We made a not-very-economical decision to blow our wad of frequent flyer miles to fly free business class to New York. It was a very nice way to start our journey to the center of the universe. Sipping champagne before takeoff, enjoying a movie on our own portable video players, eating and drinking the not-too-terrible food and wine. The six hours literally flew by.
After landing, we made our way through JFK to the baggage claim area to find our specially-tagged bags already waiting for us. As we wheeled them out of the airport, Doug said, "Aaah, those people all have to WAIT for their luggage. Wave bye-bye to them."
To which I reminded him, "Don't get too excited--they will all be waving to you from their chauffeured Lincoln Town cars while we're shlepping our luggage on the subway and through the streets of Manhattan."
You have now completed the luxury portion of your vacation.
Two transfers, 17 subway stops, and two hours later we arrived at our stop on the Upper West Side. We negotiated our wheelie bags through the turnstile, up 25 stairs (no elevator!), and rolled along two long blocks and one short one to the first of our three free stays in Manhattan (8 more steps up and then 16 more down). A cute brownstone, where our stay includes kitty-sitting duties.
Oh, and did I mention we saved enough money on a taxi to go out for a light bite at a local wine bar for an 11 p.m. dinner?
Oh, and did I mention there were actual other people, and a lot of them, eating dinner at 11 p.m? We're not in Kansas anymore.