do a pharmacy stock up .

And then I checked the boarding cards

Pants

Not an exit row seat in sight

Not even in pairs.

We are in a row of 5 – well three of us are and 2 are split into aisle seats in other rows

Not happy – paid an extra £150 for exit row for long legs:angry:

I ponder on what to do – half of me says I don’t care, as long as we have a seat we will get there, half of me is scolding myself for not mentioning it at check in and the rest of me – yes that’s right, more than two halves, is about to throw a complete wobbler and go all outraged at boarding.

You see, cold meds and not enough coffee = complete lack of rational thought

I’m on a real Aer Lingus downer at this point – you know, holiday ruined blah blah and we haven’t even got to the gate yet !

I don’t have time to brood as we are on our way to board the Dublin flight – where we do have the seats we expected towards the front.

We leave on time and its fine – I even manage a short nap and to not spill my coffee. Things are on the up.

I have no photos of this bit of the journey – v v poor

No, I have this one of Dublin airport



This is where my signage campaign starts – they just aren’t enough helpful signs – they are plenty of signs, but not all of them helpful

We exit and follow the helpful “ connections” sign –which brings you into the main exit area – and the signs for connections then stop.

So we are stood there not sure quite what to do – do we exit and have to re check in or is there some transit corridor we have missed?

Well we will soon find out as we exit and find ourselves in the front of the terminal at around 0820– a bit be wildered as to what to do next. We are directed to go back through security on the upper level to wait for the next flight

So Dublin Airport – more “ connections this way” signs please.

Security takes about 15 minutes.

Connor is singled out

As he was to be at every line , every where.

So we named him Bitcoin Billy and said that his movements were clearly being tracked as his on line absence had been noted.

We all thought it was hilarious – he didn’t.

It was around 0930 now and we were getting a bit niggly after a few hours on the go and not really having got that far.

We settled in Burger King ( it does look as if its seen better days) and the leftover euros from school trips came in really handy now as E19 for two drinks and a burger is pretty steep ( lol, my laptop is so old it doesn’t have a euro symbol!).

No sooner do I start to sip my lava hot coffee than Board is advising us to go through immigration clearance.

Off we trot downstairs. Bitcoin Billy gets the full works here – being taken away and having the full swab. He remained unimpressed.

It was though probably the best organised security I have been through.

On to the kiosks for immigration and seen by an officer almost straight away.

He was brilliant.

The boys were tired and somewhat slow to answer questions like how old are you are and where are you going.

We explained it was a bit early for them and he burst out laughing and shaking his head.

It made it so much less stressful.

Thank You Nice Immigration Dude.

We are through all of that within 15 minutes

So it was really annoying that take off was delayed by 30 minutes for the 6 passengers who were apparently “ still in immigration” at take off time –

Go Earlier people – everyone else on board managed it !

Eesh it makes me cross !

We go straight away to the Gate so we can ask about the seats – its that “ plane was changed , sorry, nothing we can do, but you still got choice seats “ conversation.

Yes but if I wanted choice seats I would have paid extra for those in the first place.

I am resigned to this being a difficult flight for Andy in terms of “ comfort”.

I am disappointed .

But nothing we can do, except ask for a refund.

We had booked exit row seats at row 28 – we ended up further forward in 15 and 14. Behind the bulkhead .

Its not going to be great for Andy




And gets off to the worse possible start as he has a serial fidgeter in front of him who is movng constantly and the seat pressing into his knees.

There is much tutting and sighing and I feel really down.

You plan so hard for the little things. This could be an excruciatingly long flight.

Happily, the fidgeting did stop and in the end he was able to stretch his legs out into the aisle so it wasn’t the grump of a journey it might have been.

As always on flights, being short has its upside




The seat next to Jamie ended up empty



His IFE didn’t work the whole journey so he resorted to sleeping across the seat

When it wasnt being used by the serial bag needer in front of him who popped up every few minutes to get something else vital from the overhead bin .

I don’t think the leg room is the best – but we have been spoiled by Delta Economy Plus and exit rows on previous journeys.

It was now 1154, precisely

The plane was absolutely jeffing freezing and we were a bit grumpy and cramped.

Apart from clearing immigration ( which is a MAHOOSIVE plus), I really wasn’t feeling much Aer Lingus love at this time.

Hopefully food and sleep will improve things

Soft drinks were served followed by lunch.

Choice of chili with wedges or BBQ chicken with rice. It was ok. Soda bread nice but quite heavy. The lemon mousse was very creamy.







