Day 15 – Collecting a hire car, and off we drive to Pennsylvania

• We started the day with a return trip to the Australian Consulate where there was great success – an emergency replacement passport! Hooray, now we can both go home instead of one us having to live in America forever.

• Then we said goodbye to our local train station – Grand Central. It was literally a five minute walk from our hotel which certainly made travel around the place easy.

Because it was Columbus Day (or varying other titles, including Indigenous People’s Day – looks like the Yanks are having their own Australia Day / Invasion Day drama), someone went and ran a parade right between our hotel, and where we were going to pick up the car. That meant it was literally quicker to walk than any sort of motorised transport. So off we went, carting socks and underpants right through the middle of Times Square. Sorry not sorry to all the tourists and influencers who’s Instagram posts we ruined with my Y fronts being dragged through the middle of frame.

• Now for the part I’ve been fearing the most – picking up the hire car. Why? Because some idiot decided to pick up a car for their first time driving a LHS drive car, on the RHS of the road.. from the middle of the busiest city in the world, during a public holiday where they’re closing a heap of streets for a parade. Fortunately, that same idiot also managed to get lucky and picked a car hire pick up point REALLY close to the Lincoln Tunnel, so with only 6 middle fingers and 3½ horn blasts, we were out of the city and rolling down the highway in our NEW CAR.

• It’s a Dodge Durango, which basically looks like a fat previous model Forester. We had two options, but one of the options had a V8 so really we only had one option. Its actually a really nice car, except the steering wheel in on the wrong side. AWD, V8, 8 speed auto, adaptive cruise…. These are all nice to have. It gets 19mpg mostly highway driving which I think translates to “drinks like a fish” but we’re in the land is plastic straws and polystyrene cups so I don’t even care.

• Saw a sign advertising Chipotle which is another American delicacy we haven’t tried yet, so we jumped off the highway and ducked in there… But I got distracted by a claim to being the number 1 Philly Cheese steak and next minute we had ordered one. A single meal did Erin and I no problem, with leftover for tomorrow breakfast. Also – giant Dr Pepper!

• We headed off to to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Not for any real reason, I just zoomed in on a random point in the map that was about 2.5 hours drive from NYC and picked a hotel that didn’t look excessively dodgy. I got one part right – it was pretty much bang on 2.5 hours away. Dodgy wise? Well…. we survived the night and that’s all I’m saying about that.

• Tomorrow it’s further west. This state is super beautiful – so far my favourite.


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