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Trip report - Last day - The End

Durham, United...
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Trip report - Last day - The End

We woke up later than planned so while Andy was packing I went to the cash machine. Still no joy. I found a branch of HSBC (my bank) but they couldn’t help me since my account is overseas. They did kindly let me use their phone to call HSBC in the UK though. After speaking to the call centre there they informed me my card had been stopped due to unusual activity. Wonderful. I do love my bank. Apparently if you inform them you’re going to be using your card to withdraw cash in New York they still think its ‘unusual’ when you do so! They assured me the block would be lifted and to give it ten minutes so I went back to the hotel, finished packing an checked out.

Off we went back down to Broadway again for some last minute shopping, another stop at an ATM and guess what – still no joy!! Back into another branch of HSBC who let me use the phone again. The call centre assured me it would be lifted this time so off we went again to continue shopping. Twenty minutes later we’re at another ATM – still no money! We’re starting to panic now as we had no travellers cheques left and about $20 left. Not even enough to get to the airport.

Back into another branch of HSBC to use the phone AGAIN! This time I made the call centre hang on while Andy checked the ATM – nope, still giving nothing up. After being passed around for a while finally someone managed to lift the block and we had cash!

By this time we were going to be late for lunch at Nougatine with nywhiz so after a quick change we jumped into a cab and made it there only 15 mins late (she knows what we’re like for timekeeping!)

Lunch there was very nice, an absolute bargain too at $24 for three courses. An affordable way to eat at Jean Georges. The service was a bit patchy and our waitress didn’t know much about the wine we ordered but I’d go back – the food was great. I tried my very first cucumber martini there too…… it was interesting……

After a leisurely lunch and a good catch up with nywhiz we left to make our way back to RCA to get our car to the airport. We managed to pick up a few more souvenirs (after failing to withdraw more cash at an ATM, calling HSBC, hanging on and them lifting the block – again).

Pictures at

nyc07day5.shutterfly.com/action/pictures…

Our car was on time but again, that’s the only good point. A different car company to the one we’d got to Staten Island a few days previously but the same in many ways. I’m not saying Newark is a doddle to find but surely when you have found it the best course of action is not to drive past it three times? After a little impromptu tour of Elizabeth, New Jersey Andy ended up directing the driver and we eventually made it. Again, the cost of the car was different to what had been quoted, only by $5 but after the detour he wasn’t getting it.

The flight home was great, the food was really nice and the entertainment was fab. I could’ve stayed on that plane longer.

Unfortunately we arrived at 6.30am instead of 5.30am and so missed our flight from Gatwick back to Newcastle. After making enquiries made at the BA desk we were told they wouldn’t transfer the flights because it was Continental that was late, not BA and the next available flight was at 8pm that night and would cost us £200.

We weighed up our options and decided not to go with that (!!) so got the bus into London and the National Express back up to Newcastle. Ten hours later we were finally home! 24 hours after we’d set off from RCA. It was actually quicker to fly across the pond than it was to get home from London!

Summary:

Highlight of the trip: Our private room at the Rainbow Grill.

Low point: HSBC

New cocktails tried: 2

Stop smoking attempts: 1

Successful stop smoking attempts: 0

Pounds gained: More than our baggage weighed

Pounds spent: I daren’t look.

Now I just need to find some cheap flights for the next trip!

Durham
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1. Re: Trip report - Last day - The End

I'm working on dates and flights too! Glad you had a good time.

Just an idea (although you've probably done it already). our flight from JFK with AA was delayed which made us miss our bus to Nottingham and we had to fork out an extra £60 for new tickets as the tickets weren't transferable - wrote to AA and after a couple of reminder emails they sent me a lovely letter apologising stating that although they weren't responsible for our connecting transport as a goodwill gesture they'd give us a $300 travel voucher - which I was quite pleased with cause I didn't expect to get anything!

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Trip report - Last day - The End

I wondered reading whether the hour plane delay had to do with the time change. But if that's not the case, agree with Lou you should write to Continental and see what they'll do for you.

Now which car service did you use??? We should make sure not to recommend them.

I too had mixed feelings about the lunch at Nougatine.

Pros-good value, not stuffy, not too fancy, good way to get a "taste" of a fancy restaurant. ($24.95 3 course lunch) It's not a bad place for a solo diner to have a nice lunch. There were a number of people eating at the bar.

Cons-somewhat amateurish service, spare modern setting that doesn't feel so special, limited food choices (only 2 options for each course), miniscule ladies room!

I thought it was the perfect spot for our lunch though. Convenient location, nice way to end your trip, upscale without being too fancy. Really great to see you!

Durham, United...
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3. Re: Trip report - Last day - The End

Hey Lou, I've been trying to put in a comment to Continental but their website is playing up. You've encouraged me by the story of getting a $300 voucher though!

whiz, it wasn't the time difference, we sat on the tarmac for an hour at Newark waiting for the bags to be loaded. It always happens to us, I don't know why I'm even suprised anymore!

I don't know the name of the car company, we'd been planning on getting the NJ transit back to Newark but decided at the last moment to book a car - we just left it to RCA and didn't see a name on it anywhere.

You described lunch very well, I agree about their only being 2 choices on the menu, you were kind of stuck but the food that came out was very nice. You never did find out where that wine was from did you?

Durham, United...
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4. Re: Trip report - Last day - The End

Ange, thank you for a fabulous trip report. I've enjoyed reading it so much today that it's a good job my boss is off otherwise I'd be getting bollocked for not doing any work. I've now got a few more things to add to my never ending list!!

What a total bummer about your bank and your return flight though. As nywhizz says let us know the car company you used so we can boycot it.

Brooklyn, NY
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5. Re: Trip report - Last day - The End

Great reports Ange...I only have one question....WHEN ARE YOU COMING BACK ?

Durham, United...
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6. Re: Trip report - Last day - The End

Thanks puddleduck, I wish I knew the name of the car company too. Worse things happen at sea, its just annoying more than anything. (And you don't want to be sitting in the back of a car with my husband when catching a plane is involved - seriously!)

Lotuspath. Thank you! I will be back, my trusting husband is letting me come back for a weekend alone (minus credit card obviously!) I'm scouring websites at the moment and although I feel I've now done winter (at least a few days anyway!) I'd like to come back in the fall. May is looking pretty good though.... for cheapness anyway.

Durham
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7. Re: Trip report - Last day - The End

ange I'm hoping to do fall too......

Durham, United...
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8. Re: Trip report - Last day - The End

Lou, have you seen the BA prices for May?

Brooklyn, NY
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9. Re: Trip report - Last day - The End

Be careful....you ladies might develop a thick New York accent and then no one will understand you back home.

Dublin
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10. Re: Trip report - Last day - The End

You may need to change from HSBC to a bank that likes to say yes.