Good day everyone!
I'm glad to find myself writing a trip report again for me to share. As some of you may know, I do Irish Dancing. Irish Dancing has made me do some really cool trips in the past 2 years. This time it took me to the World Irish Dance Championships in Philadelphia.
I started looking out for the tickets back on February, where the normal fare was around 500 USD on a flight to Philadelphia. As a stop was required, I thought that a better option would be to fly to New York and then take the Amtrak to Philly. Flights to New York were not that far in price as well. Finally Mexicana had a ticket outlet and the price for the roundtrip to New York was 210USD!!! The price of the ticket was unbelievable. 420USD for two tickets to NY was not something easy to get. After that we saw the the price for the roundtrip ticket in the Amtrak to Philadelphia was around 180 usd for both of us.
The day finally arrived and a great week in NY and Philly started. We had to arrive at the aiport at 4 in the morning. I'm physically unable to wake up at surreal hours of the morning so I better decided not to sleep the night before and just sleep in the plane. My mom thinks she needs to be in the airport 5 hours in advance so at the end we arrived 3:30 at the airport (zzz...). The check in counters were not opened so we had to wait for a while outside.
Mexicana changed it's image recently. I was not very fond of the new "Official Sea World airline" colors but what they did to the check-in counters was fantastic.
Mexicana's new check-in counters
Check in was super fast and the lady doing the job was very efficient ( even though she was dying to go home and sleep). We still had a couple of hours before going to the gate for boarding so we went to take breakfast ( if there was SOMETHING opened). Surprisingly everything was closed ( at 4:30 in the morning...of course). We took some time to change money until the food court opened.
The new ticket holders from Mexicana
We had breakfast and our assigned gate was in the domestic part of the terminal ( our flight had a stop in MTY
). We walked for 10 minutes until getting there and they wouldn't let us in because we were going on an international flight (great). The airport staff was apparently not organized and we had to call a Mexicana employee to explain security why we had to go through that gate. They finally let us in and waited in the deserted domestic terminal.
More people waiting
Our gate was finally announced on the speaker. To our surprise the gate was back in the international part of the terminal all the way to the 30's gates ( a 15 minute walk with an intermediate stop in security). I'm glad MEX
wants us to do some excercise once in a while but PLEASE not at 5 in the morning!
Depart: 6:00 /6:28 (Scheduled/Actual)
Arrive: 8:30 / 7:38(Scheduled/Actual)
Duration: 1h 10min
Equipment: Airbus A319
Seats: 14A and 14C
Seat pitch: OK...
Load: 60% (aprox)
Departure Runway: 5L
Arrival Runway: 11
Boarding was the normal chaos it is but fast enough as everyone in the flight just wanted to sit down and sleep.
A small meal was given by the lovely FA
's some 20 minutes after take off. As this was a small domestic flight, Mexicana offers you a small ( but very tasty) sandwich with the drink of your choice.
The flight went by really quick ( well I actually slept for the most part of it). An hour and 10 minutes later we were landing in Monterrey with a beautiful sunrise over the mountains surrounding the city.
This was the first time ever I've been to MTY
so I was thrilled with having to do a small stop there.
Is this a new terminal in MTY
? Looks really cool!
The Control Tower in MTY
, Part of OMA
airports in Mexico.
The stop in MTY
consisted of passengers with MTY
being the final destination being taken out of the plane first. Pax continuing to JFK
were to remain for a couple of minutes in the plane to then be taken to the terminal. This because authorities have to check the plane in order for it to continue its trip to USA ( or so they say). Monterrey's airport is lovely, the view to the tarmac is great and the space is well organized.
plane bound for DFW
Our gate with pax from MTY
waiting to board.
MTY - JFK
Depart: 8:15 /8:40 (Scheduled/Actual)
Arrive: 8:30 / 13:10(Scheduled/Actual)
Duration: 3h 45 min / 3h 29 min (Scheduled/Actual)
Equipment: Airbus A319
Seats: 14A and 14C
Seat pitch: OK...
Load: 95% (aprox)
Departure Runway: 11
Arrival Runway: 31R CAMRN4 Arrival
Our gate neighbours
Lot's of traffic in MTY
UPS plane @ MTY
Our taxi to rwy 11 was uneventful and quick. We had to wait until this Aeromexico 737 landed.
The flight was perfect. But i was starting to show signs of tiredness due to my decision of not sleeping the night before. I tried to stay awake to watch the Bolt movie but fell asleep eventually.
Bolt being showed at the screen ahead.
Two meal options were available: Chilaquiles and Scrambled eggs. My choice was the eggs ( which were not good AT ALL
My mom had the chilaquiles
The terrifying eggs
Starting descent with some spoiler action
Landed! Emirates and Air India in terminal 4
at terminal 7
My first sight of a Jet Airways plane!
Parking at JFK
's Terminal 8 with AA
Terminal 8 directory
Immigration was not fast, our bags were already taken of from the bag belt when we got to the baggage reclaim section of the airport. We had to meet some friends at Terminal's 1 Air Tran Station ( they flew with Aeromexico) so we could all go together to Penn Station. They were going straight to Manhattan, we were only doing a quick stop and take a train to Philadelphia.
