Day 1 the journey and first cocktail
We had checked in on-line the morning before but we unable to print boarding cards.
We were up at 3:30 am to leave for Bristol airport, we had decided it was not worth staying over night near the airport as we still would have been up early. After showering and seeing to the cats it was time to hit the road. We managed to get to the airport by 6:30 am much to do with speedy gonzales :erm:. We parked the van in the long term parking which was a walk away from the terminal. Bristol is quite a small airport compared to Gatwick but great as it normally only takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours to get there. We made our way to the terminal but we were a little to early to check our luggage in so we grabbed a coffee. At 7:30 am to are all checked in and through security, thankfully the queue for security had disappeared and we were quickly through. We got ourselves some breakfast which seemed quite expensive for what we had but who cares, we are on holiday :D. Sadly there is not many shops at the airport so we passed the time by having a drink in Starbucks and going on Facebook, well i did.
We were soon being asked to board the flight with Continental airlines. They frisked everyone that was boarding the flight. We were the second row from the back on the left hand side (i choose these seats for the view of Manhattan, more to come on this). When we first sat i felt a little claustrophobic and i am putting this down to always having bulk head seating and traveling UC with Beth as we had some good leg room. The crew were older but fantastic and we wanted for nothing on the way out. The food was ok, we had salad (sadly no dressing), i had chicken and pasta, dh had beef, we had clementine sponge for dessert which was yummy but a little on the small side. The entertainment was the best i have ever seen with widescreen tv's that were on demand and we could pause and rewind. There was also a fantastic selection of movies and other programmes. An hour before we landed we were given a hot pannini and crisps, i am sure there was something sweet as well but can not remember. We had quite a bumpy flight and a few people were sick. The flight passed very quickly and we were soon coming into land so i sat with my camera all ready after reading to sit on the left for the view but sadly the view was on the right hand side. I am guessing they came in on a different flightpath :(.
We were soon off the airplane and through security. I wanted the restroom and took one look at the huge queue and thought i would wait, it soon became apparent that the queue was not for the restroom but to get through another security procedure. This fooled all on our flight as we all casually made our way past it much to the annoyance of others but to be fair to all of us we were just following the signs with me having to cross my legs. Dh collected our luggage whilst i went to the nearest restroom. We had decided to use the Liberty Express after hearing about it else were and learning it stopped just 8 blocks down from our hotel. It was only $25 return and quite a quick journey with good views of Manhattan, sadly every time i tried to take a photo a lorry or bus went by. We got off at Grand central station and made our way to our hotel the Intercontinental Barclay. Wow what a beautiful hotel and quite a bargain as we only paid £1300 for flights and hotel. The room was a good size for New York, some say the bathroom is small but it was fit for purpose and very clean
We collected two of three packages i had ordered. one from Justice for girls. They do not have one in Manhattan and we had decided not to go to New Jersey just for this, wow the clothes are big for a 14 year old and most will have to be put away until Beth decides to put some weight on and the other was some sale stuff from Yankee candles, sadly one of them was broken so we had to bin it.
Continued in next post .....