Last-Minute NYC Thoughts:
*You might want to think about packing your "freshen-up" kit in your carry-on bag so you can freshen up at our final stop before heading through the Lincoln Tunnel to Manhattan. It's going to be kinda tough to dig your toothbrush out from under the bus at 6:00am.
*Something I forgot to put on the list of things to bring: PHONE CHARGER. A phone with no juice is no good to you. You'll be able to charge at the hotel each day/night. Also, to conserve battery power, I'd recommend turning off your phone while you're sleeping on the bus.
* Baggage inspection will be at 7pm. Please be by your bags at this time.
*Weather forecast: Sunny and upper 60's on Friday and Saturday. Sunday is now high of 58 and 70% chance of rain. Come prepared to stay dry or come prepared to be wet and not complain about it.
*The bus will be SILENT from 11pm-6am on both Thursday and Sunday nights. Come prepared to sleep or do something silently during these hours. This will be strictly enforced, so come prepared for the trip. I plan on sleeping. If I have to be awakened because you're making noise, I will not (repeat: NOT) be in a chipper mood and will deal with the situation accordingly. It's in your best interest to not make enemies with everyone else on the bus just hours after we depart. :-)
*The bathroom on the bus is for EMERGENCIES ONLY. We will be stopping regularly. Consider limiting your caffeine/fluid intake on the bus so you're not caught miles away from a rest area. Please remember that anything you put in the toilet stays with us until 10am on Monday morning.
*Please show courtesy to your bus driver and tour guides. They are here to make our trip as enjoyable as possible, but situations are not always ideal as the city can be a chaotic place. Please be flexible and polite.
*You WILL encounter panhandlers, homeless people, and bums. It is in your best interest to KEEP WALKING. I'm not telling you to not be charitable, but if you give money, then they know you have money to give.
*We will be in the safest sections of town, however, it is still NEW YORK CITY. Stay with the group and do not fall behind. Always stay with your chaperone while the group is split up. Do not veer blocks off of your assigned areas or you could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.
*Cross only at crosswalks and do it QUICKLY. If you're caught in the street when the light changes, you're roadkill.
*Do not mock make fun of native New Yorkers. They will win in a fight. Be polite, even if they are not to you.
*If you choose to eat in a sit-down restaurant that is not pre-paid, be sure to leave at least a 15% gratuity for your server.
*Follow all rules at all times. The existence of trip opportunities depends on your cooperation with the rules. If you choose to break these rules, you will be sanctioned or even sent home. That's all I have to say about that. Don't spoil this trip for everyone else by doing something you'll regret.
*On Monday, you are excused from school for the rest of the day because of the exhausting trip you've just taken. You may stay for classes if you feel it is in your best interest. Please make sure all make-up work is turned in on time.
*Don't worry about looking like a tourist...that's unavoidable. Enjoy the city to the fullest extent. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Open your eyes and ears. Ask questions. Take pictures. Window shop. Take more pictures. Enjoy the theatre. Take a risk on Stravinsky. Eat at a local deli instead of McDonald's. Experience the city for the crazy and beautiful place it is.