Probably of all the trips I made, this was by far the faster. I never slept so much in an airplane. I saw no landing or takeoff, and only woke up virtually with Gordon calling me, saying that it’s time. I was so tired that even forgot to turn off my cell phone… I flew all the time with it on, and to those of you who have never done it, let me already share that nothing happens. There’s no signal!!!! In fact, the only thing that happens is that it drains your battery. I had just fully charged the phone before leaving Los Angeles and within hours, with no use, it was all gone.
We arrived at the La Guardia airport. And what a bad impression! It’s so old! It doesn’t even look like NY!!!!
Outside there were probably about 50 people in the taxi line. And here comes the first surprise of the trip: “we are not getting a taxi”, Gordon says. “I booked a private driver”. What??? Oh, yeah… and it gets better. The guy is just outside in a limo.
The thing is that the limousine service was cheaper than the taxi!!!! You do not have to stand in line, they wait for you at the arrival area without charging for their time and you arrive in Manhattan luxuriously. Not to mention that most of the times you can still get a $5 discount (there are ads on flight magazines, and you need to mention the code when booking).
The price is agreed on beforehand, and does not increase if there are traffic jams. And I was so glad we did it. The traffic was chaotic in Manhattan. It took 25 minutes from the airport to the island, and then another 25 to drive a distance that would normally take 5 min. Several streets were closed for the bomb squad. What a warm welcome… Only later I read in the paper that someone found an Iraqi chemical artifact in the UN building, which had been there for years and no one had noticed.
But anyways, the overall first impression in this trip was the awful traffic jam. And the certainty that cars do not suit Manhattan.