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First trip to USA

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lindenlea, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Went into the travel agents to get some brochures for America - New York, Boston ,Washington maybe. Thinking about it for next Spring. Any thoughts, Never been to the USA before, don't really fancy the long flight and it's so enormous I've felt it's too big to tackle somehow but if we don't go soon we'll be too ancient to bother. Husband loves cities, both like galleries, iconic sights and just exploring.
     
  2. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    Oooh ooooh ooooh! You will love it! But book it all independently online - you'll save a fortune. Just remember that Americans are evolutionarily about to lose their legs and you'll be fine. Hire a comfy car and get used to driving everywhere, except the big cities, where you'll have to choose your accommodation on the basis of parking availability - bit like London or Paris.
    It's only 8hrs going over. A couple of airline meals (YUM!) and two movies and you're there. Quicker back thanks to trade winds. If you like lobster, Boston - the whole of New England - is your oyster. Loads of Pilgrim history, some hokey, some fascinating; loads of War of Independence stuff. New York - we really loved all the museums, galleries, restaurants, Macy's, Bloomingdales, loads of places you saw in films like Brooklyn Bridge, Staten Island ferry (free! don't get off, just come back); last time we were there was only two years after 9/11 so the demolition site was still quite moving - prob not so much now. Grand Central Station if you like municipal architecture (and if you don't, there's a cracking breakfast restaurant opposite). Clothes and jewellery are a steal.
    I've never been to Washington so not help there but I don't know how you could not have a great time!
     
    lindenlea likes this.
  3. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    I recommend the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. We had a local volunteer guide; it was fascinating.
     
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    New York and then train it to Washington. Easy.

    Manhattan you just have to see. Fly into JFK and then take a cab into Manhattan. Crossing the bridge? Epic. Traffic jam on Fifth Avenue? Hell, just do it.

    Why would you NOT?! MoMA. Chelsea. The High Line. Empire State. Chrysler. Flatiron. Standing over a subway grating and feeling that whoosh of air?
     
    lindenlea likes this.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    BOOK IT NOW.
     
    lindenlea likes this.
  6. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

  7. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    If you go to New York, get tickets for Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) at night: spectacular views over the city, including the Empire State Building (whereas if you go up the Empire State you'll queue for days and then not actually have said building in your view).

    Also, see a show on Broadway. We saw Jersey Boys, which, given the proximity to New Jersey, was absolutely fantastic.

    We had to have a sporting component to the trip (husband and daughter's choice). They had wanted basketball but the ticket prices were astronomical, so we took the train out to Flushing Meadow to see the New York Mets (baseball). Jeez, I had never been so bored in my life; it made cricket seem adrenaline-packed.
     
    lindenlea likes this.
  8. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    Do you have any relatives who emigrated there? We only intended to spend a few hours at Ellis island but I found records of my great-aunt and (different) great-uncle who decided wage slavery in a 1900 coal town were not the best they could hope for and turned out to be damn right. They used to send food parcels to my dad and his family during the war.
     
  9. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    No nothing to take us there other than thrill seeking! Relatively speaking of course.
     
  10. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Just a thought, but have you considered doing a house swap? We did one once years ago, to Vancouver, and it was fantastic. We had originally wanted to go to Washington State, but at the time had two children under 10, which didn't suit the profile of a lot of the US swappers who were retired, wanted to travel but didn't want little kids in their home. Might be food for thought?
     
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Thrills. Well, you can go white-water rafting in PA. Cycling. Climbing. And the Poconos aren't far from Newark.

    I'm lucky though. My cousin is a genuine American so we get to live the REAL dream. If I were younger I'd have emigrated by now. I'd be living in rural PA. Just a bus-ride away from Manhattan and Canada and the Great Lakes.

    IF YOU CAN GO THEN YOU HAVE TO GO.
     
  12. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    Go.. its that simple.

    8 hour flight is just 2 movies and a bit of food then you land. its nothing really.

    You will not see ALL of America, so pick a bit that interests you, do you want to see Vegas and California, or NY and philly etc,

    Save up the money, loosen the belt buckle and enjoy!
     
  13. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Am from the States, born around Washington, DC and undergraduate in NYC until I came to the UK in 1994 (we go back every few years).

    Warning: July and particularly August from NYC down can be hot, humid and awful. Hot means 30+ (sometimes 35+) whereas December, January and February can be freezing with ice and sometimes blizzards (DC upwards).

    DC is fab - spread out (no buildings can be higher than the Washington Monument, so no skyscrappets. There is renowned zoo, brilliant museums, plenty of great walks, great little neighbourhoods and many iconic buildings. George Washington's house is close and you could drive through Virginia/Maryland for Civil War sights, see the harbour in Baltimore, etc. DC is a lovely place (although there are pockets of poverty and very unsafe areas).

    NYC is great. Take a tourist bus to familiarise yourself and then wander around. Buy discounted Broadway tickets at TKITs (can't remember the abbreviation) and explore neighbourhoods. Be warned - museum prices are expensive and don't buy drink at corner kioshs - perhaps find a supermarket, which can be cheaper. Last time we went, we stayed at a hotel with kitchens so we could make dinner sometimes (our toddler was not yet two). It was great - pm and I give you the name. Also, go to Chinatown and other 'neighbourhoods' for a flavor of real NYC.

    Also remember tax is added for hotel rooms and all US States add sales tax to what you think is the final price.

    Best times? April/May and Septembet/October although Christmas/December is beautiful in NYC (but we did get stuck in NYC in a blizzard in 2013 - fly a European airline as they have a duty of care under EU regulations. Aer Lingus found us a hotel room and paid for it.

    PS. I think it's 5 hours+ to NYC and 6+ back

    ______________________________
    damnant quod non intellegunt
     
  14. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Just remember NEVER GET OUT OF YOUR CAR.

    Drive everywhere - use drive-in toilets. Never open the car door or bad people will do horrible things to to you. Anyone walking is a bad person who is carrying at least four guns and at least three legally-owned nuclear missiles.

    Well that's the impression I was given on our last trip to Florida anyway.

    No, seriously, enjoy your trip. Florida is in fantasyland, not America.
     
  15. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Well I'm convinced! It'll be April I think and NY plus Washington possibly. it will be hotels and we'll be doing all the corny tourist things because it's the first time and we won't need a car. We'll train it to the second city be it Washington or Boston, but I favour Washington atm. if it's a success we'll have to do Boston on another trip.Thanks as ever for all the encouragement!
     
  16. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    I'd second Sabrinakat's suggestion of Washington's house at Mount Vernon. We visited in the October half-term and the landscape was beautiful. Might not be quite so colourful in spring, but I understand there is beautiful cherry blossom in Washington at that time of year.
     
    lindenlea likes this.
  17. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Oh, jealous! I've been once to America, but that was taking a party of 30 schoolchildren to New Hampshire for a skiing trip.

    Lovely as it was, I'd love to go 'properly' and see the things that others describe. We did manage a few hours in Boston (shopping) and that was great!

    I shall go vicariously through you @lindenlea, so make sure you have a wonderful time!
     
  18. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    This is a great thread! Very inspiring. I have never been to America but have a vague plan to go one day soon. Trouble is that, as you say, it's very big and I know almost nothing about it apart from what I've seen in films. How long will you go for? I'm wondering if two weeks would be enough to get an initial flavour of, say, the New England area... any thoughts?
     
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

  20. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    really don't know. i don't like being away from home for too long but it's a waste to spend all that on flights and just make it very short.
    I love audley gdw - used them once for Morocco but will look at that link for inspiration.
    Gosh! They look good!
     

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