Have you ever come across the New York Destination fee? Or New York amenity fee? Or resort fee? No? Well, me neither. Until our recent NYC trip. Seems this kid has many names. And is common practice in quite a few US cities (Las Vegas being a really notorious one apparently). Until about two years ago, this wasn’t a big topic in New York. But things change. To save you the same nasty surprise we had checking in, let me tell all you need to know about the New York destination fee. What you get for it (or not), how much it is per night and if there is a way to avoid it.
Am I boring you yet with my San Francisco posts? I hope not, I still have loads more to come (who would have thought we ‘only’ went for six days). Assuming you’ve read about our week in San Francisco already, you know that we ventured out one day. And did a day trip from San Francisco to Sausalito by bike.
When we planned our trip to San Francisco, I was all up for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge by bike (and to be honest, the prospect of doing a day trip from San Francisco to Sausalito by bike was what sold SF to Mr. T in the first place). But I wasn’t quite sure, just how far I would like to go by bike. I am not an experienced rider. Yes of course, as a kid I would ride my bike almost anywhere (growing up in a village with limited public transport makes that a necessity). But then I went through a 20-year ‘phase’ of not riding a bike at all and only started getting back on one last year. The longest ‘tour’ I had done this decade was around 10km. And that was pretty much all flat. So, doing a trip of 30+ km felt a little daunting.
But enough of the moaning, let’s get going with our day trip from San Francisco to Sausalito by bike.
And we are back. Have you recovered yet from my lengthy report of our week in San Francisco Part One? Perfect. Let’s crack on with part two of our trip to San Francisco then. In which you will find more cycling (yep, don’t ask), more cable cars (obviously) and yet more food. Sprinkled with a few more views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I can’t believe it is already two months since we visited San Francisco. So, without further delay (and before it is another month), it is time to reflect on our week in San Francisco. What shall I say? It was A M A Z I N G. This was the first time Mr T and I visited the West Coast, having previously only touched down in New York. Let me tell you, the West Coast is a completely different world. And San Francisco is nothing like New York City (and I don’t mean it being better or worse…. Just completely different). So enough of the introduction, let’s dive straight in. Let me tell you all about our week in San Francisco.
What shall I say? There is no way you can visit San Francisco and ignore that big red bridge that spans across the bay. If you are lucky enough to sit on the right side of the plane, your first view of the Golden Gate Bridge will be as you approach San Francisco airport. But even if not (we didn’t, as we were sat on the left) as you manoeuvre around town, you will end up viewing the Golden Gate Bridge at various times of the day. But where to find the perfect viewing spot for Golden Gate Bridge to snap that iconic photo for the perfect Instagram feed? Well good thing we’ve spent an entire week walking the length and width of San Francisco hunting down those perfect viewing spots for Golden Gate Bridge.
When visiting San Francisco for the first time (as we did recently), there are certain sights that just need to be on your San Francisco bucket list: Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Cars, the sea lions at Pier 39 and obviously Alcatraz Island. I mean how could you not visit Alcatraz when in San Francisco? But the big question is, is Alcatraz actually worth a visit? Or would you be better off just booking a bay ferry tour?
We have just spent a marvellous week in San Francisco. So be prepared to read all about it in the coming weeks. I have started by sharing our experience of an eleven hour flight with British Airways. And since we booked flight and hotel as a package with British Airways, it is only fair to continue with my honest review of Cova Hotel San Francisco.
Visiting Philadelphia had been on our radar for a while. Before we decided on a road trip through New England two years ago, the original plan was to visit New York, Philadelphia and Washington. But the road trip eventually won the game. So during our last trip to New York City we decided to venture out a little and finally take a day trip to Philadelphia from New York. After all, it is only 1.5 hours on the train. Easy peasy.
There is a direct Amtrak train from Penn Station to Philadelphia 30th Street Station. To get the best price, we booked our train tickets to Philadelphia a few weeks in advance and committed to fixed trains rather than flexible tickets. Which meant we only paid $156 return for the two of us. Out of curiosity we checked the ticket prices the morning of our trip and it would have cost us a whopping $330 if we’d bought the tickets on the day. That is double the price for the exact same trains! So good thing we were prepared (for once).