View from the Air Train:
Terminal 7 with some Open Skies planes there
The Air Train took us to Jamaica Station from which we took the Long Island railroad to Penn Station. We spent an hour trying to figure out how to pay for all the transfer mania we had to go through at Jamaica Station. It was just too confusing and no one was willing to help us apparently. After some time we figured out and waited in the middle of freezing wind for the train to Penn Station.
Lady checking our tickets at the LIR
At Penn Station we bought ( after a very long line cuz there was no machines available) our tickets and had a small meal before taking our train to Philly. The last time I was in New York was around 13 years ago so I was shocked with the amount of people we found at the terminal. Finally we took the 4pm train to Philadelphia with stops in Newark, Trenton and finally Philadelphia.
Prudential center in Newark from the train
After sleeping for some moments we finally arrived at Philadeplhia's 32's? street station. I found the station to be quite classy, loved it.
Loved the style
Philly finally after being in MEX
, NY and EWR
We stayed at the Downtown Marriot in Philadelphia just infront the Reading Terminal Market, City Hall and a 10 minute walk from the Kimmel Center ( where the World Championship was being held).
My Philly experience:
Reading terminal market
An excellent place to taste the Philly's Cheesestake
The Kimmel Center
The Perelman Theatre
My competition was on Friday 10th and it was definately the best experience Irish Dance has given me through out the years. Out of 34 competitors I ended up in 25th. The result is not bad at all, I've been dancing for 5 years and I compited against the 34 best dancers in the world. We had competiors from USA, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, England, Australia, Hungary and me from Mexico. I danced against dancers from Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, plus dancers that have danced for around 20 years! Even though I was 4 days in Philadelphia, I had "no time" to sightsee the wonders this historic city has to offer. I spent 4 days locked in the Kimmel Center watching all the competitions lol.
On Saturday morning my mom and I said goodbye to 4 great days in Philadelphia and headed to NYC to enjoy the city. We went straight to the train station to take the 1:30 pm train to Penn Station. As I told you before, I haven't been to NYC for around 12+years so I was definatly excited to re-discover what the Big Apple had to offer me being a 23 year old guy.
The train to NY
We were welcomed to NY with lots of rain, so getting a cab without getting wet was definately an experience. Then we went to our hotel in Lexington Av. with 48th street: The Radisson.
The room at the Radisson, very comfortable but a bit packed.
After leaving the bags we hit the road fast. I went to a pharmacy to buy a small guide of NY as I wasn't sure were I wanted to start with NY.
My favorite pizza in the world! ( of course there are betters but i really enjoy this one lol)
My first sight of the Empire State Building
Lower Manhattan seen from the top of the Empire State
Jersey City in the background
After an hour of so trying to get down from the Empire State went to dinner with my mom at the hotel restaurant and went alone to visit Times Square at night.
Closest Metro Station from my hotel
Lots of people in the metro at 11pm
Finally Times Square
The next day was Easter Sunday. Our plan was to visit St. Patrick's Cathedral and go to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. We also had the nice plus that the Easter parade was going on in the Fifth Ave. Quite a sight! Lots of people with fantastic hats and dressed with crazy clothes.
Brooklyn Bridge made of Metrocads
Empire State hat
Me being really happy to be there
New Amsterdam Theatre
Definately a great show!
After watching Mary Poppins my mom wanted to go to eat to her favorite restaurant in NY: Carmines. It is definately one of the best italian restaurants i've been into.
More NY sights of the day
Staten Island Ferry at 1 in the morning
The next day we went to visit a friend that went to live to NY. It was nice to finally see her after two years and to finally see what her life is now. Her home in Tribeca it's super nice.
Some views from her apartment:
My friend living the New York life
Irish Hunger Memorial
World Financial Center
View of lower Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry
Statue of Liberty
The Sphere from the former WTC
After spending an excellent day with my mom and friend, it was finally time to go home as our flight departed at 1:10 am. We left the hotel around 8:30 and arrived JFK
in 25 minutes.
Mexicana departs Terminal 8 in JFK
Arriving Terminal 8
All the flights departing Terminal 8
Security was a breeze as the terminal was almost empty, we then went to the food court to grab dinner before our flight.
One World promotional stand
More terminal 8
Depart: 00:50 /1:14 (Scheduled/Actual)
Arrive: 05:35 / 06:27(Scheduled/Actual)
Duration: 4h 45 min / 5h 12 min (Scheduled/Actual)
Equipment: Airbus A319
Seat pitch: OK...
Load: 95% (aprox)
Departure Runway: 22R
Arrival Runway: 05R
Boarding was quite an interesting experience. The guys controlling the gate tunnel ( sorry forgot the proper name for it) had a problem and the tunnel moved upwards pushing the door of the aircraft a bit up. The whole plane was waiting in line to get in but it took a 40 minute or so inspection to see that the plane was organized to fly. For a moment I thought we were going to stay another night in NY ( which I didn't mind at all hehe).
Fixing the problem
No Wi-fi allowed
A great airline
That's the best picture i could take of it
Small but really tasty dinner/breakfast
Arriving in Mexico City
The return leg was pretty much uneventful as I slept for the most time. All I can say is I had a wonderful time in Philly and NY and Mexicana did everything to make the trip as good as it could be.
Hope you enjoyed my Trip Report. Comments are very much welcomed.