There was a fairly leisurely start to the morning as our flight wasn’t til 4pm, so I was actually able to have breakfast and pack up some of the house before my friend arrived and Chris took us to the airport. We headed off and I was feeling somewhat guilty leaving Chris behind to potentially move into our new house without me!
The flight out was fine, I was cheating on British Airways’ with Virgin so had a little guilt about that! Virgin wasn’t as good as I remembered, their food has definitely gone downhill – it used to be one of the more tolerable aeroplane foods but now is definitely on par if not behind BA. We were on the same flight as Jamie Cullum and Sophie Dahl, people were getting quite excited about this as they spotted them skipping the queues through passport control!
Queuing through passport control took absolutely forever. We landed around 7pm and so did a gazillion other flights, it was a bit of a free for all and the staff were the moodiest bunch we encountered. I assume they weren’t impressed at having to work on a Saturday night!
Once we finally made it through it was feeling like bedtime for us, although it was not much past 8pm. We went in search of the taxi queue, surprised at the number of people who were making deals with the dodgy unlicensed taxi touts. Before long we were on our way to Hotel 91, initially this would have been one of the last places on my list of accommodation options, but it turned out to be fine, no frills and in the depths of Chinatown, but a short walk to the subway and the rooms were a good size.
We did come a cropper by leaving it so late to book at such a busy time, not realising the prices would inflate a fair bit. My friend was on a tight budget so we were concerned we couldn’t stay in Manhattan but thankfully all worked out fine. One negative to staying here was the lack of nearby food options that weren’t Asian food. There are only so many times you can nip out for Chinese, and sometimes it did feel like we’d travelled to China and not NYC, but it was good fun all the same.
After checking in and flopping into the room we ventured out in search of food. We strolled about some of the main streets but it was getting late and most things were closing. As we didn’t have our bearings we found ourselves in the Chinese restaurant next to the hotel where we ordered a (surprisingly giant) pork and egg fried rice to share. We swiftly returned to the room, threw on our pyjamas and had a little feast in bed watching some classic American TV! Before long we couldn’t keep our eyes open and drifted off. I wore ear plugs as I had heard about the noise and slept perfectly fine. Perhaps we lucked out with one of the quieter rooms.