Have to say, British Airways treated us like kings and queens.
As it is my sister Jo’s first trip to New York, indeed America, we wanted to travel in style! She’s worth it!
(And so were the Avios points we used to swing it all!)
The flight was smooth, the food fantastic, and the look on Jo's face when New York came into view a perfect picture.
JFK immigration was a breeze (grumpy Immigration Officers aside) and we were soon on the E Train heading towards our midtown Manhattan hotel.
New York subways are the clattering, bumping, noisy, cliche from every TV show or film you have ever seen them in. Shiny grey steel, bustling passengers, and monotone announcers, "Next stop Lexington and 7th. Change here for the A train Downtown. Doors closing."
Once we emerged blinking into the light at what we thought was the stop closest to our hotel we were overwhelmed by the atmosphere that hit us - the heat of the city. People dodging around everywhere. People trying to sell us CDs, bus rides, pretzels, discounts for this, discounts for that... The sheer amount of commerce at steet level crashed over us like tidal wave.
It was a bit disorientaring to be honest but once we found our bearings we headed just a couple of blocks pulling our suitcases behind us to our hotel.
We are staying at The Time Hotel on 49th Street. Right in the heart of the theatre district. Flashing billboards on every bit of hoarding space advertise all the latest shows; Mormon, Waitress, Potter, Hamilton...
The hotel was nice. Our home for the next six nights. No sooner had we arrived though then we are ushered straight into the lounge for more freebies - cheese and wine. I have to say that our hostess's smile and line in faux bon amie matched the cheese perfectly - all white teeth, over familiarity and just a touch too rich for my palate.
Our rooms were on the 14th floor. Not massive but comfortable enough.
We decided to explore the area a bit before turning in so went for a stroll down Broadway looking for bright lights, a beer, and a bite.
Times Square was just a couple of blocks away and it was everything you imagined it would be. Crowded, dazzling, and glorious. Massive brightly flashing advertising billboards were everywhere. The noise, the sense of excitement, and energy of the place - you could taste it.
We then headed up 8th Avenue to a diner for oversized friend chicken sandwiches. Goodness only knows how anyone could eat the portion sizes we were given!
We popped into a drugstore on our way home to pick up some water for our rooms before turning in for the night.
What a first day.