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!
This weekend in NYC!
What is Tartan Week?
It started with one day.
April 6 is National Tartan Day, which was memorialized in 1998 by the U.S. Senate to recognize the contributions of Scottish-Americans. The next year, a small group of Scottish-Americans gathered with two pipe bands and marched from the British consulate to the United Nations building. The procession has grown substantially in its 21 years to include hundreds of pipes and thousands of spectators.
It wasn’t until 2002 that the National Tartan Day New York Committee was formed to organize Tartan-themed events. There were so many that they decided to celebrate it all during “Tartan Week.”
“Tartan” is actually the plaid fabric that Scottish clansmen would wear on their kilts. Clans today still have official tartans attributed to their names, too.
“There remains an intrinsic link between the American and the Scottish people, especially in New York,” McCuish said. “There is a huge and enthusiastic Scottish diaspora in America, but the ties go deeper than that; there is a sense of aligned culture and purpose. Scotland is one of the most inclusive and welcoming countries in the world — we don’t shy away from strangers, we talk to them, we dance with them, and we engage with them. New York is the perfect location for this ethos to flourish.”
So, when is it?
It all kicks off on April 1 and wraps up on April 8.
When and where is the parade?
On Saturday, April 6, pipers and drummers will step off at 2 p.m. on Sixth Avenue at West 45th Street and march to 55th Street.
Who will we see in the parade?
Sir Billy Connolly, the stand-up comedian, musician and actor who the Scotts nicknamed the “Big Yin,” is leading the parade as grand marshal, followed by solo pipers, full pipe bands, drummers, highland dancers, Scottish clans in kilts and excitingly, Scottish dogs. (The dogs will be judged in a competition by Connolly’s wife, Dr. Pamela Stephenson, who is an acclaimed psychologist.)
“I’m thrilled to be this year’s grand marshal of the New York City Tartan Day Parade,” Connolly said in a statement on nyctartanweek.org. “I can’t wait to hear all those bagpipes echoing off the skyscrapers and to see Sixth Avenue awash with thousands of swaying kilts. It’s going to be brilliant.”
Past grand marshals have included actor Sean Connery (2002), actor Alan Cumming (2009), KT Tunstall (2018) and many others.