So the first part of this is going to sound terribly similar to our New York visit this past June. We were up early and on the road from WV at 6:40. We stopped a couple of times on the way at a Loves Travel Plaza in Cumberland, MD and again at the one in Hamburg, PA. We wouldn’t have had to stop twice for gas, but I like to fill up at Hamburg, PA on the way and then there again on the way home. Seems to be a good system for our New York runs. We also made great time this trip and were sitting at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel at 12:50.
Once we arrived at the Conrad, we had good news and bad news. The good news was that we got a complimentary upgrade to an even more fantastic suite than what we had booked. The bad news was that it wasn’t ready yet. You know, this rarely happens. We check in early at practically every hotel we visit and never have to wait for a room. Well, today she gave us the option of the suite we booked at 1:30 or a 750sf luxury suite at 3. We opted to wait it out and checked the bags with the bellman and hit the streets. Last time at this hotel was summer of 2013 and I remember the place across Vesey St. was under construction at the time. Well, today we were able to experience Brookfield Place, which turned out to be part ritzy shopping mall and part really nice food court. Rather than Subway and McDonalds though, this place was all upscale shops that appeared to have some great choices and even greater crowds. We had lunch at a place called Olives where Colton and I split a steak sandwich and Steph had a salad. Very good stuff.
Outside Brookfield Place, on the Hudson, was an ice rink that had already opened for the season even though it was 60 plus degrees outside. We watched people skate a while and then walked out to the rivers edge and admired the views. The Hudson River will always be special to us since the vast majority of our cruises begin and end there. I would love to have seen a ship go by, but it was a little early in the day for that.
Around 3 we went back to the Conrad to see if our room was ready and had to wait another 15min or so, but trust me, the room was worth it.
Around 4 or so Colton and I decided it was time to walk over to the Freedom Tower and “See Forever” first hand. The line stretched outside the building and looked very intimidating. Fortunately we had purchased Priority admission yesterday and were able to literally walk right past everyone and were on an elevator to the 100th floor in a matter of minutes. The video shown in the elevator is worth looking up. Surely its available on Youtube or something. It begins when Manhattan was merely a wooded island and winds the clock forward showing the growth of what has become by now the most recognizable skyline in the world. Again there were advantages and disadvantages to our timing. Had we gone earlier in the day when the sky was a clear blue perhaps we would indeed “See Forever.” As it was, however, it had gotten a little cloudy and at that elevation we were literally in the clouds. It was still very impressive and unforgettable even with the clouds. The plus side of our timing was that it was dark before we left so we were able to experience the night view as well. It was a very nice time and Colton and I always have a great time together.
We were pretty tired by the time we got back to the Conrad but we were once again hungry. Time to revisit Brookfield next door and try another one of the many food choices there that had been overly crowded at lunch. This time it was Asian and we brought the food back to the room to eat. Then we all collapsed from another very enjoyable afternoon in New York City.
Tomorrow we’ll call for the car around 9:45 and drive uptown to board the Norwegian Breakaway for the third time in 3 years. As Bart Scott would say…”Can’t wait!”