Aviation · North America Trip · Trip Report · USA · Vacation

#1696 – 2015 Year End Trip (Part XI: Back to Europe)

ENGLISH

Previous posts on the 2015 Year End Trip series:
1. Part I: Getting to North America
2. Part II: Boston
3. Part III: Getting to Mexico
4. Part IV: Oaxaca
5. Part V: A Mexican Wedding
6. Part VI: Huatulco and New Year
7. Part VII: Beaches of Huatulco
8. Part VIII: Back to USA
9. Part IX: Fifth Avenue, New York
10. Part X: More from New York

Previously on 2015 Year End Trip: For the year end 2015, Zilko went to North America. After spending three days in Boston, five days in Oaxaca, five days in Huatulco, and five days in New York, this amazing 2.5 weeks trip must come to an end. Now, it was time for him to go back to Europe and, well, real life.

Flight route map today. Created with gcmap.com
Flight route map today. Created with gcmap.com

***

John F. Kennedy International Airport

Because I had too much money cash left (What kind of sentence is this? LOL, #firstworldproblem), I decided to go to New York – John F. Kennedy International Airport with a cab. It turned out I was extremely lucky to be able to get a cab just by wandering around the street nearby my hotel. Anyway, long story short after about an hour of driving through Brooklyn, I arrived at Terminal 1 of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Terminal 1 of John F. Kennedy International Airport
Terminal 1 of John F. Kennedy International Airport

After checking-in and passing the security check, I went to Air France’s lounge at JFK. Btw, I just realized that as a French airline, Air France had quite a lot of flights in and out of John F. Kennedy International Airport!

Anyway, upon check-in at the lounge, the receptionist informed me that if I wanted I was entitled to a complimentary 15 minutes spa treatment by Clarins (which my mom later told me that Clarins was a premium treatment product 😛 )! Obviously I signed up for one, haha 😆 . There were two treatment options for men: “The Energizer” or “Jet Lag Reviver”. I chose the latter.

Air France Lounge at JFK
Air France Lounge at JFK

The 15 minutes complimentary spa treatment was obviously very nice. Moreover, Air France’s lounge at JFK was also nice and actually quite big with two storeys. I spent nearly 1.5 hours there before going to the gate for my AF 007 flight to Paris.

AF 007 (New York – Paris)

AF Logo
Flight: Air France AF007
Equipment: Airbus A380-800 reg F-HPJC
ATD: 20:oo CST (Runway 04L of JFK)
ATA: 08:39 CET (Runway 27R of CDG)

The very reason I chose flight AF 007 to go back to Europe (of the many options to go back to Amsterdam) was that this flight would be operated with an Airbus A380-800!! Okay, indeed it was not my first time with an A380, but it had been more than two years since the last time I flew on one! :mrgreen:

An Air France's Airbus A380-800 reg F-HPJC which would fly me from New York to Paris as AF 007
An Air France’s Airbus A380-800 reg F-HPJC which would fly me from New York to Paris as AF 007

Anyway, today AF 007 would be operated with F-HPJC, Air France’s six years old A380. What excited me even more was that my seat today would be on the upperdeck!! Yaaay!! 😍

When I arrived at the gate, though, a super long-queue had already formed for boarding[1]. But thanks to my Flying Blue Gold status, I was a SkyPriority passenger and so I could skip that queue and board the plane first, muahaha 😆 I was led to the aerobridge which brought me to the upperdeck of the A380. I brisked passed the business and premium economy section to get to the economy section at the back of the plane.

My first impression of the economy seat on the upperdeck of an A380 was that it was so spacious! It was just a seat in economy but there was ample of extra space by the window and there was even a storage room just by my seat. Awesome!

Extra storage space!!
Extra storage space!!

Boarding went efficiently today and we were scheduled to leave on time at 7:25 PM. However, the captain got a notice from the gate about a passenger who did not show up and, unluckily, this passenger had a checked-in luggage. For safety reason, this luggage must be taken out but the problem was, the luggage was at the very rear end of the storage room so taking this luggage out would take approximately 35 minutes which meant our flight would be delayed.

Long story short, the luggage was taken out and we were cleared for departure at runway 04L of John F. Kennedy International Airport. Here is the take-off video:

See you, New York!!!

Not long after take-off, the dinner service started. The choice today was pasta or chicken. I opted for the chicken one (this made me think though, why did I keep getting pasta vs chicken options in most of my recent flights?). As usual, the meal service on board an Air France flight was top notch!! I especially loved the mixed edamame and corn appetizer!

Dinner service on board flight AF007
Dinner service on board flight AF007

I watched 17 Again in the IFE, haha 😆 . I must say it felt so strange to see Matthew Perry playing a character other than Chandler Bing 😛 . Speaking of the IFE, however, I felt a little bit underwhelmed unfortunately.

I tried to sleep but somehow I couldn’t. I think it was partly because I knew it would be just a 6.5 hour flight to Paris. The problem was, with a six hours time difference, this meant I would land in Paris at around 8:30 AM despite leaving New York at 8 PM the night before, haha 😆 .

Morning already in France
Morning already in France

About an hour before landing, a snack service was served which consisted of a muffin, a yoghurt, and some choices of drinks. The sun started to rise (it felt so strange as I had not slept at all 😆 ) and we were already somewhere above France. We were approaching Charles De Gaulle International Airport. It was such a foggy morning where I could not see the ground until two seconds before touchdown! Here is the landing video:

Brief Transit at Paris CDG

Even though I had transitted a lot at Paris – Charles De Gaulle International Airport, this transit was a little bit more special to me because it was the first time I was there as a Flying Blue Gold flyer. This meant that I could wait in Air France’s lounge there for free! So, good bye overpriced food and drink at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport! Haha 😛 .

Quick breakfast at CDG
Quick breakfast at CDG

The transit time was quite tight, though, btw. I even only had about ten minutes in the lounge before boarding call for my flight to Amsterdam was made. In those ten minutes, though, I still managed to get a quick breakfast consisting of croissants, some fruit, and coffee, haha 😛 .

KL 1230 (Paris – Amsterdam)

KL Logo

Flight: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL 1230
Equipment: Boeing 737-900 reg PH-BXR
ATD: 10:2o CET (Runway 27L of CDG)
ATA: 11:45 CET (Runway 18R of AMS)

Unlike my previous KL 1230 flight, this time I was not given a false hope about flying with a Boeing 737-900. KLM did deploy their Boeing 737-900 for this flight today, which meant that my chosen seat of 16F was an emergency seat with plenty of legroom! Haha 😆 .

My emergency exit seat on board PH-BXR
My emergency exit seat on board PH-BXR

It was another KLM’s routine flight between Paris and Amsterdam. I have taken this route a lot so I don’t feel like writing in much detail here, haha 😆 . At 11:45 AM, we landed at runway 18R of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

There was a small drama at the luggage belt where I thought my luggage was left in Paris. But then it turned out that they just took forever to take my luggage out (so I thought they missed it). I already went to their complain desk to file a complaint at that point. There, (well, after waiting for about 20 minutes as it turned out to be a busy afternoon at the complaint desk) they asked me to check if one of the two unattended bags still on the belt was mine. And one of them indeed was, haha 😛 .

Anyway, from there, I took the train to go back to Delft. And here, this amazing 2.5 weeks of adventure to North America officially ended.

THE END.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting sebelumnya dalam seri 2015 Year End Trip:
1. Part I: Getting to North America
2. Part II: Boston
3. Part III: Getting to Mexico
4. Part IV: Oaxaca
5. Part V: A Mexican Wedding
6. Part VI: Huatulco and New Year
7. Part VII: Beaches of Huatulco
8. Part VIII: Back to USA
9. Part IX: Fifth Avenue, New York
10. Part X: More from New York

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Year End Trip: Untuk mengakhiri tahun 2015, Zilko pergi ke Amerika Utara. Setelah menghabiskan tiga hari di Boston, lima hari di Oaxaca, lima hari di Huatulco, dan lima hari di New York, kini perjalanan super seru sepanjang 2,5 minggu ini harus berakhir juga. Ini adalah saat baginya untuk kembali ke Eropa dan, yah, kehidupan nyata.

Flight route map today. Created with gcmap.com
Peta rute penerbangan hari ini. Dibuat dengan gcmap.com

***

Bandara Internasional John F. Kennedy

Karena aku kebanyakan uang kontan (Ih, kalimat macam apa ini? hahaha #firstworldproblem), aku memutuskan untuk pergi ke Bandara Internasional John F. Kennedy dengan naik taksi. Ternyata waktu itu aku, bisa dibilang, beruntung bisa dengan mudah mendapatkan taksi dengan cara menunggu di pinggir jalan di dekat hotel. Singkat cerita, perjalanan sepanjang kira-kira satu jam melewati Brooklyn aku lalui dan akhirnya aku tiba di Terminal 1 Bandara John F. Kennedy.

Terminal 1 of John F. Kennedy International Airport
Terminal 1 Bandara Internasional John F. Kennedy

Setelah check-in dan melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti, aku menuju ke lounge-nya Air France di JFK. Btw, aku baru sadar lho bahwa sebagai sebuah maskapai Prancis, Air France memiliki cukup banyak penerbangan ke Bandara John F. Kennedy ini!

Anyway, ketika check-in di lounge-nya, resepsionisnya memberi-tahuku bahwa kalau mau aku bisa mendapatkan spa treatment dari Clarins gratis selama 15 menit (yang mana kemudian aku dibilangi mamaku bahwa Clarins adalah produk perawatan yang premium)! Jelas dong aku mau dan aku langsung daftar deh, haha 😆 . Ada dua pilihan perawatan untuk pria: “The Energizer” atau “Jet Lag Reviver”. Aku memilih yang pilihan yang kedua.

Air France Lounge at JFK
Lounge Air France di JFK

Komplimen spa treatment selama 15 menit dari Clarins ini jelas asyik. Selain itu, lounge-nya Air France di JFK itu cukup keren juga dan berukuran besar dimana lounge-nya dua lantai loh. Aku menghabiskan waktu sekitar 1,5 jam disana sebelum beranjak ke gerbang keberangkatan penerbangan AF 007ku ke Paris.

AF 007 (New York – Paris)

AF Logo
Penerbangan: Air France AF007
Pesawat: Airbus A380-800 reg F-HPJC
ATD: 20:oo CST (Runway 04L of JFK)
ATA: 08:39 CET (Runway 27R of CDG)

Alasan aku memilih penerbangan AF 007 untuk kembali ke Eropa (dari sekian banyaknya pilihan untuk kembali ke Amsterdam) adalah karena penerbangan ini akan dioperasikan dengan pesawat Airbus A380-800!! Oke, memang sih ini bukanlah kali pertama aku terbang dengan A380, tetapi kan sudah dua tahun lebih gitu semenjak terakhir kali aku terbang dengannya! :mrgreen:

An Air France's Airbus A380-800 reg F-HPJC which would fly me from New York to Paris as AF 007
Sebuah Airbus A380-800 milik Air France dengan registrasi F-HPJC yang akan menerbangkanku dari New York ke Paris sebagai AF 007

Hari ini AF 007 dioperasikan oleh pesawat F-HPJC, sebuah A380nya Air France yang berumur enam tahun. Selain itu, yang membuatku merasa amat bersemangat adalah kursiku hari ini bakal berada di lantai dua pesawatnya lohh!! Horee!! 😍

Ketika aku tiba di gerbangnya, antrian super panjang untuk boarding sudah terbentuk[1]. Untungnya, berkat status Flying Blue Gold-ku, aku adalah penumpang Sky Priority sehingga aku nggak perlu ngantri dan bisa langung naik pesawat duluan ya, muahaha 😆 . Aku diarahkan ke gabarata yang membawaku naik ke lantai dua A380nya. Aku berjalan cepat melewati kursi-kursi kelas bisnis dan ekonomi premium sebelum tiba di bagian kursi kelas ekonomi di belakang pesawat.