I watched one of the Hobbit films ( the one that doesn’t work out so well for the dwarves) which passed a couple of hours. Andy watched the film Sunshine. The teens were fast asleep.

I had a short nap – the ostrich pillow is good – blocks out sound and light and really useful neck warmer ! It may be a commuting essential in the winter.

Oh the plane is so cold the whole journey and no blankets. I thought maybe it was me with my cold, but Andy and the teens said it was chilly too.

But overall It’s a nice, uneventful flight – I like those.

Its only 7 hours so seemed to go really quickly – about an hour and half from landing, Afternoon tea came round.

Aer Lingus afternoon snack

Either cheese or chicken sandwich and small chocolate bar. I gave my sandwich to Andy, he said they were " wet".



Jamie had the chicken sandwich and said it was ok.

After landing we went straight get our bags

Thank goodness we hadn’t the immigration wait to deal with as it took an hour for all the bags to come off – nightmare.

But we are happily re united with all of them and on our way to get a cab at around 2pm.

Taking in the first sights of NYC













We started in our best tradition of navigational crapitude by walking straight past the sign for the taxi and finding ourselves at the airtrain .
So re negotiated the escalators and found our way back to the elevator to the taxi.

Even when there are signs, we manage to miss them

Wow, the wall of heat hits you as the doors open.

I had some nervousness about the taxi – having seen conflicting reports about whether a party of 5 could get a cab easily or not.

So I hadn’t pre booked a shuttle – worse case we would take 2 cabs at a cost of $52 each – about the same a pre booked car anyway

The answer – its variable.



The taxi supervisor said no we couldn’t get in a cab all together

But the first cab we asked said yes and admittedly it was a complete squish but we were on our way.



I was just about on Jamies lap taking that pic !

It was really hot with no aircon in the back but it was great – seeing the sights and we had the chattiest driver who wanted to know all about Brexit, Boris Johnson , what we did and whether I was a good cook or not ! It was fun

And I got some amazing shots of pylons, cars, bridges, signs , roads etc – everytime I went to click, I totally misjudged it – epic !

Iconic scenery









Ok, these are better
















It really IS just like in the movies

Edited at 05:58 PM.
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Old 30 Jul 16, 05:51 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Join Date: Feb 11
45 minutes or so later around 3.15 pm and we are pulling up here



Captions on a postcard please



Checked in and no problem – I was all ready for a kerfuffle after the booking saga and had come armed with a bazillion pieces of paper with various emails and confirmation note – but no hassle – two rooms, just as we requested.

No meltdown required.

The boys were in a suite on the second floor






This folded out to be a third double bed









We had the Empire State view room on the 13th floor





We settled in our rooms – catching the end of some Euro footy and freshening up with showers which did help to revive us.

It was around 4pm US time now and we needed to keep going so we set off for the Shake Shack – less than 10 minutes walk from 26th street to 23rd.

It was just fabulous taking in the sights, the noise and the atmosphere



Great view of the Flatiron – sight number one ticked off already !




Shake Shack is in a lovely park – it was filled with people walking their dogs and taking in the late Saturday afternoon sunshine





Local wildlife



There was a queue that took about 30 minutes



It was lovely to sit in the evening sunshine on our arrival day and just soak it all in.

We had 3 Cheeseburgers, 1 bacon cheeseburger , 1 shack stack, 3 plain fries and 1 cheese fries ... Which I promptly dropped on my linen dress and left a greasy stain











Nom nom nom

The chaps were starting to flag but I thought it would be a good idea to walk up to the ESB and exchange the viator Citypass voucher for the ticket booklet so we would be all set.

This was an error

I had not factored in that it was Saturday evening

And a slightly longer walk than I had told everyone – it turned out to be about 30 minutes, mainly as it was so crowded – but of course that also meant 30 minutes coming back too. We walked it much quicker other times.

More sights on the way









I left the chaps and went in alone, sure that there must be ticket booths easily accessible



Yeah got that wrong

Just queues and shouty security guards

I got really fed up after about 30 minutes on realising there was yet another queue ahead of me once clearing the security so I ducked out and headed back

ESB was the worst queue we had all holiday
– even more than Kong. I should have seen this as an omen.

We were definitely all flagging so headed back

It was a sea of people wherever you were



Seeing the flatiron meant we were not far from the hotel



It was around 7pm now and we were seriously wilting.

We stopped at the vending machines on the 7th floor to get water and snacks.

