On Friday morning, Pete and I woke up early and full of excitement to explore New York City after what was not a very glamorous arrival.
Our flight was delayed by 20 minutes when we were leaving from London as they had forgotten to leave the air con on in the plane whilst it waited for us, and apparently the temperature inside was 37' celsius. When we were finally all on and ready to go, it was still pretty warm.
Now a 20 minute delay is not really something to cause much of a fuss about, but it did cost us in the arrivals hall on the other side. Two other planes managed to disembark just ahead of us at JFK, and we queued for TWO HOURS just to get through immigration! The queue was soo long and soo slow that we would sit down for a few minutes then have to stand up and move again.
This also interfered with the taxi that Pete had arranged to collect us....as we were due to land at 10:30pm, and eventually wondered out bleary eyed at closer to 2 am. The taxi ride was an adventure in itself, and I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with the UK and SA in their laws regarding no talking on mobile phones whilst driving...
We were proper tourists on day one, and bought tickets for the hop on/off bus. Our only set plan for the day was lunch at a restaurant that Pete had said very nonchalantly earlier in the week that he had booked.
We got off to visit the 9/11 Memorial which is still under construction.
And then went to the High Line, which is a Park that has been created on the old railway track.
I loved the High Line and really couldn't understand why Pete had felt that he needed to book us a restaurant when we knew that there were going to be so many cute little cafe's and bar's up there.
I really didn't feel like going to look for a restaurant on the street level, and asked Pete if we could just skip the booking and eat up there. He was very relaxed about it all and said that he thought I would really like where he had booked.
We found the restaurant, The Park, and I had to admit that it looked great.
We walked in, and the hostess asked if we had a booking. Pete said yes and gave his name and then the hostess said, "Table for 4."
I then corrected her and said no it was just the two of us.
Pete looked around and said "two, maybe four, are the others here yet?"
"No," she answered, "they aren't."
I was 100% confused and surprised at who could be joining us!
I had had absolutely no idea up to that point that anyone else was meeting us in NYC!
I nervously perused the menu whilst constantly asking Pete who was coming, and he continuously refused to tell me, as he casually ordered a beer.
I was an anxious excited mess.
When I found out that Pete was taking me to New York for my 30th Birthday, I really hoped I would be able to meet up with my brother Rich and his girlfriend Katie, whom I've never met. The Yacht that they work on, had been docked in NYC for weeks and left only days before we arrived, and even more annoyingly was due back again 3 days after we were leaving.
I was really disappointed with the way that it all had worked out, but Rich and Katie had said that they had tried everything and were unable to get off of the boat to come and meet up with us.
And so you can imagine my tearful delight when a few minutes later they walked in!
They had managed to arrange time off by chance, and had organised with Pete that they would be waiting for us at the restaurant! Unfortunately though, their flight was delayed and so we got there first.
I last saw Rich for a few days over our Wedding last year, and before that I had last seen for 3 days in Paris in April 2011.
It was SO wonderful to see him and to meet Katie who also writes a blog! Read here on her blog Eye Heart Travel, in which she documents her travels and adventures as a stewardess on a super yacht, where she describes their mission to surprise me!
After a delicious lunch, we walked back up to the High Line to walk towards the Hudson river for drinks.
Thank you Pete, Rich and Katie for the best surprise ever! Honestly until the hostess announced that the table was booked for four people, I had ABSOLUTELY no idea!
It was so incredibly special having you guys there for the weekend too.
More NYC to adventures to come, obviously.
Hope that you all had a lovely weekend too:)
What did you get up to?