After busing it to Heathrow at a ridiculously early time, I arrived only to find a stupidly long check in que at 10 in the morning. Waited over hour to check my luggage in then went on through security into 'no mans land'. Sat, ate, blackberried, read, observed, that kind of thing.
When I got to my seat I was happy to find that I was sitting next to a bit of a hotty :D (always good for long flights!). We got to chatting and it turned out he (Mokay) was an ex-Londoner who had given up the The Big Smoke for the fast pace craziness that is New York. We were later joined by another girl (Becky) who was off to visit her uni friend for a week in the city and was rather over excitable about it. I, on the other hand, remained annoyingly unexcited about the fact that I was just about to fly off to what would hopefully be an amazing summer in the US.
So, anyway having these two to chat to made an already awesome flight even better. Becky and I got a little too excited about the assortment of amazing films available to watch and the amount of GU puddings and ice creams we were plied with throughout the journey (wondering what it must have been like all the way up in first class....?!).
Just over 7 hours later we descended into JFK. Needless to say I was still too busy getting excited over the GU brownie i'd just eaten to summon my excitement about landing. There was also the precarious case of immigration that Mokay and I were debating. It turns out he'd packed his suitcase full of his mums frozen homemade goodies (and unknowingly the flight attendant announced there was a heft fine for transporting food across the boarder!), while I was sure the pedantic American authorities were going to question the length of my stay and the precarious looking bag of herb like substances I packed in my case (I just couldn't leave England without my PG Tips!). Touching down, I was surprised to see that the surroundings pretty much mirrored that of Heathrow and the weather was, for once, disappointingly less impressive than back home. Unexpectedly breezing through immigration, I collected my bag (which I was oh so happy to be reunited with after waiting a precariously long time for) and off I went into America!
Unfortunately we'd landed an hour an a half behind schedule so I was pretty eager to get to my Hotel. I jumped on my prearranged 'Super Shuttle' along with half a dozen foreigners (bringing back memories of last summers adventures into Guatemala). Forty minutes later the bus pulled up outside The Gershwin Hotel on E 27th and 5th. "Its a nice Hotel, you'll enjoy it" came an unexpected American comment from an Asian looking man in front of me. "Thanks, I said, but i'm staying in the dorms".
I checked in to my cosy little apartment style dorm up on the second floor where I came across a rather tanned looking Swede who I was to be sharing the room with. Being only 8pm I wasn't quite ready to go to sleep yet but unfortunately this wasn't the kind of hostel atmosphere I'd hoped for, so I was left to take a 'walk round the block' on my own.
A walk round the block turned into "just a little bit further up to Times Square" and then "Oh, I think I see Central Park, maybe i'll just go check". So check I did and 30 blocks later, yes, I was on the cusp of Central Park. Great. So then I had to walk 30 blocks back again.
With a pair of very tired feet and a sleep deprivated brain of mush I returned to The Gershwin, happy, nonetheless, to have gotten a context of Midtown and to have figured out the grid system of avenue/streets. So into bed I fell, ready for, what I hoped would be a deep, restful and long sleep to prepare me for a day off flat hunting. I sort of misjudged that one....