Day 18: Grand Cayman Island / New York
Today it’s time to say goodbye to great friends. I’ve had the trip of a lifetime. I’ve seen and done so many things outside my comfort zone. For the girl who doesn’t like the ocean, iguanas, turtles, stingrays or sand, many days have certainly been a challenge, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. And it’s all been made possible by wonderful friends.
We will definitely be meeting up again somewhere in their continuous journey, but we still can’t decide where for now – the possibilities are endless. It’s hard to believe that the next couple of weeks will not involve iguana counting or stopping for chickens to cross the road. The days and hours will certainly rev up a few notches from Cayman time. But I’m sure there’ll be a whole new set of challenges.
Like overcoming nerves. I’m not sure why but I’ve got an incredible set of nerves today, sitting like an open pit in the bottom of my stomach.
So I hop onto my JetBlue flight and head to the US of A. A country I definitely have never, ever wanted to visit. Though I have to say, I am actually just a teensy bit excited…just a little. First stop is New York! The Big Apple. A place that everyone seems to enjoy and everyone promises I will just love. So let’s see…
Despite my nerves the flight is fine apart from the middle aged couple seated next to me who have a penchant for snogging for just about the whole flight. Gross. It’s actually quite a cheery flight. Once we are all seated the hostess makes us sing. “When I say Jet, you say Blue”, “Jet”, “Blue”, for about ten minutes. And then, when the plane lands everyone claps – why is this? The flight wasn’t bumpy. What’s going on? Was there something going on during the flight (apart from snogging) that I didn’t know about? I think it may be a call to past times when flying was a new thing and you were so glad that your plane actually got up into the sky and then landed that it rather was worth a round of applause.
And a special note to the customs officer in the UK who scared me half to death with tales of needing a printed day to day itinerary to prove I should be let in to the US – I was only asked my purpose of visit. No need for the reams of paper I packed into my hand luggage. You sir, are just a Meany!
Leaving JFK airport is not a spectacular ride. But when you start to head into Manhattan, the sky is awash with millions of twinkling lights. You can see the Empire State and Chrysler buildings glistening against the skyline and it all looks very magical. But the lights here are nothing to what you see driving down Seventh Avenue through Times Square – whoa! Neon billboards scream their messages to you, there are signs for every Broadway show in town and there are people out everywhere.
Finally, I arrive at my newly renovated hotel, and it looks pretty swanky. Given all the people outside, I really should go out into the streets and have a look around, but I have a bit of a headache and I am so tired that I decide to dine in a the hotel downstairs, which was a mistake in itself, because I am seated next to a family of tone deaf people (a mother, father and what sounds like 20 young kids, though it’s only 3), who start to regail stories of growing up and which older sibling changed which young siblings dirty nappies, who broke what bones and who was sick everywhere. My head is now thumping twice as bad, so I leave the rest of my meal and head to my room to go straight to bed.
Sightseeing can wait till tomorrow.
DAILY IGUANA COUNT: 1 (in the mouth of a dog)