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aussiedreamer Sep 1st, 2009 10:08 PM

The plan is all but complete, 4 weeks to go tell me what you think.
After much help on this site (wish I could name all the wonderful people who’ve helped me) I’ve pretty much finished planning our trip. Please have a read and let me know you think. Some of you will recognise some things that you have suggested to me, thanks again, it is so helpful.

We are a 46yr old couple and this is our 3rd trip to the states.

Depart Brisbane for LAX Oct 1st. B/class booked with points. We have an 8 hour layover but will be hoping to get an earlier flight to NYC if possible on arrival. If we can’t we will be arriving at about 1am on Tues 2nd. (I’ve got a confirmed late check in) Staying 5 nights at Tudor Hotel UN booked on with a winning bid of $208pn Inc tax.

Want to see some shows, go to the Met, still to book a Tenement Museum tour and have reservations at Quest for Sunday brunch with (may change that yet). I’ve printed lots of restaurant suggestions and will take them all with me. Want to go back to Ground Zero St Pauls Century 21 and would love to eat at Les Halles. We ‘will’ walk the Brooklyn Bridge!

I have just booked the special Amtrak fare I found for NYC to Boston ($49) for our trip to Boston Oct 6. Staying one night Sheraton Boston, winning bid on $120pn inc tax. As part of DH birthday gift (its today) I have booked a new Chevy Camaro for pick up Oct 7 drop off Oct 13. First stop Wells for one night, staying at the Holiday Guest House. Then we will drive to North Conway for 2 nights at the Green Mt Hotel & Resort. Next stop Stowe for 3 nights over the Columbus Day long weekend. Finishing up back in Boston to drop car and one night at Marriot Cambridge winning bid on for $109.46pn Inc tax.

We hope to see some lovely scenery, historic towns, fall colours, covered bridges, eat great seafood & local apples and just ‘go with the flow’. (& maybe some outlet shopping).

Then it’s the train back to NYC for one night (still to book a room) we have tickets for A Steady Rain (so excited) and then the next day we fly to LA for the beginning of our West Coast adventure.

So what do you think? I’m pretty happy with it, thanks to all of you.

dfrostnh Sep 2nd, 2009 02:50 AM

wow, you've done a great job on everything. I'm looking forward to Ginger Gold apples at our local NH farmstand. DS and family are spending this weekend in the White Mountains with their new pop-up camper. Don't be surprised to see local seafood inland. Did you take a look a the Great Vermont Corn Maze in Danville VT? It's good exercise. We spent a couple of hours before taking the emergency exit. It's funny when you keep passing the same people going the opposite way. We ate at the Miss Lyndon Diner. Saw some good looking fried clams but I don't think we tried them. I hope to visit the Tenement Museum in late September. Also going on a Chelsea Market tour with friends. We loved Boston's North End culinary tour and DH and I went on the Chinatown tour earlier this year.
You are going to have a great time!

sassy_cat Sep 2nd, 2009 03:50 AM

dfrostnh, I'm also a fan of Ginger Gold apples :)
aussiedreamer, it sounds good to me too apart from the 8hr layover in LAX (I hope you can get an earlier connection). Good idea to be out of Boston over Columbus weekend. Will you take the Duck tour? You can book in advance online.

owlwoman Sep 2nd, 2009 06:11 AM

Sounds like a great plan, the Wells Diner in Maine is a great place to try local food (their lobster pie is amazing!).

I've heard the brunch at Ouest is very good, we've only eaten dinner there. Try to snag a reservation at Eleven Madison before you leave, it's a really incredible meal (for a splurge).

That's great about A Steady Rain, we have tickets for November and am very psyched to see it!

We just stayed at the Sheraton Boston a couple of weeks ago on our way back to NY from Maine, it's in a great location with lots of restaurants and shops within walking distance. We had dinner at a really good Indian restaurant - Mela, which was really reasonable ($45 for two people, app, soup, two entries plus tandoori, desert and tea).

We'll be in Stratton over Columbus Day, the fall foliage this year should be spectacular, especially after all the rain this summer.

If you need any more advice, let us know!

bardo1 Sep 2nd, 2009 08:37 AM

Looks fine to me. One quibble, however..

Why Les Halles?? It's not all that...

starrs Sep 2nd, 2009 08:55 AM

Sounds like a great trip!

We had an unplanned overnight in Wells, and I stopped at the nearby bookstore. I found some books that I collected and mentioned that I had read the obit of a nearby author. He asked if I were a fan...and then disappeared for a bit. He returned with books from the author's own study. She invited him in a few weeks before she died. I bought some of her own titles and books owned by her with inscriptions to her. It was such a thrill! I'm very fond of Wells :-)

Can't wait to see what NYC hotel you pick!

aussiedreamer Sep 2nd, 2009 12:31 PM

thanks guys for the vote of confidence. Its all because of the great advice here. We will have a look at the Maze, can't wait for the apples I'm actually not a big fan, weird I know, but DH LOVES apples. Les Halles just looked like something we would enjoy, lots of choices from what I can tell.

