After six months, it hasn’t really sunk in that today is our last day. Apart from suddenly needing to worry about the weight of the bags, packing when we get up in the morning is nothing new. I am SO looking forward to not having to live out of a suitcase. Anyway, we had made such plans for our last day, but reality caught up with us a little. Fitting all of our stuff into our various bags took a while, I struggled to fit everything in, even though I had taken things out of the suitcase. When we were eventually packed, showered and ready to go, we woke Reed and went for breakfast (and all important wi-fi) with him and Heli. Luckily the nice bagel place next to Starbucks also had wi-fi so we were spared yet another Starbucks visit.

Times Square

After a brief trip back to the apartment to drop off the laptop we headed out to Times Square. Our first stop was Western Union, where we had been told that we could check the balance on our travel money cards. We couldn’t and Liz had to spend quite a bit of money calling the customer service line in the UK (and getting cut off several times!) in order to find out how much she had left on her personal card, since she had to use it up before we left. On to Times Square in search of the perfect gift for Lizzie’s brother and a final photo op! We headed straight for “Lids” a shop that sells and personalises baseball caps. After choosing a cap and what personalisation she wanted Liz paid for the hat, and we went off to kill half an hour while it was done. Cue another Starbucks visit, this time to attempt online check in. Needless to say, with the amount of people logging on to Starbucks’ free wifi, this was not possible, and we decided to check in at the airport. After a brief stop to buy the ubiquitous “I heart NY” t shirt we headed back to Lids, but much to our disappointment we found that they couldn’t make the cap for copyright reasons, so Liz was given a refund (after they tried to sell her the cap that she no longer wanted without the personalisation!). The only advantage to this ridiculous waste of time was that she had used the remaining money on her travel money card, plus her credit card to pay for the hat, but they refunded the full amount to her credit card.

Hershey's Store in Times Square

Unfortunately, the time that all this had taken meant that we had to curtail our plans for the afternoon and head back to Reed’s to pick up our stuff, we had planned to get summertime pictures of Brooklyn Bridge, but simply did not have enough time. On the way back to Reed’s we stopped off at the Upper East Side branch of “Blockheads” (Mexican chain that Benny’s Burritos belongs to) to grab a takeaway lunch. Back at Reed’s we made quick work of the food and made our final preparations to return home. Unfortunately, limited suitcase space meant that I had no choice but to travel in my snow boots… not ideal in New York in June! Reed helped us downstairs with the bags, and the doorman called us a taxi and helped us load up our various bags. After a quick goodbye to Reed we were on our way. At the time, it had seemed a good idea to take a taxi to the E Train station, then to take the E train to the Air Train and the Air Train to the airport. Sounds easy? Now factor in 3 large suitcases (one without wheels), 2 hand luggage bags, a laptop and a handbag…oh, and rush hour! This was all in aid of not paying the $45 taxi fare to JFK, hindsight being 20/20, I would definitely pay that next time! After lots of pain, being squashed on the E Train an argument with the barriers at the E Train/Air Train stop we finally made it to the Air Train platform, where we were able to find a trolley to put us out of our misery. When we finally made it to check in, the lady from Delta was amazing. Delta’s online system had allocated us seats that weren’t together, that were both quite far back in the plane, the lovely Ruth-Ann at check in moved us from row 40 something up to row 24 where we were able to sit together. She also was nice enough to let us weigh all the bags and then open them up and move things around so that we didn’t have to pay for any of the excess weight. We told her that she was wonderful, and I must get round to writing to Delta to tell them that too. With the bags out of the way, we went through security and went in search of a much-needed drink. We headed straight for the bar, and ordered our drinks, Lizzie scoffed at my initial pint of water, but the pint of Gin and Tonic that followed went a long way towards making the hellish journey to the airport better, the theory being that the money we had saved on a taxi could be spent on drinks. With the price of drinks at the airport, this was actually pretty accurate and after paying off our tab, we headed for the gate. It was only a short wait at the gate before we boarded the plane to leave the US, and our epic six month trip behind us.

Speaks for itself...

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