Kesan utamaku akan kursi ekonomi di lantai dua A380 adalah: lapang banget! Hanya kursi ekonomi aja tapi ada banyak banget ruangan ekstra loh di samping jendelanya. Bahkan ada ruang penyimpanan barang ekstra di sebelah kursiku! Keren!

Extra storage space!!
Ruang ekstra untuk menyimpan barang!!

Boarding berlangsung mulus dan kami dijadwalkan berangkat tepat waktu jam 7:25 malam. Namun, kapten pesawat mendapatkan pemberi-tahuan dari gerbang mengenai satu penumpang yang tidak muncul dan, sialnya, penumpang ini memiliki sebuah bagasi di dalam pesawat. Untuk alasan keamanan, bagasinya harus dikeluarkan dari pesawat; nah, masalahnya, bagasinya ini ada di bagian paling belakang ruang kargo sehingga mereka membutuhkan waktu kira-kira 35 menit untuk mengeluarkannya. Jadilah penerbangannya mau nggak mau harus terlambat.

Singkat cerita, bagasinya akhirnya dikeluarkan dan kami diizinkan berangkat dari landasan pacu 04L Bandara Internasional John F. Kennedy. Berikut ini video lepas landasnya:

Sampai jumpa, New York!!!

Tak lama setelah lepas landas, layanan makan malam dimulai. Pilihannya adalah menu pasta atau ayam. Aku memilih menu ayam (btw, kok di penerbanganku baru-baru ini kebanyakan pilihannya pasta vs ayam terus sih?). Seperti biasa, layanan makanan di penerbangan Air France itu selalu enak-enak!! Di menu ini, aku paling suka menu pembuka campuran edamame dan jagungnya!

Dinner service on board flight AF007
Layanan makan malam di penerbangan AF 007

Aku menonton 17 Again di IFE-nya, haha 😆 . Harus kubilang bahwa aneh rasanya melihat Matthew Perry memainkan peran selain Chandler Bing 😛 . Ngomongin IFEnya, aku sedikit merasa kecewa dengan isinya.

Aku mencoba tidur tetapi tidak bisa. Aku rasa salah satu faktornya adalah karena aku tahu ini hanyalah sebuah penerbangan 6,5 jam saja ke Paris. Masalahnya, dengan perbedaan waktu enam jam, ini artinya aku akan mendarat di Paris sekitar jam 8:30 pagi padahal aku berangkat dari New York jam 8 malam malam sebelumnya, haha 😆 .

Morning already in France
Sudah pagi loh di Prancis

Sekitar satu jam sebelum mendarat, layanan snack yang terdiri atas sebuah kue muffin, yoghurt, dan pilihan minuman dibagikan. Matahari terbit (aneh rasanya soalnya aku belum tidur sama sekali 😆 ) dan kami sudah berada di atas Prancis. Kami mendekati Bandara Internasional Charles De Gaulle dimana pagi itu adalah pagi yang amat berkabut. Aku bahkan tidak bisa melihat daratan sampai dua detik sebelum touchdown! Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Transit Kilat di Paris CDG

Walaupun sudah sering banget transit di Bandara Paris Charles De Gaulle, transit kali ini sedikit berbeda karena ini adalah kali pertama aku transit sebagai penumpang Flying Blue Gold. Ini artinya aku bisa menunggu di lounge-nya Air France disana! Asyik, bye bye deh makanan dan minuman overpriced di Bandara Charles De Gaulle! Haha 😛 .

Quick breakfast at CDG
Sarapan kilat di CDG

Transit kali ini mepet banget loh waktunya, btw. Bahkan aku hanya memiliki waktu sepuluhan menit saja di lounge-nya sebelum panggilan naik pesawat untuk penerbangan ke Amsterdamku diumumkan. Di masa sepuluh menit itu, untungnya aku masih sempat sarapan kilat yang berupa roti croissant, buah-buahan, dan kopi, haha 😛 .

KL 1230 (Paris – Amsterdam)

KL Logo

Penerbangan: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL 1230
Pesawat: Boeing 737-900 reg PH-BXR
ATD: 10:2o CET (Runway 27L of CDG)
ATA: 11:45 CET (Runway 18R of AMS)

Tidak seperti penerbangan KL 1230ku yang sebelumnya, kali ini aku nggak di-PHP-in KLM untuk urusan terbang dengan pesawat Boeing 737-900. KLM benar-benar menggunakan pesawat Boeing 737-900nya di penerbangan ini, yang mana artinya kursi 16F yang sudah kupilih adalah kursi pintu darurat dengan legroom yang mantaap! Haha 😆 .

My emergency exit seat on board PH-BXR
Kursi pintu daruratku di PH-BXR

Ini adalah penerbangan rutin KLM antara Paris dan Amsterdam. Saking seringnya aku terbang di rute ini, malas nih menulis ceritanya, haha 😆 . Jam 11:45 pagi, kami mendarat di landasan pacu 18R Bandara Schiphol di Amsterdam.

Ada drama kecil di pengambilan bagasi dimana aku kira bagasiku tertinggal di Paris. Tetapi ternyata mereka hanya lama banget aja mengeluarkan bagasiku (jadilah aku kira bagasiku hilang). Aku sudah terlanjur pergi ke pusat layanan bagasinya KLM untuk komplain. Disana, (setelah menunggu selama 20an menit, banyak yang komplain siang itu) mereka memintaku mengecek apakah satu dari dua tas yang masih berada di conveyor belt-nya adalah milikku. Ternyata salah satunya memang tasku, haha 😛 .

Dari sana, aku naik kereta untuk kembali ke Delft. Dan disini, petualangan 2,5 mingguku ke Amerika Utara resmi berakhir.

SELESAI.

North America Trip · USA · Vacation

#1694 – 2015 Year End Trip (Part X: More from New York)

ENGLISH

Previous posts on the 2015 Year End Trip series:
1. Part I: Getting to North America
2. Part II: Boston
3. Part III: Getting to Mexico
4. Part IV: Oaxaca
5. Part V: A Mexican Wedding
6. Part VI: Huatulco and New Year
7. Part VII: Beaches of Huatulco
8. Part VIII: Back to USA
9. Part IX: Fifth Avenue, New York

Previously on 2015 Year End Trip: Zilko travelled to the USA for the first time ever in his life where he went to Boston. From Boston, he went south to Mexico. After spending ten days in Mexico, he was back in the USA where he went to the city of his life-long dream: New York.

***

The Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island

Hello there, Lady Liberty!
Hello there, Lady Liberty!

For a first-time New York visitor (like me), one of the must-visited sites in the area is definitely the Statue of Liberty! I mean, a (first) trip to New York without having a date with Lady Liberty is like having a cappuccino without the coffee, lol 😆 .

I booked a ticket to the Statue of Liberty ever a week before this North America trip. Even then, which meant about three weeks before my planned visit, I was already too late to get a ticket with access to the crown (access to the torch has been closed since 1916[1] for safety reason). But that’s okay, at least I still managed to get a ticket with access to the pedestal (the box thingy Lady Liberty stood on).

The ferry ride to the Liberty Island departed from the Battery Park. The scheduled departure time at that time was 1 PM and so I arrived 30 minutes before that. All visitors must pass a security check first, which was as tight and thorough as an airport security check btw, before boarding the boat.

The boat left on time at 1 PM and our short ride to the Liberty Island began. I chose not to sit because I wanted to have good views of New York and the Statue of Liberty from the open deck 😛 . We landed at the pier in Liberty Island and I got off the boat.

Liberty and New York
Liberty and New York

First, I took an audio guide (already included in the ticket) and went straight to the entrance of the statue from its back. I could not bring my backpack in and had to rent a locker for $2 for 2 hours. Then, I went through another security screening before they let me in the pedestal.

Inside the pedestal was a museum of the famous statue where its history was presented. From there, we could go to the top of the pedestal with either stairs or elevator. They said going up by stairs would take around 5 minutes; so I went for it because it should be a good exercise to me after 2+ weeks of vacation, haha 😆 . But then, it turned out that I reached the top in just, like, 2 minutes or so. Damn!

Anyway, at the top of pedestal, there was a small balcony around it where we could get some good view. After spending about ten minutes there, I walked back down. I went to the star-shaped base of the statue and took some photos 😛 . From there, I exited the area, took my backpack, and had lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Look who was behind me!
Look who was behind me!

Ellis Island

From Liberty Island, the ferry went to Ellis Island first. Since the ticket already included an admission to Ellis Island, I stopped by as well. The architecture of the building in Ellis Island really looked like some Dutch architecture, btw 😛 .

There was an Immigration Museum in Ellis Island, which stored stories of the history of immigration in USA. What I really like was just how not discriminative the museum was towards the information. You could find not so nice stories and facts about immigration in the USA. Also, how difficult it was to enter the country back then (at one point, aside from the health and crime check, sometimes the potential immigrants must pass an IQ test before being granted entrance).

Staten Island Immigration Museum
Ellis Island Immigration Museum

The Ellis Island itself was the entry point for those immigrants back in the day. Being located next to the Liberty Island, that is the reason why the Statue of Liberty has become a symbol of immigrating to the USA. All immigrants from Europe would have had to pass (and, thus, see) the statue before docking at Ellis Island. And the immigration building is now the museum. How cool is that!

Lower Manhattan

The financial area of New York was mostly concentrated in the Lower Manhattan region. At one point, I went to possibly the most famous street for people in the finance industry: New York’s Wall Street, haha 😆 .

Wall Street
Wall Street

The Ground Zero of the 9/11 tragedy was also around the area which I paid a visit to as well. The sites of the two towers were now two large pools with names of the victims engraved on the pools’ walls. Some construction work was visible going on nearby the area, including the awesome-looking WTC transportation hub 😀 .

The Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn

Another important site for me to visit in New York was the famous Brooklyn Bridge which connected Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York. My hotel in the Chinatown area was not really far away from the bridge, so at one morning I walked there after a brunch (see, a real New York experience 😛 ).

Hello, Brooklyn Bridge
Hello, Brooklyn Bridge

And it was amazing! There was a pedestrian path in the middle of the bridge which actually offered some good views of the bridge and both cities. Obviously I crossed the bridge, from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

Speaking of Brooklyn, on the other evening I decided to go to Brooklyn to see how it differed from Manhattan. And it definitely differed from Manhattan in a lot of ways. The glamour of New York (which you may think of) is mostly associated with Manhattan with all the tall and shiny skyscrapers, while Brooklyn is a New York that is more “calmed down” and “down to earth”. To me, seeing Brooklyn makes New York more “human” and “real”.

The Food

KFC

An American KFC
An American KFC

While in Brooklyn (and USA 😛 ), I decided to try out the American KFC restaurant! (Too bad I did not have the chance in Mexico btw). And I have to say that, indeed, the appearance of a KFC restaurant in USA did look like a cheap place to eat (at least the one I went to in Brooklyn); unlike in Indonesia, haha. I ordered my favorite crispy chicken obviously, as I wanted to make a comparison. And it turned out that the Indonesian KFC was still the best to me, haha. The American one was good though, but definitely not anywhere near the goodness of the Indonesian KFC. Well, even I liked the Dutch KFC better than the American! 😛

Asian Food

The beauty of America is its multiculturalism. And this is also clear from the wide array of food I can find in New York. Staying in the Chinatown means that there were a lot of Asian food options for me to choose. In two mornings, I decided to eat noodles dish in two different restaurants just accross my hotel.

Satay udon
Satay udon

For one dinner I had there, I found an interesting noodles dish: a sate udon dish! 😯 The name itself was very interesting as if it was a combination of an Indonesian and Japanese dish, haha. So I gave it a try. It was delicious even though to me I did not taste the “sate”-ness in the dish 😛 .

