PDA

View Full Version : My "not so" Trip Report


Ms. Shuttergirl
10-24-2009, 07:46 PM
Okay everyone, I've gotten back and am completely snowed under with work so a full on trip report just can't happen at the moment. I took over 4000 photos but have narrowed it down to 1600. Obviously they are impossible to share with you all.

I have just written about the trip on my blog so thought I would include the links here to the 3 entries for anyone who is vaguely interested in looking. I've shared about 90 images in total from the trip, hope you like them. I would love to write more about Disneyland so one day when time allows I hope to but until then, hopefully the blog will suffice.

Part 1 (LA, San Fran & Vegas) - http://lisakellyphotography.com/blog/?p=2720

Part 2 (New York) - http://lisakellyphotography.com/blog/?p=2782

Part 3 (Disneyland) - http://lisakellyphotography.com/blog/?p=2868

queenie82
10-24-2009, 08:27 PM
I haven't looked at them in much detail but I had a look at the New York one because that is my favourite city :love: and a quick squiz at Vegas

It was fascinating as you didn't do so many of the things we have done and did do so many we didn't do!

Our first day we usually hire a car and do a driving tour ourselves. Then get a citipass and do museum row as well as the included Circleline tour which is AMAZING. Plus Top of the Rock...including Top of the Rock at night!! Love that.
The WTC site has been a construction site the 2 times we have visited. Despite the fact I well up just thinking about that day I find it very hard to connect to the site up close despite the tragedy that occurred. But looking from the water seeing the hole in the skyline....that chokes me up very much.
I'm glad the kids enjoyed FAO but it is a shadow of its former self. So much of the magic was gutted when they went broke and shut their stores. TRUS and its ferris wheel is brilliant though :)

Vegas! What a wonderful choice staying at the Venetian. They have been having AMAZING specials lately.
Mystere is amazing isn't it!!! Loved that so much :)

becpee
10-24-2009, 10:17 PM
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

Your photo's are amazing!

Your trip looked awesome and you look like you had an amazing time.

Love The Big Piano (from the movie Big yeah? LOL)

Just love love love your pics, don't need the words, a picture is worth a thousand of them :thumbsup2

kylieh
10-24-2009, 10:39 PM
:cool1: :cool1: :cool1: :cool1:

Thank you so much for sharing your pics. They are wonderful. DH, DD and I read your report together and we really enjoyed it. Thank you.

rossip
10-24-2009, 10:57 PM
Just read your Disney blog ! Great pics - had to laugh at your comments about the Toilets in Disneyland ( and elsewhere) , Our family used to joke about how America can put people on the moon but they can't design a toilet or sink properly ! Every restroom we went to had different taps and methods for working them and oh those self flushing ones caught us all by surprise the first time we used them !

chickyann
10-25-2009, 02:30 AM
awesome photos, looks like it was a great trip :)

melbarkwith
10-25-2009, 04:15 AM
Awesome photos. Thank you so much for sharing them. It sounds like you have a wonderful time.

queenie82
10-25-2009, 04:50 AM
Did you have a look at the Muppet Whatnot Workshop at FAO?
I'd just love to know what you thought.

They really are beautiful photos! Great Memories :)

shushh
10-25-2009, 04:59 AM
Great photos! Thanks for sharing. We are heading for New York in Dec 2010 and we're now more excited then ever!

Jade+3
10-25-2009, 06:40 AM
Beautiful photo's. Thanks for sharing.

DizOz
10-25-2009, 03:58 PM
That was fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing.

Ms. Shuttergirl
10-25-2009, 06:36 PM
Thanks for all of the lovely comments guys

Just read your Disney blog ! Great pics - had to laugh at your comments about the Toilets in Disneyland ( and elsewhere) , Our family used to joke about how America can put people on the moon but they can't design a toilet or sink properly ! Every restroom we went to had different taps and methods for working them and oh those self flushing ones caught us all by surprise the first time we used them !

OMGoodness, I know. It took us ages to work out all of the different styles. And turning on the showers in all of our hotel rooms was an exercise in engineering and design. There were a few times where we thought we were going to have to ring reception for a lesson, :rotfl2:

Ms. Shuttergirl
10-25-2009, 06:38 PM
Great photos! Thanks for sharing. We are heading for New York in Dec 2010 and we're now more excited then ever!

If you are planning on doing a guided bus tour and would like a recommendation, I can't speak highly enough about the company we used. I researched this extensively. It was amazing. Feel free to PM me if you would like the details.

New York was wonderful. Everything you think it will be and more. I loved it.

DizOz
10-25-2009, 08:51 PM
If you are planning on doing a guided bus tour and would like a recommendation, I can't speak highly enough about the company we used. I researched this extensively. It was amazing. Feel free to PM me if you would like the details.

