Redcliffe Pier

Friday, August 21, 2015

A JUMBO DRAMA IN NEW YORK.


It was 1970 and we left our motel for LA airport early. We swapped our QANTAS tickets for TWA tickets to New York because we wanted to fly on the new Jumbo Jet and QANTAS didn't have any then. Unfortunately, that was not a good move. The plane was scheduled to leave at 12 noon, however, it was delayed for over two hours due to 'technical problems'. That gave me the heebie jeebies. Finally, we took off but had to fly further south than usual to avoid a storm so that delayed us further. It was late at night when we arrived in NY and then our luggage didn't turn up. We had to wait another two hours. We rang the hotel to say we were delayed. They told us they had given our room away because we hadn't arrived before five o'clock. After a heated exchange they found us another room. Luckily, our luggage arrived and we took a taxi to the hotel. We weren't impressed. It was late at night. The service was non existent. There was no lift we had to climb stairs with luggage to third floor. There was no dining room we had to find a restaurant in what seemed a dark and seedy area. When our eyes adjusted to the dim lights and smoke filled cafe we noticed that we were the only whites. By the time we crawled into a not so comfortable bed all tired and frazzled, we were not impressed with New York. In the morning we decided to return to the airport and fly to Toronto. ( A decision I regretted for the next 40 years until we did visit NY again and thoroughly enjoyed it.)


  My cousin Molly, Aunt Ada  and children Stewart and Fiona met us at the airport. 
The next day Molly drove us up north to the lakes district. We stayed in a friend's cabin. The children went swimming but it was too cold for us. Once again my relatives, whom I hadn't seen since a small child in England, were very kind to us.

One of Molly's friends lent us his big Oldsmobile to drive to Niagara Falls because there were six of us, too many for Molly's little car. His only stipulation was that Bill was to drive. Bill was overjoyed to get behind the wheel of this beaut car but he had to remember to drive on the right hand side of the road, not what we were used to.

Fiona, me, Aunty Ada, Molly and Stewart at Niagara Falls.

 We walked behind the wall of water thundering down in front of us. We had to dress in black waterproof ponchos. We all looked like penguins.


 We all went up the Skylon Tower to have lunch at the revolving restaurant. The lift was on the outside of the tower. It took your breath away.

Molly took us for a tour of the city. They were very proud of their new City Hall. 

That night we flew to London. The plane was empty and we could lie down and sleep most of the way. We took a taxi from the airport in London to the Imperial Hotel in Russell Square. In the afternoon we went to Regent St. to pick up our car that we had bought in PNG to be picked up here. After some messing about we were given the keys, as I sat in the car and pulled the door shut the door handle fell off into my hand. (Not a good start). We waited for it to be fixed and then took off into the hair raising London traffic  and for the first few hundred yards on the wrong side of the road. Bill still thought he was in Canada.

This is like the Ford Capri that we took delivery of in London except ours was two toned blue.
The next morning we found our way out of London and headed for Dover. Bill was getting excited at the thought of seeing his parents again and introducing me. We intended coming back to London later with his parents.

25 comments:

  1. Good God !!! Shades of my first Jumbo flight with Pan-Am (London to Boston).
    If it could go wrong it did, but it wasn't the fault of Pan-Am, it was Elizabeth
    Taylor and Richard Burton!!! Very naughty people in their private jet flying into Heathrow
    without CLEARANCE for landing. Oh did they ever get into trouble.
    A two hour delay as the Pan-Am jumbo had to re-queue for take-off!

    Oh the joys of lost baggage!!! My sympathies.
    Cheers
    Colin

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  2. Fun photos Diane. Seeing the ones taken at Niagara brought back some good memories.

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  3. I don't enjoy arriving late at night in a foreign city for so many reasons but with age comes patience and now would start afresh the next morning. How you must have regretted your decision to move from NY so soon after arriving. What memories of Canada. It looks ultra modern considering the the date those photos were taken. You have a remarkable welcoming family which must have enhanced your travel enormously.

