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Can you imagine the fun I had in NYC

by Ron Holdraker
August 28, 2021

When Wife Patti read about the multi-media exhibit Beyond Vincent Van Gogh in New York City several months ago, it gave her the impetus to book reservations for to the “Big Apple”.

We have been travelling to NYC for over 30 years, mostly to see Broadway shows and usually around August 14, our anniversary.  I can stand the people, noise and yuck for no more than two days before going berserk. After decades of making the trip, I have insisted upon luxury and NO surprises.

In accordance, Wife Patti must book months in advance and only our favorite 4-Star hotel must be booked. A limousine company picks us up at JFK, takes us directly to the hotel and a scheduled pick up returns us to the airport upon our departure. Nothing can be left to chance. A tight schedule, with rest (naps) and news absorption and perhaps some standard TV time for me is a must.

Things started badly when our 4-Star hotel cancelled our reservations  two weeks before the planned trip due to a lack of returning employees. Wife Patti quickly booked another hotel she thought I would approve of, just blocks away from our usual stay.

The day arrived, and off to the Rochester  airport at 4:30 a.m. on a Saturday. Usually we fly Jet Blue, but due to time conflicts Wife Patti booked us on Delta. Already I was feeling uneasy. Came time to board the flight and I immediately sensed aggravation. The plane was small, compact and - in a Ron terms - Yucky.

After sitting on the plane for some time, the plane captain announced “Due to the fact we cannot find the co-captain, everyone will have to debark the plane until we locate him.” Not another good omen for this trip.

We sat in the waiting area for another hour, with me keeping a sharp eye on my watch and alleged arrival time in NYC. Would we land in time, get to the hotel and still make Van Gogh?

Finally Delta found their missing co-pilot, a guy who quickly and smartly dodged the restless crowd and entered the plane from somewhere unseen.

The Delta plane arrived in NYC and we rushed to the hotel, dropped bags and beat a hasty retreat across town arriving with seconds to spare.

First, the hotel was nowhere near a 4-star. They claimed they “upgraded” our room. If their idea that this room was an upgrade, the original room must have been an old mattress in the basement janitor’s closet. Wife Patti was unable to find another hotel, so we  did the best we could under the circumstances.

Okay, we did Van Gogh. (I do not suggest seeing the Van Gogh show unless your completely stoned.) 

We ate something at a classy restaurant we favor and prepared for the first of two planned off-Broadway shows, the first on Saturday evening. The next day Wife Patti booked a trip to  MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). Yes, you could hear me mutter that those ‘art’ exhibits look like something out of pre-kindergarten, but far be it from me to be an art critic.

After the museum, we were minding our own business, walking down tiresome avenues when suddenly a thin woman, twenty feet directly in front of me lifted up her summer dress, and with absolutely no underwear, or body shaving, exposed everything, wiggled, then put her dress down and walked straight faced by me.

Then, there was the guy who pulled down his pants and took a crap down a sidewalk grate.

Next came the “praised” second off-Broadway show that has been running since 1989, ironically with the same female lead. It was supposed to be a comical murder mystery, but the only mystery was who the hell thought this was either funny, or anywhere near good. You can always tell a play is really bad when the usher actually hands out a sheet at the exit, explaining the plot and outcome.

Wife Patti then checks her phone. Oops, it seems they cancelled our departing flight home the next Monday morning. A scurry of phone calls to Expedia trip booking service, airlines, trains, busses and rental cars - all come up -  bupkis.

Finally Wife Patti found an almost all-booked flight out at 9:45. She proclaimed success, until and hour later when she realized it was 9:45 p.m.

Now, the time to panic kicks in. Check-out time at the  hotel was 11 a.m. Understanding our predicament, the hotel agrees to hold the room for us until 2 p.m., then they would hold our bags as we filled the next seven hours walking the streets. 

Remember, we are both in our 70s with aching feet and sweating profusely.  We wasted 2+ hours in a movie theatre, ...did some more walking.

As the time approached, ‘Pathfinder’ Wife Patti said we should take the subway, claiming she knew the what and where of NYC travel. After buying our passes, we soon discovered that if we boarded the subway, it would be going in the opposite direction of the hotel where our travel bags were being stored. 

Naturally, this brought yet another ‘Evil Eye’ upon Wife Patti. I quickly hailed a cab, making it back to hotel destination, picked up our suitcases and awaited the returning limo back to the airport.

Once we arrived we went through very weird lines, ordering really bad food from the JFK food court.

This time, the plane (Jet Blue) took off on time as we sat in the very back seats of  the plane We arrived back at the Rochester airport and back home just after midnight on Tuesday.

Ohh, did I fail to mention Wife Patti has booked another trip to NYC in December for three already booked Broadway plays and musicals. She assures me the 4-start hotel is already booked, along with the limousine...nothing will go wrong.

Stay tuned.

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