New York was wonderful. Everything you think it will be and more. I loved it.


We are heading to New York in September 2010 and would appreciate any recommendations in regards to tours and/or accommodation.

My youngest DD aged 7 in facinated with the Statue of Liberty. She gets on youtube all the time and looks at all the videos of it (No idea where she got it from). Did you manage to go up the statue or just a cruise by??

downunder
10-25-2009, 10:50 PM
hey,
love your photos, especially the one of tinkerbell...I cant wait to see her one day.

glad you had a great trip
:cheer2::cheer2:

queenie82
10-26-2009, 12:52 AM
We are heading to New York in September 2010 and would appreciate any recommendations in regards to tours and/or accommodation.

My youngest DD aged 7 in facinated with the Statue of Liberty. She gets on youtube all the time and looks at all the videos of it (No idea where she got it from). Did you manage to go up the statue or just a cruise by??
I can't recommend tours as such because we do everything ourselves. If there are 4 of you getting a taxi is a great way to get around. You just go to the avenue you want to get to the cross street of, and tell them the street to go to. So say you want 5th and 93rd and you are at 35th street. You go to 5th and can get a cheap and efficient trip from uptown to downtown.

I do HIGHLY recommend getting the citypass which is amazing value and INCLUDES a cruise around Manhattan. This gets you the best view of the city. http://www.citypass.com/city/ny.html
We have always done the Circleline tour but they now offer a cruise TO Liberty Island and Ellis Island.
To get Pedestal/Museum Access of Statue Liberty it is a first come first served basis every morning at the ticket window.

Getting UP Statue of Liberty only just recently reopened and is VERY difficult to get access to
The Statue of Liberty crown recently reopened to determined stair climbers. Crown tickets are available by advance reservations to 30 people per day. Tickets may be requested up to one year in advance of your scheduled visit. Demand is fierce for these coveted reservations, and there is no guarantee that you will be a lucky climber.

shushh
10-26-2009, 04:18 AM
Thank you queenie82 for the extra info! Lots of little things that I hadn't even thought about.

Ms. Shuttergirl
10-26-2009, 03:12 PM
We are heading to New York in September 2010 and would appreciate any recommendations in regards to tours and/or accommodation.

My youngest DD aged 7 in facinated with the Statue of Liberty. She gets on youtube all the time and looks at all the videos of it (No idea where she got it from). Did you manage to go up the statue or just a cruise by??

http://www.allnewyorktours.com/Body.asp?tour=NYC-B0045&Page=TourDetails

Here's a link to the company we used. Get onto Yelp.com and Trip Advisor and read the reviews for this company. They were great. This was one of our favourite things.

With regard to the Statue of Liberty, my opinion on this was I preferred to see it from the water, and take lots of pretty pics, than to climb up her, going through I believe 2-3 security stations, and then just seeing back to the Manhattan skyline. I feel we got a better view of her from the Ferry.

DizOz
10-26-2009, 04:10 PM
http://www.allnewyorktours.com/Body.asp?tour=NYC-B0045&Page=TourDetails

Here's a link to the company we used. Get onto Yelp.com and Trip Advisor and read the reviews for this company. They were great. This was one of our favourite things.

With regard to the Statue of Liberty, my opinion on this was I preferred to see it from the water, and take lots of pretty pics, than to climb up her, going through I believe 2-3 security stations, and then just seeing back to the Manhattan skyline. I feel we got a better view of her from the Ferry.

Thanks for that.

:cool1::cool1::cool1:

jacs1234
11-03-2009, 12:30 AM
Awesome pics. Thanks so much for sharing. I loved reading about your trip. :)

jacs1234
11-03-2009, 12:40 AM
Oh and I can't wait to see the Christmas decorations you bought.

Ms. Shuttergirl
11-07-2009, 01:45 PM
Oh and I can't wait to see the Christmas decorations you bought.

You won't have to wait long Jacs, they should be up in the next couple of weeks. I promise to share some pics

ehsmum
11-28-2009, 04:18 AM
Wow, your photos are amazing!

Can I ask where you stayed in LA (got to have that view of the Hollywood sign!) and New York?

Ms. Shuttergirl
11-28-2009, 04:38 AM
Wow, your photos are amazing!

Can I ask where you stayed in LA (got to have that view of the Hollywood sign!) and New York?

Absolutely, I would be thrilled to share. We stayed at the Renaissance in Hollywood, as did Czardas who has been a big contributer here. It was really lovely and the location cannot be beaten.

In NYC we stayed at the Crown Plaza Manhattan, right in the heart of Times Square and will definitely stay there again when we go back. There location is PERFECT......and the rooms were lovely (although small but that's cool).

