A Travellerspoint blog

The Last Day

sunny 32 °C

So, it would appear to be the final day of my journey. Oh my God. Didn't feel like it would ever come! Those days in Buenos Aires could honestly have been about a year ago now.
I wish I was sitting somewhere picturesque like Central Park to write my final entry, but it really was just too hot, and I don't fancy getting a red raw burn before I go home! So I'm sorry to say I am sitting in the dining area of the West Side YMCA, our home for the last week. I've been in a few hostels now, and I know the things that it's nice to have. Free breakfast and internet don't really happen anymore, sadly, but you expect maybe a lounge area, and a kitchen. This place ticks none of those boxes. Seriously, there's not even a kettle! I have to beg for hot water from the cafe for my oatmeal in the morning. Lucking, Alex and I have developed such apathy towards everything that we can't be bothered to get mad. It was our last week, dammit! We didn't do a lot of note, tis true. But we saw everything we could possibly see in the city, and for that reason I'm glad we did 2 weeks here. Even though I literally have no money left, and can't eat until BA feeds me at 9pm...
Sunday, I forgot to mention that I saw Kate! It was so lovely seeing her after so many months, especially in a different setting from our normal Surrey/Maidenhead variations. I just wish I could remember more of the journey home, especially since yesterday a man seemed to recognise me in Starbucks, and started chatting away calling me 'London Girl'. Was completely bemused as to when we'd met but managed to hide it!
Tuesday, we decided to do something we'd already paid for, so Natural History museum it was. Wednesday, I have literally no memory of. I assume we stayed in bed til late watching ANTM. We watched a LOT of TV this week! Mainly out of spite for the amount we had to pay for the room. Such a revelation is US TV! If anyone ever says again that their TV is amazing, well, percentage wise it certainly isn't. For every 1% of awesome, there's 99% pure shit to wade through. And discovered Mel B is presenting a show about fat people dancing, trying to hide her Northern accent and thinking we can't see!
Anyway, I digress! Thurs was our scheduled day of Liberty, so off we went at about half 7, and managed to get a free pass into the actual statue. It was...OK. The sort of thing you can't not do, but a bit underwhelming. The first moment you reach Liberty Island is kind of exciting. But she's so huge there's no way you can get the whole of you and her in a picture, as people gradually realised!
Also did the Museum of Sex, which was a strange one. It was a normal museum in most ways so everyone was able to be quite sensible and sober. But there was also a moving image exhibit, which was basically a room full of porn! Hee. I thought it was fun anyway. Maybe wouldn'[t have enjoyed as much if wasn't sure I was going to get some soon! But very close to going home time, so was all ok.
Ahem! Just gave into the hunger and spent $7 on my card for a sandwich. And the receipt had the cheek to ask me what gratuity I would like to give! Rude. I will not miss people expecting tips for every little thing.
Half an hour until airport!! Man. And real life again. I want to reminisce so I will indulge myself.
I will miss living so simply, because now I know I can. Like knowing as long as I have a shower and a bed, I can go anywhere I want. I can be independent. I can be social. I can wander around with curly hair and no make up and not even worry.
Basically, I am more capable than I thought I was. So feel pretty ready to turn 23 now. To sum up (which I will do because I want to finish my sandwich) I like the bits of the world I've seen, and I would be up for seeing a few more. And I like myself, and I'm proud of me and Alex. I should stop because this is sounding like the X Factor - next I'll start talking about my 'amazing journey' and how much I've grown. Well, it's true, just massively corny!
Kay, I'm going! It's been awesome having you, little blog. Will miss you.
"Thumbs up to that!"
Helen xxxx

Posted by hellybee 15:10 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Washington's not that great anyway, right?

32 °C

Monday 9th of August! Wow that date is scary. I'm so near the day I fly back...:-)

Oh grr. Despite my smiley, a bit annoyed. Had a pretty eventful day, but basically we could have just stayed in bed, booked an extra night and we'd be in the same position as we are now... Oh well! All I can feel is sheer relief that there are no more bus journeys! I was dreading the one to Washington today.