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next on 2015 Year End Trip:
– Flying from New York to Paris
– Flying with an Airbus A380 again!
– Cool Air France lounges
– Back in the Netherlands (and real life)

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting sebelumnya dalam seri 2015 Year End Trip:
1. Part I: Getting to North America
2. Part II: Boston
3. Part III: Getting to Mexico
4. Part IV: Oaxaca
5. Part V: A Mexican Wedding
6. Part VI: Huatulco and New Year
7. Part VII: Beaches of Huatulco
8. Part VIII: Back to USA
9. Part IX: Fifth Avenue, New York

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Year End Trip: Zilko pergi ke Amerika untuk pertama kalinya seumur hidup dimana ia pergi ke kota Boston. Dari Boston, ia terbang ke selatan ke Meksiko. Setelah menghabiskan sepuluh hari di Meksiko, ia kembali ke Amerika dimana kini ia berada di kota yang sudah ia impikan semenjak lama: New York.

***

Patung Liberty dan Pulau Ellis

Hello there, Lady Liberty!
Halo, Nyonya Liberty!

Sebagai orang yang baru ke New York untuk pertama-kalinya (kayak aku), satu tempat wisata wajib di kota ini yang harus dikunjungi jelas adalah Patung Liberty! Maksudku, perjalanan (pertama-kalinya) ke New York tanpa ke Patung Liberty itu kan ibarat minum cappuccino tanpa kopinya ya, hahaha 😆 .

Aku sudah membeli tiket ke area Patung Liberty semenjak seminggu sebelum perjalanan ke Amerika Utara ini dimulai. Bahkan waktu itu pun, yang mana artinya sekitar tiga minggu sebelum waktu kunjunganku, aku sudah kehabisan tiket akses ke mahkotanya loh (akses ke obornya ternyata sudah ditutup semenjak tahun 1916[1] karena alasan keamanan). Tapi nggak masalah sih, toh aku masih bisa mendapatkan tiket masuk ke pedestalnya (bagian kotak yang diinjak Nyonya Liberty-nya itu).

Kapal ferry tujuan Pulau Liberty diberangkatkan dari Battery Park. Jadwal keberangkatannya waktu itu adalah jam 1 siang dan aku jadilah aku tiba di tamannya sekitar setengah jam sebelumnya. Semua pengunjung harus melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti terlebih dahulu, yang mana cukup ketat juga seperti pemeriksaan di bandara, sebelum diizinkan menaiki kapal.

Kapal berangkat tepat waktu jam 1 siang dan perjalanan singkat ke Pulau Liberty dimulai. Aku memutuskan untuk tidak duduk karena aku ingin melihat pemandangan New York dan Patung Liberty jelas ya 😛 . Lalu, kami mendarat di dermaga di Pulau Liberty dan aku turun dari kapal.

Liberty and New York
Liberty dan New York

Pertama-tama, aku mengambil audio guide dulu (yang mana sudah termasuk dalam tiketku) dan kemudian masuk melalui pintu masuknya di belakang patung. Aku tidak diperbolehkan membawa tasku ke dalam sehingga aku harus menyewa sebuah locker dengan harga $2 untuk dua jam. Lalu, aku harus melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti lagi sebelum aku diperbolehkan masuk ke dalam pedestal.

Di dalam pedestalnya terdapat sebuah museum yang berisikan cerita patung yang terkenal ini. Dari sana, aku bisa naik ke puncak pedestal dengan tangga atau lift. Tertulis bahwa naik tangga akan memakan waktu sekitar 5 menit; jadilah aku memilihnya karena lumayan kan ya untuk sedikit berolahraga setelah 2+ minggu liburan, haha 😆 . Dan ternyata aku mencapai puncaknya hanya dalam 2 menit aja dong. Ih, nyebelin!

Anyway, di puncak pedestalnya terdapat semacam balkon kecil mengelilingi patungnya sehingga kita bisa mendapatkan pemandangan yang oke dari sana. Setelah menghabiskan 10an menit disana, aku berjalan turun. Aku kemudian berjalan-jalan sejenak di bagian dasar patungnya yang berbentuk bintang itu dan, jelas, foto-foto dong disana 😛 . Dari sana, aku keluar dari areanya, mengambil tasku, dan makan siang di sebuah restoran di sebuah taman di dekat patungnya.

Look who was behind me!
Eh, siapa tuh yang di belakangku?

Pulau Ellis

Dari Pulau Liberty, kapal feri berhenti di Pulau Ellis dulu. Karena tiketku toh sudah termasuk tiket masuk ke Pulau Ellis juga, aku mampir dong *nggak mau rugi*. Btw, arsitektur gedung di Pulau Ellis ini Belanda banget loh menurutku 😛 .

Di Pulau Ellis sendiri terdapat sebuah Museum Imigrasi. Yang aku suka dari museum ini adalah informasi yang diberikan adalah apa adanya dan tidak diskriminatif. Banyak cerita kurang mengenakkan yang bisa dibaca disana mengenai fakta imigrasi ke Amerika dulu. Juga, bagaimana sulitnya masuk kesana dulu (di satu waktu, di samping tes kesehatan dan pemeriksaan catatan kriminal, masa dong ya orang yang mau masuk Amerika harus ikutan tes potensi akademik dulu sebelum diizinkan masuk).

Staten Island Immigration Museum
Museum Imigrasi Pulau Ellis

Dulunya, Pulau Ellis adalah titik masuk Amerika bagi para imigran. Oleh karena berlokasi di sebelahnya Pulau Liberty, Patung Liberty menjadi simbol imigrasi masuk ke Amerika. Semua imigran dari Eropa harus melewati (jadi, otomatis mereka melihat) Patung Liberty sebelum kapal yang mereka tumpangi merapat di Pulau Ellis. Dan sekarang, gedung imigrasinya ini difungsikan sebagai museum ini. Keren ya!

Lower Manhattan

Pusat area finansial di New York terkonsentrasi di area Lower Manhattan. Di satu waktu, jelas aku mampir juga ke sebuah jalan yang paling terkenal di dunia keuangan dan perbankan: Wall Street, haha 😆 .

Wall Street
Wall Street

Di sekitar area ini terdapat Ground Zero dari tragedi 9/11 yang juga aku kunjungi. Tempat dimana dulunya berdiri dua menara kembar WTC itu kini menjadi sebuah kolam raksasa dengan nama-nama para korban diukirkan di dinding di samping kolamnya. Beberapa pekerjaan konstruksi terlihat di sekitarnya sewaktu aku disana, termasuk pusat transportasi WTC yang nampak keren banget 😀 .

Jembatan Brooklyn dan Brooklyn

Satu tempat penting lain di New York yang harus kukunjungi adalah Jembatan Brooklyn yang terkenal itu, yang menghubungkan Manhattan dan Brooklyn di New York. Hotelku berlokasi di area Chinatown sehingga berlokasi tidak terallu jauh dari jembatannya. Jadilah di satu pagi aku berjalan kaki kesana setelah brunch (nah kan, pengalaman yang New York banget ini, hahaha 😆 )

Hello, Brooklyn Bridge
Halo, Jembatan Booklyn.

Dan jembatannya keren banget lho! Ada jalur khusus pejalan kaki di tengah jembatannya yang menawarkan pemandangan New York yang keren banget. Jelas aku menyebrangi jembatannya dong ya, dari Manhattan ke arah Brooklyn.

Ngomongin Brooklyn, di suatu malam aku memutuskan untuk kesana untuk melihat perbedaannya dari Manhattan. Dan jelas kota ini berbeda sekali dari Manhattan di banyak sisi. Glamornya New York (yang mungkin kita semua bayangkan) sebenarnya hanya terasosiasikan dengan Manhattan saja dengan gedung-gedung pencakar langitnya yang keren itu. Brooklyn sendiri adalah New York yang “kalem” dan “merakyat”. Untukku, melihat Brooklyn telah “memanusiakan” New York dan membuatnya terasa lebih “nyata”.

Makanannya

KFC

An American KFC
KFCnya Amerika

Mumpung di Brooklyn (dan Amerika sih 😛 ), aku memutuskan untuk nyobain KFCnya dong ya! (Sayang aku tidak sempat nyobain KFC di Meksiko nih). Dan harus aku bilang bahwa penampilan restoran KFC di Amerika itu memang kayak tempat yang menjual makanan murah ya (setidaknya yang kukunjungi di Brooklyn mah begitu); nggak kayak di Indonesia, haha. Rumah makannya nampak usang dan kotor. Anyway, aku memesan ayam crispy yang merupakan kesukaanku karena aku ingin membandingkan rasanya. Dan ternyata KFCnya Indonesia masih jauh lebih enak loh, haha. Rasa KFC Amerika lumayan sih sebenarnya, tapi masih jauh kalau dibandingkan sama kemantapannya KFC Indonesia. Bahkan menurutku KFCnya Belanda masih lebih enak daripada yang Amerika punya! 😛

Makanan Asia

Keindahan dari Amerika adalah kemultikulturannya. Dan ini nampak jelas dari banyak-jenisnya makanan yang bisa aku temukan di New York. Karena menginap di daerah Chinatown, ada banyak rumah makan Asia di dekat hotel yang bisa kupilih. Di dua pagi, aku memutuskan makan mie di dua restoran yang berbeda di seberang hotel.

Satay udon
Udon sate

Di satu makan malam, aku menemukan sebuah menu mi yang unik: menu udon sate! 😯 Namanya menarik ya karena seperti kombinasi makanan Indonesia dan Jepang gitu, haha. Jadilah aku cobain. Enak sih walaupun untukku, rasa “sate”-nya nggak berasa sama sekali 😛 .

BERSAMBUNG…

Selanjutnya dalam 2015 Year End Trip:
– Terbang dari New York ke Paris
– Terbang dengan Airbus A380 lagi!
Lounge-nya Air France yang keren
– Kembali di Belanda (dan kehidupan nyata)

North America Trip · USA · Vacation

#1692 – 2015 Year End Trip (Part IX: Fifth Avenue, New York)

ENGLISH

Previous posts on the 2015 Year End Trip series:
1. Part I: Getting to North America
2. Part II: Boston
3. Part III: Getting to Mexico
4. Part IV: Oaxaca
5. Part V: A Mexican Wedding
6. Part VI: Huatulco and New Year
7. Part VII: Beaches of Huatulco
8. Part VIII: Back to USA

Previously on 2015 Year End Trip: Zilko travelled to the USA for the first time ever in his life where his first destination was Boston. From Boston, he went south to Mexico. After spending ten days in Mexico, he was now back in the USA and was ready to explore the city of his life-long dream: New York.

***

The bustling FIfth Avenue of New York
The bustling Fifth Avenue of New York

To me, Fifth Avenue is the most famous street in the world. In my dictionary, it is more famous than Paris’ Champs-Élysées or Singapore’s Orchard Road. So obviously during my five days stay in New York, a lot of my activities were centered around this long avenue.

Yes, Fifth Avenue is a very long street. In fact, I just googled it and it turned out that its length is approximately 10 km. Yes, 10 km people[1]! Lol 😆 . No wonder at one point when I decided to walk along by it, just about halfway my feet hurt (I was not wearing my comfortable sneakers at that time, bad choice, I know).

Anyway, this post will summarize all these activities…

Top of the Rock

One of my biggest agenda of this trip to New York was to go somewhere high and enjoyed the super famous skyline of the most famous city in the world (and took some pictures of it). For that I could go to the top of the Empire State Building (which was located at the Fifth Avenue as well) of course. However, doing so meant that the Empire State Building itself would not be in my view nor my picture of New York (because I was in it). But I wanted to have the Empire State Building in my view because this building was, arguably, the most famous skyscraper in New York, no?

What was the solution? Well, easy, the 30 Rockefeller Center whose observation decks on the 67th, 69th, and 70th floor were opened for public. It was not for free, obviously, but it was so worth the ticket! Btw, you can find discounted tickets online, which I did! :mrgreen: Going to the top of this tower in the evening provided me with this magnificent view of New York:

It's up to you, New York, New York!
It’s up to you, New York, New York!

I think we need an infinite amount of “😍” to describe my feeling when I had this view in front of my eyes.