I would be happy to share a couple of room pics if you are desperate.

ehsmum
11-28-2009, 05:21 AM
Thanks for that :). I think I already looked at the Renaissance but I couldn't get a quote online for 2 adults and 3 kids in one room. I do not want to book 2 rooms anywhere as that is going to double the cost. A friend who has lived in LA suggested that I call them cause she's sure we could all stay in one room there (and that's the hotel that she recommended as well :) ).

As for NYC, we are staying for 10 nights so I'm looking at apartments but am a bit nervous after all the warnings about scams on TripAdvisor. To get a big enough hotel room for all of us for that length of stay is going to cost us a fortune though.

shushh
11-28-2009, 08:15 PM
I can help you with rooms for 5 in NYC as we too are a family of 5 planning to go in Dec 2010. Unfortunatly, most regular hotel rooms won't fit 5 because of size/fire regulations. Some hotels have suites though that will fit 5. Ok, the ones that I KNOW fit 5, Novotel Times Square. The ones with suites include double guest suites, residence inn times square, courtyard midtown east, hotel beacon, hotel belleclaire, Kimberley hotel, buckingham hotel. There are other upmarket ones which I haven't included because they are so expensive! I also haven't included those in the downtown/financial district areas.

There are also apartment hotels which are more spacious. Radio city apartments are well located. Also look at the affinia chain eg affinia 50, affinia manhattan.

You need to email each individual hotel unfortunately as the online system usually will just tell you "too many occupants in the room" or something along those lines.

Hope that helps!

Cheers
Belinda

ehsmum
11-29-2009, 03:07 AM
I can help you with rooms for 5 in NYC as we too are a family of 5 planning to go in Dec 2010. Unfortunatly, most regular hotel rooms won't fit 5 because of size/fire regulations. Some hotels have suites though that will fit 5. Ok, the ones that I KNOW fit 5, Novotel Times Square. The ones with suites include double guest suites, residence inn times square, courtyard midtown east, hotel beacon, hotel belleclaire, Kimberley hotel, buckingham hotel. There are other upmarket ones which I haven't included because they are so expensive! I also haven't included those in the downtown/financial district areas.

There are also apartment hotels which are more spacious. Radio city apartments are well located. Also look at the affinia chain eg affinia 50, affinia manhattan.

You need to email each individual hotel unfortunately as the online system usually will just tell you "too many occupants in the room" or something along those lines.

Hope that helps!

Cheers
Belinda


Thanks so much! I'll check out those hotels. We did get a quote from Radio City Apartments but it was more expensive then the other apartments Ive looked at and I was told they aren't very nice :dunno: I haven't heard of Affinia but will have a look.

I told my husband that we have one too many kids for travelling and have to decide which one to leave at home! :lmao:

shushh
11-29-2009, 05:42 AM
I forgot to ask how old your kids were. Only because some of the hotels will squeeze in a cot/crib but not a rollaway bed.

Yeah, 3 kids sure does make travel just that little bit harder and more expensive!

The radio city apartments had good reviews on tripadvisor. There are plenty of photos there. The place doesn't look flash though! Although reports say rooms clean and spacious. We are seriously thinking about staying there when we go. Which other apartments have you looked at? I too was worried about apartment rentals after having read of tripadvisor that it is mostly illegal and/or scams.

ehsmum
11-29-2009, 05:07 PM
I've been looking at lots of sites but the two that seem to have the most affordable accommodation are feelnyc http://www.feelnyc.com/en/ and http://www.212suites.com/2-Bedroom-nyc-vacation-rental.html although I've emailed the 212suites people several times with questions and they have never answered me, so I doubt I'll use them!

I'll have a look at the Radio City Apartments on tripadvisor. I have a friend who is a travel agent in America and she told me they weren't very nice and not worth the money. She did say that she went there before they were refurbished though, so they could be better now.

I think the thing with NYC will be to find clean, comfortable, affordable accommodation in central Manhattan. We'll be doing the big fancy hotel thing in Vegas and Orlando but that's just not an option in NYC.

Funny story - I did a quote on expedia the other day for NYC. I put in 2 adults and 3 kids for 10 nights in June and the first offer was the Waldorf Astoria at $66375! :lol: Trump Tower was a bargain at $15000 :lmao:

shussh - my kids are 10,8 and 6 and all big for their age, so no chance of squeezing them into a cot unfortunately :lol:.

shushh
11-30-2009, 02:47 AM
Yes. I've been given ridiculous quotes as well. Surely we've all got tens of thousands of dollars to spare somewhere!!!

