Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   A SKI Trip to NYC (

shouldbewriting Sep 19th, 2021 08:11 AM

A SKI Trip to NYC
A SKI trip is of course one where you spend the kids’ inheritance, and it was my pleasure to do just that recently in NYC with my daughter and two granddaughters.

It all came about a few months ago when the older of the two (she’s about to turn 28) announced that she had on an impulse bought two $500 tickets to the Broadway opening of Wicked but had thus far been unable to find someone to accompany her. “Granny will go!”, piped up Himself, and so it began.

K had booked herself into a cheap AirB&B but allowed that she had checked out the Plaza Hotel and regretfully passed on by. Wheels started to turn in my head and within seconds I had offered to put us up in the Plaza and to include her aunt and seventeen year old cousin too.

But what of COVID-19? And Delta? Since we all live in areas of religious masking and high vaccination, and this too is the case in NYC, we decided to take extra care during the flights and to risk it. Everything crossed please that we get away with it.

I booked us a family suite with two queen size beds and a pull out sofa for four nights, we bought tickets on JetBlue, and settled in to wait. (A side note: the day after it had all been booked and sorted my sister died very unexpectedly. In the following weeks of grief and shock organizing a trip like this would have been unthinkable. Yet miraculously there it was waiting quietly for me to emerge and be thankful that this treat was in store.)

My son kindly drove his daughter and me to the airport on September 12th and we arrived in JFK at the same time as the flight from LAX that brought the others. We all piled into a taxi and headed for the hotel. “We have a beautiful upgrade for you!” announced the smiling desk clerk. “It’s our Pulitzer Suite on the 18th floor with a view of 5th Avenue!” Pinch me, I must be dreaming, was all I could think. Who could have imagined this?

Stunned, we explored the plushly furnished one bedroom apartment so high above the busy streets as to to be completely silent. There was an additional half bath, and a sofa bed in the small sitting room for the cousins. R and I shared the king size bed in the large bedroom which led into a dressing room and roomy bath with gilded accents.

To be continued…

thursdaysd Sep 19th, 2021 09:00 AM

Wow, talk about serendipity! Signing on for more.

TDudette Sep 19th, 2021 11:50 AM

How splendid, shouldbewriting! My BFF's daughter treated us to a room at the Plaza, dinner and theatre so you're bringing up great memories. A suite is even sweeter! Pun intended. More soon please.

shouldbewriting Sep 20th, 2021 11:25 AM

Part Two

While having supper down the block at Sarabeth’s, we noticed a crowd had gathered at an entrance into Central Park. People passed by showing one another their photos and then the waiter clued us in: Kim Kardashian had graced us with an appearance and was evidently swanning around across the street. Social distancing aside (we were the only people in the restaurant) I doubt we would have been tempted, and instead of walking over to goggle, opted for a return to the Pulitzer, where the cousins enjoyed room service desserts.

I slept poorly the first night and wasn’t able to accompany the others to their breakfast at Balthazar. But room service of hot coffee and fresh pastries wheeled beside the bed spoiled me rotten and I didn’t mind a bit.

We’d hoped to visit the Met that day, but it was mysteriously closed. When the kids returned, and I’d read the paper, we all knew why. Tonight would be the night of the Met Gala! We saw a few carts piled with serious luggage and all the Legacy suites sported do no disturb signs, but otherwise the calm and discretion of the hotel was undiminished.

Fully rested and nicely settled in, at three pm we walked across to Bergdoff’s for afternoon tea. After vaccination cards and I.D. inspections and temperature checks, we took the elevator to the sweetly blue dining room overlooking Central Park.

The three tiered tray of tea sandwiches, fresh scones and petits fours, glasses of bubbly for R and me, and exotic teas for us all were just right and set us up properly for a late supper of New York Pizza from a place called Two Dollars a Slice. I ate mine while watching the arrivals to the Met Gala and marveled at our timing.

Afterwards K had the brilliant idea of watching Oceans Eight. What a great evening.

We were getting into the swing.

Macross Sep 20th, 2021 02:15 PM

I would have been in the lobby waiting for the limos to pull up for those crazy outfits. Not KimK's though. I am so happy you splurged on such a nice trip.

shouldbewriting Sep 20th, 2021 02:25 PM

Thanks a lot for following along, thursdaysd, TTudette, and Macross!

