We left Mount Gambier on Sunday morning in our coach with 32 excited passengers to arrive in Melbourne that afternoon in time to have a few welcome drinks, before sitting down for a nice dinner. This was the first time we were together as a group as we had some guests coming from NSW, so it was a great time for everyone to get to meet all there traveling companions.
It was an early night as the wake up call would happen soon enough as we needed to be at the airport the next morning for our flight to LAX Los Angeles airport.
After a hearty breakfast at our Melbourne hotel we set off to Tullamarine, check in went very smoothly and we were through to security before we knew it. I couldn’t help noticing how much the security had been ramped up since the last time we had been through. It wasn’t long before we were through to our boarding lounge where everyone went off to do some duty free shopping. It didn’t seem like long and we were getting on board our flight for our short hop to Sydney, on arrival we discovered our flight from Melbourne was a fraction late so we very quickly transferred to our awaiting plane which was in the final stages of boarding, very glad we made it and settling in for our 14 hour flight.
Upon boarding when we all got seated I was very pleased that I had booked economy plus seats for everyone giving us plenty of leg room and making it a very comfortable trip. The hostees looked after us very well during our flight and it didn’t seem to long and we were almost there.
On arrival in Los Angeles we had time to go through the check in and security again and get to our boarding gate for our next flight to New York, only another five and half hours to go before our arrival in THE BIG APPLE! On our arrival everything went smoothly and it wasn’t long and we were met by our Tour Director Mary, who would be looking after us for the next 33 days or so. We all climbed aboard our transfer coach and headed on into the city for our first glimpses of New York.
After the long flight everyone was pretty tired but it was great to actually be here, some people decided to go straight to bed, others went out and had something to eat. Our hotel was perfectly positioned, in close proximity to most attractions that were on our programme of things to do. Being located close to eating houses, pubs and shops nearby including Time Square, Central Park, Top of the Rock Sky Deck (The Rockefeller building), lots of Broadway Theatres and the hop on hop off buses ran right past the door.
Our first day in New York was a half day tour with an incredible local tour guide Eddie who Mary had organised for us so we had the best experience possible. His knowledge of New York was outstanding and all of our passengers will leave with a much better knowledge and understanding of The Big Apple. We even managed to fit in a visit to the 9/11 memorial which has only been open since May this year, there were so many people there it was amazing and pretty emotional it made you realise how our freedom is so important. It was one of those things that happened that as long as you live you will remember where you were that day.
In the afternoon it was a ride around Central Park. Some went by horse and carriage, some by bicycle carriage and some walked. What a fantastic place to have in the middle of the biggest city in the USA, 80 acres of parkland with lots of things happening there every day. Even squirrels running around fattening up for winter.
Tuesday night was a welcome dinner at our hotel and then a night tour of the city to check out all the lights, at the end we went walking to Times Square where New Years celebrations are held, what an incredible place, neon lights like I’ve never seen before and all the action going on 24 hours a day, the city that never sleeps! What an unbelievable place!
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