I was doing all my own travel arrangements and working off of schedules months in advance, once I knew for sure I was going to Italy. I looked at each stop in the journey as stages, and once each was complete, I focused on the next. It sure helped me from being stressed.
I took Westjet from Kelowna to JFK, and they were great as always. Next time, I am going to buy the sandwich on board rather than buy one at the kiosk in Kelowna. I had a nice companion with me – Barry the Koala Bear who travels the world. http://www.koalahospital.org.au/news/21-wheres-barry
Arrival at JFK was interesting. Everyone at the airports seem so much nicer than I remember ten years ago. Is it because of 9/11? One lady on the bus thinks so. She told me that after 9/11 people went out of their way to talk to you.
The porters at the train and on the bus were friendly and very helpful. In this way I think the tourism industry has really improved. It was not about how much money they could get for a tip, in fact they did not seem to expect any tip at all.
Customs was great. They didn’t stamp my passport, instead they stamped my plane ticket. What?? I did get a pat down even though I wasn’t wearing anything different from my west jet Canadian departure flight.
The hotel I stayed at was not very far from the airport, and it was a bit older, but renovated. Would I stay there again? Probably not, but it was booked on points, so did not cost anything. It was musty and appeared to be clean, so that was good enough for a nights stay. If you do end up staying overnight at JFK, make sure restaurants are nearby or bring some food with you from the airport, as there was nothing within walking distance where I was (Best Western Kennedy).
All things considering, it was a very relaxed time and a nice prep after the stresses from what I was involved in, in Kelowna.