As the airport shuttle bus heads towards the Newark International Airport in New Jersey, I look over and see my last view of New York City. My eyes well up with tears. I will miss this city. I will also miss being on holidays. It has been a great tonic and I have enjoyed every moment.
One of the many things that I had on my list of “to do’s” while in New York was to dine at the Waldorf Astoria. I had been hoping to go for lunch and have a Waldorf Salad but the schedule has not allowed for this. So, Naomi and I head off to see if we can get a late breakfast and get a tour of the hotel. This beautiful hotel is covered with netting and scaffolding as it is undergoing a makeover – due to be complete in a couple of years. The main entrance is not accessible of viewable from the outside.
We enter at the side and are told to go to another entrance for food. It is at the back of the hotel (we think this must be the cheap seats). We enjoy tea and pastries and after speaking to our waitress, she suggests we go back to the front concierge to enquire about the tour even though it is only held twice a week (and not on a Sunday). The concierge lets us enter the lifts so we can view the main foyer and gives us directions to go upstairs to look at the ballroom.
To see anything else we need to go on the tour which is on Thursdays and Saturdays. I regret not having researched this more thoroughly but add this to my long list of what to do on my next trip here. We are lucky to have seen this though and what we see of the hotel is beautiful. It’s the teaser, we wanted to see more. Next time.
While Naomi heads off to the Museum of Modern Art, I head back to Washington Square and the market holders where I spend some money at 100% Cool Efi Designs and Phylosopy of Software purchasing some unique items that I will love and treasure.
But it’s time I should head back as it is getting close to the time I must head off to the airport. I need something to eat and drink as the first leg of my flight to San Francisco is six and a half hours and doesn’t include meals. I have my last meal at Birch Coffee, a green summer salad with chicken and a soy latte. I’ve become a regular here and they know my name and that I’m about to head off. One of the staff is on his lunch break and sitting next to me. We chat about travelling. He hasn’t gone outside America but would like to do more travelling. He thinks I should be going home via London and not the other way. Another person has asked me if it would be better to break the trip with a stop over in Asia to break up my flight. I like the quickest most direct route but it’s something to think about anyway.
My shuttle bus is due to pick me up at 2.25pm. At 2pm, I am resorting the contents of my bag and what to take, changing to more comfy shoes for my swollen feet and adding a book to read to my hand luggage while I add my new purchases to my check-in bag and someone is calling me. It’s the shuttle bus driver – early. I panic as I know there will be others on the bus and I might be delaying them. I quickly try to close my bags and the last of my American dollars changed to smaller denominations so I can tip when necessary. I look around to see who is at the front desk as one of the afternoon shift staff says he will come in early to wish me farewell. He thinks I’m leaving later so is not there. I feel like I am running out without saying goodbye and thank you to the lovely friendly staff at the Gershwin Hotel but I have no choice. The bus awaits.
The journey to the airport, as mentioned above, is a sad one. I get my boarding passes, go through customs and then I wait to board the flight. I have three hours to wait to board – three and a half until the flight is expected to depart. I hope it’s late so I miss my connecting flight and have to stay in San Francisco for a few days. As I wait, it rains. I image that New York is crying at my departure too. 🙂