What next…..a strip search!

I awake to seeing the statue of liberty at 6.30am from the balcony. We all pile off the boat for the New York Highlights trip. However there is a log jam at migration. All the kiosks apart from two are empty and the staff are struggling to get their computers working and so the masses pile up in the hall. Being part of the generation who likes to have their documents in paper form, we worry that our phones will run out of charge and the esta (visa)may not be found. After a very long wait we move forward but firstly we have our photo taken, then a right hand print, then a right hand thumb print and then the same for the left hand and thumb……whatever next. Fortunately we are waved through and make our way to the bus. Our guide says he does not have a microphone……not great for the hard of hearing!

I did say I was expecting skyscrapers……but so many and so high up. Plenty of work for window cleaners We head for ground zero and disembark in the freezing cold — the wind is so strong we can barely stand up. The new world trade centre towers above us and after a talk from the guide as we try to shelter from the wind, we retreat into the world trade centre hopefully to find the so called ‘rest rooms’. They are shut — not great for a bunch of elderly people who had a lot of coffee at breakfast. After about half an hour they open…….great relief all round. Fascinating tour round New York seeing all the familiar names like Broadway, Times Square, Manhattan etc.

Entertained in the evening by an amazing pianist from Norwich Katie Cooke. She explains her real love is classical music but it is hard to be a classical pianist as there a limited number of people who like classical music….so she likes to mix it up with more modern stuff and her fingers fly across the keys to mainly her own compositions.

We brave the intermediate bridge today…..and the formidable teacher who has played at world championships races through instructions. However a couple we sit with want to play social bridge and seem nice so problem solved. We meet them later and I believe they are a bit better than us so this may be interesting……..or a strain. Believe it or not they come from Cheltenham.

Another black and white ball tonight and we are Billy No Mates again tonight but as we did not turn up last night so maybe our neighbours have gone somewhere else.

We join an American couple for breakfast and I watch him gobble down the eggs benedict……this is two eggs on two pancakes drenched in hollandaise sauce and finished off with two large slices of Canadian bacon. Blimey…….and he isn’t one of the many who clearly have given up on any diet control.

Must go to the gym today.

We are now heading for the Caribbean and it is pouring with rain. Not quite what I expected.



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