Friday, December 13, 2013

New England

Following our week in New York, we caught a train to Boston and then hired a car and drove around the New England region for a week, seeing all the leaves change colour as we went.  The NE region is beautiful and especially at that time of year.

We started in Boston and drove to Portland, Maine as our first stop.  No trees changing colour there, barely saw any trees at all.  Next stop was North Conway, New Hampshire.  The motherload.

The first tree we saw with such amazing colour! Right in the middle of town, actually in someone's front yard.

Saco River, just outside North Conway, in the White Mountains.

Not sure what this stream was called but a fair bit of climbing up and down rocks was required to get to it. Totally worth it in my book.

Willey Pond, in Crawford Notch State Park NH. The boy maintains the hot dogs here were excellent - he ate three.

Lake Chocorua, NH.

Train line the Conway Scenic Railway travels on in NH. We tried to get tickets for the train weeks before but they were sold out. We stumbled on the train line by accident and saw the train go past anyway, so I don't think we missed out on anything in particular :)

Historic Deerfield. We also had a night in Hanover but it poured with rain the whole time so no photos.

One final burst of colour in Deerfield.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The trip details

We flew to New York via LA on Virgin Australia, they were excellent to travel with and with a direct flight you can't complain.  We then flew Delta from LA to New York, I would never do that again.  Hopeless.  But we got there in one piece and our luggage arrived too so I guess we can't complain too much.

In New York we stayed at the Langham Place Fifth Avenue, which I would highly recommend.  On Fifth Avenue, one block away from the Empire State Building, it was in an excellent location and the staff and hotel services were top notch.  There was also a Michelin-starred restaurant in the hotel  - Ai Fiori - which was brilliant and also served breakfast! 

Of course we went shopping on Fifth Avenue, walked up to Central Park, visited the Museum of Natural History, ate dinner at Picholine (I highly recommend this restaurant), had brunch at Friend of a Farmer in Gramercy Park (which is where I want to live if I ever move to NYC), went on a helicopter flight around the city  (AWESOME), went to both decks of the Empire State Building, visited the Intrepid Museum, saw Grand Central Station (how all stations should look, in my opinion), ate cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, and generally had an awesome time.

We caught a train to Boston, which was a great way to see the countryside without the trauma of driving on the wrong side of the road.  In Boston we stayed at the Fairmont Battery Wharf, which was really nice.  After our drive around the New England region, we came back to Boston for a couple of days.  Visited Little Italy, Harvard, MIT, did a tour around the city, ate at some nice places, the names of which I don't remember now, and generally had a lovely time.

We flew with Virgin America back to LA, they were excellent.  MUCH better than Delta.  The Virgin lounge in LAX leaves a lot to be desired, but hey it's a place to sit while you wait for your flight.  Then we had a very pleasant overnight flight with Virgin Australia back to Melbourne.  I would definitely fly with them again.

Oh, and we did a flight over the Lake District of New Hampshire in this bi-plane, which I would highly recommend if you ever get the chance.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New York

It's probably time that I told you all about our recent trip to New York.  We visited in late September and spent a week there, seeing the sights, meeting up with Facebook friends, shopping, and generally having a wonderful time.  Here are a few highlights.

The view from our hotel window at sunset... that's the Flatiron Building in the middle.

Financial District and the Freedom Tower, with Statue of Liberty in the foreground. Taken from a helicopter which was an AWESOME way to see the city.

Central Park.

The city from the Empire State Building at dusk. It's touristy but totally worth it. And if you buy the express tickets you never have to wait in line. My kind of deal!

The Chrysler Building. Yes, we saw all the iconic things.

We went to the Intrepid Museum, which was really good. They have lots of planes, Concorde, the space shuttle Enterprise, USS Growler submarine, and the aircraft carrier Intrepid. Very interesting and well worth the visit.