Day 3 – The plan is to explore more of New York, and specifically see the High Line and Chelsea Market. We slept in pretty late, and after our epic day I wasn’t in any hurry to get everyone up and out. We did eventually get packed up and we left our bags with Bell Services.
We made our way to the 53rd Street station where we could get a Subway directly to the Chelsea Market which is at one end of the High Line. We had to top up our Metrocards, which was pretty straightforward and then we found the train and made our way there. Once we’d got the hang of the Subway it was very easy and I’d be happy to use it more often if we come back.
When we came up out of the station, we were on 8th street and we needed 9th street. Now we could have consulted a map, but that would have been too easy, so we set off walking in the direction that felt right and when we got to 7th we realized we’d gone the wrong way. However, I was quite pleased we had, as we walked down a really nice street, just a normal street where people live, but such a different atmosphere to mid town with all the tall buildings, this felt much more like a real place with real people. We walked around the block and then back down to 9th and found the entrance to Chelsea Market. This is a restored biscuit factory full of restaurants and a few shops. I really liked it, but I wonder if it’s more for the tourists or if New Yorkers use it too?
We were hungry, and not realising the whole place was full of restaurants we stopped at one of the first we say, which was Pizza. We sat at the counter and ordered a slice each, it was really good. I had a spinach and ricotta one. The whole atmosphere was much more relaxed than our rather frantic day yesterday and I was enjoying that. After our pizza we walked through the rest of the market, and the girls had a look around a book store, and then we headed out onto the High Line.
We walked along a little way, listening to the musicians and enjoying the scenery, and then we realised we were at the end, directions obviously not being a strong point today. We turned around and walked back, past the market and on a short way. There is a window at one point where you can look out over the street, and there were a group of kids at camp having their lunch. We saw ‘camp kids’ all over NYC, they seemed to be on lots of outings.
We walked a little further and then consulted the map to try and work out which Subway station we would be passing and how we could get back to the hotel. I couldn’t work it out, and was getting worried that we would end up walking for miles, which we really weren’t in the mood for, so we decided to walk back to the Market and use the station that we’d arrived at. We knew how to get back from there.
As we walked back through the market, I took a photo of these lanterns, which were lining the entrance, they looked like someone had broken the pipes to make the lights;
The girls fancied an ice cream, and we’d seen a place on the way through earlier, so we stopped to get some. Unfortunately, it was much busier now and so we couldn’t find anywhere to sit.
We ended up outside, Molly and I on a bench and Phil and Katie perched on a fire hydrant, not quite the relaxing break we’d planned on.
We hadn’t done a lot but we felt we had seen enough, so we headed back to the Subway and our hotel. On the subway, Molly and I were sat across from a homeless man who appeared to be living on the train. I’d be surprised if that was allowed, but he had an awful lot of bags with him and it didn’t look like he had left his spot for a while.
We got back to our station, and went to the hotel lobby. it was quite early, and really we could probably have seen more, or done something else, but we were all just ready for a break, so we made use of the free wifi in the lobby and just chilled for a couple of hours.
About 3, we decided to head for the airport. We were going to use the Airtrain, which we’d planned on for arrival and then not done. With a few subway trips under our belt we felt a lot more confident about it.
We found our train and got a seat, and Molly said, ‘this is the same carriage we were on this morning’, she’d spotted some graffiti she recognised. I thought the graffiti could be duplicated, but I spotted the same man still seating in the same seat, so we had bizarrely got back on the same carriage about 2 hours after we’d got off it.
The train was pretty crowded, but there were lots of people with suitcases so I wasn’t too concerned about taking the luggage on, and when we got to the station at Jamaica we quite easily found the Air Train Station which is just outside of the subway station. As we were leaving the subway, there were people asking for our MetroCards and saying that we couldn’t use them on the Airtrain, which worried me a little as I’d put the fares on there, but we were able to use them no problem, so I assumed they were just hoping we would all hand over $5 worth of metrocards.
The Airtrain is part of the airport network and as soon as you board you feel like you are in the Airport. It took us all the way to Terminal 8, and we found our way to departures. We’d done online check-in, so we just headed for security, which was like a zoo. People everyone, no real organisation, and when you finally got to the scanners you were to take nothing off and leave everything in your bag. I think they were just trying to push people through as quickly as possible but it was crazy and didn’t feel like they were doing much checking to be honest.
We got through, and decided to go and find out gate as it was already showing. A nice change compared with Newcastle’s top secret gate approach. Once we had found the gate (37 – a long walk!), we bought some tea from a deli stall. I had a Philadelphia Cheese steak, which was nice, but it wasn’t a philadelphia cheese steak. not enough cheese. Phil and Molly had salad and Katie had spaghetti and meatballs. All delicious but some harder to eat than others when you don’t have a table. I think Katie found hers a particular challenge!
We were all quite happy waiting at the gate, when a lot of people arrived all at once. They started making announcements about a flight to Seattle which had been delayed and then moved to our gate (and I suspect given our plane.) They must have been waiting a while because they set up a table with drinks and snacks on it for people to help themselves, which they did, the whole lot disappearing very quickly.
Eventually, we were given a new gate, just across the aisle (from 37 to 36) and told that we were now also delayed to 8:30. As this was already a late flight, an extra hour wasn’t really appreciated. We’d been at the airport since about 4:30 so we were getting a bit fed up.
Eventually we boarded, and even more eventually we landed. It’s a 3 hour flight but it felt very long. I was really tired but couldn’t really sleep, but I couldn’t really stay awake either, so i just kept dropping off and waking back up. It was also freezing on the plane, and quite bumpy. Not one of the best flights I’ve ever had, and I was very relieved when we finally landed. It was about 11:30 when we landed, and with no customs or immigration to deal with, we made our way quickly to the Magical Express. The only hold up was the monorail took ages, and I’ve since read they are working on it which could have been a factor. I can’t ever remember having to wait for it before.
We got on the bus, and they had some silly welcome to Disney film playing, and even though it was very late and we were shattered, it was quite pleasant and I just started to relax. Eventually, we were off, but of course, the last stop. Wilderness Lodge, The Poly, Port Orleans and finally we were the only people on the bus when it got to Saratoga Springs. It was 1am. I knew we;d be arriving late, but I hadn’t really thought it would be 1am. Not to worry, we got checked in, and a nice man drove us to our room. Good job too, as it seemed miles away.
The room seemed pretty nice, but we didn’t spend a lot of time looking at it, we just crashed.