Notes from Meg

empire-head

Hello blog. Apologies for my lack of writing over the last month. Clearing my plate of work and getting organized to leave left me exhausted and in much need of a break. Mark has been doing a wonderful job in my absence though hasn’t he? He’s developed a real passion for the blog, which I knew he would — anyone who knows Mark understands that he never ‘half-asses’ anything. I on the other hand…

I don’t want to repeat anything Mark said in his posts but instead will add some of my own insights.

New York was great, but didn’t quite feel like the break I needed. As we visit new places, we don’t want to always have a sight-seeing checklist, but there were so many things we wanted to see and do in New York that we ended up cramming them in all at once. That meant exhausting 16+ hour days spent walking around the city with the odd nap here and there. There were so many things to do but we were also avoiding spending any time at our dingy hostel. On the plus side, our roommate was great, a pop/rock artist from the Netherlands. We’re looking forward to hearing his cd.

Things that surprised me about NYC:

1. The people were great. The local population was super friendly and didn’t seem to be bothered by the thousands of tourists moseying through their streets. Even a bum outside the Subway station gave us some friendly help without us even asking!

2. It wasn’t as stylish as I thought it might be. Mind you, visiting the areas we were, they might not have been the mecca of cool, however I found that on the whole, Montreal was a much more stylish city. I found the Meat Packing District to be very cool, great architecture, high street shops, a neighbourhood vibe, but it was a bit on the surface. I love love loved the High Line.

3. Didn’t enjoy the subway at all. I usually prefer to ride the bus anyhow because the air is fresher and it’s easier to gather your bearings, but there are times the Tube, Metro or Subway are more convenient. But this Subway was icky. The maps and platforms were confusing, the people working in the station were most unpleasant, the trains screeched as they moved along the tracks, the stations were dirty and they were also surprisingly empty. We weren’t traveling at rush hour, but in a city as large as NYC, you’d imagine the trains would always be packed. It feels eery being somewhere like that when it’s empty.

4. It only takes 20 minutes to get from Yonkers to Penn Station on the train.

5. I was scared walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. (It’s high and there are cars whizzing beneath you! I need to be more brave if I’m going to take on the world…I’m working on it).

on-the-qmii-with-bridge

Now that we’re on board the Queen Mary II, it feels like my break and the journey ahead is starting to sink in. We’re both totally relaxed and loving every second. It feels like we’ve stepped back 5 decades or so. Yesterday we had breakfast in bed, went to the gym, ate two lunches, played some darts, went to the Captain’s cocktail party and attended a formal ball. Ooooh la la. So far we’ve met some extremely interesting people, especially in the Bridge room. We’ll be writing a more detailed review of the QM2 and will post some photos when all is said and done (and wireless doesn’t cost 79¬¢ per minute).

Mark and I keep pinching ourselves and ask ‘are we really doing this?’. It all feels very surreal at the moment. We are especially excited about our decision to travel without flying. First off, we loved the Amtrak train. The seats were ridiculously comfortable and adjustable and we got to see all sorts of cute American towns along the way. Definitely the way to travel. As for the boat, it is truly mesmerizing looking out at the Ocean in all directions. I don’t think I’ve ever slept better in my life. You can actually feel a subtle rocking of the boat that is so soothing. I realize that we will not be traveling with this type of luxury probably ever again, but I hope this is a taste of what’s to come. The first class services is definitely a bonus, but what I’m loving most is how everything has completely slowed down when I look out the window.

Comments

    Hi guys! It sounds like you’re having a wonderful time aboard the QMII. Wow, a whole room dedicated to bridge! I’m so envious. I hope your voyage over the Atlantic is the relaxing break you’re looking for Meghan. It must feel nice to slow things down a little.

    So you didn’t enjoy the NYC subway? Mike and I’ve had the chance to be in NYC, London and Paris this year and I’d have to say that I least enjoyed Paris’ Metro. I found the urine odour (ew gross!) was overwhelming in places. My favourite was definitely the Tube in London. My only lasting impression of the NYC subway was that it was super convenient, but perhaps I have a different impression because we had to travel out to Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens several times.

    Thanks for the frequent posts even though it’s costly on the boat. Have you seen any interesting marine life? Other boats? A cluster of islands? Or is it all water, all the time? Sounds amazing! Enjoy every minute of it.

    P.S. I recommend you order 12 lunch plates, spread them on the floor of your cabin and chow down…

  1. Rachel Slater

  2. Sounds like a great start! Meg – I want to look out that same window! Enjoy!

    Aw. And I though Mark was geeky enough to have bought a GPS data logger along (http://www.royaltek.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=148&Itemid=236) and updated your breadcrumb live! Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be the case. Even more sad is the fact that I was looking forward to seeing the breadcrumb in the middle of the Atlantic. Sniff.

    Sounds fabulous so far guys! Have a great time in the UK!

    Dear M&M.

    Things you should know:
    1) i miss you guys.
    2) i really hate reading my friends’ travel blogs.
    3) i really love reading YOUR travel blog.
    4) that means that you’re either not my friends or it’s not a blog.
    5) or maybe it’s just better than theirs.
    6) or maybe you’re just better than them.
    7) i need to get the eff out of Ottawa.
    8) i miss you guys.

    xoL

  3. Apple Bottom Jeans

  4. Bridge Room!! Already two timing us are you???

    How’d your formal wear make out?

  5. Mother Goose

  6. Meggie: So good to hear you’re back to having time to write in your blog. I love reading about your adventures. See you soon…. MG

    haha, I’m so glad Apple Bottom Jeans is following this blog, er, not a blog I mean.

    Sadly we did not take full advantage of room service with the 12 plates this time. We’ve learned out lesson. But man, we still ate like crazy and the food was soooooooooooo delicious. Top notch everything on this boat.

    Lisa Mark is still laughing from your reply.

    Ah Sang, you know me too well. We actually do have a gps unit with us, and we are using it to trace our routes. It took me a while to get it to work with Google maps, but I’ve got it figured now. Now you can check the Breadcrumb for our true routes!

Leave a Comment

Your email will not be published.
Required fields are marked *.