I was looking up feelnyc to give apartments another go when I came across these 2 threads on tripadvisor. It seems as if the New Yorkers really feel strongly when it comes to apartment rental for tourists.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k2975647-Rental_in_Williamsburg-New_York_City_New_York.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28953-i4-k2970151-Feelnyc_com_in_Williamburg-New_York.html

We really shouldn't be hijacking this thread! Perhaps we should start a new one somewhere...

aussiemickeys
12-03-2009, 10:12 AM
Hi, sorry to keep this thread off topic but wanted to help out on Radio City Apartments. We (3 adult females) just stayed there Nov 5th to 10th. We had a one bedroom (2 doubles & a doulble sleeper sofabed) suite. Have stayed there once before in Nov 2007 with 5 people (4 adults & a 14 year old) in a 2 bedroom suite.
The prices have gone up heaps in those two years - what we paid for a 2 bedroom in 2007 is about the same as the 1 bedroom this year.
Cannot rave about the location enough. 1 block & turn the corner & you are in the middle of Times Square. Many, many places to eat around it (for every budget). Can walk to heaps of tourist sites from it & one of the subway lines is on the next corner.
The hotel itself is nothing fancy (it used to be apartments & I think it has about 62 rooms only). Not all rooms are created equal either, in 2007 we travelled with another family who had the same room type as us, but one rooms layout was definately larger & more effecient than the other. The one bedroom we just had was perfectly fine, but I thought it was odd that this one didn't have a wall between the bedroom part & the dining/living room part. The extra room is fantastic though & to have a kitchen with a full size fridge can be a great money saver (we had breakfast in our room every day).
The front desk staff (both times) were O.K. - not rude, but never overly friendly.
I thought after our 2007 trip that this hotel would always be our choice now in New York, but have since changed our minds since this last trip. This is the reason (& I never thought in a million years I would be one of these people that would let one single thing - besides cleanliness or safety, stop me from staying at a hotel) - we could not once take a decent shower! I vaguely remember having SLIGHT issues with this in 2007, but this time it was unreal. No pressure at all to speak of & it was either freezing cold or scalding hot in the one shower (without any adjusting on our part). Of course we spoke to the maintenance people about it, but they just shrugged & said old building or something along those lines. Again, this might be a luck of the draw thing because last time we were on a lower floor & this time we were on a higher floor.
I still can't believe that this one thing has made me not want to stay there again, because it has so much going for it. For the price you get much more space than the average hotel room (with a kitchen), & the location is second to none. But there you have it.
A couple of other things I also remember that might help your decision either way -
No safes in each room, They have a luggage storage room downstairs which they keep locked up & in that room are (small) safe deposit drawers. Never had an issue with this.
No bellman (& about 10 steps up to get into hotel). Sometimes the desk people will help you lug up your cases, sometimes they won't. Although not ideal - we knew that this wasn't part of their job, so it didn't worry us. Once inside there are a couple of luggage carts available to get your stuff to your rooms.
The lower the rooms, the more street noise & smells from nearby retaurants(but this is true of any city hotel)
No specific guest laundry, but in the basement (which is a bit dungeon like), the have the machines for the hotel & guests can use these (need to feed in quarters of course).
And my favourite little quirk (said sarcastically), you cannot use your own prepaid calling cards from your room. Those phones only can accept the Radio City Apartment ones they sell at the front desk. Easily fixed though, as in the lobby area (behind a wall, under the staircase) is a public phone that will accept your own calling cards.
It is also the only hotel I have ever stayed at, where you pay in full at checkin.
I hope I have given you enough info to help make your choice. I hope I don't sound to negative about the hotel, because as I said, it has heaps going for it (if you don't expect luxury). It is very clean & comfortable & if we hadn't of had such a significant issue with the shower), I would stay there again in a heartbeat.

ehsmum
12-03-2009, 05:35 PM
Thanks so much for that, aussiegirls! The quote for Radio City Apartments is $220 per night weeknights and $230 per night weekends in a one bedroom apartment. I'm really hoping to get something under $200 per night seeming as we are staying there for 10 nights. But do we risk booking an apartment that we don't know anything about (I have a quote from feelnyc for $1760 for 10 nights in Times Square) or pay an extra $600 or so for Radio City which we know is real.

ehsmum
12-25-2009, 08:45 PM
Hi aussiemickeys, just wanted to stay thanks again for your review of the Radio City Apartments. After a lot of research, we have decided to stay there, so I have booked for 10 nights in June for US$2625. It's not the cheapest quote I got and there are certainly more luxurious properties out there, but we figured that the location and the extra room make this the best choice for us. I was concerned about your issues with the shower but decided we will try our luck with that. It has 90% recommendation on tripadvisor with very few negative reviews. Funnily enough, one of the positive reviews on tripadvisor says the showers are wonderful, perfect pressure and hot at all times :lol:. Anyway, thanks again for your help :).