The Flatiron Building and Trump Tower

Two other buildings in Fifth Avenue were also of my interest. First of all, it was the Flatiron building. About ten years ago, I watched a documentary of its construction in National Geographic Channel and ever since, I have been wanting to visit this uniquely designed building. So when I was in New York, obviously I did. It was, indeed, extremely marvelous with its shape and architecture!!

The Flatiron Building
The Flatiron Building
Trump Tower
The Trump Tower in NY

Being a fans of The Apprentice (the original version though, not the celebrity version), another building in Fifth Avenue which I wanted to visit was the Trump Tower. Okay, I want to make it clear here once and foremost. I, personally, despise Donald Trump’s recent “campaign” and I visited his tower in New York purely because of my love of The Apprentice 🙂 . Anyway, as I was in Fifth Avenue, obviously I stopped by there. It felt so amazing to actually see and be in the building which I watched on TV (and the internet) for many, many episodes of the show!

Times Square and Broadway

Not exactly in Fifth Avenue, but these two sites were relatively nearby. Times Square was obviously famous for being a very busy intersection full of bright billboards and advertisement. When I was there, it was crowded and, indeed, very bright with all the billboards!!

Times Square
Times Square

Not far away from Times Square was the theatrical area of New York where a lot of theatres stood. On one occassion, I decided to watch Les Misérables. A self-standing post about this experience has been published some time ago.

You also know that I am a fans of Detective Conan. In Osaka last year, I went to the Tsutenkaku Tower because that tower was in the cover of Detective Conan volume 19. And now that I was in New York, obviously I went to the Radio City Music Hall because this building was in the cover of Detective Conan volume 9!

Detective Conan 9.
Detective Conan 9.
Radio City
Radio City in New York

Detective Conan’s cover is taken from http://www.detectiveconanworld.com/wiki/File:Volume9bi.jpg

And Detective Conan volume 9 was actually quite special to me because, I believe, it was the first Detective Conan comic book which I ever read!! 😀

Central Park

While in New York, obviously I went to this very famous park in the center of Manhattan. And I can tell you, this park was huge! I spent like two hours there and I had not even walked halfway through the park! 😯 Upon further research, it turned out that the area of this park was TWICE as large as the country of Monaco!! Lol

Central Park
Central Park

Central Park was awesome though. It was actually quite landscapey with some small hills, a few small lakes/ponds, rocks, a lot of trees, monuments, and classicly-styled building. Indeed, it seemed to be the perfect destination for a quick (and cheap) escape from the stressful life of a New-Yorker.

The Food

Finding food around Fifth Avenue was obviously not a difficult task to do. And as it was America, you can find everything there. From junk-food chains to top class restaurants, from Asian food to Latin American food, from street food stalls to fancy restaurants. What was rather surprising, to me, was that the food, on average, was actually much more affordable than what I had thought.

Jucy Lucy

Jucy Lucy
Jucy Lucy

While waiting for my Broadway show to start, I had dinner at a nearby bar where I ordered a very American dish: a burger. It was a cheeseburger with such an enticing name “Jucy Lucy” (seriously, there is, apparently, even a Wikipedia article about this), LOL 😆 . And it was GOOOD! The cheese was melting inside the meat and the meat was tender!! I loved it!

Japanese Food

It had been awhile since I had a Japanese food so when I saw a Japanese takeaway restaurant in the basement of the Rockefeller Center, I stopped by and bought a chicken katsu dish. The guys who worked there were Japanese though, as it was obvious from just how polite they were. They forgot to give me cutleries in my take-away and when I came back to ask for some, one of them apologized to me like 100 times and from the look of his face, it seemed like they wanted to do harakiri or something! 😆

Tri Tip Steak

Tri Tap steak
Tri Tip steak

Also in the basement of the Rockefeller Center, in another occassion I decided to have brunch at the Tri Tip steak where I ordered, obviously, their tri tip steak. And it was also good! The meat was cooked to medium-rare perfectly and there was a wide variation of side-dish! The only thing which annoyed me a little bit was that they did not provide proper cutleries. And you know, having to cut a medium-rare cooked meat with a plastic fork and knife was definitely not a fun task to do…

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next on 2015 Year End Trip:
– The Statue of Liberty
– Brooklyn
– Lower Manhattan
– Chinatown
– Back to Europe

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting sebelumnya dalam seri 2015 Year End Trip:
1. Part I: Getting to North America
2. Part II: Boston
3. Part III: Getting to Mexico
4. Part IV: Oaxaca
5. Part V: A Mexican Wedding
6. Part VI: Huatulco and New Year
7. Part VII: Beaches of Huatulco
8. Part VIII: Back to USA

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Year End Trip: Zilko pergi ke Amerika untuk pertama kalinya seumur hidup dimana tujuan pertamanya adalah kota Boston. Dari Boston, ia terbang ke selatan ke Meksiko. Setelah menghabiskan sepuluh hari di Meksiko, kini ia kembali lagi di Amerika dan siap untuk mengeksplor kota yang telah diimpikannya semenjak kecil: New York.

***

The bustling FIfth Avenue of New York
Fifth Avenue yang super sibuk di New York

Untukku, Fifth Avenue adalah jalan yang paling terkenal di dunia. Di dalam kamusku, jalan ini bahkan lebih terkenal daripada Champs-Élysées-nya Paris ataupun Orchard Road-nya Singapura. Jadi jelas dong di masa lima hariku di New York, banyak kegiatanku yang berada di seputar jalan yang panjang banget ini.

Eh, iya loh, Fifth Avenue itu jalan yang panjang banget. Barusan aku google dan ternyata panjang jalan ini adalah sekitar 10 km loh. Iya saudara-saudara, 10 kilometer dong[1]! Huahaha:lol: . Ya pantesan aja sewaktu aku memutuskan untuk berjalan kaki menyusuri jalan ini, sekitar setengah jalan kakiku sakit dong (aku memang tidak mengenakan sepatu ketsku yang nyaman sih waktu itu, keputusan yang salah memang).

Anyway, posting ini akan berisi kegiatan-kegiatanku di sekitar jalan ini…

Top of the Rock

Satu agenda terbesarku di perjalanan ini ke New York adalah pergi ke suatu tempat yang tinggi dan menikmati pemandanan skyline kota paling terkenal sedunia ini (dan sambil foto-foto juga tentunya). Untuk itu, bisa aja sih aku pergi ke puncaknya Empire State Building (yang juga berlokasi di Fifth Avenue). Namun, jika begitu artinya Empire State Building-nya tidak akan berada di pandanganku ataupun foto-foto yang kuambil dong (lha aku kan di dalamnya). Tetapi aku maunya kan di pemandangan dan fotoku itu harus ada Empire State Building-nya karena gedung ini kan pencakar-langit paling terkenal di New York, bukan?

Lalu apa solusinya? Ah, gampang kok, gedung 30 Rockefeller Center yang lantai observasinya di lantai 67, 69, dan 70 dibuka untuk umum. Nggak gratis sih memang, jelas lah itu, tetapi worth it banget! Btw, kita bisa mencari tiket masuk diskonannya di internet kok, yang mana berhasil aku dapatkan juga! :mrgreen: Puncak menara ini memberikanku sebuah pemandangan malam New York yang sungguh cetar membahana kayak gini:

It's up to you, New York, New York!
It’s up to you, New York, New York!

Aku rasa aku membutuhkan tak terhingga “😍” untuk mendeskripsikan perasaanku ketika pemandangan ini terbentang langsung dan jelas di depan mata kepalaku sendiri.

Gedung Flatiron dan Trump Tower

Ada dua gedung lain di Fifth Avenue yang penting bagiku. Yang pertama adalah gedung Flatiron. Sekitar sepuluh tahun yang lalu, aku menonton sebuah dokumenter mengenai konstruksi gedung ini di National Geographic Channel dan semenjak itu, aku sudah ingin banget mengunjungi gedung yang unik ini. Jadilah ketika berada di New York, aku mengunjunginya. Dan gedung ini memang benar-benar cantik banget ya dengan bentuk dan arsitekturnya yang ciamik itu!!

The Flatiron Building
Gedung Flatiron
Trump Tower
Trump Tower di NY

Sebagai seorang fans-nya The Apprentice (versi aslinya ya, bukan versi selebritisnya), gedung lain di Fifth Avenue yang juga ingin aku kunjungi adalah Trump Tower. Oke, pertama-tama, aku ingin menegaskan sesuatu terlebih dahulu. Bagiku pribadi, aku merasa jijik dengan “kampanye”-nya Donald Trump akhir-akhir ini dan aku mengunjungi menaranya di New York hanya karena kecintaanku terhadap The Apprentice saja 🙂 . Anyway, karena aku berada di Fifth Avenue, jelas aku mampir. Rasanya seru banget lho bisa melihat dan masuk ke gedung yang dulu aku tonton di TV (dan internet) banyak kali dalam banyak episode acaranya!

Times Square dan Broadway

Tidak berlokasi di Fifth Avenue sih, tetapi kedua tempat ini cukup dekat darinya. Times Square jelas terkenal sebagai persimpangan jalan super sibuk dengan papan iklan yang super terang itu. Ketika aku berada disana, persimpangannya memang sibuk dan beneran terang banget loh karena papan-papan reklamenya itu!!

Times Square
Times Square

Tak jauh dari Times Square adalah area teaternya New York dimana terdapat banyak banget teater. Di satu waktu, aku memutuskan untuk menonton Les Misérables disana. Sebuah posting tersendiri tentangnya telah aku publikasikan beberapa waktu lalu.

Tentu juga sudah pada tahu bahwa aku adalah fansnya Detektif Conan juga. Di Osaka tahun lalu, aku pergi ke Tsutenkaku yang berada di sampulnya komik Detektif Conan volume 19. Dan sekarang dimana aku berada di New York, jelas aku harus pergi ke Radio City Music Hall karena gedung ini kan berada di sampulnya komik Detektif Conan volume 9!

Detective Conan 9.
Detektif Conan 9
Radio City
Radio City di NY

Gambar sampul Detektif Conan diambil dari: http://www.detectiveconanworld.com/wiki/File:Volume9bi.jpg

Dan komik Detektif Conan volume 9 ini lebih spesial untukku karena, seingatku, ini adalah komik Detektif Conan pertama yang aku baca lho!! 😀

Central Park

Di New York, jelas aku mengunjungi taman super terkenal yang berada di tengah-tengah Manhattan ini ya. Dan aku kasih tahu deh, taman ini gede banget dong! Aku menghabiskan waktu dengan jalan kaki selama dua jam di dalam tamannya dan itu pun aku masih belum menjelajahi setengah tamannya lho! 😯 Setelah riset lebih jauh, ternyata luas area taman ini DUA KALI LIPATNYA luas negara Monako dong!! Huahaha. Ya pantesan aja ya…

Central Park
Central Park

Central Park keren banget sih memang. Tamannya ternyata cukup berkontur juga dengan adanya bukit-bukit mini, beberapa danau/kolam kecil, bebatuan, banyak pohon, monumen, dan bangunan-bangunan berarsitektur klasik. Memang sih, taman ini nampak seperti tempat tujuan yang sempurna bagi warga New York untuk kabur refreshing sejenak dari beratnya hidup.

Makanannya

Mencari makan di sekitar Fifth Avenue mah sama sekali tidak sulit ya. Dan karena di Amerika, semua jenis makanan bisa ditemukan disana deh. Dari rumah makan yang menyediakan junk food hingga restoran papan atas, dari makanan Asia hingga makanan Amerika Latin, dari gerobak di jalanan hingga restoran mewah. Yang cukup mengejutkanku adalah harga rata-rata makanan disana yang nyatanya lebih terjangkau kantong daripada yang aku bayangkan sebelumnya.