As for which hotel I will "pick" I am hoping to win one on priceline BUT I've been bidding over the last week and so far no go.

You've really proved to me that lots of planning and questions (as long as you actually take the advice on board) really makes for a great trip. Now I need to spend a bit of time 'tweeking' the West Coast.

aussiedreamer Sep 2nd, 2009 12:55 PM

(thought that last post would get removed quickly, thanks editors :-) )

Gwendolynn Sep 2nd, 2009 03:09 PM

Since you're staying in the Tudor City area... check out Convivio restaurant in Tudor City. Good southern Italian... interesting atmosphere. (45 Tudor City Place... between 42nd and 43rd.)

starrs Sep 2nd, 2009 03:50 PM

Wonder what the heck it was....

aussie, are you set with the bidding process for Priceline? Do you want suggestions on that?

ac291 Sep 2nd, 2009 04:43 PM

aussie - sounds like a great trip! id love to visit Boston one day and all the way upto Maine - that will be our next trip!
we are off in 8days time! Sydney to NY for 2wks of exploring - cant wait!!

did you prebook Tenament? im having trouble getting into their tour section to book a tour?! weird

aussiedreamer Sep 2nd, 2009 07:25 PM

ac291 I've been having trouble too, thinking I may ring if thats an option.

hi again starrs, nah I think I've done it enough to keep trying, my last unsuccessful was $150usd, which is a worry. Not sure how high to go before I just look for specials. I've been going up in $5 incriments.

Gwendolyn thanks, its one of the ones I have printed off. Nice to hear someone else suggest it too. and we love Italian.

starrs Sep 2nd, 2009 07:29 PM

Okay. The closer you get to the date, the more likely you will get a successful bid. They may have not released the rooms yet.

Wait a minute! You're going to be there in October? That's a big convention month in NYC. I STRONGLY encourage you to book a room that you can cancel IF you get a Priceline room. Hotel rates are higher in October than one would expect.

starrs Sep 2nd, 2009 07:32 PM

Yep. I checked my favorite moderate hotel that I can usually get around $100 and it's $199 for the first week of October.

I don't want to be an alarmist, but I'd book something NOW that you can cancel later. You may not have any success with Priceline in October. Truly. I'm serious. Please believe me :-)

aussiedreamer Sep 2nd, 2009 07:48 PM

Thanks starrs I always do believe you ('cept maybe about Wicket ;-) )

Which is your favorite mod hotel............?????/

aussiedreamer Sep 2nd, 2009 07:49 PM

oops of course that should' ve read Wicked!!

Sounds like my first stop in NYC at the Tudor Hotel UN, was a decent win then. Hopefully one night only may make it easier?

starrs Sep 2nd, 2009 08:25 PM

La Quinta Inn
17 West 32nd Street
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 1-212-736-1600

Nothing fancy, but just fine. Clean. Free breakfast. Near Empire State Bldg, Madison Square Garden, Macy's at Herald Square. Rooftop bar. Small "business center" to print out airline and show tickets. Subway at the corner. Usually GREAT rates.

Be careful about Wicked now! ;)

aussiedreamer Sep 2nd, 2009 09:29 PM

Thanks I'll have a look, at this stage $199 looks ok.

only kidding I too loved Wicked

(albeit only the Aussie version, which was very sad, as the very popular aussie actor who was playing the Wizard, died. I was glad I saw him as the Wizard, taking nothing away from the high profile actor who is now the Wizard. It was huge news here in Australia)

starrs Sep 3rd, 2009 04:35 AM

I think I'd like the location more than your first location - if you are planning to use the subway that is. It looks like you will have 2 long blocks to get to a station. I like "short" blocks better than "long" blocks, but the interior looks VERY nice and you got it for about 1/2 price, so it is a deal.

Enjoy your trip! I've enjoyed reading your planning posts.

dfrostnh Sep 3rd, 2009 08:32 AM

all the more Ginger Gold apples for me and sassy_cat! If you're lucky you will go thru an area where cider is being made. DH grew up on an apple orchard and the smell makes him swoon. But even the smell of a lot of fresh apples in an old barn is sweet. I didn't like apples so much until I went on a diet and now an apple and a cheese stick is my favorite mid-morning snack.

Abigail06 Sep 3rd, 2009 02:31 PM

We've been to the Tenement Museum and thought it was very interesting and compelling. If you are in that area, you might want to get gelato at:

Laboratoria Del Gelato
95 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002-3112
(212) 343-9922‎

aussiedreamer Sep 3rd, 2009 03:17 PM

lovely thanks. I still can't get to the tickets site on the net, will have to ring them.
Doesn't look like I'm going to manage a winning bid this time. I've come across Skyline Hotel 10th Av between 49th & 50th st's. Gets decent reviews on , showing $219 for a basic room, we really only need a bed this time. Anyone have any thoughts on hotel or location?

azzure Sep 3rd, 2009 03:22 PM

Another hotel suggestion: Hampton Inn Empire State Building on 35 Street near Herald Square. I got a GREAT rate on this through TravelZoo. New, clean, well-located, good breakfast.