We got to Penn station early, but everything with the Megabus was running half an hour behind. And there was about 6 different busloads of people on the street, all very confused and forming lines because they had nothing else to do. Add to that it was very hot, and my bag is the heaviest it's been, and I was really quite pissed off. When it became clear that our bus was not showing up in the next hour, me and Alex decided, fuck this, the White House is not worth it! and got back on the subway to the YMCA. So this is how we ended up back in the same place. So we lost out $30 each for the Megabus trip, and possibly our first night cost for the Washington hostel. I sent a pleading email asking them to waive it, but not sure how we'll that's gone over. Argh, I really hate wasting money.
I think we're both just unwilling to put up with things at this stage of the trip, we've done and been through so many bad journeys and bag dragging that too much is too much. We're still a bit sore from when we moved hostel on Saturday, and it became this nightmare morning where we lost each other on the subway, then it stopped 10 blocks from where it was supposed to, and I didnt know where we were going! That really sucky when you have your life belongings on your back. Luckily the Apple Store lets you use its internet for free, so I dragged my ass in there and finally found the hostel. I will buy many more Apple products from now on to show my gratitude.

Anyway, so last time I did Wed. So Thursday was our second night at the really rather nice Hostelling International hostel. We signed up for the bar crawl in the eveving, but, honestly, I think we're past the stage of pretending we can be bothered to go out at night. So we went to Times Square and got in the very large queue for discount theatre tickets. Hot hot, as always! But so worth it, and promotors kept giving us leaflets to fan ourselves with, and some canny ones actual fans. I think Billy Elliot got a lot more audience in on that basis alone! As soon as I found out Promises, Promises was half off I informed Alex that, like it or not, we would be seeing that. Stubborn yes, willing to miss the chance to see Kristin Chenoweth in person? Hell no.

We got some pretty good seats, was still pretty pricey though. I don't know why but the whole experience felt very unlike the West End. Higher production values, maybe. Plus of course Kristin raised the bar by a lot. She's genuinely incredible. The audience was clearly big fans, they even forgave her completely fluffing an entire scene! She just couldn't stop coughing, so she came pretty much right out of character and milked it for all it was worth, and they loved it. I kind of wish I'd gone to the stage door and seen her, but that always embarrasses the hell out of me. Mainly just for other people being so over the top. That happened at Legally Blonde at Christmas, and that was just Duncan from Blue! I mean, come on guys, save your adulation for someone who deserves it. So yeah, I think it's best I stayed away.

Er, what else? All the days just kind of blur together. I think we attempted the get up early thing on Friday, but 10am was the best we could manage to get there, and the line was already a mile long. (I keep saying that instead of queue! What am I becoming?)

I really can't remember anything else. Think I sunbathed for a fair amount of time, as its free and I would like to look as though I have been out of the country. Even attempted to run, but so not happening.
And now I'm consumed with a need to eat pizza. That seems to happen a lot here... Strange.

5 more days....

Posted by hellybee 08:25 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Sweaty

sunny 32 °C

HOT!! So hot today. Everyday. And no sun to tan me, so the heat is kind of pointless, no? Needs to go away. I just feel a constant need to shower. Hopefully it'll storm tomorrow and clear up all the muggy crap.

What have I done since Sunday, hey? Quite a bit I guess. We got a CityPass for 80 dollars which gets us in to the main touristy stuff. So far done the Empire State Building, which was pretty amazing, if a bit terrifying if you're afraid of heights! Which I seem to be in a big way. And the MOMA today -museum of modern art - pretty amazing art museum, and I feel like a bit of a connoseur now having seen quite a few this trip! Far better than the Met, but that had to be done, obviously. Plus the MOMA had a London exhibition, which gave it many points as far as I'm concerned!.

