Tuesday, 29 June 2010

New York New York!!!

26th June-29th June

So we arrived in New York at about 9pm after the collective 30 hour coach ride. We got an hour break in Boston but unfortunately we didn't get to leave the greyhound station so it technically doesn't count as a place on our trip!

Sooo anyway NYC 9pm, in a cab to our hostel upper east 73rd York ave. We arrive at the hostel which is basically apartments, it's like 4 rooms in a flat witha shared bathroom and kitchen area. The man who worked there was Italian or something and so so creepy and weird!! We had booked on hostelbookers for 3 nights but after he showed us the room we decided to pay for just one night and see how it went (I was more thinking see if we come out alive). There was a woman sharing our flat but we hadn't met her yet we just saw a bikini in the bathroom and put 2 and 2 together. Me and sal went into our room and climbed to the top bunk to discover "the hole" it was this square hole that led into that womans room but it was freaky, and big enough for me to fit through meaning an average person could.

We were all so unsettled after the coach and had become accustomed to the 4* hotels and I think we just got a kick back to reality, plus our bedroom door couldn't lock properly so we were just like ohh brilliant (because we are so conscious of our stuff after the robbery) anyway we hadn't really eaten all day so we decided to head to times square and get some food, we ended up in stardust, a diner me and Kate prew visited on our trip to NYC, it's really fun, they sing and dance on tables.

After exploring we headed back to the hostel, our neighbour was in so we knocked on the door to be polite and say hello, plus we wanted to see who had easy access to our room!! We knocked on her door and we were like Ohhh hiiii were staying next door so thought we'd say hey. She replied "ok" and shut the door!! She was like Czech or polish, very grubby looking like a heroine addict, so as you can imagine when the door shut we were like omggg!!

Off to sleep we went even though I was convinced that the creepy reception man was going to come in our room or she was going to climb through the hole!! I was so relieved to wake up in the morning alive!! We decided to just stay there for the rest of NYC as we couldn't find anything online

So we woke up in the morning, alive!!! We walled from our hotel to central park, we hired a boat and sailed along the river. Then after a good jaunt in central park we headed towards the apple store.

There was a massive ben and jerrys truck promoting two mew flavours znd they were giving out free samples which were amazinggg!! Then suddenly I remembered we hadn't got our 20 dollar deposit back from the boats so we rushed back to central park and basically to cut a long story short he wouldn't give it us all back. Whatever know point worrying, worst things HAD happened!!!

Then we headed to 5th ave went in the shops and then went to the abercrombie head office so maria could have a mini interview to ensure she got a job in September for when she mobes to NYC. Here we met Karmil, the guy who was sat on reception at the time, we got talking
about places we could go out and he offered to come out with us that night and take us to this Irish bar he loved.

After abercrombie we went up the rockerfella cente then we got the subway to ground zero and the strolled up to soho and china town and hunted for topshop. The prices in topshop were so expensive compared to here!!

By this point we were all perishing as all we'd eaten was our free ive cream sample so we went to ruby Tuesdays (my favourite place we ate
last time I went to new York)

Then we got ready and headed to the pig and whistle, here we met kamiel and Yasmeen, Kamils cousin. We had a hilarious night and sang kareoke, the only downfall was that drinks coated slot, it was $16 for a double vodka lemonade bur kevin the bar man gave us free shots throughout the night!

Our second day on NYC we woke up and saw our next door neighbour, with a random man, confirming that she was s hooker, brilliant!!! Anyway we managed to change rooms so we weren't in the room with the hole anymore but still in the same flat.

We went down to Brooklyn and walked the booklyn bridge, it wad sooo hot. Here we met the cutesy kid alive 'rocko' and his dad, his dad was lovely, he told us about NYC, the hamptons and other random things.

In Brooklyn we went to this amazing diner then we took the subway to tines square. Here we went to American eagle and had our picture taken to appear on times square for 15 seconds which was so funny.

Then we went to toys r us where we met some Aussie boys who were doing the same trip as us but the reverse way!

Later we experienced the best cheescake from juniors, omg incredible!! Right by the lion king theatre.

Sal got a cab to downtown as her cashcard had been delivered to some depo so she got a cab there while Maria and I went to the gugenheim, it was amazing but unfortunately closed.

We had to get the creepy man to let is into our flat as sal was out. Our taxi journey to the flat wad hilarious, we decided we wanted Chinese but didn't want to go all the way up china town so me and maria were hanging out the taxi door asking fellow drivers if they knew a good one, the taxi driver loved it and kept driving close to cars so that we could ask them.