BTW, I just went to the Tenement Museum the morning I wished to take a tour and had no problem getting on the tour I wanted. Got there when it opened. Great gift shop, too.

aussiedreamer Sep 3rd, 2009 04:22 PM

Thanks azzure, we would actually like to 'just turn up' too as we aren't real sure what day we will go. So may just try...

I will check out Hampton Inn now.

aussiedreamer Sep 5th, 2009 02:38 PM

Hi starrs & azzure, I just 'won' the Millenium Plaza UN for $196+tax. Pretty happy with that, I was going to book the 3* Skyline for $219+tax just to secure something, so I'm over the moon with my 4* and it gets great reviews on YAY

Now I just have to book a couple of shows in Vegas and we are good to go. :-)

travelbuff Sep 5th, 2009 03:23 PM

Two things to add to your post.

Try The Ace Hotel for your second stay in Manhattan, close to lots of restaurants and close to Penn Station a few block walk.

Second The Tudor Hotel, unless it has been greatly rennovated is the (smallest) hotels rooms I have EVER SEEN. You can shower, sleep in the bed and use the toilet all at the same time. Two people in the room is going to be streching the walls literally. Just a bit of FYI.

mrkindallas Sep 5th, 2009 04:17 PM

Sounds like a great trip...Just wanted to mention one thing...You stated that you reserved a Camaro. Unless you go through an expensive specialty rental car company, the reservation is usually for a Camaro "or similar." If they don't have a Camaro available, you could wind up with something else - possibly an upgrade at no additional cost - but the upgrade from Camaro is probably to some type of SUV or something else nothing like a Camaro. If the actual car model is extremely important, you might want to call the rental car agency in advance and explain its importance. If they have a limited number of Camaros available, hopefully they will hold one for you. On the other hand, you could get lucky and get the Camaro with no additional effort.

aussiedreamer Sep 5th, 2009 10:17 PM

hi mrkindallas, yes I did go through an 'expensive specialty rental car company' and have a confirmed Camaro. Needless to say DH is very excited.

divineMissM Sep 5th, 2009 10:45 PM

Note that if insurances were not included in your rental car quote, you'll need them since you're a non-citizen, and they can add up to between $30 and $40 per DAY.

aussiedreamer Sep 6th, 2009 12:14 AM

I had LDW insurance included and my travel ins' will cover the rest. I did my home work, promise :-)

nelsonian Sep 6th, 2009 01:01 AM

Hi Aussiedreamer i have been following your trip planning and taking notes of the suggestions. It sure was sad about Rob Guest's death, the cast of Wicked in Aussie would have been devastated. The majority of us New Zealander's were shocked also about his sudden death.

Have a great trip. WIll look forward to your trip reports.

Bokhara2 Sep 6th, 2009 05:32 PM

Hi Aussiedreamer,

If you get stuck for a hotel, try the Affinia Gardens (64th St & 3rd Avenue)I stayed there for about 10 days in with two out of town breaks in April, and couldn't fault them. Good sized rooms (especially by NY standard) and well located. The rooms are nicer than the entrance, lobby and hallways suggest, and have kitchens.

Someone else asked about discount shopping, and I thought I should tell you about Macy's & Bloomingdale's discount cards for travellers. Take your passport (or drivers licence) to their Customer Service Departments and they'll give you a crd for 11% (I think) discount. Not applicable to cosmetics or perfumes (go to Sephora for those), but useful for other stuff. The Met Museum of Art has an annexe of its gift shop on the mezzanine level at Macys. The one at the Met is wonderful - I always buy my 'take homes' there. Their basement sales are worth a look, too. There is a discount voucher (20% I think) with your entrance ticket.

Bokhara2 Sep 6th, 2009 05:38 PM

Correction: Affinia Gardens ... 63rd - between 2nd & 3rd Avs.
Subway at 59th & Lexington is 5 mins walk away. As is Bloomingdales ! Good restaurant (Da Vino?) just around the corner. I got an excellent deal -$169, and then an upgrade to 1 BR suite for the same rate.

aussiedreamer Sep 6th, 2009 06:12 PM

Thanks for all the great tips bokhara2. You may have overlooked my above post, I have secured the Milleneum Plaza Un, so we are set for hotels. Thanks for the reminder re the disc card we can get.

MichelleY Sep 28th, 2009 06:53 PM

Now I know why I missed your final plan posting ..... I was in NYC Aug. 31 - Sept. 6. Have a great trip.

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