Pluses? Still loving Central Park, is lush. It's just the only park there is, so it's treated so well and kind of revered by New Yorkers. Wish we cared that much about, say, Bushy Park! They seem to love running there a bit too much though, which is crazy as it's so hot all the time. Mainly shirtless too. Yeah, we walked the entire length of it yesterday, just because we felt too cheap to pay the $2.25 for the subway ride. 60 blocks! And it was all 5th Avenue, 'cos it's mighty big.

Big minus at the moment is the difficulty we're having in booking hostels. We moved three times in the first 5 days because everywhere had been booked up months ago. Having been in the low season in Oz and New Zealand, we never had this problem so has been a bit scary. Decided we really want to avoid getting ripped off by hotels at all costs, (not to mention we are thoroughly sick of sharing a bed every time!) but at some point it'll be the only option. I sense the credit card will be making its first appearance soon!

I really like this city. In fact more than San Fran, but it seems ridiculous to comapre them. They barely feel like the same country, the lifestyle is so different. NY feels more real to me, like it's a real working city and we're just in the middle of it all. San Fran is a lot more relaxed and tourist town-y.

Tomorrow I think we're trying to wake up early (I say early, like half 8, which really isn't!) and do Statue of Liberty, avoid the crowds. We kinds of saw the statue on Monday when we did the Staten Island ferry, which amazingly is free! (Staten Island is a bit of a dive however; ferry is definitely the best part!) You want to get an up close view really though.

And the hopefully going to try and see a show. Lion King or Wicked would be ideal - even though I've seen that 3 times! - but prob waay too expensive. I guess it's the experience you go for rather than the specific show. As long as it's not bloody Stomp, I'll take whatever!

I sense I won't write again for a while, so this will all be really out of date by the time I shove it on the internet. Should go do that now. I'm praying it's less than 15 cents a minute at this hostel...

Posted by hellybee 08:00 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Yeah New York, yeah Big Apple

30 °C

Well, I seem to be in New York!
Was going to put some Jay Z/ Alicia Keys lyrics here, but I will refrain...

Woop, made it! My final stop, which I've been looking forward to the whole trip. Wow...If I thought San Fran was overwhelming, it's really nothing compared to NY!

Flight here was the absolute crappest yet, and I feel like something of an expert right now. Hate American Airlines! They make you pay for food, there's no TV and they are just shit at customer service. Grrr. Get off to find out our hostel is soo far away from JFK it's not ev en funny. $80 taxi ride! Ouch.

Further issues which I could bang on about include the hostel, which seems to think it's a real hotel and thus provide no services. We were on the 6th floor in an actual bathroom (not kidding! Tiled floor and a sink in the corner. They probably just moved the toilet out before we arrived and replaced it with a bunk bed.) Never mind though, we're here! Had our first slice of NY Pizza, and as expected, beat SF hands down. Mmm....Pizza Express will never taste as good again!

Central Park is right across the street, handily! It's lush. Spent a decadent afternoon eating jellybeans and watching a baseball game. Incidentally, single most boring sport ever invented. I think there was one run the whole game. Never mind, free fun, not to be scoffed at.

Then rode the Subway - so hot, the Tube is far superior - to Times Square, which is SO enormous! We couldn't really stop ourselves looking like tourists there, looking up all awestruck and taking photos from every angle. Really quite cool. Will need to keep my wits about me- got ripped off (I suspect) for some comedy show tickets. Silly! Will need to find some cheap things to do. Think food is where I need to cut down, or at least my Starbucks habit. If I thought about how much I have given that company over the course of my trip I would cry...

TBC...

Posted by hellybee 20:21 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The ways in which San Fran is making me a fatty

Just noticed many of my pictures seem to be of food.... Hmm.

15 °C
View Argentina to New York: May - August 2010 on hellybee's travel map.

Always Coca Cola

Always Coca Cola

and pizzaaa

and pizzaaa

Root beer, which disappointingly tastes like mouthwash

Root beer, which disappointingly tastes like mouthwash

And corn dogs, which Alex will probably not being eating again...

And corn dogs, which Alex will probably not being eating again...

And my personal favourite...

And my personal favourite...

Prezels!

Prezels!

Posted by hellybee 11:47 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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