Jucy Lucy

Jucy Lucy
Jucy Lucy

Sembari menunggu pertunjukan Broadway-ku dimulai, aku memutuskan makan malam di sebuah bar di dekat sana yang menyediakan menu yang Amerika banget deh: burger. Yang aku pesan adalah sebuah cheeseburger yang namanya menggoda dan menarik banget dong: “Jucy Lucy” (beneran loh namanya ini, haha, bahkan ada halaman Wikipedia-nya juga dong), LOL 😆 . Dan rasanya memang ENAAK! Kejunya mencair di dalam dagingnya dan dagingnya dimasak dengan sempurna!! Aku suka!

Makanan Jepang

Karena sudah lama juga semenjak terakhir kali aku makan makanan Jepang, ketika aku melihat sebuah restoran Jepang di lantai basement-nya Rockefeller Center, aku mampir dan membeli chicken katsu. Pelayan yang bekerja disana kayaknya orang Jepang beneran loh, karena jelas banget dari bagaimana sopannya tindak-tanduk mereka. Mereka lupa memberikanku peralatan makan dan ketika aku kembali untuk memintanya, salah satunya meminta maaf banyak banget (100 kali, haha) dan dari raut mukanya, ia nampak seperti mau harakiri gitu deh! 😆

Tri Tip Steak

Tri Tap steak
Tri Tip steak

Masih di basement-nya Rockefeller Center, di kesempatan lain aku memutuskan untuk brunch di Tri Tip steak dimana jelas aku memesan tri tip steak mereka. Dan rasanya enak banget juga! Dagingnya dimasak ke level medium-rare dengan sempurna dan side dish-nya bervariasi banget!  Yang sedikit menggangguku adalah mereka tidak menyediakan peralatan makan yang benar disana. Dan tahu kan, memotong daging yang dimasak medium-rare dengan pisau dan garpu dari plastik itu sama sekali nggak mengasyikkan…

BERSAMBUNG…

Selanjutnya dalam 2015 Year End Trip:
– Patung Liberty
– Brooklyn
– Lower Manhattan
– Chinatown
-Kembali ke Eropa

North America Trip · USA · Vacation

#1691 – 2015 Year End Trip (Part VIII: Back to USA)

ENGLISH

Previous posts on the 2015 Year End Trip series:
1. Part I: Getting to North America
2. Part II: Boston
3. Part III: Getting to Mexico
4. Part IV: Oaxaca
5. Part V: A Mexican Wedding
6. Part VI: Huatulco and New Year
7.Part VII: Beaches of Huatulco

Previously on 2015 Year End Trip: Zilko went to Boston and then Mexico to attend his friends’ wedding in Oaxaca. After the wedding, they went to Huatulco and spent some days for the new year eve’s celebration and the beaches. After ten days in Mexico, now it was time for him to go back north to USA.

***

Flight route map today. Created with gcmap.com
Flight route map today. Created with gcmap.com

Just as in my flight from USA to Mexico (see Part III), the flight ticket price to go back from Mexico to New York was already astronomical when I was looking for it for my date of travel. So I applied the same stategy of using my frequent flyer miles. This time though, there was no more availability in economy but they had one opening in business class and this included a flight from Oaxaca as well. I had enough points for this option and so I booked it, hehe 🙂 .

So, it was official, my first two flights of 2016 would be in business class! Yay! 😀

AM 2047 (Oaxaca – Mexico City)

AM_connect
Flight: Aeromexico AM2047 operated by Aeromexico Connect
Equipment: Embraer E190 reg XA-JAC
ATD: 08:24 CST (Runway 19 of OAX)
ATA: 09:44 CST (Runway 05R of MEX)

I got up early at 5 AM today and left my hotel in Oaxaca City Centre at around 6 AM, where a taxi I ordered the night before had been waiting for me. It was a clear traffic to Oaxaca Xoxocotlán Airport and I arrived there rather early.

I checked in at the business class check-in desk and made sure that my luggage was already tagged all the way to New York – JFK. The checked-in lady confirmed that I did not need to take care of my luggage in Mexico City. Oaxaca Xoxocotlán Airport was a small airport and there was no lounge. So I just waited at the departure gate and bought coffee and some snacks.

Boarding my Aeromexico Connect flight
Boarding my Aeromexico Connect flight

Long story short, at 8 AM, the boarding call was made and I boarded my first ever flight of 2016: an Aeromexico Connect’s Embraer ERJ190 reg XA-JAC. I quickly settled to my business class seat of 1D, haha 😀 . Upon waiting for departure, the flight attendant served welcome drinks to all business class passengers (the load factor was 100% in both business and economy class today). Then, the door was closed, safety demo was shown manually, and we took off from runway 19. Here is the take off video:

As you can see in the video, the view upon take off was amazing. After some time, we reached a cruising altitude and the seatbelt sign was switched off.

As it was my first ever business class flight, I did not know what to expect even though obviously I had had some expectations from business class trip reports that I had read. However, being a very short domestic flight to Mexico City, I knew the service would not probably as I would have imagined. And I was right. There was a snack service and the snack was just like this:

A snack service in business class
A snack service in business class

Lol. It was just like a standard snack service in economy class in some short-haul Schengen flights of KLM or Air France, if not poorer, lol 😆 .

It was a rather uneventful flight and at around 09:40 AM, we landed at runway 05R of Mexico City Benito Juárez International Airport. Here is the landing video:

Transitting at Mexico City Airport

As XA-JAC was parked in a remote parking area, they took us to the terminal with a bus. After getting off the bus, though, there was a security check. It was totally inefficient where with the amount of transit passengers that came, they only had two security lines. It took me about 40 minutes, I think, before I finally cleared it and entered the terminal building.

I waited for my flight in an Aeromexico's lounge
I waited for my flight in an Aeromexico’s lounge

I immediately went to the Aeromexico’s Premier Salon to wait for my AM 404 flight to New York. I had about six hours before my flight so this lounge was certainly where to go (and I had free access as well). The lounge turned out to be standard. The choice of food was not plentiful and the seats were just sofas. But it did its job and it was certainly comfortable enough with wifi with reasonable speed.

At around 3:15 PM, I left the lounge and walked to my gate to board for my AM 404 flight to New York.

AM 404 (Mexico City – New York JFK)

AM Logo
Flight: Aeromexico AM404
Equipment: Boeing 737-800 reg N845AM
ATD: 17:12 CST (Runway 05R of MEX)
ATA: 22:34 EST (Runway 31R of JFK)

A self-standing business class trip report of this flight has been published some time ago 🙂 . So here I will write about the more general experience of this flight.

This flight would be operated with a Boeing 737-800 reg N845AM, one of Aeromexico’s newer Boeing 737s. More importantly, N845AM was equipped with the split scimitar winglets!! 😍 And it would be my first flight ever with this new generation of winglet!! :mrgreen: . Anyway, boarding commenced and of course I was one of the first to board. I was originally seated on seat 2F but switched with a guy to seat 4A.

N845AM which brought me from Mexico City to New York on business class
N845AM which brought me from Mexico City to New York on business class

Just as before, the flight attendant served some welcome drinks to all business class passengers. While waiting for departure, I checked the IFE system and chose some songs I would want to listen to during the flight.

It was a busy afternoon at Mexico City Airport. After queuing for quite awhile, finally at 5:12 PM we took off from runway 05R of Mexico City Benito Juárez International Airport. Here is the take-off video:

We turned northeast heading to New York.

Not long after take-off, the flight attendant handed us the amuse-bouche with some drinks along with a menu book. During this time, sunset took place also and it was such a magnificent view. In a way I was lucky I switched seat so I could take this photo:

A sunset at 40,000 feet in North America
A sunset at 40,000 feet in North America

Then, it was time for the main dish. I chose the chicken menu. The flight attendant dressed my tray with white linen table cloth and placed my order gently there. I asked for champagne my drink, haha 😆 . Btw, as it was a business class flight, of course all of the food were served in real plates and glasses with real cutleries, haha 🙂 .

After dinner, the flight attendant came with a dessert of my choice: a Haagen-Dazs ice cream. At around this time, we were passing over the city of New Orleans in Louisiana. I guess there was a house there called the “Rising Sun” 😛 . I watched Magic Mike XXL on this flight in the IFE, haha 😛 . By around this time, the flight attendant dimmed the cabin to allow the passengers to rest.

Real meal in a business class flight
Real meal in a business class flight

Long story short, we passed Charlotte, North Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before we began our descend to New York. In the end, we made a few turns and landed at runway 31R of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Here is the landing video:

We parked next to an Interjet’s Airbus A320-200 and we all walked to the immigration check point. This time, however, I was not as lucky as my previous arrival at New York (see Part I): a really really long line was already formed at the immigration check. I had to wait for about 90 minutes (! 😯 ) before I got my turn!

Oh wow…

Anyway, then I took my luggage, cleared the custom, and was super ready to start my adventure in New York which I started by taking the yellow cab taxi ride to downtown Manhattan 😍.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next on 2015 Year End Trip:
– Brooklyn
– Manhattan
– Fifth Avenue
– The Statue of Liberty
– More of New York

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting sebelumnya dalam seri 2015 Year End Trip:
1. Part I: Getting to North America
2. Part II: Boston
3. Part III: Getting to Mexico
4. Part IV: Oaxaca
5. Part V: A Mexican Wedding
6. Part VI: Huatulco and New Year
7. Part VII: Beaches of Huatulco

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Year End Trip: Zilko pergi ke Boston dan kemudian Meksiko untuk menghadiri pesta pernikahan temannya di kota Oaxaca. Dari sana, mereka pergi ke Huatulco untuk melewatkan malam tahun baru dan mengunjungi pantai-pantainya. Setelah menghabiskan sepuluh hari di Meksiko, kini saatnya baginya untuk kembali ke Amerika.

***

Flight route map today. Created with gcmap.com
Peta rute penerbangan hari ini. Dibuat dengan gcmap.com

Seperti untuk penerbanganku dari Amerika ke Meksiko (lihat Bagian III), harga tiket pesawat untuk kembali dari Meksiko ke New York juga sudah mahal banget ketika aku mengecek tanggal yang aku inginkan. Jadilah aku menerapkan strategi yang sama yaitu dengan memanfaatkan poin frequent flyer-ku. Kali ini, sayangnya tidak ada lagi kursi yang tersedia di kelas ekonomi tetapi mereka memiliki satu ketersediaan di kelas bisnis dan ini juga termasuk tiket pesawat dari Oaxaca ke Mexico City. Kebetulan aku memiliki cukup poin untuk tiket di kelas bisnis ini sehingga jadilah aku membelinya, hehe 🙂 .

Nah, jadi resmi deh, dua penerbangan pertamaku di tahun 2016 adalah penerbangan di kelas bisnis! Hore! 😀

AM 2047 (Oaxaca – Mexico City)

AM_connect
Penerbangan: Aeromexico AM2047 dioperasikan oleh Aeromexico Connect
Pesawat: Embraer E190 reg XA-JAC
ATD: 08:24 CST (Runway 19 of OAX)
ATA: 09:44 CST (Runway 05R of MEX)

Aku bangun pagi jam 5 subuh hari ini dan berangkat dari hotelku di pusat kota Oaxaca sekitar jam 6 pagi, dimana taksi yang sudah kupesan semalam sebelumnya sudah menungguku. Pagi ini lalu-lintas ke Bandara Oaxaca Xoxocotlán amat lancar dan aku tiba di bandara cukup awal.

Aku check-in di meja kelas bisnis dan memastikan bagasiku sudah dilabeli hingga New York – JFK. Petugas check-in-nya memastikan bahwa di Mexico City aku tidak perlu lagi mengurus bagasiku. Bandara Oaxaca Xoxocotlán adalah sebuah bandara kecil dan tidak ada lounge disana. Jadilah aku menunggu di area keberangkatan dan membeli kopi dan snack.