We found a good one and went there with Yasmeen and Karmil then we brought a gallon (hahaa) of wine and drank it back at the hostel, it was so funny and we taught them some drinking games, the proxzie also returned with a different man which was hilarious, especially when drunk! So glad we changed rooms!

We then went to 203 rooftop bar which was insane, it was opposite the empire state and so amazing to see new York at night time whilst sipping cocktails!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Let's sort this mess out!!

25th June

So we got up at 7 am to get organised as our coach left at 12pm. We re printed all sals documentation then we went on a hunt for somewhere that did passport photos. Got them we went to the us embassy, we explained that we neeeeeded to go at 12pm and the women was a true gem, it took some time as sals mum had to fax her birth cetificate through because at present sal did not exist on America! She had nothing with her name on.

Me and maria went back to the hotel to get all our stuff so that we could get a cab from the embassy. This was not a good idea, 9 bags between 2 people, 3 of which were rucksacks, walking in about 35 degrees avcross 5 or more blocks = hard bloody work. We couldn't stop laughing because we looked so stupid which meant we got weak and dropped the bags, this happened a lot!!

We struggled back to sal and she now had her emergency passport so we were all systems go, in a cab to the greyhound we went!!

So this was greyhound take 2! We handed in our booking confirmation where we wee told it wasn't right or something I couldn't even listen for a fear I might cry! Anyway it turns out it wad the lady was just being an idiot.

The bus was an hour late. We got on it and it really wasn't that bad, we had a change at Cleveland 8 hours into the journey so this was about 10pm.

Oh my god, I got on this bus and shit myself, there was some big snoop doggy dog gangsta shouting his mouth of, armish people (look them up they freaked me out) they all looked exactly the same, dressed in the same clothes, even their babies were wearing the same, they are inbreed that the film the village was based on. As we walked up the bus we saw eminem wannabe, the butchest shim I've ever seen and then a full on cowboy who turned out to be the biggest freak. For the first 4 hours I wad terrified to sleep as the lady in the passport thing warned us that loads of people get robbed on greyhounds, I couldn't go through all that again!! Anyway I chilled out after 4 hours if being wide awake but I have never ever felt so unsafe. I'm still on the bus now, hence why I have the time to do this!! Our bus got a flat tyre this morning and started shaking so much. The driver kept trying to drive with it but we were literally being thrown about from side to side on the bus so he admitted defeat. This meant we had to wait like an hour for another bus to rescue us. This skaghead looking man who's been on the bus came up to us this morning asking if we wanted to by any weed, that truly would be a wake and bake at 8 am. He was weird.

I say I'm so scared and I but all I've been doing is wetting myself laughing because it is so funny and surreal!!

I think we will only have a few hours I'd Boston before we have to get a 4 hour coach to new York which is a massive shame as I really wanted to see Boston and now it means that we have had to miss Niagara and Boston all because some chump wanted some bread and a ferry ticket. What a wanker. Anyway i;ll keep updating x

Taking the rough with the smooth

24th June

after waking up from the most incredible nights sleep we set off on our walk to navy pier, only about a 20 minute walk from our hotel and the sun was beaming. This walk was where I fell in love with Chicago. Such a beautiful clean and crisp city!
We messed around on navy pier and then sat at a restaurant and had dome food as time was limited, we needed to check out of the hotel by 2 pm and we wanted to have a shower before our 16 hour coach ride to niagra at 4pm.
So we had a lively lunch and then walked back to the hotel, we were sooo sad to leave the hotel and also Chicago! We said our goodbyes to the city as we got the bus to the greyhound station.

We arrived at the station and this is where the drama began. We needed to get out our booking confirmation, sal went to get hers and it wasn't there.... This isn't the worst part, it was on her travel wallet containing her passport, money, bank cards, I'd, everything!! We tore out all our bags but it was nowhere. Of course sal was so upset but I tried to think logically so I told her she needed to report it to the police so as she did that on the phone maria andyself spoke to an off duty police man who had watched the nightmare unfold about what to do as without a passport we couldn't go anywhere! He got us some numbers to call for advice but to be honest he was a bit of a waste of space!

Obviously now we couldn't go to niagara as we'd missed our coach and sal had nothing anyway sooo we decided to get a cab back to the james hotel as shed had it only a block before we returned from the navy pier. We searched our whole room, they called the maids on duty.... Nothing.

They were very kind and let us use their internet, we needed to work out a plan as at present we had nowhere to stat as we were meant to be on the coach to Boston.

