I’m heading to the US of A again, east side this time… what better excuse to kick off a new website!
The whole blog thing is a bit dead in the water, the herd seems to be happy on Facebook… never being one to follow the herd, I figure I’m going to go against the grain and start my own blog, except it’s not a blog.. it’s a journal of sorts… somewhere to publish my photos, voice my thoughts and ideas and of course, share my travels and life in general.
Back to the trip, I set off October 9th on Etihad to New York via Abu Dhabi. I’ve not flown with Etihad before but I’m pretty pumped to fly on two planes I’ve not been on, the 787 Dreamliner from Perth to Abu Dhabi and A380 from Abu Dhabi to New York. (side note… I’m an plane nerd)
The attraction to Etihad was two fold, they’re a Virgin Velocity partner, meaning I could snavel a bunch of points and status credits. (I’m a bit of a points whore for anyone that doesn’t know)
The other thing was the price, it was a pretty good deal at $1300 for a flight to NYC with just one stop. Most flights go via Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and have a lengthy stop in LA to add a bit of pain to the journey. I love California and would go crazy for another trip down to San Diego or up to San Fran area but a 9 hour stopover in LAX is just not cool! Four Points Sheraton LAX is just down the road who have a superb craft beer list but 9 hours isn’t even enough to settle into a room before having to depart for another flight.
So here I sit, typing away about the trip, nervous as hell about the idea of being in New York by myself and the news on Triple J is saying there’s been an ‘intentional act’ in Chelsea, NYC injuring a swag of people. Yikes! Thats not far from where I’m meant to stay 😐 Nervous!
So, the itinerary…
I arrive in New York on the Monday, staying midtown at what looks like it could be the best positioned yet worst hotel in town, Hotel Pennsylvania. Google reviews like ‘NEVER STAY HERE’ and ‘WORST HOTEL IN NYC’ don’t exactly fill me with confidence but when Margaret was there, she said it was clean and perfectly fine, in a great location in Midtown, across from Madison Square Garden. I was hoping to see the Rangers play the Islanders there but came up with alternative plans when I found out hotels in New York average around $400 a night!
So, two nights in NYC should give me a bit of time to explore the city, see the sights, maybe check out some of the tourist highlights. On the to do list thus far, I have:
- Go up the Empire State Building at night
- Walk across Brooklyn Bridge
- Explore some iconic streets like Broadway
- Maybe ride the Subway and check out some other areas of the city
- Ride the Staten Island ferry, maybe returning just after sunset
- The photo geek in me wants to check out B&H too
I’d love to check out MOMA & The Guggenheim but will see how I go for time. Keen to hear your must do suggestions too!
It’s no secret, I love my food and beer so I’m hoping to have a bit of a snoop around District Taphouse for a feed and some tasty bevvies. They’re pretty close to my hotel at 246 West 38TH St, between 7th & 8th Ave. They look to have a few select brews from GRIMM ARTISAN ALES in Brooklyn which I understand are pretty illusive, even in New York!
At the time of writing this, they had a couple of specialties from Hill Farmstead Brewing too which is truly one of my bucket list breweries. Hell, even some uber fresh Sixpoint Resin or Dogfish 90 minute would be great! Such amazing brews that just dont travel well and arrive in Australia well past their best… Sixpoint, not so much but any big hop beer needs to be fresh!
Beyond the big city..
When my two nights in NYC is up, I board a Delta flight up to Burlington, Vermont to explore the area affectionately known as the IPA Highway! Some of the world’s most illusive and spectacular beers come from this area including one that tops lists of the best IPA’s called Heady Topper. Heady is a double IPA and is brewed by Alchemist Brewing in Waterbury, Vermont. In July, Alchemist opened their brand new brewery and retail space in beautiful Stowe which is where I have decided to base myself for a few nights while I explore. Odds are high for Heady!!!! I’m pumped too for Heady Topper’s little brother, Focal Banger which also features on lists of the world’s best IPA’s.
A little brewpub in Waterbury called Prohibition Pig has really grabbed my attention with some amazing looking food and a beer list that really looks like the sort of thing a craft beer fan would ask for at the pearly gates lol. I can’t wait!!!
Vermont is also known for it’s cheese and maple syrup… oh and it’s pork based produce… maple bacon nomnomnom…… and cheeeese… (Mouth watering)
Exploring Vermont will be an entirely self guided experience, I am picking up a hire car at Burlington Airport, wish me well!!! I drove almost the length of California and Oregon including peak hour down to Santa Monica…. nothing could be worse than that!!!
The little motel I am calling home in Stowe, Stowe Motel, supplies guests with snow shoes and bicycles so that could be awesome too as the Stowe area is covered in great trails and cycle paths.
Whilst in Stowe, I also home to check out the area around Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest peak at around 4300ft. October often brings the first dusting of snow on the mountain, fingers crossed! I do love the white stuff!!!
Being fall, the area should be beautiful with the colours New England is known for as the trees lose their leaves and settle in for winter. I truly can’t wait… this is one of my bucket list experiences, to see the fall in New England.
Beer is bringing me here, so I am going to list with great optimism the brews I hope to find:
- Heady Topper – Alchemist
- Focal Banger – Alchemist
- Crusher – Alchemist
- Anything I can get from Hill Farmstead
- Sip of Sunshine – Lawson’s Finest Liquids
- Triple Sunshine IPA – Lawson’s Finest Liquids
- Anything else I can get from Lawson’s Finest Liquids
- Fiddlehead IPA – Fiddlehead
- I’m also excited to see what Rock Art Brewing have too!
No doubt there’ll be a tonne of surprise packages along the way with barrel aged goodies and sour experiences!
Back on the food front, I found a great little brewpub in Stowe called The Bench which looks INCREDIBLE! Cannot wait to check this one out!
When my time in Vermont comes to an end on Sunday, I fly back into New York, this time making Brooklyn my home, staying at the Union Hotel.
I’m an Anaheim Ducks fan and my team is in town playing the New York Islanders at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn on Sunday night! Super pumped for this, got myself a 9th row seat 🙂
Hoping to squeeze in some shopping while I’m here… gotta fill those two 23kg bags I’m allowed!!! Mind you, I suspect a few cans of hard to find beer may sneak into those bags too :))
Hope to try out Threes Brewing, just around the corner from my hotel in Brooklyn and get myself some rad food truck feeds and some classic NY pizza and chilli dawgs!
So, that’s the quick run down! As you can probably tell, I’m a tad excited :))