Sunday, 2 June 2013
Woke up at 6.00am after a restless night. Probably too excited about the forthcoming trip. Were in the car by 7.00 am and handed the hire car back, checked in and passed through Immigration and Customs without a hitch. Usually Phil gets pulled over for something, but not this time. It is raining and foggy.
Just about to board and discovered we could get free wifi at Sydney Airport. I have missed hours of blogging time! Boarded smoothly and on time and then sat on the tarmac for an hour because the extreme wind and rain were delaying takeoffs. We were unable to "push back" because of a queue of aircraft waiting to take off were blocking us from reversing and joining the queue for take off. We finally took off an hour late and experienced quite rough weather for the first 45 minutes. The pilot assures us that we will land in LA on time, where we have to disembark, collect our bags, go through customs, check our bags again and then board the same aircraft and fly on to New York! What a business! Watched three movies, The Kids are Alright, Guilt Trip and The Sapphires. Have had a few very bumpy sections. Had a little snooze then 6 hours into the flight they handed out pizzas and Weis Mangos bars. We are half way to LA. Arriveded in LA at 7.45 am and it was announced that our flight to New York would leave at 8.40 am! Mild panic set in as the whole plane had to clear Immigration and Customs, then wait to collect our bags - mine was just about the last one off the plane, then we had to walk to the bag drop off area and there was only one poor little guy checking boarding passes and bag tags. It was organised chaos! People were getting a bit worried that the plane would take off without them but the locals told us that the turnaround is always so tight, but Qantas won't leave until everyone has boarded.
Had a good flight from LA to New York; about 5 hours. Connected with our lovely black Lincoln transfer and we were off to our hotel, Hemsley Park Lane Hotel, right on Central Park. Very nice hotel. We are on the 42nd floor which is a bit high for me, however we have a lovely view of the city and the park.
After we settled in, we went for a walk and went for a ride at dusk in a horse drawn carriage through Central Park. Our driver Robert, gave us a pretty good commentary as we went. He even took us down Park Avenue and pointed out all the posh shops along the way. The evening was quite balmy and we popped into Bill's Burgers and Bar for a snack and then back to the hotel and to bed. Turns out that our hotel was owned by Leona Hemsley, the billionairess.