The teens were despatched to their rooms with instructions to be ready for 0700 tomorrow for our Statue of Liberty trip.

I think Andy was fast asleep by 8pm.

I watched a film for a bit and sorted out the papers and cameras for tomorrow

The aircon in the room was good but really noisy – kept coming on and off which I found a bit annoying but as soon as it was turned off the room became really stuffy – and I struggled to breathe with my cold and being all bunged up.

That’s what I told myself was keeping me awake.

But I really didn’t want to go to sleep – just too excited to be here

Edited at 06:05 PM.
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Old 30 Jul 16, 06:08 PM  
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jmt
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Love your trippies, be back for second helpings of travel day later
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Old 30 Jul 16, 07:25 PM  
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SammyScotland
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Loving your report, Amanda. The hotel rooms look lovely. What a shame that you didn't get the seats you had pre-booked. Looking forward to the next instalment.
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Old 30 Jul 16, 08:07 PM  
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Love your reports. I agree with you about the time at the airport, it goes on forever
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Old 30 Jul 16, 08:23 PM  
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Milner
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Fantastic read Amnda your phitis of NY are getting me excited for next year, may have a few questions for you about NY if that's ok.
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Hampton Lakes - October 2007, The Hamlets, Westhaven - July/August 2009, The Sanctuary, Westhaven - July/August 2012, Dibb Villa Highgate Park & 1 night at HRH - July 2015 2017 6 nights NY, 11 nights in Florida Dibb villa, Westhaven, Xmas 2018 Villa 1 night RPR 2019 7 nights in New York, 2020 Dibb Villa booked in Highlands, 3 nights in Cape Coral
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Old 30 Jul 16, 10:23 PM  
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What a day! 3am is only acceptable on holiday! Looking forward to reading more!
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Old 30 Jul 16, 10:59 PM  
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What an early start for you, that's so funny that the boys hadn't even been to bed yet Shame you didn't get the seats you booked, it does look a bit squashed for Andy.

Great pics in NY. You sound so excited to be there, looking forward to reading the next instalment
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Old 31 Jul 16, 08:20 AM  
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WileyCoyote
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Originally Posted by jmt View Post
Love your trippies, be back for second helpings of travel day later
Hello, lol, it's a long day ... And a long post too

Originally Posted by SammyScotland View Post
Loving your report, Amanda. The hotel rooms look lovely. What a shame that you didn't get the seats you had pre-booked. Looking forward to the next instalment.
Hi Sam, thank you. I was fed up about the seats but hey, first world problem and all that. Plus they are refunding us. It's the first time it's happened and of course we had a super journey home The hotel was excellent. I'd been hankering after the New Yorker but the Plaza was great. Would happily stay there again. The boys loved their space .

Originally Posted by DISNEYLIZ View Post
Love your reports. I agree with you about the time at the airport, it goes on forever
Hello. It really does doesn't it Except when you just get a drink .. And then need to move !

Originally Posted by Milner View Post
Fantastic read Amnda your phitis of NY are getting me excited for next year, may have a few questions for you about NY if that's ok.
Hi Carole, ask away. It was fab. Envious of your planing. I have no plans to occupy me

Originally Posted by princess_chazy View Post
What a day! 3am is only acceptable on holiday! Looking forward to reading more!
Ha ha, I know, it's like getting up for rope drop... Only on holiday. And the teens didn't grumble at the early starts either.

Originally Posted by Fuellady View Post
What an early start for you, that's so funny that the boys hadn't even been to bed yet Shame you didn't get the seats you booked, it does look a bit squashed for Andy.

Great pics in NY. You sound so excited to be there, looking forward to reading the next instalment
I admire their stamina, although they were " tired" a lot. Heat and walking and late nights ...
I really thought Andy was going to have an awful flight but it wasn't so bad. But as we are likely to not be taking the tribe again... We can of course look forward to treating ourselves to premium arrangements in the future
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Old 31 Jul 16, 08:41 AM  
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Ouch, , what an early start, the teens not going to bed made me chuckle.

I did not feel the love for Aer Lingus that day either. We took off 2 hrs 55 mins late I was really not impressed and what made it worse was the fact that they did not tell us until we were at the gate. If they had of told us earlier we wouldn't have gone through pre-clearance until later and I would not have fed the kids as early ( they don't eat airplane food) I had a nice comfy seat in the terminal and then had to sit in those awful metal seats at the gate. it was a loooong flight

That was wick about your seats but fab upgrade on the way home.

Looking forward to reading more.
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