On the 31st October I had a moment of panic when I arrived to check in for my flight in Sydney and couldn’t do it at the self check in kiosk. When I presented myself at the Air New Zealand check-in desk the staff member said my passport expired in less than six months and I may not be able to board. After a panicky few seconds, I told her I have a NZ passport and I don’t need it to be more than six months to which she then read the rules for entry into USA and Canada and confirmed I was indeed right.
Strange I would’ve thought considering it is a popular destination she should’ve already known this, before panicking my butt off for a few seconds. Still all was well as I checked in, and headed to my gate to await departure.
Flight time was a total of 20 hours each way not including the layovers and USA immigration proved a breeze as I passed through quicker than I have anywhere else in the world including Australia and NZ. A far cry from when I landed at LAX six months ago an excruciating 2.5 hours of waiting and that was in the express line.
The only downside was when checking in for flights and passing through security checkpoints my crotch was literally on fire. The full body scanners that have you spread your legs and lift your hands above your head for some reason always highlighted my crotch as a problem area in bright yellow. Consequently I literally got felt up at every single checkpoint (except Sydney, they just made me walk through the scanner again). By the time I got to Montreal they didn’t even have to ask as I went with the flow having become a pro at this.
I’m just about back to normal from my trip to USA/Canada. It’s been five days and now onto day six. I can’t remember feeling this whacked out since returning from Hawaii four years ago. That took me almost two weeks of recovery and was in fairness my first ever long haul flight (a mere ten hours each way). Where as when I came back from San Francisco, LA and Vegas earlier this year I slept for 12 hours straight as soon as I got home and was good to go the very next day.
What was it about this last trip that made me so messed up. It could be that the time difference was so much greater being in New York or it could be because I used my own two feet alot of the time or maybe it was because once again I GOT SICK…Ugh!
Hostel accomodation in the first leg of my journey while good for my wallet did nothing for me getting a decent nights rest and I blame sharing a room with a very sick Australian woman for giving me a cold. Though she was lovely I really could’ve done with not having a cold this time round, still I managed to enjoy my holiday regardless.
I was much fitter this time too having lost a few kilos since my last USA trip. I threw caution to the wind, I explored, I enjoyed, and in turn was happily haggard by the end of the day. Walking over 10 kms a day will do that to you and I don’t exaggerate because I used google maps a lot and they would give me the kilometres for my trek.
I fell in lust with New York, I say this because San Francisco still has my heart. I adored Washington DC for it’s majestic beauty, Toronto took a while to warm to but warm up I did, and Ottawa was so beautiful it made my heart ache. Montreal was mostly a disappointment, though it is an ancient beauty, I’ll explain more in my reviews of my trip.
Budget wise, though I did take only carry-on I still managed to spend $1200 over my estimated budget. Most of it on stuff, like a new merino/possum wrap, some activewear and a new pair of runners all of which I managed to stuff in my already full carry on backpack. Best of all I got my first ever Pandora bracelet which I have been coveting for years. My hope being every new trip I take will result in a new charm for my bracelet from that destination!
Now it’s back to normality for a little while and I think 2.5 weeks was just enough time for me to enjoy my holiday but due to sickness by the last day I was ready to rest up and just be home. Next time I will make sure not to hit so many cities in such a short space of time. I only skimmed the very top of Ottawa and Washington DC and feel like for these two cities my visit was not anywhere long enough. Definitely a good excuse to return!
There you have a brief breakdown of a fantabulous trip. I will be going into more depth about each city so feel free to read on in the coming weeks!