Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas in NYC - the arrival

We made it! And, the trip was rather non-eventful, which is a good thing. We managed to wake ourselves up in the middle of the night (3AM), which at this time of year feels pretty much the same as waking up at 8AM, so not a big deal. We got down to Billund airport with no fuss, got ourselves checked in and actually got on the first plane, on time! The reason this is an accomplishment is simply because the last time that the two of us attempted to go to the states, together, was a complete and total disaster. You may refer back to Thanksgiving 2006 for the full account of that trip!!

I did get a nice surprise in Amsterdam and found out that big DK sticker in my passport has it's advantages! Because I have that sticker in my US passport, I am now able to go to the EU passport line rather than the ALL passport line - woohoo! If you haven't been there, the EU line is much, much faster, so today I am thankful for my pretty sticker in an entirely new way.

We sat in Amsterdam for a short while, awaiting the boarding of the US flight. The way they do these checkin procedures for the US Flights mean that you are stuck in a small space with far too many people for far too long. I fear that in a few years, the check-in will actually take longer than the flight itself.

The flight to New York left about 30 minutes late, but that wasn't a big deal. The big deal came when we reached the shores of the US and had to land that big bird at Newark. I have landed hundreds of times in that airport but I never experienced the landing we had yesterday. Holy air-sickness, batman! Every turn we made on approach had a nice air bubble drop to go with it so the plane was bouncing all over the place. The stewards were running up and down the aisles handing out air-sickness bags, passengers were running for the restrooms at a time when getting out of your seat is NOT a good idea, etc. I was never so thankful as when those wheels touched that tarmac. There was actual applause by some (those who still had the energy left to applaud!) and a big sigh of relief from the rest of us. Just before we hit the ground I had to laugh at the flight attendant who suddenly made the announcement.. "If you are in the restroom, you must stay there at this time for the landing - do not attempt to return to your seat." Those poor people!

On the flipside of my DK sticker, being married to me has it's advantages for Ole, as he can now proceed through immigration in the US, with me, in the US citizen line. Again, much, MUCH faster, and needless to say, he thinks that is very cool.

We grabbed our rental car and headed into NYC. When I lived in nearby Weehawken, NJ, for 10 years, the toll at the Lincoln tunnel was $4. It is now a whopping $8. I'm still in shock over that one!

We had booked the whole trip through expedia and we are thrilled by the hotel we chose. We are at the Hilton Garden Inn on 8th Ave and this place rocks. Very clean, very huge rooms (by NYC standards) and an awesome internet connection - woohoo! What more could a girl want!

So, today, we will explore this city - it's a wee bit cold out there, but we'll figure out a way to survive.
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