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Trip Report Overdue report of our trip to USA which so many of you helped with.....

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Who went: Couple (40’s and 50’s), two sons (25 and 23) in: February 2012
From: Rome, Italy
How Long: 3 weeks
Where: New York, San Francisco, Napa & Sonoma, 101 South to Cambria, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles. Last 5 days in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
Purpose of trip: vacation but also getting an overview of the hospitality industry around wine production.

We flew Continental/United direct from Rome to NY. The flight was disappointing in that we had paid more for extra legroom but the video screens weren’t working in these seats. Annoying but the flight was on time, all the boarding and disembarking was quick and efficient and in a short time we were met by our pre booked taxi (Dial 7) at Newark. The limo was supposed to cost $60 but after tax, tip and tolls it came to over 80. Next time I would just get a normal cab, there were plenty there waiting. We reached Times Square on a beautiful sunny day - in Rome it weas snowing!
The Paramount - Very hip and dark lobby, convenient on site Dean&De Luca for breakfast, friendly staff and comfortable public spaces with free wifi. The rooms we picked were adequately large and nicely appointed. For well under $200 per room per night we found this hotel to be a good deal.
Restaurants: we had our three evening meals at 1) Pastis – still going strong, fun atmosphere but expensive for the food which is really quite standard. 2) DBGB – very hip atmosphere, great looking place, good vibe, very nice burghers and reasonably priced, 3) Blue Smoke, a charming jazz venue in Harlem where we had excellent Southern food accompanied by some great music. A really good find.
In NY we walked and walked and walked! Visited the Diego Ribera exhibition at the MoMa and that was all we had time for in 3 days!
(it was not our first time in NY I might add….)
Next San Francisco.....

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