R did go downstairs, Macross, but the rest of us were either too old or not very interested. She did see one beautiful pink gown…

Macross Sep 21st, 2021 05:17 AM

Billie Eilish had a beautiful pink gown.

shouldbewriting Sep 21st, 2021 12:26 PM

Macross, when I get a chance I’ll ask her, but I’m pretty sure she’d have mentioned something as spectacular as that outfit!

shouldbewriting Sep 21st, 2021 12:27 PM

On Tuesday morning (thankfully, I slept solidly for hours) K went out and returned with bagels for breakfast. They were very fresh, delicious, but to our surprise, untoasted. We’d ordered them online and apparently should have specified that. We’d never heard of untoasted bagels, but being from the left coast have much to learn.

K (wearing her NASA t-shirt) went off to see the space shuttle and the rest of us lounged about until it was time to get ready for our noon tickets to the Met. I’d ordered a wheel-chair to be delivered to the hotel and when K returned we had it loaded into a taxi and set off for the museum.

After a short wait for temperature checks etc. we entered by a side door; a canopy still covered the beige-not-red carpet from the evening before. K began the self-imposed task of wheeling me around (she’s in health care). As the light poured into the grand entrance court with its ancient sculpture my heart lifted. Eighteen months of my own four walls with nothing but books and movies to keep me entertained had created an art vacuum which was suddenly filled. We had a joyful time with an unexpected amount of laughter.

We spent three hours, saw the Egyptian and Impressionist sections, but modern art was closed due to the Gala. Instead of returning by taxi, we decided to walk home through Central Park. It was a wonderful experience, for me at least, though none of us had known how hilly it would be. K and G took turns pushing me and had a workout as it was very steep in places. But G is training to be a professional ballerina, and though tall and thin, is strong as an ox and accustomed to, in fact requires, a lot of physical activity.

The ride back to the Plaza in the chair was one of my favorite outings: it was lovely to see how well used and enjoyed the park is. School was out and all over were small classes with kids learning soccer, football, dancing and so on, while adults sunbathed, and cycled, and read.

It had been decided previously and more appropriately that G would take the second ticket to Wicked. This would prove to be an excellent idea. After a snack and a rest, the cousins got ready for the Broadway opening. K, as far from a fashionista as it’s possible to be and a rabid Wicked fan since childhood, broke out her new Wicked opening night t-shirt, removed her baseball cap in honor of the occasion, put on some jeans instead of sweats and called it ready. G changed her top, put in some pearl drop earrings - a gift from her late great-aunt’s estate - and donned her acid yellow blocked heeled shoes.

Soon they were headed out the door for an early dinner at Shake Shack, followed by almost front row seats at the show.

TDudette Sep 22nd, 2021 01:31 PM

More! Brava!

shouldbewriting Sep 22nd, 2021 02:51 PM

Thanks, TDudette! Here it comes!

shouldbewriting Sep 22nd, 2021 02:55 PM

After they’d gone, R and I decided to treat ourselves to cocktails in the Palm Court before our dinner reservation at Patsy’s for old school Italian.

The surroundings were opulent and the drinks menu complex. Apart from the occasional G&T in the summer I’m not one for cocktails, but harking way back to my prior experience of NYC when I was twenty-one and carded by the bartender with great regularity, I ordered a whiskey sour. R went for the Ruby Rose, a margarita made with grapefruit flavored tequila and some other far fetched ingredients.

Frankly, it was a disappointment. Ordering it, I was asked several questions beginning with the type of liquor, and going on through the ice question and whether or not I wanted egg white…Huh? The penny dropped and I said, “You mean like in Peru?” Yes, replied the charming waitress, like a pisco sour.

I should have said no. My memory of the drink was that it was dark, smoky, kind of sweet and sour and garnished with a maraschino cherry and a slice of orange. The Plaza version was much paler (the egg white?) and though it packed a wallop didn’t really have a lot of flavor. The garnish was one sad and lonely little dried cherry. It wasn’t broke and they didn’t have to fix it. They were simply trying too hard.