Boarding my Aeromexico Connect flight
Menaiki penerbangan Aeromexico Connect-ku

Singkat cerita, jam 8 pagi panggilan naik pesawat dikumandangkan. Aku menaiki penerbangan pertamaku di tahun 2016 yang mana dengan sebuah Embraer ERJ190 milik Aeromexico Connect dengan registrasi XA-JAC. Aku langsung duduk di kursi kelas bisnisku nomor 1D, haha 😀 . Sembari menunggu keberangkatan, pramugari membagikan welcome drinks bagi semua penumpang kelas bisnis (tingkat keterisian pesawatnya 100% loh baik di kelas bisnis maupun ekonomi hari ini). Lalu, pintu ditutup, peragaan keselamatan diperagakan secara manual, dan kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 19. Berikut ini video lepas landasnya:

Seperti yang terlihat di video di atas, pemandangan ketika lepas landas keren banget ya! Setelah beberapa waktu, kami mencapai ketinggian jelajah dan lampu kenakan sabuk pengaman dipadamkan.

Karena ini adalah penerbangan kelas bisnis pertamaku, aku nggak tahu apa yang sebaiknya aku harapkan walaupun tentu aku memiliki beberapa ekspektasi dari trip reports penerbangan kelas bisnis yang pernah aku baca sebelumnya. Namun, karena toh ini adalah penerbangan domestik jarak pendek ke Mexico City, aku tahu servisnya tidak akan se-wah yang mungkin bisa aku bayangkan. Dan aku benar. Ada layanan snack dan layanannya seperti ini saja:

A snack service in business class
Layanan snack di kelas bisnis

Lol. Ini mah seperti layanan snack standar kelas ekonomi di penerbangan jarak pendek intra-Schengennya KLM atau Air France ya, jika tidak di bawahnya, haha 😆 .

Ini adalah penerbangan yang cukup uneventful dan sekitar jam 9:40 pagi, pesawat mendarat di landasan pacu 05R Bandara Internasional Benito Juárez di Mexico City. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Transit di Bandara Mexico City

Karena XA-JAC diparkir di sebuah tempat parkir remote, mereka membawa kami ke terminal dengan bus. Setelah turun dari bus, ada pemeriksaan sekuriti. Pemeriksaan ini sungguh tidak efisien dimana dengan banyaknya jumlah penumpang transit saat itu, mereka hanya memiliki dua mesin saja untuk pemeriksaan keamanan. Akibatnya, antrian panjang terbentuk. Aku membutuhkan waktu 40an menit loh sebelum akhirnya bisa masuk ke gedung terminal.

I waited for my flight in an Aeromexico's lounge
Aku menunggu penerbanganku di lounge-nya Aeromexico

Lalu, aku langsung pergi ke Lounge Premier-nya Aeromexico untuk menunggu penerbangan AM 404-ku ke New York. Aku masih memiliki enam jam sebelum penerbangan diberangkatkan sehingga memang sebaiknya aku menunggu di lounge saja (dan toh aku memiliki akses masuk gratis). Lounge-nya ternyata standar saja. Pilihan makannya tidak banyak dan kursinya hanya berupa sofa saja. Masih lumayan sih tapinya dan cukup nyaman juga kok dimana wifi disediakan gratis dengan kecepatan yang cukup.

Sekitar jam 3:15 sore, aku meninggalkan lounge-nya dan berjalan ke arah gerbang keberangkatan penerbangan AM 404-ku ke New York.

AM 404 (Mexico City – New York JFK)

AM Logo
Penerbangan: Aeromexico AM404
Pesawat: Boeing 737-800 reg N845AM
ATD: 17:12 CST (Runway 05R of MEX)
ATA: 22:34 EST (Runway 31R of JFK)

Sebuah posting khusus untuk trip report kelas bisnis penerbangan ini sudah kupublikasikan beberapa waktu lalu 🙂 . Jadi disini aku akan menulis pengalamanku secara umum saja.

Penerbangan ini akan dioperasikan dengan pesawat Boeing 737-800 reg N845AM, salah satu Boeing 737 terbarunya Aeromexico. Dan yang lebih penting lagi, N845AM ini dilengkapi dengan winglets split scimitar loh!! 😍 Dan ini adalah kali pertama aku akan terbang dengan pesawat yang memiliki winglets generasi terbari ini!! :mrgreen: . Anyway, pengumuman naik pesawat dikumandangkan dan aku adalah salah satu penumpang pertama yang naik pesawat. Awalnya aku duduk di kursi 2F tetapi kemudian aku bertukar-kursi sehingga aku duduk di kursi 4A.

N845AM which brought me from Mexico City to New York on business class
N845AM yang akan membawaku dari Mexico City ke New York di kelas bisnis

Seperti sebelumnya, pramugari membagikan welcome drinks ke semua penumpang kelas bisnis. Sembari menunggu keberangkatan, aku membuka-buka IFEnya dan memilih lagu-lagu yang ingin aku dengarkan sepanjang penerbangan ini.

Ini adalah sore yang sibuk di Bandara Mexico City. Setelah mengantri beberapa lama, akhirnya jam 5:12 sore kami diizinkan lepas landas dari landasan pacu 05R Bandara Internasional Benito Juárez di Mexico City. Berikut ini video lepas landasnya:

Kemudian kami berbelok ke arah timur laut menuju New York.

Tidak lama setelah lepas landas, pramugari membagikan layanan amuse-bouche dan minuman plus sebuah buku menu. Di waktu ini pula, matahari terbenam dan pemandangannya sungguh keren banget. Di satu sisi, aku lega juga bertukar kursi karena sekarang aku bisa mendapatkan pemandangan ini:

A sunset at 40,000 feet in North America
Matahari terbenam di ketinggian 40.000 kaki di Amerika Utara

Lalu, waktu makan malam tiba. Aku memilih menu ayam. Pramugari kemudian menyiapkan mejaku dengan menggelarkan sebuah taplak meja putih dari kain linen dan dengan halus meletakkan nampan makananku disana. Untuk minuman, aku memilih segelas champagne, haha 😆 . Btw, sebagai penumpang kelas bisnis, tentu saja semua makanannya disajikan dengan piring dan gelas beneran plus dengan alat makan yang asli ya, haha 🙂 .

Setelah makan malam, pramugari datang kembali dengan pilihan pencuci-mulutku: sebuah es krim Haagen-Dazs. Di sekitar waktu ini, kami melewati kota New Orleans di Louisiana. Aku rasa disana ada sebuah rumah yang bernama “Rising Sun” 😛 . Aku menonton Magic Mike XXL di IFE di penerbangan ini, haha 😛 . Sekitar waktu ini, pramugari memadamkan lampu kabin agar penumpang bisa beristirahat.

Real meal in a business class flight
Makanan yang “beneran” di kelas bisnis

Singkat cerita, kami melewati Charlotte, di North Carolina dan Philadelphia, di Pennsylvania sebelum kami meninggalkan ketinggian jelajah dan turun mendekati New York. Akhirnya, kami berbelok sedikit dan mendarat di landasan pacu 31R Bandara Internasional John F. Kennedy di New York. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Kami parkir di sebelah pesawat Airbus A320-200nya Interjet dan kami semua berjalan ke arah pemeriksaan imigrasi. Kali ini, sayangnya, aku tidak seberuntung sebelumnya di ketibaanku di New York (baca Bagian I) karena sekarang ini sudah terbentuk antrian yang super panjang untuk pemeriksaan imigasi. Aku harus mengantri selama 90an menit (! 😯 ) loh sebelum aku mendapatkan giliranku!

Oh wow…

Anyway,  setelahnya aku mengambil bagasiku, melewati pemeriksaan bea cukai, dan sudah amat siap untuk memulai petualanganku di New York yang langsung aku mulai dengan menaiki si taksi kuning ke pusat kota Manhattan 😍.

BERSAMBUNG…

Selanjutnya dalam 2015 Year End Trip:
– Brooklyn
– Manhattan
– Fifth Avenue
– Patung Liberty
– Lebih banyak dari New York

North America Trip · USA · Vacation

#1678 – 2015 Year End Trip (Part II: Boston)

ENGLISH

Previous post on the 2015 Year End Trip series:
1. Part I: Getting to North America

Previously on 2015 Year End Trip: Zilko was very eager to start his 2.5 weeks adventure in North America and finally the time came! After flying Delta from Amsterdam and transitting in New York – JFK, he was now in the first destination of this trip: Boston, Massachusetts.

***

The Universities

Arguably, Boston is most famous for the universities. Which universities? Well, there are of course a few, but I am sure you have heard about at least two of them: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Harvard University!! Yes, the two top and best universities in the entire world (based on the QS World University Rankings of 2015) are located there! And while in Boston, obviously I decided to “visit” the universities (a “visit” as in physically visitting the univesities’ area, so not an official visit or something, haha 😆 ).

I might be wrong, but I found the campus of MIT to be larger in size than the campus of Harvard. On the other hand, the campus of Harvard felt more “classical” then the campus of MIT, which I found to be a little bit more modern. Both campuses were easily accessible by public transport (the Kendall station for MIT and the Harvard station for Harvard, both on the Red Line) so it was very convenient to visit. Btw, the two campuses were located quite close to each other two, as the Kendall and Harvard stations are just two stops away from each other.

While in Harvard, I took a photo with the famous John Harvard statue, with me touching its famous golden shoe which is believed for luck, haha 😛 .

Being all touristy at Harvard University
Being all touristy at Harvard University

Boston

I also went around the city of Boston. At one point I reached the neighborhood of Charlestown, just to the north of the Charles river from Downtown Boston. I went to the Bunker Hill monument there, even though I decided to not go inside and climb up 😛 . I also circled around the famous Fenway Park stadium, a baseball park home to the Boston Red Sox (my hotel was in the neighbourhood of this stadium).

In general, Boston was indeed very different from typical European cities. There were quite a lot of modern skyscrapers in the heart of the city, so being the first American city which I ever visited, the memory there would stick with me definitely 😀 .

The Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown
The Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown

The Food

Seafood Galore

One important thing in my to-do-list in Boston was to eat seafood, as Boston was famous for its seafood dishes, especially the lobsters! Haha 😆 So before going I already did some research and I decided that I would visit two restaurants which served interesting lobster dishes: the Bastille Kitchen and the famous Neptune Oysters.

Bastille's Kitchen
Bastille Kitchen
Neptune Oyster
Neptune Oyster

At Bastille Kitchen I ordered the lobster fricassee and at Neptune Oysters I had their lobster roll. Obviously both were lobster dishes, but they were very different from each other. However, they did have one thing in common: they were both GOOOOD!!!! 😋😋😋

At first, Bastille’s lobster fricassee did not look “big” enough to me (yes, I was quite hungry that evening as I walked, literally, 21 km on foot earlier that day). However, it turned out to be quite a heavy dish that I was full just after having about 3/4 of it! Haha 😆 . It was quite a complex dish with a lot of different taste beautifully put together in one plate. I loved it. Neptune’s lobster roll, however, was basically a complete opposite of that. It was a much simpler dish where the lobster was cooked in butter, perfectly. To me, the phrase “beauty in simplicity” perfectly described how good it was to me 🙂 .

Bastille's lobster fricassee
Bastille’s lobster fricassee
Neptune's lobster roll
Neptune’s famous lobster roll

Not only about seafood, though…

But of course you can other food in Boston as well. I was in MIT at around lunch time and as I was walking down the street looking for a place to eat, I passed by a lunch board and was immediately caught by what was on the board:

Tempeh tantrum
Tempeh tantrum

Yes, they had “The Tempeh Tantrum” for lunch!! So I decided this place would be where I would have my lunch today, haha 😆 .

The dish turned out to be a sandwich where the tempe (I have no idea why “tempe” is spelled “tempeh” in English and Dutch, btw) is the main protein inside. It was quite good, where the tempe tasted more or less like “tempe bacem” in Central Java.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next on 2015 Year End Trip:
– Going to Mexico
– A Mexican Wedding
– Oaxaca
– The beaches of Huatulco
– New York

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting sebelumnya dalam seri 2015 Year End Trip:
1. Part I: Getting to North America

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Year End Trip: Zilko merasa amat bersemangat untuk memulai petualangan 2,5 minggunya di Amerika Utara dan akhirnya waktunya tiba juga! Setelah terbang dengan Delta dari Amsterdam dan transit di New York, kini ini berada di tempat tujuan pertama dari perjalanan ini: Boston, Massachusetts.

