As most everyone knows, it’s been a long, long time of pandemic and quarantine. Like many families, we haven’t seen our son and daughter-in-law for over a year. A cruise to Norway was “rescheduled” for Alaska and now that one has been cancelled because Canada won’t allow cruises to sail through their waters. Another trip to Scotland was moved to this summer and that may not happen.
But, it hasn’t all been grim here. Thanks to FaceTime, we have been able to keep in touch with our NYC family and play Monopoly, Word Chums and other games.
We’ve known for a while that there would be a grandson arriving in early March, 2021 and, thanks to shared photo albums, we were able to see various scans to see how he was growing.
Obviously, we wanted to go to New York for the actual birth but NYC had very strict COVID regulations including testing, quarantining after arrival for several days and taking a second COVID test. New York is pretty expensive to just hang around a hotel for several days so we decided not to go…yet.
Meanwhile, I got my first COVID shot on February 15, knowing that sooner or later we would be able to travel…somewhere.
On February 27, DH had his first COVID vaccination.
March 7, our grandson was born! Of course, he is the cutest baby…ever! On March 11 our son was taking him to his pediatrician and got a notification that NYC would be opening on April 1 – no more quarantining! Of course, I immediately started looking for a hotel and train tickets. A Hilton close by had very reasonable prices – about $100 a night including tax! I scooped that up right away, of course. They must not have heard that tourists would be flocking back to New York in April. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we had enough points with Amtrak to get free train tickets.
March 15, I got my second COVID vaccine.
On March 17, I got this email from our reasonably priced Hilton Hotel
We hope that you are doing well. We are reaching out to you with regards to your upcoming (April 8 2021) reservation with us. Unfortunately the hotel is closed for arrival. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you. We can help you make a reservation with our sister property below at the same rate and dates or we can cancel your reservation for you. Please tell us how you would like to proceed.
I wasn’t feeling well from the COVID shot and this wasn’t the kind of news I wanted that day. I looked up the sister site and it was up near Murray Hill. We used to stay there years ago and the commute to get to our son’s took too much time – we need to be closer!
So, I got our old favorite, Club Quarters which is semi-close to where we want to be for not too much more money.
Because we’ll be a little further away, I need to get a steroid shot on Monday, April 5, and I will need to write Bee’s Knees 8.
To be continued, after the trip!
The train ride was uneventful (Hooray). We’d originally been scheduled on a later train but Amtrak moved us due to Hurricane Florence.
Our son met us at Penn Station after a few misses due to us coming up a different elevator than normal. We finally met up and got into an Uber. Off to the hotel with the world’s longest title: Courtyard by Marriott New York Downtown Manhattan/World Trade Center Area
After checking in and short naps (son and wife were taking a dance lesson), we went out to dinner at Eataly in the Oculus. We’ve eaten there before but it’s such a cool building.
I had a really interesting and yummy dish called a Quad-something. Ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta with a lemon-butter sauce and pistachios on top.
After dinner, we walked along the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway for awhile. The Manhattan Waterfront Greenway is a foreshoreway for walking or cycling, 32 miles long, around the island of Manhattan, in New York City. It’s easy to forget that you’re in this huge city with scenery like this.
Michael often rides a bike along the Greenway to work.
Tom and I checked out the 6th floor of the hotel and came across the Greenwich room. They have small meals, a business center, self-serve snacks and more. They also have a wonderful balcony where I took the picture below of the Freedom Tower and a bit of The Oculus at the World Trade Center, lower right.
After that, we got back to the room and watched a movie on TV 🙂
Then a shower and bed for me. I slept wonderfully and got over 8 hours sleep. Amazing!