30th October 2016
With a little time between flights, I headed quickly through security and to the Concorde Room for some Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle and a little me time before the last flight of the trip.
Having sorted my late checkout I was able to go and run in the morning with the New York Front Runners group. It was great to get out for a leg stretch of 4 miles around Central Park while chatting to Patrick who was getting ready to run his first NYC Marathon.
Back to the hotel and I was able to have a shower before I headed out for some shopping in Macy’s. It was somewhat comical as I was trying to show Cedric the shirts which were available in his size so I could ensure I was buying the right thing.
A bit more shopping and it was time to go back to the hotel. I had been given a couple of drinks vouchers when I arrived but I had only used one of them during my stay. So I decided to have a parting drink before heading to the airport. Earlier in the day, I had worked out that maintenance work was being carried out on the Subway and the E line which should have been running up 8th Avenue and out to the airport, was running on 6th Avenue as an F train till it was in Queens.
It took just an hour to get out the airport from the hotel. Check in was smooth and I was escorted to the front of the checking queue.
A shower in the Galleries Lounge I then headed to the Concorde Room for a drink and some dinner.
The last day of the course, so it was up and onto the 1 Line down to South Ferry and the course.
Afterwards it was back up to the hotel where I managed to sort out a late checkout before I headed out to drinks with a friend and travel colleague in a bar, before heading out for dinner. It was good to catch up with Roger as I was not going to see him in November for the New York marathon this year.
Same as yesterday
Dinner and Bed
Up early to spin at the gym, then shower and off to the course on the 1 line again back in the evening, I found a new Thai restaurant just opposite the hotel.
The reason I was in New York was to take part in a 4 day course… I had decided to stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square, but the course was in the Downtown next to the South Ferry subway station. It was easy trip each morning on the 1 line from 50th Street to South Ferry. To my surprise each morning I could even get a seat on the train in the morning.
After to course in the evening I had a change to meet a friend from New York for dinner so it was short trip down to Chelsea for a nice evening out before getting home and bed.
Waking up early I languished in bed a long as I dared, but now I need to get up and showered and ready to head to America. So once repacked I needed to go to reception and check-out and head to the airport, so it was back to Victoria Dock DLR and then Canning Town, a couple of minutes wait and then the Woolwich service to London City Airport.
On the Friday there had been a lot of problems at London City with a full evacuation of the terminal as a CS gas canister had been let off in the check-in area. This was all clear as on Sunday I had arrived with no problems but the airport was very busy and the queues were everywhere. The queue for security had come down the stairs and was zig-zagged across the check in area and out the door into the corridor to the DLR.
As I had to check in my baggage I walked into the terminal and found the right queue for check-in except there was nobody there. I was assured the check-in agent would be back soon… so I waited patiently. Soon the lady was back and all apologetic that I had been kept waiting. Bags tagged again I was directed to the lift and told to say to the lift attendant that I was going to New York… it worked I was whisked upstairs and into a queue to for security. They had fewer machines working than normal but I was soon through and into the departure lounge, which was a zoo. There was not a seat to be had and even walking to get to where I needed to be was tricky. I was going to try and get some bits and pieces in the shops but decided it was all too much hassle and went straight to the gate/lounge which is reserved for the JFK flights from London City, at gate 24.
Getting to the gate there were a number of people already there, enjoying the hospitality of BA. The agent there checked my boarding pass and gave me the required US Customs Form to fill in as well as welcoming me. At the far end of the lounge there was as large breakfast buffet laid out with fruit juices, water, cereals, smoked salmon, champagne, breads and croissants, tea coffee and more… I decided to fill in my customs form first and then attacked breakfast, as I had had nothing at the hotel before I left.
At 09:30 we were told that our plane was ready for boarding and were invited to board. So walking across the breezy apron area I was greeted aboard by Olivier as I made my way to my seat.
Arriving at New York was a breeze walking into the departure lounge rather than the arrival hall, when walk across the terminal and down a couple of escalators we arrived at the baggage carousel. Soon it came to life and our bags were delivered. The airtrain to Jamaica station and then the subway… why can they not provide sales points for this stuff in the airtrain stations at the terminals so when you get on the the transport you don’t have to stop and get tickets on the journey.
The E line train was going very slowly, but soon I was at my hotel in Times Square and ready to relax.