So, eight hours and a ton of turbulence later, I was finally in the Big Apple.
Immigration was surprisingly quick and then into a fixed-rate cab ($63) to Manhattan and the home of an old friend.
That first night was great, but the next morning wasn't. Awake at 4:30am. Thanks, jet lag. A few hours later we checked into the Roger Smith Hotel on Lexington Ave.
That day we explored the city and walked for miles, stopping at a few shops (rude not to). That night we were taken out for a surprise dinner.
The venue was Beauty & Essex – what a name - It's hidden behind a pawnbroker's shop (see left) and it's absolutely outstanding. They even have a bar in the toilet that gives you free Pink Champagne!
After a few drinks, I think we were all a little merry (obviously I was drinking water) - a wonderful night with some brilliant people.
Next day, we took a coach to Woodbury Common, an outlet in New Jersey at which I spent a small fortune. I highly recommend to pre-book as it’s a lot cheaper doing it here then when you’re in New York.
After two nights at the Roger Smith we then changed the Hotel on Rivington, on the Lower East Side. It's very modern and, from our 16th floor room, it had supreme views of the city. Thanks so much Daniel and Christina for that experience.
The next few days were spent sightseeing: museums, Bryant Park Christmas Market with its ice rink, and shops like Macy's, where I spent more than enough to speed up my bankruptcy.
This was a great trip. I love New York, such a vibrant city, and can’t wait to get back.