USA series: Arriving in America

On-board flight information

On-board flight information

Alex (my long-suffering partner) and I are on a five week holiday to the USA.  We set off on our journey via a one hour flight to Sydney. Our second flight from Sydney to Los Angeles was 13 long hours with not a lot of sleep but we do finally arrive in America. Los Angeles is the main airport and it is at this stage that we are processed through Customs.

Being processed through Customs in between our next connection will save us the extra time once we reach New York.

After Customs we then need to make our way through another screening area to re-enter the domestic terminal for our internal United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York. This flight is five hours and apparently we have been upgraded.

Once we are on the plane Alex reminds me of the upgrade but I am not too sure what the upgrade is… we seem to be in a cattle class section as far as I can make out.

Finally…. 5 hours on and we have arrived in New York, JFK Airport.  It has taken us exactly 24 hours of travel time. Local time is now 9:30pm (on the same day that we left Melbourne).

Approaching JFK Airport, New York

Approaching JFK Airport, New York

We are being collected at the airport by Alex’s nephew who I will call “J-Man” (as requested… hmmm).

We find J-Man’s car (after some searching) and head off to his apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan… nice.  Airport parking USD$8.00 which is cheap cheap.

It is a beautiful mild evening and it suddenly strikes me that we are officially in New York City. J-Man asks if we are excited. I would love to be excited but unfortunately I am somewhat weary and can only manage a pleasing smile and a weak “Yeah”.

Beside the fact that the driver’s seat is on the wrong side of the car and J-Man is driving on the wrong side of the road (well technically not “wrong”, just opposite to Australia), I ask J-Man what the trick is to remembering what side to drive on. “J-Man, what is the trick to remembering what side to drive on?” His reply is that you drive on the opposite side to the side the driver sits… processing…processing…. OK, think I got it. I am keen to practice in my head in readiness for when we are hiring a car in Las Vegas.

J-Man finds a park in the street around the corner from his apartment and we greet the doorman “G’day”.

J-Man’s apartment is typically New York with a mezzanine bedroom sitting above an open lounge-room and kitchen area. The large windows have double glazing to block out the constant street noise 8 floors below.

View from J-Man's apartment

View from J-Man’s apartment

We dump our bags and J-Man takes us down the road for our first pizza experience. My peperoni pizza is dripping with oil and I feel it is a given to add the chilli shake stuff for that extra kick.

With my plate swimming in the excess oil I have managed to drip from my pizza slice I devour my ample slice.

Alex and J-Man drop me back at the apartment before they head off to a bar to watch the AFL (from Melbourne).  Its not late but I have no interest in watching their team (Hawthorn) and am happy to sit by the window a while and soak in the noises and happenings on the street below.

Weary but content I set up our fold-out bed and try and sleep, in-between the “whir” “whir” of the ambulances that pass below.

Hope I don’t dream about planes….good night New York.[showmyads]

For previous USA series post see Melbourne Australia to New York with United Airlines
For next USA series post see Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York