Tuesday, October 4, 2011
We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the Trautman B&B…our high school classmates…with my twin sister and her husband before driving from Columbus to Indianapolis for our flight to New York City. We had spent five days with them for our 55th high school reunion.
We arrived at the airport early and enjoyed their free access to wireless internet as we waited for our airport departure. Twin sister Mary and her husband Phil joined us after they had returned the car to his son who lives in Indianapolis and had generously loaned us an extra car for our stay in Indiana. They flew to Chicago and then on to Tampa, Florida just after we left for Baltimore and then a final hop to New York City’s LaGuardia Airport.
It was a long day…we left Columbus about 10 am and arrived in NYC just before 7 pm. We’d checked our two large suitcases and wouldn’t you know…they didn’t arrive with us! Not to worry…Southwest provided us each with a very complete travel kit, complete with toothbrush and everything we might need. Should our luggage not arrive by noon tomorrow; we were told we could each spend up to $50.00 for a few pieces of clothing and would be reimbursed when we presented the bills at the airport on our return flight. Not sure just what the rules were if they NEVER showed up…but the very polite and efficient clerk assured us that MOST of the luggage arrives within twenty-four hours.
With our new “travel kits” we headed for the MTA Bus from LaGuardia to Grand Central Station. A bargain for only $12.50 each…cash only…and at that time we needed correct change because the ticket seller was out of change…we left within minutes for our destination.
Being astute travelers, we had our roller carry on bags and a backpack with two sets of underwear for emergencies so we were actually well prepared for the event of delayed luggage. I even had packed a lightweight nightgown for just such an emergency. This isn’t the first time our luggage has been delayed; but it always has eventually arrived.
Our destination tonight was an apartment owned by friends and well located near the United Nations building in Mid-Town Manhattan on the East side. Originally they were going to be here with us but due to schedule changes we are alone in the apartment. These are friends we met on the canal boat in France during a three month trip in 2000. We’ve been visiting back and forth ever since; mostly due to the Internet connection that began immediately between us.
Arrived at Grand Central Station about 8 pm and strolled to our new home in balmy fall weather, cool enough for jackets but very comfortable. The doorman met us with keys to the apartment and we settled in for the week.
Thursday, October 5th, 2011
Slept in this morning; I headed out to find some food for breakfast before Jim was awake. I found one about three blocks away and picked up some juice, milk, cereal and bananas to supplement the food I found in the apartment.
After breakfast we called the airport and heard that at this time they had located my suitcase…darn…I don’t get to spend the $50.00…but they were still looking for Jim’s. He has fond hopes of shopping on Southwest’s dime!
We put on our coats and headed out walking towards Rockefeller Center, about six blocks. There we looked at the sights, visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Bart’s also. By this time the jackets were getting warm so we decided to go back to the apartment to leave them. While we were there the cell phone rang and oops…they found the second suitcase! So…no shopping on Southwest’s dime after all! Delivery is anticipated to be sometime this afternoon. Good that we have a doorman to accept them.
Strolled out into warm, but comfortable weather in the canyons created by the massively tall buildings; we went back to Grand Central Station and purchased Subway tickets. Our first on our own in NYC as Bonnie was with us the last time (our host) and guided us effortlessly around the city. We managed to get a Senior Discount and with help found ourselves on the correct train headed up town towards Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum.
We are pleasantly surprised at the number of people who stop to help us…with a smile…many times without our even asking…because of our map in hand and the gray in our hair! There are hundreds of taxicabs in NYC but we’ve decided to stick to the bus and subway so I don’t know if they would earn their reputation or not?? But, we love the people in New York City!
You’ll notice that today my photos stop with only a few at the Met Museum…I had an oops day camera wise when I downloaded them to my computer…I didn’t realize that there were two files and so we have an excuse for another trip to the Met while we are here. And, we’re both delighted for the opportunity.
At the Metropolitan Museum we headed first towards the Egyptian Section for the Temple of Dendur that is displayed in an atrium the size of three gymnasiums with a glass wall and surrounded by a moat. You’ll have to wait a few days to see the photos. Sorry…
We spent lots of time walking back and forth looking for the 19th Century American Artists because the normal room was closed for renovation and they were in a different area. But we did manage to find our favorite impressionist artists among many others that we enjoyed. On our return trip we were able to easily find the ones we wanted…what a difference it makes to be familiar with the Museum.
We spent about three hours in the Museum before walking over to the tea room at the Neue Galerie; but found that we were too late; they were closing in twenty minutes at 4 pm for a special event. We now have another excuse to come back to this area.
We continued to walk downtown alongside of Central Park and ended up walking all the way back to our home; a good three miles. Back through Rockefeller Plaza and on to the store that I had visited for breakfast foods where we found some TV dinners. We were very happy to put our feet up and enjoy some television with our dinner in our lovely apartment!
I figure that we must have walked close to ten miles between the streets and museum. I forgot to mention….my cell phone range in the Museum, the guard said “no cell phones” and I quickly told him it was about missing luggage. His attitude changed immediately and I was allowed to take the call.
The delivery service wanted to make sure that we were at the apartment and could sign for the luggage; after some discussion he unhappily agreed to let the doorman sign for our luggage. And as we walked into the building we were met with a big smile from our friendly doorman who announced that our luggage had indeed arrived!