Today we were getting out of Toronto and heading for New York. We did appreciate the fact that Marion and Andrew had accommodated us during our stay, but we would have rather stay at a hotel and simply visit them along with the rest of the relatives. We could have seen much more during our stay in Toronto if I had organised it all. Having said that, our stay was quiet memorable and to this day we still talk about the various things that happened in Toronto. I guess that is travelling. It was an experience that we will never forget.
I had arranged a car to pick us up and take us to the airport that morning. I did this while we were posting our parcels home earlier yesterday. We lugged our gear up the stairs and I thought Andrew would stay and watch it, but he left it unattended while I went back to get the rest. We chose to stay with our bags after that. The car came a little early which was fine by us and we said our goodbyes and loaded the car. We were very relaxed once the car pulled away from their place.
It was amazing to see the relief on our faces as we finally got away from Marion and Andrew. We never thought that we would be put under that much stress during our honeymoon. It wasn’t an ideal situation to be in, but we survived. I think we came away from the Toronto experience stronger as a couple. We had our moments, but they weren’t our fault. We were driven to the limits and we had minor snaps that we got past very quickly.
We arrived at the airport early for our flight to New York, so we had a bit of a wait. It is best to arrive three hours early for international flights so you don’t get held up getting through security or checking in. I’m not sure that we had to do this for a flight between Canada and America, but we didn’t mind leaving Marion and Andrew’s early.
All the airport memories are beginning to meld together these days. I do remember that we went through American customs in the Toronto airport before we got into the departure lounge. There was quite a long line up to get through customs. As we neared the security checkpoint we realised we had drinks on us. We quickly drank our drinks and put the bottles in the bin, which was overflowing with empty bottles.
We were beginning to get good at putting our hand luggage through the security scanners. It was a process considering how much we were carrying, but we both knew what to do and just got it done as quickly as possible. As we made it through security we were picked out to be tested for other substances. We had an option, either be patted down or go through their scanner, Kim wanted both. Of course they weren’t going to do both, Kim just wanted the experience of being patted down. As having both wasn’t an option, we both went through their scanner, which blow air at us from all sides. It was a bit of a shock as they didn’t mention that this was going to happen. We both passed with flying colours. As I said, I don’t remember much about waiting for our flight in Toronto, beyond the security and customs. Going through customs in Toronto made for a much easier arrival in New York.
Once again, I don’t remember the flight at all, but it did arrive in New York on time. The sun was shining. We grabbed our bags and went out front to call our friend, Brian. Brian is someone I have gotten to know via the internet. We originally came across each other on a photo website, but later got to know each other more through Facebook. Brian, is a born and bred New Yorker and was good enough to give Kim and I a lot of fantastic tips about New York. He went into detail regarding subway terminals, sights and generally getting around to see as much as possible. The work he did on a rough itinerary for us was invaluable. He was also extremely kind enough to offer to pick us up from the airport and take us all the way to our hotel in downtown Manhattan. He went well out of his way to help us and I hope to be able to repay him one day.
I called him and he was stuck in traffic. He had planned to drive over the George Washington Bridge, but someone had dropped a box off the back of their truck which caused the bridge to be shut down. The box turned out to be electronic parts. As a result of all this we had to sit in the airport for a little while until Brian could get to us. It gave us a chance to use the airport internet and catch up on emails.
As Brian got closer to the airport he gave us a call. Upon receiving his phone call we grabbed our bags and headed outside the terminal to watch out for him. It wasn’t long and we saw his car approaching us. It was great to finally meet Brian, he is a top bloke! As he pulled up he jumped out of the car and gave us both a hug. I wasn’t ready for that so I probably seemed a little stiff, but it was a nice way to be greeted. We chatted while we loaded his parents car with all our bags. I sat in the front with Brian and Kim took the back seat. As Kim was getting into the car she hit her head on the door frame. Brian asked if she was ok, which she replied “yes”. In reality she had really hit her head hard and was in quite a lot of pain. That wasn’t the best way to start her New York visit.
As we drove back into New York Brian gave us the history of the place and told us of places we should try and see. He basically told us everything he had given us in the itinerary along with some other handy stuff. One of the best tips he gave us was to go out to dinner at John’s Pizza that night as it was the best pizza in the city.
Brian drove us all the way to our hotel, the Millenium Hilton, which took us through a lot of streets in downtown Manhattan. It took Brian a while to find a way to our hotel as a lot of streets were closed due to the construction at Ground Zero, which our hotel overlooked. We were extremely thankful for all his efforts in getting us to our hotel and the information he gave us about New York.
We would have loved to spend more time with him while in New York, but he had family commitments. Perhaps we will return to New York one day and then we will get to spend some more time with him. The biggest regret I have from all of this was the fact that we didn’t get a photo of Brian.