I have a weakness. It’s New York City trips. I’m thinking I need to start branching out and taking trips to other places, but whenever someone says, “Hey Lindsay, we should take a New York trip”, and I just so happen to have the funds in my fun/vacation savings account, it is awfully hard to resist. I love New York just like the iconic t-shirt proclaims. So, some friends and I took a trip. We were in New York last week.
I’ve got some good photos & a few good stories from the trip, so I figured I’d blog about it. I’m way too wordy and it’s way too much to fit into one entry, so this entry will cover day one. I was going to include day two, but there’s a very long, very hilarious story from day two and I don’t want to overwhelm myself or my (three) readers!
My friend, Valerie, and I took this trip together, and my friends, Sheri & Keesha booked their NYC trip along with ours. Those two ladies are so much fun and my last three New York trips have been at the same time as them. There may be a day or two that we don’t see them at all and other days where we do some stuff together, but I like just knowing they’re in the city at the same time as me. It’s kind of like a security blanket in a way. And whenever we do join them for meals or events, it’s always a fun time with a lot of laughs.
The four of us flew out of Monroe early Saturday morning, had a long layover in Houston, and then flew on to LaGuardia in New York.
Sheri & Keesha are a little more extravagant on vacation where I am almost always frugal. So they booked a private car to drive them to the airport and invited Valerie & me to join them, but I had already booked a shuttle van for us. The shuttle van was cheaper, so I didn’t change our plans.
This shuttle van ride was the longest ride I’d ever had with them and I’ve used this company several times. We left the airport and first drove to Harlem to drop off someone and then made our way down to midtown, where our hotel is located. Our hotel ended up being the last stop. I knew we were in Harlem because we almost stayed at a place in Harlem booked through Airbnb. I recognized street names and even saw the restaurant – Dylan’s Fish & Chips – that was right next to the place we would have stayed if we had taken that particular trip. It was a really cute area. Also, I have a friend who lives in that area, so that was neat to see her neighborhood! Valerie & I were sitting on the back row of the van and it had several people on it other than us. At one stop light, Valerie noticed the crosswalk counted down from 15 seconds whenever it was about to change. Valerie said, “Oh look. It tells you how long you have to live.” The lady sitting in front of us got tickled by that comment and I noticed she was laughing, which only made me laugh more. Valerie has no idea how funny she is sometimes! As we made our way to the hotel, I also saw that Dunkin Donuts iced coffee was 99 cents, so I made the decision to try it at some point! (Frugal me likes a 99 cent price tag!) We passed a pretty building that Valerie commented on and asked if I knew what it was. I didn’t know, but a nice guy who was riding with us told her it was Lincoln Center.
We got to the hotel & checked in. We saw Sheri at the front desk talking with one of the receptionists. Sheri & Keesha had been at the hotel for probably at least half an hour at that point, but they were having issues because Sheri needs an air conditioner and they don’t really have many rooms with an air conditioner in the winters. Sheri had even called a few days in advance to request a room with an air conditioner. They told us that the bellman showed them to their room, and Keesha told him he may as well not even unload their bags because they were going to have to move! They must have been greeted with a heatwave and there was no air conditioner in sight! They never did get an air conditioner, so to make it up to them, they gave our friends what we referred to as “The Presidential Suite”. Their room was awesome. They each had their own room and their own TV. They just shared a bathroom and a little hallway and a fridge and a microwave. They just kept a window cracked at all times. There wasn’t much threat of someone climbing into their room on the 15th floor. However, they did run into a problem. The current construction going on at Carnegie Hall starts bright and early and would rudely interrupt their sleep. The open window just made it louder.
Anyway, back to check-in. Valerie and I checked in and were taken to our room. On account of my frugality, we booked a standard room, which meant we would have to share a bed. I had contacted the hotel to see about the possibility of two twin beds – literally beds the size you’d find in a dorm room – instead of the one bed. They said I could upgrade if I wanted and told me the costs. Frugality won out and the decision was made that we’d share a bed if we had to. But, happy surprise, we walked into our room to see that we had two full sized beds! I was instantly worried that there was some sort of mistake and we’d be presented with a bill at the end of the trip, even though we had paid in advance when we booked. I called the front desk and explained that we’d just checked into room 734, but I thought there was a mistake because we didn’t book a room this large. They told me they’d given us a complimentary upgrade and to enjoy the room. Sweet! Reason #158 I like the Wellington Hotel. Our room was spacious by New York standards and we each had our own beds. What a great start to the trip!
Valerie & I went up to the 15th floor and toured The Presidential Suite and then the four of us headed to the subway station right outside the hotel. We bought our MetroCards and took the subway to Grand Central Station so we could avoid the rain. (Brilliant idea by Keesha!) We were all starving so we found the food court inside and ate at a place called Two Boots Pizza. The pizza was really good. Not Grimaldi’s level of good, but tasty nonetheless. And the two boots stood for Italy & Louisiana, so that was pretty cool!
The Saints/Seahawks game was on, but we weren’t sitting where we could see it. We did notice that when we heard cheering, it was when the Saints did something well.
The rain had slacked off by the time we finished eating, so we walked out into Times Square and went to Junior’s for cheesecake.
The rain was clearing up and our first full day in the city was looking hopeful and pleasant. Day two post coming soon!