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  4. Oh wow it does sound as if you had a few problems along the way. Having never been to America, North or South, I suddenly feel like I have missed nothing ! You are lucky to have family in so many places to help you along the way. Take care t'other Diane

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  5. Hello Diane, I am wondering what part of NYC you were. I would have thought most of the hotels were nice. The Canada part of the trip made up for NYC being a flop. I am chicken to drive on the "wrong" side of the road. I do enjoy reading your story, this was great! Have a happy weekend!

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  6. This was my first sighting of Niagara Falls. I never imagined it was so close to the city. Now I know! Thanks for a lovely post about your travels all those years ago.

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  7. I didn't know you could walk behind the falls. We went on the Maid of the Mist boat. Another time we were there snow was falling, we were very excited by it. I must say that my experiences in NY have been mixed … sometimes the accommodation not good despite the high price.

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  8. Was just trying to think about the first Jumbo I caught but can't remember - though I do remember they made a big deal of them. I have no problem remembering the Concorde flight we did from London to NY which came with a complimentary helicopter ride from the airport into NY city.

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  9. So many questions arise. Where did you stay in NY? What area? That is the CN tower in Toronto? It looks odd with no tall buildings around it. Canada's Horseshoe Falls at Niagara are better, but the American Falls are spectacular enough. That modern City Hall was in Toronto? Funny about Bill driving on the right hand side of road in London.

    Joan E's tale of plane and helicopter ride is impressive.

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    1. I can't remember all those details. I think the hotel was near the airport and not in the city but I'm not sure. I agree the Canadian Falls are the best but my photo wasn't. Yes it is Toronto's City Hall with a fountain in the forecourt. The tower is the Skylon Tower at Niagara Falls.

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  10. That was an adventure within itself the waiting for the plane, the hotel, the regret. Fortunately you had another chance.
    The photos are interesting. It appears you were very brown at that time.

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  11. beautiful car.. i love the 60's photos, the dress and hair that i remember... to bad about missing NY.. but at least you finally got there.

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  12. Have just been catching up on your belated honeymoon Diane, oh wow! You guys have always had the travel bug haven't you, and it looks like you still do :)

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  13. I see you started out your life together traveling the world, and you are still at it. I'm enjoying the vintage photos, vintage fashions and vintage cars!

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  14. what a lovely photos and memories

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  15. Wasn't that Ford Capri a stylish vehicle?! Thanks for sharing your journey & happy weekend.

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  16. I've spent some time catching up on your 'story' posts. Such wonderful memories, such wonderful photos. I'm envious that you are able to recall and relate you life's adventures. Your family will cherish this.

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  17. What a 'time machine' of a post! Splendid.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  18. Diane, what fun these posts have been to read and especially on our own wedding anniv of Aug 21. We visited Niagara Falls for our anniversary a couple of years and went to both the American & Canadian side, both were spectacular! Too bad about the dreary NYC hotel.

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  19. So I love the photo of Niagra Falls from back in the day and Bill's white shoes! LOL You just were not meant to stay in NY at that time, think of all you enjoyed 40 years later when you returned. I'm loving this trip - I mean YOUR trip! haha

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  20. What a turn of events! I can't imagine how utterly frazzled and disappointed you were with NY. I'm sure it's a nice city, but I have no desire to go there. Glad you enjoyed your second attempt!

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  21. I think you were probably the only couple who wasn't interested in NY, lol ! But after such an adventure I can understand. When we were visiting the Niagara Falls in the 90th the waterproofed ponchos were yellow ! The driving on the "wrong" side takes always a little time to get used. When I am in the UK, I always want to sit on the driver's lap !

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  22. Fun reading your autobiography as you write it! This post and the one just later are , together, great examples of the way to age gracefully and happily.... Remember the past, have fun in the present, and look forward to the future!

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  23. A really bad start to your trip! I am so glad you finally got to go back to NY and enjoy it! The Canada leg sounds so awesome, especially Niagara! Loved seeing the photos!

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  24. I'm glad you gave NYC another chance, Dianne! I regret I could not meet you when you visited---the same eye that was giving me trouble then was the one I had a cornea transplant last year. My husband and I honeymooned in Niagara Falls! We loved the area on both he American and Canadian side. We took our children on a trip there years later and it has gotten very commercialized.==almost like a carnival/ That made us sad, but the falls will always be amazing and worth seeing

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