But what a long trip to get here. When you include the hour and a half stop in Dakar, Senegal, we were on the plane for eighteen and a half hours!
And I don't sleep well on an airplane. Simply can't get comfortable. Some day, wouldn't you like to try those big comfortable fully reclining seats they have in first class? I know I would!
Good thing they have great onboard entertainment systems now though. Each seat has a screen in front of it with a huge personal selection of movies, TV series, special shows and documentaries, and even video games. I watched three movies and a few series shows. It does make the time pass a little better.
And watching the "security" circus doing what they do is entertaining, although frustrating. So here we were in the departure lounge, already having gone through the metal detectors and scanners and x ray machines and pat downs. Figured we were ready to get on the plane, right? Nope.
They set up this impromptu looking table and made everyone go into the walkway and line up. Yep, 300 people or so. Where they made everyone take their shoes off and patted everyone down and opened carry on luggage. Sort of. They kind of half heartedly opened a zipper or two and peeked inside. It was a joke and a waste of time. I asked why they had to do this when we had already gone through security. They said "oh, this is the American security check". Never seen anything like it in all our days of flying.
Then, when we arrived in Dakar, Senegal at 3:00am, they changed crew and a few people got off the plane and a few people got on. Then, they said that everybody had to take all of their carry on luggage out of the overhead bins and place it on their lap so that they could check if the bins were empty. Then, nobody checked and they told us to put it all back!
I have no problem with airport security and the process to make things safe. But this stuff was a waste of time and didn't make any sense.
Finally arrived at New York City's JFK airport at around 8:05am, about a half hour behind schedule. Then, it was actually fairly quick through customs and all of that and we made our way to the "Airtrain" to get to the subway line, and one subway change to get to the lower east side of Manhattan.
Waiting for the subway train.
Not a bad cost to get into "the city". $5 each for the airtrain, which is a little pricey, but then $2.50 each for the long subway ride.
Our son Alex had come into the city on Friday evening to meet us here and spend some time with a friend who lives in the area. So we met up with Alex at the apartment. We were pretty tired, but seemed to get a second wind. It was a gorgeous day here, with a high of about 13C (56F). They've had a terrible winter, one of the worst in many years and so everybody was out enjoying the day.
The apartment we're staying in is right in the middle of Chinatown and so what better place to go out and get some food!
Alex, being funny with his big bowl of soup! Looks like he's wearing a crown with the wall hanging in the background. Too funny.
We stopped at a place that sells "pho"...a noodle soup with veggies and beef. Huge bowl, for $5.50 each.
Lots of seafood for sale in Chinatown.
You can buy pretty much any type of seafood here. Some stuff we didn't even know what it was!
Then we took Alex to the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. Along with everybody else!
Looking back at the skyline.
Saw one of these things come flying in. They sure make a lot of noise.
Freedom Tower, nearing completion.
Alex, in the financial district.
We had made plans with our couchsurfing friend Ike to come over for dinner. We had stayed with Ike last November before we left for South Africa, and we had left our heavier jackets and a pair of jeans with him. He brought our things over to us, and it was good to catch up with him and tell him about our trip. He's done a lot of traveling, but he's never been to Southern Africa, so now it's on his agenda.
Ruth, Ike, Alex, Kevin.
Slept like a log last night, but woke up early. Between the time changes, the lack of sleep, and then the hour of daylight savings time change overnight last night, our systems are a little messed up. But we don't seem to suffer much in the "jet lag" department, so we'll be back to normal pretty soon.
Busy day planned for today. We're doing a New York City food tour with Ahoy New York Tours and Tasting. Should be fun!