We taxied over to Patsy’s, which I’d chosen because they had cannelloni on the menu, a dish I love but that you don’t see much anymore. When I spoke to the concierge about making the reservation a week before, he’d asked if I wanted to go there because of Elizabeth Taylor. I thought I was hallucinating. But, who knew, apparently it was her favorite restaurant. And evidently that of numerous other celebrities, judging by the wall of signed photographs.

It was the first night of the restaurant’s re-opening, and it was mobbed. There wasn’t a hint of social distancing, but fueled by the whiskey sour, I decided there was nothing for it but to enjoy the very New York experience of an older crowd celebrating together in their favorite joint.

Sad, though, about the cannelloni: it arrived smothered in ground meat, not at all the delicate pasta enclosed veal with béchamel and cheese that I hungered for. But R adored her fettuccine Alfredo and shared as there was plenty, so all was not lost.

And I walked back to the hotel! It was wonderful.

The cousins arrived soon after, high on the opening night of Wicked. And as they described the six standing ovations of the first act alone, and the general craziness of a theatre full of drama starved fans, I was beyond glad to have missed it.

shouldbewriting Sep 23rd, 2021 10:03 AM

Came Wednesday and our last day of luxury. K and G left early for breakfast and a visit to the natural history museum, while I rested and R slept in for hours.

We had a two p.m. reservation for a carriage ride in Central Park and showed up on time to find the personable Henry waiting with his four legged pal Mary. I was boosted aboard without too much trouble and off we went. A graduate student in biochemistry in his other life, Henry was full of information about the park and also a skilled photographer— he got some good shots of us backed by the NYC skyline. The weather was lovely, as it had been throughout our visit, save for one spectacular thunderstorm on an evening when we were safe indoors.

Afterwards we didn’t make it past the Champagne Bar in the lobby of the Plaza. Thirsty, tired and in need of light sustenance, we ordered tea, Bellinis, avocado toast, and a turkey club sandwich. With two orders of exquisite French fries.

R, G, and I left K cogitating and swithering about whether or not she could justify a second ticket to Wicked, and left the hotel so G could take part in a ballet class at Steps on Broadway. I enjoyed watching the class through French doors; the students varied from young professionals to amateurs of a certain age and I read that the instructor’s career had been so successful that he’d been knighted by the king of Norway. “Great!, said G afterwards, “Maybe he can get me in with the tall blondes!”

With some encouragement, K was persuaded to go to Wicked again: prices were more reasonable and that show is everything to her. And as it turned out, she would have hated the dinner venue for several reasons. I’m not sure how Pastis came to be chosen, but I for one had no idea that we were about to be subjected to Trendy with a capital T.

Seriously, I’ve never heard noise like it. It was bizarre. Fortunately we were seated outside, but even so after a while G’s ears were painful. The food was good, and the service remarkable considering the chaos, but I don’t think I’ll be returning.

And so endeth the lesson: I’d hoped to do something like this ever since these ladies were babies and I loved every minute. As K said on the plane early the next day, “Well, I think that was a success!” We are all grateful to her for her impulsive ticket purchase.

PS I’m trying to post a photo of the carriage ride, so far without success.

gardendiva Sep 23rd, 2021 11:52 AM

What a wonderful trip. I am sure that the young ladies will be the envy of all their friends. A memory for a lifetime.

shouldbewriting Sep 24th, 2021 07:35 AM

Thanks for commenting, gardendiva! I do very much hope it sticks with them. Writing a report is a good way to make sure it sticks with me too..

thursdaysd Sep 24th, 2021 09:08 AM

Sounds wonderful! Thanks for the TR.

TDudette Sep 24th, 2021 12:40 PM

Just as a quick trip should be. Thanks for this, shouldbewriting

shouldbewriting Sep 24th, 2021 04:07 PM

Many thanks for following along, thursdaysd and TDudette! Hope it revived some happy memories for you TDudette…

Sassafrass Sep 24th, 2021 10:27 PM

Thank you for sharing and it makes me happy to hear of someone’s great time with family.

Macross Sep 25th, 2021 05:29 AM

Thank you, try to post pictures. American Ballet is doing Giselle in October, you need to take Grandaughter. I watch youtube videos by two of the dancers that just did a France trip. Made by Miley. She would love them.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:40 PM.