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NYC, a little New England drive, Billy Joel, more NYC and some San Francisco

NYC, a little New England drive, Billy Joel, more NYC and some San Francisco

Old Apr 22nd, 2023, 04:30 PM
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NYC, a little New England drive, Billy Joel, more NYC and some San Francisco

As I said on another post, we are finally coming back to the US next month. Its been 3+ years since an overseas trip, which was Dallas and beyond. This trip was planned with many moving parts but although it may sound confusing to some, it will work well for us. The first unusual component is our flights from Australia via Doha, I know sounds weird but hear me out. We had a lot of FF points banked up and just started looking, then our good friends suggested we meet them in NYC to celebrate a very special birthday. They also live in Australia but are frequent visitors to NYC as there son and grandchildren live there. Next thing Qatar had availability in their QSuites for the dates we were looking for. So although we've doubled the flying time, we are getting to experience what is apparently the best B/class available. So more than happy to do it, unfortunately a Doha stop over didn't work out, which would have been ideal. So thats the flights explained, I'm sure there will be those that couldn't think of anything worse than making a long flight, longer. But us Aussies are very used to long haul flights and for us flying B/class is all part of the trip.

With all that said, here's the trip plan:

Arrive into JFK (will probably just get a cab) on a Wednesday afternoon, we will have this afternoon and Thursday and Friday with our friends. We've been to NYC a few times so this will be experiencing their NY, meeting their grandchildren, catching up with their son (who I used to take to school and now works on Wall St) and a special dinner at Kings restaurant. We are staying at Hyatt Place Time Square.
On the Saturday we are collecting an RV in New Jersey and driving up into New England, again we have done parts of this so we are filling in some gaps if you like. Probably no further than Bar Harbor as we are back tracking to NYC for one night, to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Gardens. I told you there were lots of moving parts, but we have only just secured the tickets, so we are working around that date. We have joined a site that lets you stay for free at breweries and wineries o/night with an RV and will use this a few times on this trip. Notably the night of the concert, as we weren't sure what we would do with the RV as I'm sure we couldn't park it at MSG!!!!! (ps. that's a joke). So we have booked a night at a Brewery on Long Island, close to the train with a direct line to Penn Station. We will head into the city early afternoon have a nice dinner, thanks to a great recommendation on my other thread, see the show and get the train back. I'm sure that sounds really complicated but its a bucket list item to see Billy Joel and I think it will work??

We will then resume our RV drive for the next 9 days, heading towards Quebec. We will drop off the RV and have 5 more nights in NYC at, Town Place Suites Chelsea c/w kitchenette just doing what ever takes our mood. But it will involve eating drinking and walking.

We will then fly to San Francisco for two nights via Chicago, when we booked this flight we only had a couple of hours in Chicago. AA keep changing our flights and we currently have 5 hours, which is a real pain, but not much we can do about it. Our flight home is more straight forward, San Fran direct.

So thats it, I'm sure there will a mixed reaction to this trip but thats ok, I'm happy to hear the good the bad and the ugly.

ADx
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Old Apr 23rd, 2023, 05:17 AM
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Sounds like s good trip.
a few notes about RVs…

1. Some of the roads in NJ, NY, CT area don't allow large vehicles like RVs, trucks, or trailers due to narrow lanes, low bridges, and winding roads built for cars only. Beware of anything called a parkway. We dont call them by their full name but the list includes the Merrit, Tactic, Hutch, Bronx River, Sawmill, and Palisades. There is also the Garden State Parkway (GSP) but that may allow RVs. Not sure.

Some of those may allow RVs but others do not. You can avoid them by sticking to numbered roads.

2. Walmarts also allow overnight RV parking. Not as glamorous as a brewery or winery but its always an option in a pinch.

