We decided to take a trip along the east coast of the USA driving down from New York all the way through to Miami – with the goal of tying the knot when we arrive at the latter (see here for tips about getting married in the states). We booked this trip through Tours USA as it was our first road trip in a country we’ve not visited before, and whilst they were great we did make a couple of changes and learned along the way that this is something which you don’t need help with. A USA road trip is something really easy to organise yourself. The next few post are going to be all about this amazing trip!
The flight from Heathrow to JFK International isn’t overly long and when flying with Virgin isn’t too uncomfortable either, however taking that drive from the airport to our first hotel (which was the Skyline Hotel) made this a long day – it’s not a great city to drive in! The first tip I would give however when starting a USA road trip in NY is that we rented a gorgeous Ford Fusion from Budget Car Rental… Sadly when we returned our credit card had been cloned in the USA and “tested” for 1 cent at Budget Car Rental (the only place by the way where the card was used full stop)… Looks like there was a less than smart and honest employee there – who the hell clones a card at work, and then tests it at their place of work, thinking that a transaction for 1 cent makes any kind of sense from a car rental company! So our tip is to keep an eye on your transactions and cross reference them carefully when you get home with your monthly statement… But then is is advice for pretty much anywhere (when travelling or at home), but it does seem to be a problem in New York – My credit cards (one personal and one business) have each been cloned once… Both times in New York!
When we arrived at the hotel, it was a bit outdated but nice and within walking distance of much of the “good stuff” so we headed over to check out the Lego and Nintendo stores. The Nintendo store has a great little museum display on the top floor and really worth seeing if you love Nintendo! The highlight of our first day in the USA however was finished off with a spectacular view of the city from the Rockefeller Center… It’s a great view at night!
USA Road Trip Day 2 – New York
We only spent a full second day of our USA road trip in New York, and I must admit, that’s just not enough – you need to spend a good few days there and pack some good walking shoes if you want to squeeze as much as possible in to your day. We traveled by a mixture of walking and using the underground (which is pretty easy to get around).
Our first stop of the day was a trip out of Manhattan and over to the Bronx Zoo, which is a really nice place to visit, and considering it is within the boundary of such a huge city, you feel like you’re a hundred miles away from the hustle and bustle of big apple!
Many of the enclosures here (such as the bison paddock) are absolutely massive, and they have some really unusual animal houses which we’ve not seen before, like their really nice small bird house, weird rodent house and beautiful Madagascar house. There is enough here to keep you busy for a full day, but we’re pretty good at getting around zoos quickly and left after having some lunch there.
We headed back in to Manhattan where we had a look around little Italy and China town… To be honest unless you’re looking for food, neither of these have anything overly interesting to offer – Times Square on the other hand has a lot to see! Sadly when we were there, many students were holding a demonstration so there weren’t really any entertainers etc there. There are still plenty of shops and things to see – the Disney store for one is not to be missed! Their escalator was broken though and as such there was a huge number of steps to go up, with a high 5 greeting at the top which is very American but to be honest great fun, and the sort of stuff we came to America for!