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Trip Report My marvellous first trip to the US - NYC, Boston and Hawaii

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Firstly I want to thank all the fabulous Fodor's contributors who helped with answers to various questions I posted in the lead up to this holiday. I am so grateful to you all.

We are a party of 4 women who decided to celebrate our 55th birthdays with a trip to NYC. 3 of us had celebrated our 50th birthdays together in Paris and decided to continue the theme and are already planning somewhere marvelous for our 60th birthdays. Our husbands are all lovely men who drove us to the airport, waved us goodbye and off we went. We were very excited and as we had been planning this trip for about 18 months, we could hardly believe our departure day had finally arrived!

We had mulled over lots of options as to which parts of the US to explore, but NYC was always the primary destination. In the end we decided on 10 nights in NYC, 3 in Boston, 1 in Niagara Falls and then 5 nights in Waikiki to break the trip on the way home.

DAY ONE – Thursday May 19, 2011 departure.

Nothing remarkable at all about our flights thank goodness. We departed Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport on time at about 10am. Given that we were flying economy and we wanted to be as comfortable as possible I had booked seats I was familiar with, and that I feel are the best seats in economy. They are the window and aisle seats towards the back of the plane, in the section where the plane starts to narrow off and there are only two seats rather than three. I’ve had comments that they are close to the toilets, but that isn’t really true and the benefit is that the shape of the plane provides a space where spare pillows/blankets etc can be tossed when not needed.

We flew Qantas and we were well looked after. I had been dreading the change in LAX as I knew we only had about 90 minutes and that we would tired by then, plus Osama Bin Laden had been disposed of only a week or two prior and we weren’t certain if security would be more intense than usual. I had read posts on Fodor’s about how awful the staff are at LAX and that the airport is dirty. However, I have nothing but praise for the staff at LAX. As we departed our plane, all the passengers going through to NYC (most of us) were handed an orange DL size card with EXPRESS (from memory) stamped on it. As we made our way from one part of the airport to another we showed the orange cards and we were all processed very swiftly and made the next flight with about 20 minutes to spare.

We arrived in JFK at about 5.30pm, collected our luggage and easily met up with the car we had hired to drive us into the city. By this time we were really starting to tire as we had been travelling for about 21 hours, although I did manage to sleep for a fair bit of the LAX – JFK leg.

We had booked 4 rooms at The Inn on 23rd www.innon23rd.com and were warmly welcomed. We had booked a room each and loved the quirky themes of each one. We dumped our bags and headed out for a stroll to clear our heads and get our bearings a little. Then had a quick dinner at The Guilty Goose which is next door to the inn and owned by the same people. We weren’t terribly hungry so we shared 2 burgers, fries a salad and a bottle of Italian Pino Grigio. We were in bed by 11pm and I must admit by the time my head hit the pillow I was exhausted to the point of feeling slightly dizzy.

Before deciding on The Guilty Goose we had planned on eating at Eatally which was just around the corner from the Inn but when we arrived it was very busy and there was at least a 30 minute wait for a table which we were too tired to bother with. It looked great though and we made ourselves a promise to return.

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