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.
Ah, the subway schlep to or from the Airport. My wife and I decided to save some money on the way to the airport So we took the subway from our midtown hotel to the financial district for a short look around, then a walk across the brooklyn bridge. Thankfully we traveled light, so we only had a small case with wheels and a small shoulder bag. It got a touch hot crossing the bridge, but being there was worth it. Then a short walk to the nearest subway station in brooklyn and we were off to JFK.
Posted by: James | August 13, 2009 at 11:08 AM
As a native New Yorker, I know there are cabs now from the airport to midtown Manhattan for a flat fee of $50 as per law. Also, what about the new JFK train to the plane and vice versa?
You couldn't afford the $50 bucks?
Syd, it seems to me, based on your own farewells to the luxury lifestyle you had become accustomed to, you really don't want to say good bye to it. How are you going to keep 'em down on the farm, after they've seen Paree'?(Paris)
Eventually, trust me, you will one day get sick of all the penny pinching and frugality. Especially, if you've had luxurious trips before.
In a way, I'm glad I never once took a luxury vacation. It has to be 'such a good deal!" or I stay home.
Good luck on enjoying New York. There are tons and tons of amazing deals out there (broadway shows, restaurants, shopping). All you need is a little bit of dough and a dream.
Posted by: morrison | August 13, 2009 at 11:49 AM
@James, Brooklyn Bridge--well worth it, we've walked that twice and I'm sure will be up for it this trip, so beautiful. And on the other side we can see Barge Music one night and then subway back home.
@Morrison: I guess it sounded like I was complaining--au contraire! I loved that we could save 50 bucks (two ways, you may be forgetting, for a total of $100, plus tip!). And yes, that JFK train was part of the travels, very nice actually.
Walked the new High Line park today, also so lovely and FREE! Well worth your tax dollars, thank you very much. And how 'bout this weather? So cool so far . . .
I sure do love your neck of the woods!
Posted by: Retired Syd | August 13, 2009 at 04:06 PM
My #2 daughter is planning her wedding at the new High Line. #1 lives in the Heights, off the Brooklyn Bridge.
There are lots of free things to do in the city.
Posted by: morrison | August 13, 2009 at 07:49 PM
Wow, what a spectacular setting for a wedding!
Posted by: Retired Syd | August 13, 2009 at 10:03 PM
I love eating a late dinner, but so few cities are actually up for it.
Posted by: Chad @ Sentient Money | August 14, 2009 at 06:27 AM
Your worship of NYC is so amusing to me. I grew up in shadows (in Joisey) but can't say i miss it at all after 28 years in CT.
Posted by: fern | August 14, 2009 at 07:50 AM
Many of my friends that are not from NY feel exactly the same way you do, "you can have it" they say--a few won't even come here at all.
Me, I feel so alive here. We spent a week in Tahoe last month and I kept saying "it's just a bunch of pine trees!" No one can understand why I hate Tahoe, "Sydney--it's so beauuuuutiful!"
Me, I'll take the city over nature any day of the week. I prefer man-made beauty. I acknowledge I am WAY in the minority here . . .
(For the record, I love SF too, but so cold and foggy, you can't eat dinner at all hours of the night, the public transportation is not nearly as good, you can't buy soymilk at 1am, I could go on and on.)
Posted by: Retired Syd | August 14, 2009 at 08:11 AM
My problem is that I love the city and the country. How can you not love having a spectacular dinner at 11 and drinks until 4 AM with a happening crowd?
Of course, how can you not love hiking through some beautiful forests and grilling out under the stars with some good beer. The stars away from city lights are flat out amazing.
Posted by: Chad | August 14, 2009 at 09:09 PM
@Chad: That doesn't sound like a problem at all, appreciating both! I guess the problem is that you can't live in two places at once, huh?
Posted by: Retired Syd | August 14, 2009 at 09:23 PM
you should write a travel blog. (Do it - I'm bossy like that.)
I can't wait to hear what else you say about your trip!
Posted by: Nicole | August 16, 2009 at 09:37 PM
I have the same love of cities...i feel alive in NY. We just got back and I miss it already...
Posted by: Laura | September 02, 2009 at 12:49 AM
It's all true, NY , SF and the country they are all great in the right proportion. Here in Colorado its fantastic!!
Posted by: Ap | August 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM