Friday June 3, 2016
We hit the road this morning a little after 7am and made great time. The first stop was at the new Loves at Cumberland, MD which was very nice. Steph actually drove almost four and a half hours before we switched at the next Loves just before Allentown. I think it took us just around six hours to get to the Holland Tunnel which is remarkable. I guess that’s due to just having two stops. Anyway, the first stop after arriving in Manhattan was Dominique Ansel’s Kitchen in the West Village for more of the DKA’s that we discovered last June. After that stop we headed north to Midtown and sat in traffic for at least an hour. Traffic is never exactly easy to navigate in Manhattan, but today it seemed extra crowded for some reason. So that was an adventure. And then once we did make it to 47th and 7th and the Doubletree Suites we learned that they weren’t offering valet parking due to the construction going on in front of the hotel. So that was just wonderful learning that we were on our own as far as getting the car stowed away for the night. Fortunately we found a garage nearby on 46th between 6th and 7th where we parked for $75. It didn’t cost that much last time we used the Valet at the Doubletree, but that’s been a couple of years ago, so I guess that’s understandable. Last summer was the Hampton in Soho. It was very nice being back in Times Square. I can’t get enough of the place. I wish Steph agreed, but she tolerates it well for me. So anyway, having just eaten snacks all day in the car we were more than ready to get something good to eat. We decided a while ago to hit Shake Shack for burgers. I know, not exactly a healthy choice, but we’re on vacation so what matters. It was around 3:30 in the afternoon and there was still a line waiting to get in. I can imagine how bad the line must be at prime times. The food was really good I thought, but Steph and Colton weren’t as crazy about it as we had been a few years ago. We took to the streets again and walked off dinner. I never have much trouble reaching my 10k steps in NYC. I finished the day with ~17k steps and we were only out for a few hours. That’s one of the many things that’s great about this city. You walk and walk and walk, its fantastic. After heading down to 42nd for a while we hit Walgreens for a few things we still needed for the cruise. Then we went back to the room for a short rest break. On our second outing we walked up to Rockefeller Center and explored around there for a while. We didn’t see much new other than the shops and restaurants down below on subway level. Oh, I should mention that our normal Jamba Juice between 7th and Broadway was gone. That place had been a staple of our Times Square visits for many years. No big deal though as we found one in the depths of the Rockefeller Center subway station and had a huge Razzmatazz while we sat next to windows that looked out on the area that would be the ice rink had it been the proper season. From there we walked up to see what has become of the Ed Sullivan Theatre. Its sad when I think that Dave is not there any longer, but you have to move on and appreciate the present rather than live in the past. After some shopping we wound up back at the room. Then around 9 Colton decided he wanted to experience the bright lights of Times Square at night. So he and I went back outside and walked a bit more and took some pics to post to Instagram. It was a very, very nice day. And I can’t wait to be back on board one of my favorite cruise ships tomorrow afternoon. Good night for now.
Saturday June 4, 2016
I woke to Steph sitting on the bed with the MacBook in front of her zoned in on the weather happenings along the Atlantic Coast. Things did not look good. I’m always a little on the nervous side on boarding day thinking of all the things that could go wrong which might prevent us from getting on the ship. So hearing the news and seeing the solid green or worse solid red up and down the coast was kind of disheartening. Not for me so much as for Steph. As long as I’m on the ship and have my various electronic gadgets, I’m happy as can be. Well, anyway, Saturday was absolutely beautiful and we determined to enjoy the day and just take the rest as it came.
Breakfast was rather boring. We get two adults free because of our Hilton Honors status, but still had to pay for Colton’s. And even getting three for the price of one was too much considering what we ate. The good thing is that no one really cared since we’d be on a ship in 3hrs +/-.
After breakfast we packed up the room and walked back to the parking garage to retrieve our car and hit the streets for a bit more exploring. Colton wanted to see Central Park since he was a lot younger the last time he was there and didn’t remember it much. So we drove up 8th Ave. and then a bit up Central Park West to one of the transverse roads across the park. Unfortunately I never came across a great place to stop the car so Colton could get a picture like he wanted. After a very short tour of the Upper East Side we headed to the ship. It was probably between 10 and 10:30 by the time we got the car parked. We dropped off the checked bags with the porters and got checked in with very minimal waiting due to our Platinum Latitudes status. As it turned out it was good that we arrived so early as they began boarding around 11:25! It was definitely the earliest boarding we’ve ever experienced. So shortly after 11:30 we were on board and within an hour I had left my card at the bar in the Garden Café and my sunglasses on the floor of the Garden Café. Fortunately I was able to retrieve both.
Well, I don’t usually provide a play by play once we’re on the cruise. So that’s probably all I’ll write for now. As I’ve written before, the rest of the day, and in fact the rest of the week, was spent, eating, reading, napping and eating some more. Til next time.