First time in New York

Ed takes his first bite of the Big Apple

You can see a full gallery of pictures from this trip here.

My first visit to New York City was in February of 2015. You might think that the depths of winter is not a great time to do any sort of sight-seeing and you would be right. My boss and I were in Burlington, MA., for several weeks of work and there’s not an awful lot to do on a weekend around there – save for going into Boston which each of us had already done.
We hatched a plan to drive down to NYC for the weekend, where I would get my first ‘bite’ of The Big Apple.

As it goes, the drive to New York City isn’t too bad from Burlington. We left a little after the rush hour, catching just the tail end of it, but after about three and a half hours we were parked in Queens, where we left the car and got an Uber into the city proper.

NYC was kind of a mythical place, for someone like me who had never been. I was a huge fan of Friends, not to mention having seen the place on countless films over the years. Driving towards the famous skyline was a real thrill, and I think I was like a little kid when we were in the Uber driving amongst the towering behemoths of high rises and sky scrapers.
Despite having visited the United States often enough for the trip to now be ‘normal’, going into NYC was like hitting the Reset button – everything was new and incredible again.

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The Heathrow Hustle

After five U.S. visits in eight months, Ed lays down some common-sense tips and tricks

I’m standing on Platform 2 of the Heathrow Express / Connect station, 35 minutes after being stood onboard Virgin Atlantic flight VS004.

Heathrow gets a lot of flak. One of the worse airports in the world, and so on. However I feel that’s only the case if you’re not a U.K. or EU citizen.

10 minutes after the jet bridge arrived, I was whisking myself through Passport Control (courtesy of the Electronic Passports that obviate the requirement for a person to check it). The longest wait came at baggage claim – 15 minutes from claiming my spot by the front of the carousel to grabbing my bag and making for the exit.

After that it was a short power walk to Heathrow Express.

It sounds easy, and this is consistent with my experiences at Terminal 3 when flying with Virgin over the last few years.

(Ah perfect, minute 42 and we’re now departing on the Heathrow Express.)

Having said all of this, there are tricks you must employ to get through Heathrow fast, and I can’t speak for non-EU passport holders.

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