This is the emotional email I sent to friends, at about 3am on the first night of my New York trip… stuck in New Jersey. Sopranos, you can keep New Jersey, I’ll take New York.
I have never had a worse start to a trip! I didn’t really sleep on the plane, so it was 6am UK time by the time I arrived and I was a wreck.
My ‘airport’ hotel was 30 mins away, made even longer by the fact the driver missed the turn, which was maybe a good thing. The hotel was in the middle of nowhere, basically a truck stop in an industrial area and the driver said that it would take me forever to get into NY tomorrow. So he drove me all the way back and I rang a few places and scored a room for another $76… It looked fine from the road… Then he missed the turn AGAIN adding even more time on to the trip. I felt like I was in a nightmare, he also wouldn’t shut up, wittering on about everything and anything – reading maps, looking at guide books etc all while driving 70 miles an hour on the motorway.
We finally pull up and I pay him and he thinks the change is his tip. I have to tell him to give me my change, me saying thank you wasn’t a ‘here you go have some money’. I know you tip in NY but 40%, I don’t think so.
I check in and only when my driver has left I realise its not really a hotel, more a motel. I have to walk outside with all my cases in the rain. It’s total Norman Bates styley. My room is the furtherest away and then I notice a man walking behind me. It’s wet and cold and 1am. I’m in the end unit, which is in a very long line of units, with scrubland behind it. I’m now convinced his main purpose in life is to rape, murder and dismember my body. My key isn’t working to get into the unit and he’s getting closer. It finally works, with him about 30 metres away and I yank my bag in and double lock the door.
It looked much scarier at 1am, windy, cold and raining
The room hasn’t really been cleaned. There is rubbish in here. NONE of the lights work, except the bathroom ones, which is maybe a blessing, so I can’t see if anything is crawling around. After my horrible experience outside I just wanted lights and the TV on, having everything pitch black made life seem very scary! I think the sheets are clean, but they have that crawly sensation so I can’t be 100%.
I am wearing my clothes, just in case someone busts into the room. Plus I’m cold as there is only a thin cheap blanket on the bed so I’ve had to get the towels from the bathroom and layer them over me.
I was so tired and overwrought I burst into tears and couldn’t sleep, hearing any little noise woke me up straight away. There is a lot riding on this trip and I need to be feeling fresh. I don’t feel particularly fighting fit.
As with all melodramatic events, everything seemed much more bearable in the cold light of day. I met a very nice old man in the lobby while eating breakfast (check out the healthy breakfast below of waffles, white bread, eggs and DOUGHNUTS!) and he helped me on to the bus with all my bags and then off again at the other end, giving me directions and advice. Now my New York adventure could really begin!
Mmm, nice view from the motel
Healthy and nutritious start to the day