After a late night watching ‘Making a Murderer’ and panic cramming some work, I did not get much sleep at the hotel and it was a 5am alarm clock for me. Thankfully, I did leave early because the day did not start too well.
I have done Sleep Park Fly a hundred times with Premier Inn, in my opinion it’s the best way to travel, chill out in a room night before and car taken care of for however many days all in one price. However, I think I have done Gatwick more than Heathrow so I popped the postcode given in and off I went 10 mins down the road.
It was pitch black and I was soon doing F1 laps of Heathrow. The postcode had taken me to T2/3 but I was following short stay car park signs so felt I was on right track (despite flying from T5). I missed the Short Stay twice so had to whiz around to try again and I have to say I was getting flustered. I eventually got into the Short Stay to be told I was in the wrong terminal, which I had kind of suspected but trusted this post code. So I had to go through T2/T3 car park, buzz at other end to explain and off I went. Panic had truly set in by now and when I passed that T2/T3 short stay car park again, I had to pull in and take a few breaths to compose myself before trying again. I (angrily) ripped the paper up Premier Inn had given me, turned off the directions in the car and set off good old fashioned sign hunting.
The few minutes to compose myself and the sign hunting approach worked well as the signs took me far away from where I was to TERMINAL 5, which is where I was flying from of course and then signs greeted me for Short and Long stay. Thankfully, I had remembered the instructions on the paper I’d ripped and was able to find it. When I got there, I was still flustered and couldn’t get my car key off so the guy had to do it for me haha.
I had plenty of time to spare in the end but it was a panic! Thankfully, I have fast track so luggage and security was quick and then I was in the lounge for a couple of bacon sandwiches before take off.
I had a right stroke of luck on the plane, the people sitting by me asked if there was a spare row and there was so they left me in peace. A guy plonked on the end but I had room between my window seat and the middle. I chose the window seat as I thought better to rest head against there given it was an early start. The flight was great, went really quickly and I only managed to cram in Mad Max (the new one) on the way.
When I arrived I got the AirTrain from JFK to Brooklyn where I am staying this time, and wandered by the Barclays Center which I’d be going to a few times this trip and found my hotel. Staying in Brooklyn was a tough decision because I love Manhattan but Brooklyn apparently has so much to offer and Manhattan is so close I thought why not give it a try this time.
When I got to the room, it had already been a long day so I chilled for an hour then got into my Isles gear and headed to the pub for some lunch (tea my UK body clock said) and some Angry Orchard (US cider I like). I went a bit mad on the Angry Orchard but it got me ready for the game.
I left early because it was Johnny Boychuk bobble head night, where the teams give out free bobble heads of a particular player to the first 10,000 people in the stadium. I safely got mine after chatting to some Isles fans in the queue and I was in the Barclays Center for the first time for The Islanders Vs Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Barclays Center is incredible, I started badly by handing them cash already for a new, slightly wilder hat which I knew I would need next month for my trip to Canada in February (FREEZING!). I had amazing seats, Lower Endzone (where we shoot twice) and 7 rows from back. It was the only time I think I could get seats like that at Barclays without breaking bank, my days of being at the glass each time were over after the move from the Coliseum. Tickets for Thursday’s derby at the glass would have been thousands, as opposed to a hundred quid perhaps at Coliseum.
The game was a little nervy even though we ended 5-2 winners. I was chuffed to say a great Hat-Trick for Brock Nelson and then all the hats be thrown onto the ice. No way was my 23 bucks new hat going on there or my existing one which I bought last year.
After the game it was freezing, I wandered back to my hotel and I slipped into a coma peacefully about 10:30pm and here I am at 6am, up, ready to go and achieve today!
The plan for today is to do a Brooklyn wander around the sights and then head over to Manhattan for Liverpool Arsenal at the NYC Arsenal pub. Buzzing to be here for the 4th time, and absolutely cannot wait until Thursday, the atmosphere is going to be mental.