December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays for a start, Merry Christmas and everything that comes along with it. This isn’t a post about those kinda holidays. This is a post announcing to the world (that read this blog, so about 3 of you I think) about my San Francisco / New York plans for March of 2011 (please read “twenty eleven”, not “two thousand and eleven”)

As I’ve blogged before, I’ve decided to use my Free JetBlue ticket I won in NYC on their 10th Birthday back in March of this year, to jet to San Francisco. Well this weekend I’m nearly booked up with everything.

Flights from Manchester to JFK (and back) are booked for the 2nd (and the 10th) March. I go straight to SF on what I’m calling a “hellish day of travelling” and it’s already a few months away, hang on, let me explain

Flight leaves Manchester at 10am, they recommend 3 hours for checkin, so 07:00 to get there for, and that’s an hour and 15 minutes away from my house, so leave my house at 05.45, and that means getting up at 05:15. Bear in mind, that my destinations are 5 and 8 hours behind UK time, means it is 0:15 in NYC, 21:15 in San Francisco (on the 1st March still).

I’ll arrive at JFK at 13:00 NYC time (obviously) which is 10:00 in SF (and 18:00 where I started). My flight leaves JFK at 18.55 19:15 (so it’s now 23:55 00:15 in the UK) and arrives in SF at 22:50 23:00 so by this point it is 06:50 07:00 in the UK, and about 25 hours 45 minutes 26 hours since I last saw a bed.

Now, obviously this isn’t the most direct route to San Francisco from Manchester I could take, I could have gotten on the same flight from Manchester to JFK, and changed straight away, and got into SFO about 19:00 which would have cost considerably more, I wouldn’t have used my free jetblue flight, and only saved myself about 4 hours in total, and it would have been a tight connection and knowing Delta, I would have missed it and it all fuck up. Thankfully doing it this way, gives me time to relax in the wonder of Terminal 5 at JFK, have some lunch, watch some planes come and go, and have a drink of a couple of overpriced poor quality american beers.

One problem I have, is that I don’t sleep well on planes, so with all that travelling, getting to my hotel late, and checking in, a quick shower, beer, and then crash out by about midnight SFO time, I should sleep about 10 hours solid. I must set at least 3 alarms, starting at 9.30 in the morning, because I may, may, just oversleep. I’m staying at a rather nice chic (I think) hotel just off Union Square in San Fran, and the only real thing I have planned for the Thursday when I get there, is to head down to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I’m a member of the NYC MoMA, so I will be making comparisons, and drawing to a conclusion as to which has the better collection of art. What with Warhol, and Pollock at NYC, it’s going to be tough for SF to come close, but I’ll keep my mind open. Other things I’ll probably do, is a bit of shopping in SF, wander aimlessly, and grab some beer.

I’m undecided what else I should do in SF, especially as I’ve only got 3 days. I just have to go and get literally hundreds of photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, from as many angles as I possibly can, and also, I think it’ll be worth heading to the Golden Gate Park. A stupid thing (especially for March), will be to visit the ocean, in both cities, because I think it’d be rather fun to visit both the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean within a few days of each other. Sad, yes, and I’ll probably think better of it, when the weather isn’t cooperative.

So, SF until Sunday morning, and then an 11.00 flight out of SFO to JFK, hitting NYC at about 19.30. Checkin in thankfully is only 90 minutes before, so grab coffee, and a breakfast, pack and leave the hotel by 9am for the half hour trip through to the airport.

So, that bit is all booked, and I have some plans. What I don’t have booked though, is my hotel for NYC. I have a couple of choices. Do I go with the rather basic, but styled as a Boutique hotel called the GEM in SoHo (erm, Lower East Side, but good marketing there!). Do I splash out with a bit of luxury, and stay at the Hotel on Rivington. Or do I just play it safe, and stay in Williamsburg, at the Hotel Le Jolie, where I’ve stayed for the past 3 trips to NYC. I have been to NYC 14 times already, and stayed in only 6 different Hotels, with the Cosmopolitan Hotel in TriBeCa being the most frequent. I just think it’s about time I change hotels, as I love the LES, SoHo, and the Village, and think there is plenty there for me to explore, and easy links to great bars in Brooklyn that I’ll keep going back to. Is it worth the extra cash for luxury, or shall I go with the cheapest hotel out of the bunch. Surprisingly, right now the GEM is working out cheapest on a cancellable rate, the Le Jolie in mid table, and Hotel on Rivington at the top. I have other choices, that I could stay in a different area of Brooklyn, but for my only 4 night stay in NYC (shorter than usual) I think it is ideal to explore a new area.

I know I’m waffling, but I’m trying to make sense of it all. The GEM Hotel have promised me a room NOT in the basement on twitter, which is a good thing, so at least they’re socially aware, and also have an iPad at reception one can play around with (though I have my own, I won’t need theirs, I just think that’s kinda cool). I know I get an upgrade free on a standard room with the Hotel Le Jolie, as I’ve stayed there a few times, and I’ll get a room with a Manhattan view for repeat custom, and a cheap upgrade to a king room,  but it’s still nowt special.

Blah! I’m off to watch a film or something and STOP thinking about my hotel for NYC. I’ve got PLENTY of time.


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