Sunday, October 9, 2011

The trip to The Big Apple

Thursday:  Oct 6th

Flight to Chicago and Newark went without incident, my favorite way to travel.  The first night accommodations were at the plush Howard Johnsons.  I could tell what the room might look like from the trash decorating the yard and the missing lock on the back door from the latest robbery that eliminated our opportunity to do the laundry that night.  No need to use your room card for entry when there’s a gaping hole where the lock used to be.  The room did not disappoint my expectations.  It had a lovely red striped carpet that mostly laid flat leading to a balcony with a patio window….thank goodness for being on the fourth floor.  The walls were papered in some sort of red design that did not accommodate the bedspreads.  One wall was green for no apparent reason but was perhaps an attempt to calm the senses?  It was a bit like sleeping inside a commercial for acid reflux.  But there was no sign of bedbugs and roaches.  I imagine the constantly flashing lights on the wall kept them at bay, and as annoying as they were I was glad to have them.  Needless to say I did not look under the bed since there was no smell of decomposition. 

We dined at the Tick Tock Diner down the street and enjoyed a wonderful Greek salad and spinach pie.  It was super yummy and was a great way to end the day.

Friday:  Oct 7th

Today is our … “free day” bus driver style in New York.  We walked over to the I-Hop and had the fit and healthy breakfast of turkey bacon, fake eggs and two pancakes.  It was listed as under 600 calories …or at least until I added the butter pecan syrup.   Then we found a Laundromat and read our Kindles while he caught up on his laundry.  It was a nice Laundromat with some comfy chairs and a little deli next door where I managed to find some caffeinated beverages to start out my day.  From there we did a test run to La Guardia airport since this was one he had not yet been to.  We managed to find our way there and out again and our next mission was to find a place to park a bus for four hours until they came in. While cruising about through the sea of humanity known as downtown Manhattan we watched as an ambulance tried to get through to a person lying in the street.  I’m guessing he was trying to cross the street it didn’t go well.  It’s amazing to watch bicyclists weave their way in and out of traffic.  Not an area for a casual stroll or faint of heart. We drifted about until we found an open spot big enough for us to park, which is no easy feat and we managed to sit for about an hour and half in one spot before they asked us kindly to leave.  Then we found another area to perch until the phone call came that they were in.

After picking them up at about 6:30 we managed to make it back through the Friday night traffic to the Sheraton for our next two night stay.  Our dinner was scheduled for 8:00 and she called to assure them we were on our way.  We pulled up in front of the hotel but had to unload into traffic, never an ideal situation, but managed to get everyone safely off the bus and into the hotel.  The poor little bellhop almost fell over when he saw the amount of luggage.  These guys really earn their keep as well as Left Brain who has to crawl into the belly of the bus and pull them out.  Then Left Brain took off in search of a parking spot for the night and they went into the dinner.  I waited until the last of the luggage was taken inside and stood on the street for quite a while watching for him to return until I finally went in to start eating.  This probably sounds cold, but we hadn’t eaten since breakfast and my fast for Yom Kippur starts tonight so I wanted to get filled up well to carry me through and it may take them a long while to find parking.  He returned about 45 minutes later to eat and rest for the night.  Supper was wonderful with a very tasty salad and bread and then a course of roast chicken, mashed potatoes and asparagus.  But the dessert was just delightful.  I had to go get my camera to take a photo of it.  It was as artistic as it was tasty.  Ah.

Our room is spacious and beautiful but internet was too expensive, so I wrote about our adventures and waited to post them until the next stop.  It feels wrong not to be in a synagogue and I’m sure there are some nearby but I need to take the first tour to get to the second part of the day and was not able to stay back alone.

Saturday:  Oct 8th

We departed early for a city tour with a step on guide.  He provided more facts and figures than I could possibly ever remember as we learned about downtown New York.

Then we went to Pier 17 where I walked about in the sunshine and had a chair massage in the food court area.  It was longer than I would have liked to spend there and wished I had opted to spend the time in the bus with Left Brain reading.  Then we were off for a harbor cruise and although it was pleasant, I’d done it before and was again missing my time with my husband.  It’s awkward to travel alone on these trips.  Everyone is in pairs or small groups and it feels lonely being the odd person out that doesn’t fit in.  Oh well, it’s just for a day.

After dropping them at the hotel I stayed with Left Brain to park the bus and walk back to the hotel.  These walks are more interesting as you see the behind the scenes lives of the everyday worker.  We went past the horse barn where the carriage horses are stabled and we found a little corner café with outside seating available for supper.  I had a bowl of chicken noodle soup and he had a pastrami sandwich on rye.  With a beer and soda added to that the bill was $50.  Welcome to New York.  I would have loved the margarita but when the price appears the same as the number of points, it’s a no deal.

Then we walked to the theatre to watch Sister Act and had a very enjoyable evening of music and laughter.  Then it was back to the room to unwind and pack for tomorrow’s departure.

That's it for now.  We finally got internet to allow me post although the photos seem to be in strange spots and I can't figure out how to move them, so just deal with it....okay?

Long Live the Queen of Motorcoach Travel

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