Travel: American adventure begins…

Waking up in New York city finally become a reality. I had approximately 5 hours sleep but as I lay in the dark, on a huge blow up air bed, I felt ready for the day ahead.

I sprawled out in bed and messaged home, as I managed to connect to the hotels wifi. Every time I interact with my dad over Whatsapp it always seems to amuse me. He has limited texting experience and I therefore get very little in response to my long and excited messages. Luckily this morning my dad must have handed the phone over to my mum so I got more than a ‘ooooo’ or ‘nice one’.

At 5am I rolled off the air bed and began getting dressed. By quarter to 6 I knocked on the other girls room to see if they were ready to head down for breakfast. I was starving.

In the hotels dining room, I was amazed at the sheer size of the bagels. Tasha took on the challenge and managed to consume the whole thing.


I decided on some bacon, scrambled eggs and then fruit with some apple juice to wash it down.

Once breakfast was done and dusted, a few of the CA lot gathered outside the hotels entrance to wait for the shuttle bus that would take us to Grand Central station.

Driving in America is very interesting to watch. They don’t use lanes the same as us, everyone just seems to head for their destination with no real regard for what is going on around them. I am sure the drivers do know what they are doing, it just looks very crazy and dysfunctional. It is making me question whether I will be capable of driving over here in a few months!

America has so many different things to look at all at once! I found myself turning my head from side to side trying to take everything in. As we neared the center of New York, before entering the Lincoln tunnel, we got a great view of the concrete jungle amongst some mist. It really was an amazing site to see!


On the other side of the tunnel we got a quick glimpse of Times Square as we sauntered through on the shuttle. Now I look back at this morning I can picture my facial expression, jaw dropped and eyes wide with excitement!

The shuttle dropped us off outside the entrance to Grand Central and I practically skipped, with heavy suitcases in tow, towards the mass opening that the station is famous for.

It was huge, lovely stained glass windows towered above everyone and a pale blue ceiling with delicate drawings shone above me.

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I really wanted to stay awake in order to take in more of the American scenery but unfortunately tiredness got the better of me and I ended up drifting into sleep whilst on the train. I blame the gentle jogging of the carriage and, of course, jet lag!

We finally arrived at Cold Springs station and after a little mini case and lift mission we made it onto the mini van.

Steve, a fellow member of the SLC staff, gave us a running commentary of the local amenities Cold Spring has to offer. Oh, if I haven’t mentioned already, it is very very humid here and on the bus it was almost unbearable. That was until we cracked open two small windows which allowed the breeze created by the driving to filter in.

As far as I can see, Cold Spring is like your typical American town. Many of the houses had American flags, in fact everywhere I turn I tend to see the American flag. The houses also had letter boxes at the end of their drive and white picket fences.

After a 10 minute drive I finally saw the Surprise Lake Camp sign. We drove through the trees on the rocky road heading towards the reception area. The lake looked lovely and there were a few people digging away at the lakes edges whilst some sat and relaxed on the grass.


After an hour at camp I was driven to the cabin I was to sleep in. The cabin is a short walk away from the main reception on a different part of camp called Teenside. The golf cart ride to my bunk was bumpy and fun and we spotted a snake and turtle near the side of the lake. Once we arrived, I climbed the stairs and enter into were I will be sleeping for the whole summer. I don’t really know what I expected but I was shocked when I saw the place. The cobwebs were not a welcoming site and freaked me out slightly. I didn’t really fancy sharing my bed with all the creepy crawlies that lined the bunks so I simply left my luggage and decided to deal withit later.

Hopping back on the golf buggy we wizzed back to camp just in time for lunch; pizza and salad. After eating, I was shown the office that I would be working in throughout the summer with Steve. It was full of cables, computers that needed to be plugged in and general mess so we spent the rest of the day tidiying it all up.

At 5pm we headed to the dinning hall for dinner, it was a strange looking lasagna but without the meat. The cheese sauce sort of mixed with tomatoe paste and turned it pink. It was slightly odd but I gave it a go, the salad and garlic dough sticks were good though.

Later on in the evening we went on an adventure with a guy named Jared, on the buggy he showed us were the staff canteen is that contains a cinema room and games. Jared’s bunk was amazing, he had kitted it out with TV, double bed and fairy lights. It made me realise that the bunks can be good, I just have to decorate it.

I then found out who I was to be sharing with, a girl named Hanneke from Holland. We decided to spend the night on the Mainside part of camp with Tasha, Becky and a girl named Casey who I met today.

Even with the bugs in my bunk, I am still enjoying camp life.

Things I saw today:

The Lincold Tunnel,

American cars have red indicator lights,

A McDonalds sign that was lit up like you would expect a theatre sign to be,

A million yellow taxi’s,

Grand Central Station,

Times Square!


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