***

Universitas-Universitasnya

Mungkin satu hal yang paling terkenal dari Boston adalah universitas-universitasnya. Universitas yang mana btw? Yaa, ada beberapa universitas sih memang disana, tetapi aku yakin banget pasti sudah pada pernah dengar setidaknya dua di antaranya deh: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) dan Universitas Harvard!! Yup, dua universitas terbaik dan paling top sedunia (berdasarkan QS World University Rankings tahun 2015) berlokasi disana! Dan mumpung di Boston, jelas aku memutuskan untuk “mengunjungi” keduanya lah ya (dengan “mengunjungi”, maksudku adalah mengunjungi gedung universitasnya, jadi bukan kunjungan resmi atau gimana gitu ya, haha 😆 ).

Mungkin aku salah sih, tetapi aku merasa bahwa kampusnya MIT itu lebih besar daripada kampusnya Harvard. Di sisi lain, kampusnya Harvard terasa lebih “klasik” untukku daripada kampusnya MIT, yang menurutku terasa lebih modern. Keduanya juga mudah untuk diakses dengan kendaraan umum (stasiun Kendall untuk MIT dan stasiun Harvard untuk Harvard, keduanya di Jalur Merah) sehingga amat memudahkan untuk dikunjungi. Btw, kedua kampusnya juga berlokasi tidak jauh satu sama lain loh, stasiun Kendall dan Harvard hanya terpisahkan oleh satu stasiun lain saja di antaranya.

Ketika di Harvard, jelas aku berfoto dengan patung John Harvard yang terkenal itu, tentu sambil memegang sepatu emasnya yang terkenal itu yang konon membawa keberuntungan, haha 😛 .

Being all touristy at Harvard University
Being all touristy at Harvard University

Boston

Aku juga mengelilingi kota Boston selama aku disana. Di satu waktu bahkan aku mencapai area Charlestown yang berlokasi di sebelah utara Sungai Charles dari Downtown Boston. Aku pergi ke monumen Bunker Hill, walaupun aku memutuskan untuk tidak masuk dan naik ke atasnya 😛 . Aku juga sempat mengelilingi Fenway park (sebuah stadion baseball) yang merupakan kandangnya Boston Red Sox (hotelku berlokasi tidak jauh dari stadion ini 😀 ).

Secara umum, aku merasa Boston amat berbeda dari tipikal kota-kota di Eropa. Ada banyak banget menara pencakar langit modern di pusat kotanya. Dan oleh karena Boston adalah kota di Amerika pertama yang aku kunjungi, memoriku di kota ini jelas akan teringat terus deh 😀 .

The Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown
Monumen Bunker Hill di Charlestown

Makanannya

Pesta Seafood

Satu hal penting di dalam agendaku di Boston adalah makan seafood karena Boston kan terkenal dengan seafood-nya, terutama lobster! Haha 😆 Jadilah sebelum berangkat aku sudah riset dulu dan aku memutuskan akan makan di dua restoran yang menyajikan masakan lobster yang nampak menarik: Bastille Kitchen dan Neptune Oysters yang terkenal itu.

Bastille's Kitchen
Bastille Kitchen
Neptune Oyster
Neptune Oyster

Di Bastille Kitchen, aku memesan lobster fricassee dan di Neptune aku memesan lobster roll. Tentu saja keduanya adalah masakan lobster, tetapi mereka berbeda sekali satu sama lain. Namun, ada satu hal yang sama di keduanya: sama-sama ENAAAAK!!!! 😋😋😋

Awalnya, aku merasa bahwa lobster fricassee-nya Bastille nampak “kecil” untukku (iya, aku memang lapar malam itu karena seharian itu aku berjalan kaki sejauh 21 km loh). Namun, ternyata menu ini adalah sebuah menu yang berat dimana aku kenyang dong setelah makan sekitar 3/4-nya, haha 😆 . Masakan ini adalah sebuah masakan yang kompleks dengan perpaduan banyak sekali rasa yang dicampur dengan indah di dalam satu piring. Aku sukaaa. Lobster roll-nya Neptune, di sisi lain, adalah sebuah masakan yang sungguh berkebalikan. Ini adalah sebuah menu yang amat sederhana dimana lobsternya dimasak dengan mentega dengan sempurna. Untukku, frase “keindahan dalam kesederhanaan” mendeskripsikan masakan ini dengan tepat 🙂 .

Bastille's lobster fricassee
Lobster fricassee-nya Bastille
Neptune's lobster roll
Lobster roll-nya Neptune Oyster

Tetapi nggak semuanya tentang seafood saja sih…

Tetapi jelas ada berbagai macam makanan juga di Boston. Aku berada di MIT di sekitar waktu makan siang dan ketika aku sedang berjalan kaki di sebuah jalan utama mencari tempat makan, aku melewati sebuah papan makan siang dan perhatianku langsung tertangkap oleh apa yang tertulis di papannya:

Tempeh tantrum
Tempeh tantrum

Iya, mereka ada menu “Tempeh Tantrum” untuk makan siang!! Jadilah aku memutuskan untuk makan siang disana, haha 😆 .

Masakannya ternyata adalah sandwich dimana tempenya (btw, aku nggak tahu mengapa “tempe” kok dieja “tempeh” dalam bahasa Inggris dan Belanda) merupakan isi utamanya. Rasanya enak juga, dimana tempenya berasa kurang lebih seperti “tempe bacem” di Jawa Tengah.

BERSAMBUNG…

Selanjutnya dalam 2015 Year End Trip:
– Perjalanan ke Meksiko
– Sebuah pesta pernikahan ala Meksiko
– Oaxaca
– Pantai-pantai di Huatulco
– New York

Aviation · North America Trip · Trip Report · USA · Vacation

#1677 – 2015 Year End Trip (Part I: Getting to North America)

ENGLISH

Ok, let the story of my super amazing year end trip to the USA and Mexico begin with this post. As I had to, well, fly to cross the Atlantic pond ocean, the story will also start with a trip report on how to get there 🙂 .

My first destination in North America was the city of Boston in Massachusetts. To get there, I deliberately did not choose the direct Amsterdam – Boston flight, but instead one with a transit at New York – John F. Kennedy. This means my route of today was pretty much like this:

Flight route map of today. Created with gcmap.com
Flight route map of today. Created with gcmap.com

For both flights, I would fly with an American airline for the first time ever in my life: Delta; so this made the beginning of this adventure even more exciting for me 😛 .

Getting to Schiphol

As my DL49 flight to New York was scheduled to depart at 10 AM, I got up early today and left home at around 5:45 AM. I took the Intercity train and about 50 minutes later I arrived at Schiphol. I already checked-in online btw, in which I was able to select my seat and I was so surprised that I had the option to sit on the Delta Comfort Plus seats FOR FREE thanks to my Flying Blue Gold membership! It was basically a free upgrade because these seats provided much better seat pitch, hence more spacious and comfortable seating. Normally, one would have had to pay a lot (approximately US$100 if I am not mistaken) to sit on one of these seats! So of course I chose one! 😛

Anyway, after checking my luggage in, I went to the KLM Crown Lounge to have some quick breakfast there. At around 8:30 AM I left the lounge where just outside, there was a dedicated document check for passengers flying into the United States.

DL 49 (Amsterdam – New York JFK)

DL_Logo
Flight: Delta DL49
Equipment: Boeing 777-200ER reg N865DA
ATD: 10:30 CET (Runway 24 of AMS)
ATA: 12:47 EST (Runway 22L of JFK)

I boarded the airplane, a 16 year old Boeing 777-200ER reg N865DA, and quickly settled onto my Delta Comfort Plus seat, which was indeed very spacious!! 😀 Too bad though it was a full flight today so both seats next to me were taken 😛 . Anyway, after all passengers boarded, we departed and took off from runway 24 of Schiphol Airport. Here is the take-off video:

After take-off, I quickly settled into the IFE to see what they offered. And the first song which I selected to play was this:

Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra

Yes, as I was flying to New York, it was super appropriate to play Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”, right? 🙂

A small snack service, which was lightly salted peanuts and drinks, was distributed not long afterwards followed by the lunch service. The choice for lunch was chicken or vegetarian pasta so I naturally chose the chicken dish, lol 😆 . It turned out to be okay even though I found it to be too oily. Then, it was followed by an ice cream service.

The chicken dish
The chicken dish

I spent my time on the flight watching Pixel (in which, apparently, my favorite tennis player, Serena Williams, made a cameo 😛 ) and played some games on the IFE. About an hour before landing, a big snack service was given and was a choice between a pastrami or vegetable sandwich. I had no idea what pastrami was so I went for it 😛 . It was good!

At around noon (local time), we were approaching New York – John F. Kennedy International Airport. The airplane aligned with runway 22L and once it did, it approached the runway. As I was sitting on the right side of the plane, I got one of the most magnificent skyline view I had ever seen in my life:

The skyline which requires no caption
The skyline which requires no caption

Yes, it was the skyline of Manhattan, in New York. It felt very surreal that, now, I was seeing it directly with my own eyes!!

Anyway, we landed smoothly at runway 22L, and here is the landing video:

A Transit at JFK

We were quite lucky that the immigration control was not crowded at all today so I could pass it without having to wait for too long.

The regulation of JFK Airport was that, apparently, everyone must take their luggage at the airport, including all transit passengers. This means that even though my luggage was already tagged all the way to Boston, in New York I still had to take it myself, cleared the custom, and rechecked-in the luggage at the luggage transfer desk.

The view from JFK
The view from JFK

So I did, but my luggage took forever to come out even though it was tagged with a priority label 😦 .

Anyway, long story short, I passed the security check and was on the air-side of the domestic flights out of JFK. JFK was a big airport though, but do not expect it to be very modern. Some Asian airports (like Dubai or Changi) are much more modern 😛 . After finding my gate, I went to the Delta lounge to get some things for lunch (one perk of being a high-level frequent flyer: not having to spend money on food in airports 😛 ).

At around 3 PM, boarding started. This flight was quite exciting as it would be on a new airplane for me: a Bombardier CRJ900 😀  (a slightly smaller version of a CRJ1000).

An Endeavor Air's Bombardier CRJ 900 reg N918XJ
An Endeavor Air’s Bombardier CRJ 900 reg N918XJ

DL 4012 (New York JFK – Boston)

Endeavor_Air

Flight: Delta DL4012 operated by Endeavor Air
Equipment: Bombardier CRJ900 reg N918XJ
ATD: 15:10 CET (Runway 22R of JFK)
ATA: 16:40 EST (Runway 27 of BOS)

The flight attendant of this flight was super friendly. She asked me if I was going back home to Boston, which of course I answered with “No” and told her that I came from the Netherlands. And then she became quite excited as she had been wanting to go to the Netherlands 😛 .

Anyway, after boarding completed, we took off from runway 22R of New York John F. Kennedy International Airport. Here is the take-off video:

We made a turn to the northeast heading to Boston. Having just flown on a Boeing 777-200ER, I did feel the difference with flying on a regional jet of CRJ900. The weather was not in the best shape today so it was quite a shaky ride to Boston, though not that much. My earlier Delta flight, which took pretty much the same path, had no problem with the weather as it smoothed through it, haha 😆 .

The service on board was this:

The service on board
The service on board

Yes, as in there was NO service on board, pretty much to my disappointment (not even a round of mineral water or something 🙄 ). So now I understand why people say the service on American airlines is poor in comparison to European airlines (and more so top-leading Asian airlines). Let me remind you, Delta is supposed to be a full-service airline, just like KLM or Garuda Indonesia.