After hours of research etc we decided to stay in Chicago that night so we got an even cheaper lastminute hotel. This meant that we'd have to get a 24 hour coach to Boston tomorrow at 12pm as we'd paid for new York accommodation and we had am internal flight to catch a few days later so we had to keep to schedule.

We found out that we had to go to the us embassy for the passport, sals mum was like a supermum and cancelled all her cards etc, we also found that there had been activity on sals card, this was for bread and a ferry ticket... Money well spent?!?!?

Me and Maria decided we all needed a drink after the stress so we made sal come out, we went to this like county bar it was really funnny, we sat outside as it was a gorgeous evening and this weird middle aged man started talking to us from alllaaabaaaamaaaaa he told us how he'd owned a travel company but had never been out of America, he later went on to say "y'all have the coolest accents i've ever hear"

he was weird and we wanted to go somewhere younger so we went to this really cool club avcross the road that the bouncers told us about. Anyway they're so strict on I'd they couldn't let sal in even though we explained the story... We decided to just go by a bottle of wine and drink it in the room so this we did!

Goodmorning chicago!!

23rd June

We woke up to rain which wasn't nice but it was still really hot so we got showered, dressed, packed up and checked out. We asked the workers at the hostel what they reccomended we do and they said the 'magnificent mil they said it was best on a nice day but we had limited time so decided to go anyway. They told us wher the bus stop was so we got on the bus and got off just after the bridge as instructed! I was really eager to know the England store so as soon as I spotted the apple store we went in a checked it. Here this guy who worked there got talking to us and we asked him a good place to eat, he told us to go to jake something which was famous for it's BBQ flavouring. We went there and it was lovely and the people loved the fact that we were English.

We spent the rest of the day on the mile just exploring and looking in the shops. Some guys approached us as we were sat down when the sun came out just to ask if we were English ( that obvious?!) and we asked them where was a key place we should go and they said navy pier so we thought we may do that that evening.

First however we needed to find a place to stay!! We went round motels asking prices but everywhere was too much. We then went in this cheap looking hotel but it was still too much but the receptionist said that we could use her Internet to find a place to stat..... We spent 2 hours looking for hostels but they were so far out, then Maris found a hotel on lastminute.com for $10 more than our hostel, it said it was 4 1/2* near the miracle mile but it didn't give us the name. It was a gamble and I was worried it wasn't legit bur we didn't really have another choice, none of us wanted to go back to the hostel so we went for it. It turned out to be 'the James hotel' and it was the most incredible thing i've ever stayed it, as we walked in there was music playing in our room and all our faces dropped, we definately didn't belong there looking like hobos half rained on half sweaty with our backpacks on our backs. It was a lifetime away from the hostel from the previous night!!

Anyway I missed out a part, as we were coming out from booking the hotel (2 hours later) their was the biggest thunderstorm I've never seen anything like it!!! It went on all night so when we'd collected our bags from the hostel and arrived at the hotel we just showered and chilled in our robes (lol) that were provided as the rain ruined our navy pier plans. We decided that we'd go in the morning before we got the greyhound to Niagra.

America.... And so it begins!!

22nd June

Today is the day that the adventure begins!! We arrive at heathrow am hour before check in so we chilled out in eat and had the most amazing soup!! When we went through to the departure lounge I was amazed, we were flying from terminal 5 and it's like a shopping centre, they have wagamamas, a Gordon Ramsey restaurant, gucci, prada, all the high end names plus standards like whsmith and accessorize. Anyway the point is it was amazing and a lot of tome could be wasted in there!! There was a chance that we were going to be upgraded to first class as sal's auntie knew one of the hostesses on our flight but unfortunately we couldn't be due to a conference. Booo. But by the by economy on ba is not all bad!

I ended up getting drunk on the flight, watching shutter island, valentines day and eating the best Tika masala I've ever had!! It was actually an enjoyable 9 hours!

When we got out the airport we had to get a tram and a train, we were on this train when it suddenly came to a hault, the announcement told us that there was an emergency at Addison and the police had shut the line so the train would be going no further, of course we are like balls because we don't know Chicago at all! Anyway a mice American lady helped us out and we got on another train and arrived at the hostel at about 11pm.

We got into our 10man dorm and there were 2 Chinese girls on there they won't interested in talking to is at all. As the night went by the room filled up, I didn't feel very safe in the room and couldn't really relax, I just found it weird sleeping with strangers! At 5 ish we got woken up by a fire alarm and all had to congregate outside until the fire bregade came. Turns out someone burnt some toast!