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Old Apr 23rd, 2023, 06:27 AM
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Are you sure that you can safely drive that large a vehicle on the"right" side of the highway? Don't think that you will save any money by renting an RV but you will have the convenience of a kitchen so that you can make some meals without going to restaurants constantly. Some tunnels in the northeast do not allow any propane tanks to go through them. Be sure to ask at the place where you rent the RV in New Jersey whether you can take it into Canada if you plan on going into Quebec. Make sure you are well covered with any insurances you might need.
If you really want to rent an RV, could you take a train to someplace north of NYC and rent there after the Billy Joel concert?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2023, 01:39 PM
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Sorry, I should have mentioned we have rented an RV in the USA several times. And have driven on the ‘right’ side many many times.

re hiring an rv after the concert…. We’ll have already had it for a week by then.

re Walmart parking, we were aware of that. On our last RV drive, out of Dallas for a month, visiting Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans etc, the one or two times we needed a quick stop i .e. Pull up lateish, leave early, we found some visitors centres and a couple of service centres. Walmarts always seemed to be very ‘unappealing’.

we love the freedom an RV gives. Once unpacked and a shop up we’re good to go. Typically we eat out once a day, either lunch or dinner. Then use the RV, it’s lovely to have your ‘own things’…. We typically start at Costco and get a couple of essentials….. wine glasses and pillows 😆
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Old Apr 23rd, 2023, 10:47 PM
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I like the way you think. If you have wine glasses and good pillows, you're well on your way to a good time!
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Old Apr 24th, 2023, 03:03 AM
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As to parking along the way, Cracker Barrel restaurants also let you park for the night and are mostly located close to the large highways. In Connecticut you can park at both of the casinos if you happen to be using I 395 to head up to Maine, they will not notice if you do not gamble. 95 to 395/290 to 495 to 95 from NJ to Maine avoids some of the cities that tend to be bottlenecks as well as some of the tolls on the way.

Some of the toll roads no longer have toll booths, but take photos of your plates and send a bill. I would guess the rv rental company will bill you extra if that happens,

Have a lovely trip.
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Old Apr 24th, 2023, 07:08 AM
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I'm glad you have the experience that you have with RV's and are happy to do it again. I don't understand why you are staying 5 more days in NYC after you drop off the RV in New Jersey.
Since you have some experience with trains, could you consider taking the Amtrak Lake Shore Limited from Penn station to Chicago? My last trip to NYC was weeks after 9/11/01 and I have no desire to return.
My last years trip involved planes, trains and automobiles. On the return from Harrisburg PA after turning in my rental car, I took the Amtrak Pennsylvanian Harrisburg to Pittsburgh connecting to the Capitol Limited to Chicago overnight. I was in Chicago for a couple hours before I took the "El" out to O'Hare where I got a flight to Sacramento via Denver. That night I got on the Coast Starlight back north to my home in central Oregon.
As for Costco, some of them have gas stations at the edge of their parking lots which is handy if you have someone go into the store while you are refueling. If you have the Costco membership card the price per gallon is usually less than the nearby competition.
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Old Apr 24th, 2023, 01:25 PM
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“I don't understand why you are staying 5 more days in NYC after you drop off the RV in New Jersey.”

because it’s NYC!!!?? So much to see and do. We love being somewhere that we don’t feel the need to race around to see the big ticket items. As we’ve done that…. Just eating local and wandering around. And realistically this will ‘probably’ be our last trip to NYC.
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Old Apr 24th, 2023, 04:01 PM
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Bravo, aussiedreamer. I'm looking forward to reading about your trip experiences. If it is if interest, the Morgan Library is very interesting and on my 2019 pre-covid visit had a super cafe. Two people could share!
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Old Apr 24th, 2023, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by TDudette
Bravo, aussiedreamer. I'm looking forward to reading about your trip experiences. If it is if interest, the Morgan Library is very interesting and on my 2019 pre-covid visit had a super cafe. Two people could share!
Thanks TDudette......hope you are well?
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Old Apr 24th, 2023, 06:39 PM
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I saw Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden about 15 years ago. It was a great show. This sounds like a wonderful trip.

I'm just curious, you can drop your rv in Canada? am I reading that correctly?
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Old Apr 24th, 2023, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by williamscb13
I saw Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden about 15 years ago. It was a great show. This sounds like a wonderful trip.

I'm just curious, you can drop your rv in Canada? am I reading that correctly?
hi. No we will be dropping back in NJ.
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Old Apr 25th, 2023, 10:16 AM
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Should have been: If it is OF interest...

I wrote pre-covid because I don't know whether/how the caf changed after covid. Knock on wood, I haven't had it, but thanks for your kind concern.
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