A couple of years ago, I had just finished a job which had a pretty gruelling shooting schedule and promised Mandy, my wife, that I would take her to NYC at the end to make up for all the time I wasn't at home. Seeing as we were flying over Hawaii we thought we might as well make it a stopover. So we stayed on Oahu for a week soaking up the sun and exploring the island. It was pre kids, so my memory of it is probably heightened slightly, but I remember this extreme sense of relaxation exploring the northern beaches. One of my favourite memories, and something I would recommend to anyone going, was jumping off the rock at Waimea Bay into the incredibly blue, warm water, with the sun just beaming down. So much fun. Then from there we went to a Haleiwa and had lunch at this little cafe in the back of an organic store and they made the most incredible smoothies. I remember these ginormous cockroaches running across the floor. When we alerted the hostess she responded, "Oh, that guy, he's just a baby". But the whole trip was such a great experience and one of the last holidays we took pre kids, so pretty special to Mandy and me.
Well, from Hawaii we were flying to NYC. We decided to catch the red-eye flight departing 5pm and landing 8am - that way we could make the most of the day in New York. So we stopped at the local ABC (think 7/11 store . . . ) and got some over-the-counter sleeping pills to make sure we arrived in NYC, well rested. I took one just before the plane took off and within a couple of minutes found myself nodding off into this deep, deep sleep. I woke up what felt like five hours later but to my horror when I looked at my watch, it had only been 15 minutes. It was torture. I was trapped in this dazed state on a plane, in terrible seats. I vowed never again. We arrived in New York extremely tired and ended up sleeping until 3pm. But thankfully we were in the city that never sleeps. It ended up being an incredible trip. It's pretty hard not to enjoy New York. We saw Mumford and Sons live at the Queens Tennis Club, and we stayed at the Ace Hotel which was phenomenal - everyone should do it once. So even a miss wasn't really a miss - and that's one of the great things about travel. Often the most interesting experiences come from being surprised or having things turn out differently to what you expect.
Ido Drent plays Greg McQueen in season three of The Brokenwood Mysteries, premiering tonight at 8.30pm on Prime.