Room with a view in Manhattan – our bedroom for the next few nights thanks to my long-suffering cousin Ginny and her husband John. We’re back!

ALARM goes off at 5.30am. Uuurghhh. At least we don’t have anything major to do before grabbing our bags and checking out the hotel room.

The meet’n’greet car parking at Manchester airport is only a few minutes away and soon we’re parked up and checked in. No guitar problems thanks to decent Lufthansa/Delta staff πŸ™‚

We get some coffee while waiting to board the flight to Newark and the flight goes without any tithes. The nice cabin crew take my guitar and put it in a closet so i don’t; have to drag it to our seats way at the back of the plane, the food is good and I watch a couple films – Wild Rose and Rocketman – and have a wee sleep to pass the journey.

The queue for visa holders at immigration isn’t too long – maybe just 100 folks ahead of us, but typically there’s only one booth out of about thirty that’s manned. It’s a bit of an ass plan, compounded but he fact that we applied –and paid Β£300 that wedding;t have – for Global Entry at the beginning of June.

Normally the process takes a few weeks and then applicants have an initial interview at the point of entry. We’d hoped to do this in Denver in the summer, but the Government shutdown at the start of the year cause a backlog which seemed to become an excuse. There’s no refunds available and, of course, nothing can be questioned. In my mind that’s verging on theft not fraud.

Taking the backlog into account, we should have been able to do our interviews by the time we left the USA in August, but no…the applications still hadn’t been processed.

Now in October – four months (yup, FOUR) after applying we still haven’t been processed. An expensive and time-consuming call to the helpline before we left basically resulted in us being told ‘tough luck’. I’m furious. And feel bullied into keeping my mouth shut. At some non-mission critical point in the future I will tackle the problem.

My cousin Ginny – who has the patience of a saint – is waiting to meet us and take us to her apartment where we’re staying for a few days before the tour starts.

We have a great afternoon and evening catching up and she makes us lovely dinner. Then its bedtime…

New York here we come… πŸ™‚