23rd February 2012

A school from Chester recently went on a school trip to New York with Adaptable Travel. Here is the blog from their teacher Mr Deakin.

To New York on Valentine’s Day. Excuses were made by both students and staff as we left loved ones behind…promises of presents and a visit to Tiffany’s were left at the airport as our party flew from Manchester to Newark. A quick turnaround at the hotel and we headed for the lights. The Valentine’s theme continued at Times Square where a steady line of couples got engaged on the red steps to the delight of tourists and television crews.

Three days of walking, visiting and shopping followed. We found the 911 Memorial moving and the NBC Tour entertaining. Top of the Rock was stunning and if all that so far wasn’t iconic enough, MoMA had a few more famous images to take in. We also put in a few trips of our own so we found ourselves on The Staten Island Ferry at 8am one morning and enjoying February sunshine in Central Park on another. We also wandered through Greenwich and along The High Line. Most of the party came close to doubling the weight of their luggage with new clothes. Although I have to say I haven’t quite yet got my head around the concept of shopping in near darkness to loud music, a requirement of certain Californian-styled surf-shops. “Sir’s too old to shop there anyway.” And at least ten of the party returned with little turquoise bags for their delayed-Valentine. Don’t be afraid of New York, I can’t think of anywhere that feels more inclusive. The grid layout and twenty-four-hour bustle of midtown makes it feel safe. We took subways, taxis and varied our block-to-block routes all the time – all with the aim of seeing more each day.

What’s the best thing about New York? Well, our party contained 15-18 year olds and, in my experience, getting students this age to drop their ‘cool’ and ‘detached’ default persona is hard. New York does that for you and all that is left is raw enthusiasm and delight. We’ll be back.

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