Day 10 – Farewell to Thee, NYC
Sunday morning dawned foggy and fantastic…except for the fact that today we had to leave our beloved Manhattan. 🙁 We awoke with the hopes of hightailing it to the top of Rockefeller Center…a.k.a. Top o’ the Rock. The fog, however, quickly dashed those hopes. So we made the best of a dreary situation…turned on the lamps (Cindy loves Lamp!) tore open the window and threw up the sash (screen, whatever; took us a week to realize we were able to see our view without a screen in the way) and took some daytime “Foggy Manhattan” photos. Dee got rather brave and poked his head out the window (17th floor, not fond of heights, you figure it out) to find that we could see the Hudson River from our room. WHAT???? The day we’re leaving and we finally hang out the window to realize the awesome view we have?
With checkout time still a couple hours away we headed out for breakfast at Patzeria Family and Friends. We’re regulars there now and wanted to have our last breakfast with our first NY friends. After lots of tear-filled goodbyes (that was Cindy, btw) we headed down the street to pick up a few souvenirs. Since Manhattan is nothing more than an outdoor mall, the shopping possibilities were endless.
Once Cindy finally decided which “I Heart New York” shirt she wanted, we made the short journey back to our room to check out and get started on the next part of our adventure.
Back at the room we gathered our luggage and choked back tears (Cindy again) as we took our last ride down the creaky elevator to meet our driver. That’s right…our driver. Dee arranged to have a car pick us up and drive us to the airport, which is where we had a rental car reserved. The driver was very polite, he never once asked us to sit back in our seats and stop crying. We tried to let him know that we weren’t actually flying away just yet, but going to a rental car station but that just got him really confused and he kept asking which airline, so we just asked him to drop us at the terminal, knowing we would take a shuttle to the rental car facility from there ..no problem. HAH!!! Lots of problems, JFK Airport is the size of a not-so-small city. We finally found an information desk (only one, thank goodness) and were told to go across the street to the Air Train and take it to Federal Circle. Oh…sure…we can handle that. Again. Hah!!! First of all…what the heck is an Air Train???? …Anyhoo….we spotted the sign for the Air Train…yay!!! Off we go….we were met by a nice man with a luggage cart, an official-looking jacket and a good eye for tourists who tip well (aka, Us!). He quickly loaded our luggage onto the cart and led us toward the air train after asking if we were from London. Wait… what? London? Really??? Earlier we were accused of being from California when Dee said “No Worries” to someone in the elevator. Apparently that’s a west coast phrase. Hmmmm….we have learned so much in the past week. 🙂 Ok…lets get back on track…an air track apparently. 😉 As we made our way toward the Air Train station our friendly luggage cart driver suddenly shouted…”That’s our Train!!!” And off he went (with our luggage and at breakneck speed). Did I mention that he was about 7 feet tall and had legs longer than all 4 of ours combined? We made it onto the train just as the voice over the speaker warned of the doors closing, Whew! The Air Train is a lot like the Tram at Disneyland…minus Mickey Mouse and Friends, oh…and it’s free. (yay free!)
Let me sidetrack for just a minute to tell you about a movie we happened to watch on TV in our room last night…Unknown…with Liam Neesan. In case you haven’t seen it, I’ll give you a short synopsis. Husband and Wife are out of town….Husband loses briefcase with Passports inside….leaves Wife to go find it….gets in accident…wakes up 4 days later….with no ID….finds Wife….she doesn’t know who he is….blah…blah…blah. Long story short….Cindy insisted that Dee carry the laptop case (with all the ID inside) strapped to his body at all times…and Cindy didn’t let him out of her sight. Excellent plan, but makes for a boring story. We’re OK with that. 🙂
Back to the Air Train….apparently Federal Circle is in another zip code from JFK airport but we finally made it there, which is where we caught the shuttle which would take us to the rental car facility. Good grief, traveling is exhausting…so is writing about it…I’ve just relived it and may need a nap.
Thrifty Rental Car…Yay!!! We got the premium car….apparently in New York that translates to a white Crown Victoria….we dubbed it the Cagney & Lacey Cruiser, cuz we feel like we’re driving a cop car, without the fun lights. :-/ We know it’s not really a cop car cuz there are no sirens to have siren competitions with. Crap!!!
With our luggage packed in the trunk we headed off on the next chapter of our journey…’Dee Drives a Car in New York’.
It was a pretty short chapter. 🙂 It was cool to take our very own (rental) car across the bridges that we had seen on some of our many tours, and it was a good idea to do the New York stay before setting off in the car; we have a much better idea of where everything is now (and it was good to find out that New England drives on the right side of the road).
Our first stop was in Morris Plains, New Jersey. Why Morris Plains, you ask???
We’re so glad you asked!
It’s just one of those places that seems to be popping up in our lives a lot lately, so we thought we’d go check it out. It wasn’t really very check-outable, cuz the fog was so heavy we couldn’t see much. It’s a good thing we drive really close to the road; if we were any farther away from it we wouldn’t have been able to see where we were going. 🙂 But we did check it out a little bit, and it made us feel a little more like we were still in America, with its Wendy’s and Kohl’s and buildings that weren’t all 56 stories high and connected to each other. And not even once did anyone try to get us on a bus tour!
Our stop for the night was in Stratford, CT at the Rodeway Inn. It’s a cute little place on the beach and has a really great history. It had decent reviews on all the appropriate web sites (the geekness doesn’t stop just because we’re on our honeymoon) and Dee thought a night on the beach would be romantic, so we gave it a shot. It’s been way too foggy (see last paragraph), so we picked the cheaper room without a view of the fog covered water. We got close to the room and each got that “ick! someone is smoking” look on our faces… and opened the room to find a definite smoker stench. (blech!!)
One thing we definitely won’t miss about New England is the cigarette smell. Smokers are everywhere, and when they do go outside to smoke, they’re right by the door. We slowed our pass/crossed the street several times in NYC to avoid the stench.
We went back to the lobby and told the nice lady behind the glass that the room just wasn’t going to work. She said that was the only King non-smoking room without an ocean view they had, and we assured her it was not a non-smoking room. So she gave us a free upgrade to the King non-smoking room with an ocean view. Pretty sure the view is the same no matter what window you look out cuz you can see about 10 feet until it all just gets foggy right now. But the room is much bigger and has a deck and if the sun actually makes an appearance, it should be a good view in the morning.
We had a quick dinner in the diner (cuz they close early… this definitely isn’t New York!) and are ready to hit the sack. But maybe we’ll just go to bed instead. We have a lot of ground to cover on day 11! See you tomorrow!!