At 16:40 local time, we landed at runway 27 of Boston Logan International Airport. Here is the landing video:

I took my luggage at the arrival area and then took the free Silver Line bus to Downtown Boston.

And my 2.5 weeks North America adventure has just begun :mrgreen: .

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next on 2015 Year End Trip:
– The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University
– Lobster Galore in Boston
– Boston
– Mexico
– New York

BAHASA INDONESIA

Ok,  cerita dari perjalanan akhir tahunku ke Amerika Serikat dan Meksiko yang seru banget ini akan aku mulai dengan posting ini. Karena jelas aku harus terbang untuk menyeberangi Samudra Atlantik, cerita akan aku mulai dengan sebuah trip report bagaimana aku berangkat kesana 🙂 .

Tujuan pertamaku di Amerika Utara adalah kota Boston di Massachusetts. Untuk kesana, sengaja aku tidak memilih penerbangan langsung Amsterdam – Boston, melainkan dengan sebuah transit di New York – John F. Kennedy. Ini artinya rute penerbanganku hari ini kurang lebih seperti ini:

Flight route map of today. Created with gcmap.com
Peta rute penerbangan hari ini. Aku buat dengan gcmap.com

Untuk kedua penerbangan ini, aku akan terbang dengan sebuah maskapai penerbangan Amerika untuk pertama kalinya seumur hidupku: Delta; jadilah ini membuat permulaan perjalanan ini menjadi lebih seru untukku.

Ke Schiphol

Karena penerbangan DL49-ku dijadwalkan berangkat jam 10 pagi, hari ini aku bangun pagi dan berangkat dari rumah sekitar jam 5:45 pagi. Aku menaiki kereta Intercity dan sekitar 50 menit kemudian tiba di Schiphol. Aku sudah check-in di internet btw, yang mana aku bisa memilih kursiku dan amat terkejut ketika aku memiliki pilihan untuk duduk di kursi Delta Comfort Plus GRATIS karena status Flying Blue Gold-ku! Ini sih bisa dibilang sebuah upgrade gratis karena kursi ini memiliki seat pitch yang lebih oke, yang mana lebih lapang dan nyaman. Biasanya, seorang penumpang harus membayar mahal loh (sekitar US$100an kalau nggak salah) untuk bisa duduk di kursi ini! Jadilah aku memilih satu! 😛

Anyway, setelah memasukkan bagasiku, aku pergi ke KLM Crown Lounge untuk sarapan disana. Jam 8:30, aku meninggalkan lounge-nya dimana di luarnya ada sebuah meja khusus untuk pengecekan dokumen penting untuk penumpang bertujuan Amerika.

DL 49 (Amsterdam – New York JFK)

DL_Logo
Penerbangan: Delta DL49
Pesawat: Boeing 777-200ER reg N865DA
ATD: 10:30 CET (Runway 24 of AMS)
ATA: 12:47 EST (Runway 22L of JFK)

Aku menaiki pesawatnya, sebuah Boeing 777-200ER berregistrasi N865DA berusia 16 tahun, dan langsung duduk pewe di kursi Delta Comfort Plusku, yang mana memang beneran lapang!! 😀 Sayangnya penerbangan hari ini penuh sehingga kedua kursi di sebelahku terisi semua, haha 😛 . Setelah semua penumpang naik, kami berangkat dan lepas landas dari landasan pacu 24 Bandara Schiphol. Berikut ini video lepas landasnya:

Setelah lepas landas, aku mengecek IFEnya untuk melihat isinya apa saja. Dan lagu pertama yang aku pilih untuk aku mainkan adalah ini:

Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra

Ya, karena aku sedang terbang ke New York, jelas cocok banget untuk memainkan “New York, New York”-nya Frank Sinatra kan? 🙂

Layanan snack ringan, berupa kacang asin dan minuman, dibagikan tidak lama kemudian yang diikuti dengan layanan makan siang. Pilihan makan siangnya adalah ayam atau pasta vegetarian. Jadi jelas aku memilih menu ayam dong ya, haha 😆 . Ternyata rasanya biasa saja walaupun untukku makanannya terlalu berminyak banget. Setelah makan siang selesai, pramugari/a membagikan layanan es krim.

The chicken dish
Menu ayam

Waktuku di pesawat aku habiskan dengan menonton Pixel (yang mana ternyata petenis favoritku, Serena Williams, ada kameo disitu juga loh 😛 ) dan memainkan beberapa games di IFEnya. Sekitar satu jam sebelum mendarat, layanan snack besar dibagikan yang berupa sebuah sandwich dengan pilihan isi pastrami atau sayuran. Karena nggak tahu pastrami itu apa, aku justru memilihnya. Ternyata enak!

Sekitar tengah hari (waktu setempat), kami mulai mendekati Bandara Internasional John F. Kennedy di New York. Pesawat mengepaskan diri dengan landasan pacu 22L dan kemudian bergerak untuk mendarat di landasan pacu ini. Karena aku duduk di sisi kanan pesawat, aku disuguhi sebuah pemandangan skyline kota yang paling keren yang pernah aku lihat seumur hidup:

The skyline which requires no caption
Skyline yang tidak perlu untuk dikenalkan lagi

Ya, skyline-nya Manhattan, di New York. Rasanya sureal banget bahwa saat itu aku melihat pemandangan ini langsung dengan mata kepala sendiri!!

Anyway, kami mendarat mulus di landasan pacu 22L, berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Transit di JFK

Beruntung waktu itu tidak ada antrian di pemeriksaan imigrasi sehingga aku tidak perlu mengantri berlama-lama disana.

Regulasi di Bandara JFK adalah semua penumpang harus mengambil bagasi masing-masing di bandara, termasuk penumpang transit. Ini artinya walaupun bagasiku sudah di-tag sampai ke Boston, di New York aku masih harus mengambilnya dulu, melewati pemeriksaan bea cukai, dan memasukkannya lagi di meja transfer untuk bagasi.

The view from JFK
Pemandangan di JFK

Ya sudah prosedurnya aku ikuti saja, walaupun bagasiku lama dong keluarnya padahal sudah dilabeli label prioritas 😦 .

Anyway, singkat cerita, aku melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti dan tiba di area keberangkatan domestiknya JFK. JFK adalah bandara yang besar, walaupun nggak modern-modern amat sih. Beberapa bandara di Asia (misalnya Dubai atau Changi) jelas lebih modern deh 😛 . Setelah menemukan gerbang keberangkatanku, aku mampir sebentar di lounge-nya Delta untuk makan siang dulu disana (satu keuntungan memiliki frequent flyer level tinggi kan: nggak perlu keluar duit untuk makan di bandara 😛 ).

Sekitar jam 3 sore, proses naik pesawat dimulai. Penerbangan ini juga seru untukku karena akan dioperasikan dengan sebuah pesawat yang belum pernah aku naiki sebelumnya: Bombardier CRJ900 😀 (versi yang sedikit lebih kecil daripada CRJ1000).

An Endeavor Air's Bombardier CRJ 900 reg N918XJ
Sebuah Bombardier CRJ900 milik Endeavor Air reg N918XJ

DL 4012 (New York JFK – Boston)

Endeavor_Air

Penerbangan: Delta DL4012 dioperasikan olehEndeavor Air
Pesawat: Bombardier CRJ900 reg N918XJ
ATD: 15:10 CET (Runway 22R of JFK)
ATA: 16:40 EST (Runway 27 of BOS)

Pramugari penerbangan ini ramah lho. Dia bertanya kepadaku apakah aku sedang pulang kampung ke Boston, yang mana jelas aku jawab “Engga”, haha 😆 , dan aku bilang bahwa aku baru saja datang dari Belanda. Dan lalu ia excited sendiri karena ia sudah lama ingin pergi ke Belanda 😛 .

Setelah semua penumpang naik pesawat, kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 22R Bandara Internasional John F. Kennedy. Berikut ini video lepas landasnya:

Kami belok ke arah timur laut menuju Boston. Baru saja terbang dengan Boeing 777-200ER, perbedaan terbang dengan sebuah pesawat regional CRJ900 terasa banget yah. Cuaca hari ini sedang kurang oke sehingga penerbangannya berguncang terus hingga Boston (tetapi nggak berguncang parah sih). Di penerbangan Delta sebelumnya, yang mana penerbangannya juga melewati ruang udara yang sama, kondisi cuaca ini nggak masalah loh karena terbangnya mah mulus-mulus aja, haha 😆 .

Servis di penerbangan singkat ini adalah seperti berikut ini:

The service on board
Servis di penerbangan ini

Iya, maksudnya memang NGGAK ADA layanan apa pun dong di pesawatnya, kecewa deh saya (bahkan nggak ada pembagian air putih gitu). Jadilah sekarang aku paham mengapa banyak yang bilang servis di maskapai Amerika itu kurang oke jika dibandingkan dengan servis maskapai Eropa (apalagi maskapai top Asia). Aku ingatkan nih, Delta itu seharusnya adalah sebuah maskapai full-service lho, seperti KLM atau Garuda Indonesia.

Jam 16:40 sore, kami mendarat di landasan pacu 27 Bandara Internasional Boston Logan. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Aku mengambil bagasi di area ketibaan dan kemudian menaiki layanan bus Silver Line gratis menuju kota Boston.

Dan disini, petualanganku di Amerika selama 2,5 minggu ke depan baru saja dimulai :mrgreen: .

BERSAMBUNG…

Selanjutnya dalam 2015 Year End Trip:
– Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) dan Harvard University
– Pesta lobster di Boston
– Boston
– Meksiko
– New York

Mexico · Northern America Trip · USA · Vacation

#1676 – Back in Europe

ENGLISH

So, I have just come back from my super amazing year end trip to the USA and Mexico today. And now I am SO tired! 🙂 But as usual, I want to say “hi” here! :mrgreen:

How was the trip? Well, in short, as my Instagram followers (@azilko) might have also felt, it was amazing and super fun! 🙂 I am actually a little bit sad that it is over now as it means I am back in real life, haha 😛 . Especially that I finally went to the one city which I have really wanted to go to for a significantly long time in my life. It feels so surreal that I can say I am just back from New York!

Anyway, obviously I am still a little bit too tired now and I actually need to use my time this weekend to recover (I am back to work next Monday 😦 ), so that is all I have for now. This trip has been soo amazing that there are soo many stories to tell that this series might be the longest travel series I have written in this blog. So we will see!!

But as usual, here are a few photos as the teasers from this trip 😉

BAHASA INDONESIA

Jadi, aku baru saja kembali dari perjalanan akhir tahunku ke Amerika dan Meksiko yang sangat seru banget hari ini. Dan sekarang rasanya aku CAPEK banget! 🙂 Tetapi rasanya tetap ingin menyapa disini nih! :mrgreen: t

Bagaimanakah perjalanannya? Yah, seperti yang followers-ku di Instagram (@azilko) mungkin rasakan juga, secara singkat perjalanannya seru dan asyik banget! 🙂 Sebenarnya aku sedikit merasa sedih sih sekarang perjalanannya sudah selesai yang mana artinya aku harus kembali ke kehidupan nyata, haha 😛 . Terutama juga karena akhirnya aku pergi juga ke satu kota yang memang sudah sangat ingin banget aku kunjungi semenjak lama banget di dalam hidupku. Rasanya seperti mimpi bahwa sekarang aku bisa bilang bahwa aku baru saja kembali dari New York!

Anyway, jelas sekarang rasanya aku masih lelah sekali dan sebenarnya seharusnya aku menggunakan waktuku akhir pekan ini untuk memulihkan diri (aku akan kembali kerja hari Senin besok 😦 ), jadi sementara segini dulu saja deh. O iya, perjalanan ini seru banget dimana ada banyak banget cerita yang ingin aku ceritakan! Kayaknya seri cerita ini bakal menjadi seri cerita perjalanan terpanjang di blog ini deh! Haha 😆

Tetapi seperti biasanya, di atas adalah beberapa foto sebagai teaser dari perjalanan ini 😉