A New York Minute – Part 2

Click here for Part 1

So when I last left you (ages ago, my apologies), I had just hopped on the subway to make my way north. Getting off the train near Central Park, the two things I wanted to see and perhaps tour were the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

On the way from my stop to the Park, I passed a Starbucks thinking I really should stop and grab something. But since my stomach wasn’t feeling so great, I decided to pass it by. A decision I would later regret. As soon as I found an empty bench, I called my family to check in. Despite feeling like I’d been up for hours (actually I had), and that I had traipsed all over the city (oh wait, did that too), my kids back on the West Coast were just getting ready to leave for school.

In hindsight, after making that call, I should have stayed right where I was, or maybe found a patch on the grass (the weather was gorgeous that day despite the cold front that swept in shortly after) and read my book. Something to refresh myself because I was running out of steam fast. And I still had four hours until I’d be able to check in. But I chose to press on.

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The reservoir in Central Park

img_4628I strolled along the reservoir a bit and even got an awful selfie. I hate taking those things, but when you’re traveling by yourself, it’s kind of the only way to say, “Look where I am!” And keep in I’d been up for most of the past 24+ hours and hadn’t bothered with makeup when I landed.

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At this point I checked the map to get an idea of how far the museums were and saw that if I just kept walking, I would hit the Met first. Once there, I decided not to pay the entrance fee when I wasn’t sure how much energy I had left. Sad, I know. But at least I’d finally seen it up close as it is featured in The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), one of my favorite movies.

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After taking yet another dumb (partial) selfie, it was time to make my way to the Guggenheim. If it was cheaper, maybe I would give it ago. So I continued walking along, enjoying the gorgeous buildings bordering the park.

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It seemed like I’d been walking forever, but I still hadn’t reached the Guggenheim yet. Eventually I decide it’s time to check the map again. Turns out when I looked at it last time, I didn’t make note of which way was north, and since I hadn’t been moving, it was oriented the wrong direction. I was ready to say screw it, my feet and back were hurting. But I figured I was only twenty minutes away, granted it was in the direction I had just come, and I had no idea when I would be back. This was one of those places I kept trying to see every time I was in NYC and it just never worked out. So I sucked it up and headed north. Again. As I dragged my feet along, I kept wondering how I missed it the first time. Especially since it should have been near where I entered the park, and I had stayed close to 5th Ave most of the time. When I finally approached it, I understood how I’d walked right by it. It was smaller than I was expecting. Like other landmarks, it had been made to appear larger in the movies than it actually was. In truth it only looked to be about two or three stories tall and wasn’t very wide. And as I stood there waiting for traffic to clear so I could cross, it occurred to me that the Guggenheim typically showcases modern art. And as I learned from MOMA, I’m not a fan of most modern art. Bit’s and pieces I love, but there was no way I was going to spend money on a museum that probably didn’t have much I was interested in. But I finally saw its iconic building, and I love that I now know exactly where it is.

I then proceeded to walk past it in search of the nearest subway station so that I would make my way to my hotel in the hopes that I could check-in early. Perhaps I could find something in Jamaica to explore, why should Manhattan get all the love?

And the answer to the question is because there is absolutely nothing in Jamaica for a lone traveler to do. Not that I could find between my stop and my hotel anyway.

I got off the subway and decided to walk the four miles to my hotel thinking it would kill time and hopefully I would find someplace to hang out, mainly lunch. I wanted something local, not a chain I could just as easily eat at back home. But in the first few blocks, there was nothing that jumped out at me, and it wasn’t long before I was walking along residential streets. I was sure I would hit a more commercial area before I got to my hotel. Nope. It was all residential, and then there was the Hampton Inn and the Hilton with the freeway and airport on the other side of them.

So by 1 pm I was at the front desk asking if I could check-in early. Unfortunately she wouldn’t let me because there was one small problem; the hotel’s hot water wasn’t working. Okay, maybe not so small. Fortunately the Hilton next door had a restaurant where I could get lunch and read my book while I waited for three o’clock to roll around.

Finally I was able to check in and assumed they would have said something about the hot water if they hadn’t fixed it yet. Well, you know what they say happens when you assume… As I got settled in the room all I could think about was enjoying a nice hot bath and reading more of Game of Thrones. Except that there was no hot water. Grr…. I knew that they were working on it though so I killed time by watching some shows on my iPad, occasionally checking the water. At 5:30 I finally called down and all they could say was they they were working on it. Out of desperation, I ended up heating water in the coffee maker and doing a sponge bath. Not ideal, but I could not crawl into bed without wiping off some of the grime. Soon after, I fell asleep only to wake up a couple hours later. Annoying, but I discovered the hot water was finally working again! So I took that much needed bath and read some more before going back to sleep.

The alarm went off at 4:15 am and I was downstairs a half hour later to check out and wait for the shuttle. When the clerk asked about my stay, I mentioned that I would’ve been better if there had been hot water at check-in. Since I was a Hilton Honors member she offered to credit me some points. I was expecting 500, maybe 1000 points, either would be nice. I was shocked when three days later my account was credited with 10K points! That’s enough for a free night at most of their hotels. So thank you Hilton, for taking care of me!

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The view from my window seat

And then I was at the airport and eventually on a plane headed home. It was an exhausting trip and I wish I would’ve forced down the caffeine (lots of it!) so I could see more. But in the end, I was glad I did it. I had lots of time to think about things, and myself, and I feel like I know the city just a little bit better now. If I ever find myself shy of miles for elite status, I would do something like this again, in another city perhaps. Hell, I might do it again anyway if I come across a killer deal.

Now that I have finally posted about my NYC trip, I’m excited to announce that next week I will be in Charleston, South Carolina. It will be my first time and I can’t wait to explore its southern charm. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram so you can hear all about it in real time and then stay tuned for my write-up of it!

Cheers!

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