Wow has it been a busy couple of months, but then the run up to Christmas always is. All over for another year, phew.
November was just a busy month at work, lots going on. I have been covering a person who is on leave for 3 months. Its doing a job i used to do a few years ago. 95% of it is telephone work. Some of the shifts i was taking 150+ calls in an 8 hour shift, so it sure gave my CI a good run for its money. Exhausting, but worth every bit. It helps me as i can prove to myself i can do it. Every hour i was taking a 5 minute breather by taking my processor off and having some peace. I have about another 7 weeks then i go back to my normal job.
The 1st week in December the wife and myself decided to go to New York and Boston. We planned the trip at the end of October. I had never been to both cities so was looking forward to it. We decided to treat ourselves to stay in nice hotels, and yep we picked cracking hotels. The 1st part,security, they were fine at Heathrow and i had a quick hand scan as i was nervous about going through the scanner.Then the flight, never flown on a Jumbo 747 before, i was impressed, a big gentle bird, still cramped seats. But it was a nice flight and,er, flew by. The first thing i noticed, the accent. On my previous visits to the US i had terrible hearing and was unable to pick out the accents, but i noticed them good a proper this time, it was really exciting. We jumped in a taxi to our first hotel from the airport. It was dark and all i could see was the bright lights of New York, a wonderful sight. We checked in at our 1st hotel, was nice, very nice. Cases dropped off, next stop the bar, it was 2200 and we didn’t want to go far looking for a bar, plus my knees were really puffy from the flight.. We had 2 pints each, then settled the tab, i nearly fell on the floor with shock, it worked out at £8 a pint, so that was the last beer at the hotel bar.
The next day, wow, Noisy or what. I went over the road from our hotel to get some breakfast and cups of tea, and was amazed at the noise. Cars blowing their horns, and just the general hustle and bustle. Still had puffy knees, but we decided to do the sightseeing. We went everywhere, up the Empire State Building, now that was amazing, wish the lifts at work were that quick.
The views were amazing, before we went on the top we went on a ride showing all the sights of New York. I heard every bit of it, i put my processor on the Ultrazoom setting and that was spot on. I was so so happy to be able to hear it all. After we came down to earth in a fast lift, we decided we were rather cold and needed some refreshments in a nice warm establishment, yep, we found a bar round the corner and sat and had a nice
beer….or 2, still had puffy knees…….and they were sore……….
We travelled up to Boston by train the following day. That was a 4 hour journey, but very comfortable, and we could see some proper American towns on the way. I prefer train travel to flying. I am quite lucky as we get 50% off train travel in America, thanks to a British Rail staff agreement. Again, we picked a rather posh hotel, and it was, posher than the 1st one in New York. 10 min walk from the station, huge rooms, enormous bed, needed a step ladder to get in it…We did the same, drop the cases, then find a bar. I had looked on google maps before we left the UK and new a bar was around the corner. We found it, i was happy, it had Boston Lager. That is a wonderful beer. It was a noisy bar, and i found again Ultrazoom a huge help. I could chat to the wife, and hear her. I could hear the bar staff when i went for more drinks. It was just so amazing being able to hear the accents, and tell the slight difference to the accent in New York. The Christmas decorations around the city were wonderful, trees with lights, pubs with nice decorations, none of the rubbish we see here.
We found the Cheers bar, that was a must, but said we will go in there on way back later.There are 2 Freedom Walks in Boston that take you round the historic parts, we did the 1st one on our 1st full day, taking us down some proper gas lit streets, and old houses. It was lovely, we stopped for a Hot Chocolate as it was freezing cold. Warmed up nicely.
We did half the 2nd Freedom Walk, but we found the 2nd Cheers bar, and that was the end of that…….We made our way back towards our hotel area, and stopped if in a bar on a side street, a proper bar. The chap next to us began to chat about where we were from. Then out of the blue he said ‘ My son has 2 Cochlear Implants, same make as yours’. I was shocked. So we had a good chat about how his sons hearing had got worse in his early years, and how hearing aids made life hard work, and how i lost mine, and how the CI had given me my life back. He was saying how the Cochlear Implant had changed his life, how well he was doing, and what a amazing device it was, we raised our glasses to Advanced Bionics!
We continued the Freedom Walk on the 3rd day, knees were puffly and were getting painful. But still carried on, stopping for a coffee to rest. Was worth the effort.
We made it back to a street with a few bars, and had a beer or 2 with some food. I began to get some nasty pain in one of me knees and no painkiller would ease it. It got to a point where i couldn’t walk, so we had to cut the evening short and return to the hotel. A good sleep and i wasn’t to bad the next day. I walked across to a bakery to get breakfast, tea, muffin, and a cherry Danish, my favourite whilst in America.
We were travelling back to New York in the evening, so we left the cases at the hotel and went for a wander, through the park then it was beer time, one of 5 for the train home.
We arrived back at New York at 2230, and when we got outside the station, the people and traffic, nothing was moving, we joined the taxi queue but gave up. We jumped on the Subway but could only get part the way to where we were going. We realised, there was protests over the verdict of a death of someone when arrested by the police. We got Google Maps and worked out roughly where we had to walk. Phew we had a lucky escape when 40 protestors appeared from round a corner, i was grabbed by the wife a s i never heard them coming, we hid in a shop door way until they had gone, they had bars, sticks etc and were being chased by the police. I was more concerned about my processor being knocked off than anything else. We finally made it to the hotel, 1hr 50 mins later and tired. Still had puffy sore knees…….
We did some more sightseeing, went on the Statton Isle ferry to get good views of The Statue of Liberty. That was good, then after that we went to Ground Zero. That was something else. I’ve been to places to do with 2nd World War, Auschwitz etc, but Ground Zero felt very eery. I think its because its something that has happened in my life time, something that has changed the world. But, it was so worth seeing it.
We did some shopping the following day, but it was raining, and was cold as well. We went to The Rockefeller Centre, watched a display on the side of a shop, looked at the lovely Xmas decorations. We then went back to some bars near the hotel as we were cold and wet.
So our holiday came to an end, the above beer was my favourite, that was my last pint in America. Our flight home was a very quick one. 6 hrs. We arrived at Heathrow early, nice, we could catch a earlier train home so i can get some sleep before i go to work that evening….wrong……..delays on the trains it took us just over 6 hrs to travel 118 miles, quicker to fly from New York, 3000 plus miles.
So, the sore knee saga continued, my leg swelled up as well. On the Thursday morning after our return i thought, hmmm, best get that looked at. My GP sent me to Hospital, i had a DVT clot on my leg. So i am on tablets until March to help reduce it. Now we know why i was in pain in Boston…..Ooooopsie. I had a Ultrasound scan just before Xmas and there is a sign of the clot reducing with a small trickle of blood getting through.
Christmas came and went rather quickly, i only drank 3 glasses of wine, i just couldn’t drink beer, i didn’t fancy it.. I was told to day i can drink beer, but as long as i keep hydrated with water, so next week………..maybe a couple…………
I was working New Years Day early turn so i had no beer New Years Eve either, my 1st New Years Day without a Hangover for 15 years!