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patback87
post Nov 13 2007, 07:53 AM
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So last December I concluded that I wanted to travel a lot more, so I booked a round trip flight to NYC for January. I had figured out that flying to NYC was not only fairly cheap, but a short flight and that I could fly in early in the morning and come back late a night leaving me time to explore the city, but without getting a hotel room. The plan sounded great, until the night before, Chicago's mild winter was about to change to Chicago's real winter, on the threat of a storm American Airlines canceled my early flight and moved me to a later flight, which was fine. So I got to the airport only to sit there for several hours to at one point there was talk our flight would be cancelled, our crew was stuck in Toronto, we had a plane, but no one to fly it. They managed to find a crew and we were on our way, we got just outside of NYC and we started to circle, NYC was experiencing mild, but very foggy weather. The pilot told us they had shut down the runways and that it would be a few minutes before we would land. That fog was the thickest I have ever landed in, I swear that I didn't see the ground until the tires hit, I turned to the girl sitting next to me and I was like "Wow, that was some thick fog" and we both did that neverous "I think we almost died" laugh. Anyway I had planned on using mass transit to get around and I did except coming from the airport because I was trying to make up time. So I got to see Times Square, a little bit of Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and Niketown New York (oh yea I forgot to mention elsewhere I'm currently employed at Niketown Chicago). So I went back to the airport only to sit until 11:30PM when they told us that if we didn't board quickly the flight could be cancelled, due some FAA rules about after midnight. Got home around 3:30AM.

Trip 2. Once agian I had opened it up to my friends that I was traveling to NYC and they were welcome to join, no one went, but me, which is cool I'm an independent person. So hoping for better luck and weather I went on my spring break in March, things started out better. My flight in got in like 15 mins early and I caught the bus to the subway very quickly. I headed stright for the statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, after going through those I headed for City Hall, which I thought was closer to Wall St. than it was and I also walked the wrong direction. Anyway once I figured things I out I ended up at Ground Zero first and then I found Wall St. after that I had about 2 hours left and decided to go to the Empire State Building, got through that and then went back to Niketown New York, to exchange the shirt I had bought my dad on my last trip, it was my joke that that's why I went back to NYC. Then I went to the airport to see the words the every traveler hates to see "canceled" my flight back had been canceled because Chicago had a very nasty spring storm that had basically backed up and one point shut down the airports in Chicago, I was pretty much screwed my flight was the last flight out and I tried frantically to find a flight out that night, but no luck. I did however switch to ATA's 6AM flight from my American Airlines 9:20AM flight (which I learned later didn't take off until 11:30AM), so with no where to stay I slept in LaGuardia, which was an interesting experience to say the least. Then I woke up around 4:30AM to get my new boarding pass and got in the security line, I got up to the lady that was checking ID and tickets and she whips out a highlighter and highlights all these different things, so I knew I was going to get extra security. I did nothing like a good pat down at 5AM, needless to say I was clean (of anything security would stop me for, not shower wise). Got back to Chicago and sat on the tarmac because Chicago had had another storm earlier that morning which had shut down departures so there where no gates, and an hour later we were finally deboarded and I was on my home fought my Chicago Card (because I lost my U-Pass for the CTA somewhere between Chicago and NYC), I would discover the next time I went to work the my Chicago Card was no good, it came at a bad time since I had lost my U-Pass too. Anyway that's all for now I will recount my NYC trip 3 and Washington D.C. trip later.


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Mata
post Nov 13 2007, 06:17 PM
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The moral of this story surely is that it would probably be far easier to stay there for a few days? biggrin.gif

What did you think of any of the places that you visited. Somehow I don't think I could go past Ground Zero without feeling anything. What was it like?


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patback87
post Nov 13 2007, 11:17 PM
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Ground Zero is a very moving experience, especially now that it's been several years and you see how much destruction was really caused. I was also kind of a little angry at the fact that people around there are just trying to make money off the tragedy, I mean it doesn't suprise me at all, but still. I had one guy trying to shove a book of pictures in my hand which I told him repeatedly I didn't want to buy. Also one of the cooler things has been taken down over the past months which was at the ground level entrance to the PATH and Subway station there, there were pictures taken after of peoples reaction, I will have to post those here when I have more time.


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Mata
post Nov 13 2007, 11:36 PM
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To use a popular phrase from the time, which always struck me as a strange thing to be proud about:

"America: Open For Business"

It sort of summarised one of the problems with America - that people perceive it as being only interested in money. When London was bombed the slogan was more along the lines of "London: we're still going to go to the pub." Our large consumption of alcohol isn't something to be admired either, but it somehow seems healthier than selling souvenirs of terrorist attacks... I don't know how I feel about it really.


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Daria
post Nov 14 2007, 09:52 AM
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You mean those "7 M1llion Londoners"/ "We will not be beaten" ones?

They're an interesting way of trying to create solidarity and it surprises me that (as far as I know) there was no campaign to try and form support, solidarity and pride between and in New York/ America. Perhaps because, for the most part, Americans are more patriotic than those in London/ England?


Your travels seem pretty fun! I wish I had more time and money to go fly about the place- although I know that intercontinental travel in the US is ridiculously cheap compared to the same distances in mainland Europe.


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Witless
post Nov 14 2007, 10:37 AM
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QUOTE (Daria @ Nov 14 2007, 09:52 AM) *
Your travels seem pretty fun! I wish I had more time and money to go fly about the place- although I know that intercontinental travel in the US is ridiculously cheap compared to the same distances in mainland Europe.


Cost me more for flights in the states that Europe. Most expensive flight I have EVER taken within europe cost me 30, and I felt pretty annoyed with that. Most flights I take come in at around 20 and to Sweden was 12 (all return) It's actually more expensive to get the train to the airport than the flight costs most of the time (unless you book the train 2 weeks in advance).

People would get around so much more if they really planned these things ahead of time I think.


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Daria
post Nov 15 2007, 10:21 AM
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Wow- I'll use you as my travel agent next time I want to go anywhere! tongue.gif
I was also taking into consideration the exchange rate for flights in the US.
I might start planning some trips about the place, actually. Or I could just plan one, then save the money I was going to spend on it so I can go to Iceland next year (flights are 80 one way!)


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patback87
post Nov 15 2007, 10:24 PM
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Yea the exchange on Euro to the dollar right now is like almost $1.50 I believe, I reading about how the rest of the US's economy is in the shitter but our sales in Europe are up because US goods are cheaper than European goods.


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Daria
post Nov 16 2007, 10:01 AM
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I was actually thinking of the exchange between GBP and USD (about $2.05 to 1).
I'm not one of those people who has been buying American goods... nope >_> Definitely not webcomic t-shirts...


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Mata
post Nov 16 2007, 10:07 AM
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Yes, the US economy is very screwed because of the very weak dollar.

Seven years ago, when I started trading online, one pound sterling (1) would buy US$1.50. Today 1 will buy $2.04. That's a huge change in value!

US goods were already cheaper, as a general rule, because we have higher taxes in the UK and Europe (for things like free healthcare). With the terrible performance of the dollar, for Europeans shopping in US stores it's like everything is half price!


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patback87
post Nov 17 2007, 02:41 AM
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Yea I see it at work all the time, Europeans buying hundreds of dollars worth of product, I asked someone once about it, and they said that even factoring the ticket to get to America shopping in America was still cheaper.


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