At the Purcari Winery in the village of Purcari, Moldova. Photo taken December 7, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Purcari Winery, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Let the Adventure Begin!

Son in law Justin drove us to Halifax airport yesterday morning. It was just easier for daughter Lindsey to stay behind with the young ones. Made it to Halifax airport with lots of time to spare for our 12:39pm departure to Newark, New Jersey.

We checked in and got our boarding passes. Figured we may as well go through security and wait in the boarding area. Oddly, U.S. customs has a pre screening area in Halifax airport. This means that you actually go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Halifax, once you cleared security. That way you don't have to do it in Newark.

But this was a strange experience...

The U.S. border guard was the most congenial border guard we had ever met. I actually told him that, and he said "shhhh, we're all supposed to be a**holes. You'll ruin my image"! Too funny. It wasn't busy and we stood there and talked to him for a bit. Nice guy, and proof that you can do your job and do it in a pleasant manner.

Waiting in Halifax airport.

Our United airlines flight boarded and left ahead of schedule! They told us that there was a strong head wind and that they wanted to get a head start. It was a small regional jet, seating about 55 people. One stewardess and she did a fine job. 

There were a couple of empty seats and we didn't know which route we would be flying past Manhattan, so Ruth went and took an empty window seat on the left side of the plane. She managed to get a few decent pictures with our little Olympus camera. 

Tough to get good pics out of an airplane window.

Landed at about 1:39pm New York time. Nice that we didn't have to go through customs, and we hadn't checked any bags. Yes, we're traveling very light considering we're on a 4 month trip! 

Made our way to the Newark Airtrain, which is a free ride to the Newark Airport rail station. Then, we paid $12.50 each to take the NJ Transit train to New York Penn Station. We could have done the ride for $5 each cheaper by taking three different public buses, but sometimes you're better off taking the easy route!

We had just missed one train, and had a half hour wait for the next one. It was actually around 3:00pm by the time we got on the train. But it was a nice day, and the temperature was 66F (19C) so we sat in the sun waiting for the train.

Ruth, with our Heys ePac17 rolling backpacks. Yes, that's our luggage for this 4 month trip!

The train was busy, and we stood for the half hour journey into Manhattan. Figured our way around the busy terminal, and found the number 1 subway line that heads uptown. The only "unlimited" transit pass that they sell is a $30 pass that's valid for one week. We decided on the pay as you go Metrocard that you fill up as you need. Hopefully we'll spend less than the $60 it would have cost for two unlimited passes!

Inside the New York City Subway!

We got off the subway at 157th St in Washington Heights, just north of Harlem. A five minute walk from there brought us to a nice old apartment building beside the Hudson River where we met our couchsurfing host Ike.

We got to know each other over a glass of wine, and then Ike suggested we go to Chinatown for dinner. We mentioned the "gluten free" thing, and we ended up at a Vietnamese restaurant.

Mmmm.

We ate at the Nha Trang Vietnamese restaurant.

Dinner was delicious. It was a nice evening, and Ike took us for a little walking tour of the area. Lots of people out and about on a beautiful Saturday night in "the city".

Busy streets at the entrance to Little Italy.

The Christmas store is open for business!

Walked through Washington Square Park.

It was 10:30pm by the time we made it back to the apartment. Ike got us set up on the fold out bed in his living room, and we were pretty much out like a light!

It's the New York City marathon today, and 40,000 runners will take to the streets this morning. We're going to do lots of walking today, and hopefully we'll get some great pics of the city for you!

Kevin, Ruth, Cameron, Lindsey, Justin, Sadie.
Thanks for having us Lindsey! We miss you already!

21 comments:

  1. It IS tough to take pictures out an airplane window, but that's a fine picture. I'm ashamed to admit that, in all the times we've flow *through* Newark, we've never had the chance to go into New York city.
    Once in a while it is refreshing to have a pleasant Border Guard. I can't see why a person needs to be an A**hole to do any job, really.

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    1. Yes, we were surprised at how well that picture turned out, mind you Kevin had to do a little tweaking to it. I think you would love New York City, so next time you are in the area you will have to plan to make time for a visit, it's a very interesting city.

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  2. A great start to this new adventure. I just cannot imagine how you can travel for four months with such a small amount of stuff. You guys sure do have this down to a science.

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    1. We are still working on having it down to a science but we are definitely getting there. The most important thing is not to bring lots of clothes. We have tried to pick lightweight clothing that can all mix and match.

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  3. Don't know if they use swahili in Namibia, doubt they do but nonetheless... Safari njema!

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    1. Thank you heyduke50, we will do our best too!

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  4. You both look so happy to be on the brink of yet another adventure. Glad your first night in NYC was so great.

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    1. Yes, we sure are happy and I think that this will be one of our biggest adventures yet!

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  5. Oh my - you sure do travel light - I don't know how you do it! Enjoy NYC! Neat family photo at the end, too!

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    1. We will have to take pictures of what we have packed so that everyone has an idea of how we do it.

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  6. I know how you're doing it. You only have the clothes on your back plus one change of underwear, and your backpacks have your laptop and cameras. ;)

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    1. You are close Judy, except that we do have a little more clothing than that but not much more. :-)

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  7. Looks like you are going to have to take pictures of unpacking your suitcases since none of us can figure out how you are going to stay so long on so little. That is just a beautiful picture of you with your daughter's family.

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    1. I think that perhaps we will have to take pictures of all our "stuff". It will make for a good blog post. We love that picture of the family as well.

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  8. Sounds like a nice visit there in NY city, enjoy your short time there and keep travelling safe.

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    1. So far we are having a great visit here!

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  9. I'm so excited for you two. You're off to a great adventure (as if you haven't been on a constant adventure for God knows how long!) Seriously, I'm checking every single day for updates on your voyage, adventure, endeavor, good times! Hugs.

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    1. Thank you Mary-Pat we are excited too! We are loving it here in New York City and just trying to take in as much as we can.

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  10. hello amigosss. deceos my best to get everything as planned. will live an unforgettable experience. Enjoy it so that when we meet we share gladly receive a warm hug and paco oty. good trip

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