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New York trip:

New York trip:

 

Prologue:

 

††††††††††† My sister is a New York Yankees fan and really wanted to go to New York City. My family and I decided to go at the end of April. Like my trip out west earlier this year, my mom booked the trip on her accumulated Aeroplan points. I would fly home a day sooner as not to conflict with work, though I had to rebook a few weeks before the trip and take a flight leaving two hours sooner.

 

††††††††††† Also, while in New York, I would take a side trip to Philadelphia for two purposes. The first was to ride Amtrakís Acela Express high speed train. The second was to ride the rebuilt PCCs in service in Philadelphia. This trip might also be the last trip my whole family would go on together.

 

April 23, 2007:

 

††††††††††† I got up around 8:00 am and had breakfast while my family did the same. We had a taxi coming at 9:00 am. My mom had requested a van because the four of us had two pieces of luggage, each.

 

††††††††††† Just before 9:00, we waited outside our house. A taxi showed up, but it was a regular cab; not a van! My mom was a bit annoyed with that, especially since our baggage wouldnít all fit. The driver radioed dispatch and said a van would be at our house in two minutes. A few minutes later, a van arrived and we loaded our stuff and headed to the airport.

 

††††††††††† We took the 407 Express Toll Road because it was faster. From the cab, I caught a glimpse of YRT 30 foot Orion 5 #9401. YRTís only 30 foot Orion 5. We soon arrived at Pearson International Airport Terminal 1. This would be the first time I had flown into the U.S. from the new terminal, since the previous times were from Terminal 3 or the now closed old Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

 

††††††††††† We checked in for our flight. My mom noted there was practically no line up at the check in counter. 9:30 on a Monday morning is a good time to check in as there are no lines.We went to clear U.S. customs. The customs inspection was painless and the person who interviewed my family was nowhere near as anal as the woman who interviewed me on Amtrakís Maple Leaf the last time I went into the U.S. We then checked our bags.

 

††††††††††† Next, we went through regular airport security. My mom, my sister, and I got through with no problem, even though we had to take our shoes off. When my dad went through the metal detector, it beeped. After my dad set it off a couple more times, an agent held a scanner to him and found his Ipod in his pocket. After that, there was no problem.

 

††††††††††† We then headed to our gate and found there was no plane, (we were early.) We watched the news on a nearby screen and there was a story of a TTC subway maintenance worker being killed which seriously affected subway service. At the time, I thought a worker had been hit by a subway train.

 

††††††††††† Meanwhile, I looked over to the domestic gates at Terminal 1 and saw Air Canadaís 65th anniversary plane which was the same plane my friend Mark and I had flown to Vancouver on back in January. I donít know, it seems that everything Iíve flown Air Canada recently, I at least see that plane!

 

 

††††††††††† Soon, our plane taxied to the gate. It was an Embraer 175. I then photographed it.

 

 

Soon, it was time to board. I took my assigned window seat, (yeah, Air Canada didnít screw up again like last time!) The plane left on time. We taxied past the now closed terminal 2 that will be demolished in the future. I took a picture of it.

 

The now closed Terminal 2.

 

As we prepared to take off, I noticed we were taking off on the same runway as Air France flight 358 landed on when it crashed in Toronto on August 2, 2005. I filmed the take off and as we climbed out of Toronto. From the plane, I watched the ground below and tried to guess what I was looking at.

 

Like the planes Mark and I flew on back in January, this plane had a personal entertainment system. I watched a couple shows but since the flight was about 60-90 minutes, they were shut off when I was 2/3 through the second program I was watching.

 

From the plane, I watched as we made several turns. As we landed at LaGuardia Airport, I filmed the landing. After we got off the runway, we stopped on the tarmac for a couple minutes waiting for a plane to vacate the gate we were to park at. Soon, we parked at the gate and after I got off, I took one more picture of the plane.

 

 

My family went to the baggage claim to get our baggage. We were able to retrieve our luggage in a timely manner. After, we headed out to get a cab. While waiting, I saw an ex GO Transit 1400 series coach. I could tell because of the caution sticker on the back and the yield sign on the rear.

 

We got a van which took us to the Ramada New Yorker Hotel. The hotel is one block away from Penn Station, two blocks away from the Empire State Building, and close to the subway.

 

We went to check in and found that our room was not ready. This reminded me of how in Montreal, when I got there, my familyís room also wasnít ready.

 

We were able to store our bags and headed out to find somewhere to have lunch. Meanwhile, I took a picture of the Empire State Building.

 

 

We eventually had lunch at a McDonaldís a few blocks south of the hotel. During lunch, a homeless man entered the restaurant asking for money. No one gave him some. After lunch, we walked back to the hotel. I noticed that New York is filled with people; and many of them are jaywalkers!

 

We got back to the hotel and retrieved our stored bags. We soon headed up to the room. We then decided to walk over to Times Square which was about eight blocks away. Along the way, my family stopped at a stand where a vendor was selling sunglasses. While my family waited, a man asked if the lenses on the sunglasses were polarized. I said, ďI donít know, I donít work here!Ē

 

We then left and soon arrived at Times Square. We first went into the Toys R Us at Times Square. That store was incredible. It had three floors of toys as well as a Ferris wheel! I took a picture of that.

 

 

While I was looking around, another customer mistook me for an employee, even though I wasnít dressed the same as the employees! (Sheesh, thatís the second time it happened today)! Fortunately, that would be the last time for the rest of the trip.

 

 

After my family and I left the toy store, we visited the M&Mís store and the Hersheyís store. We then walked back to the hotel.

 

We then caught a cab to Pier 83 for the Circle Line harbor tours. We were taking the evening tour. We bought our tickets and lined up. I then took a picture of the boat we were going to ride.

 

 

I was wondering if there would be anything to eat on this boat, but when we boarded, I saw a snack bar, so I realized I wasnít going to starve. From the boat, I could see Light Rail Vehicles running across the river in Newark, New Jersey.

 

The boat soon departed and the tour guide pointed out various piers. One pier he pointed out was Pier 54, the Pier in which the Lusitania departed from on its last voyage on May 1, 1915. Apparently, the Titanic was also supposed to dock at the pier, but we all know it never happened!

 

We passed near where the twin towers of the World Trade Centre used to stand. I took a few photos from the boat.

 

 

The boat took us near the Statue of Liberty, under the Brooklyn Bridge and a couple other bridges. I bought dinner from the snack bar on the boat. We then turned around and went near the Statue of Liberty again. I took some photos, but they were either blurry or too dark.

 

The boat went near Ellis Island before we returned to the dock. On the way, we saw the Empire State building and flashes from cameras of tourists taking photos from the observation deck. As we neared the dock, we saw a tour boat by another company surrounded by Police boats. It had lost its power and was dead in the water. We soon docked and my family and I went back to the hotel.

 

My family went out for dinner, but since I had eaten on the boat, I stayed behind. We eventually called it a night.

 

Click here for part 2: New York trip part 2.htm