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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Day Six (not being Grandma!)

I had a "bucket list" goal of staying a luxurious  hotel next to Central Park.  I thought it was the Waldorf-Astoria so I used my 80,000 Hilton points (many groceries!) to stay there one night.  Well, I was confused.  The hotel by Central Park is The Plaza which is now mostly condominiums with a few rooms at $800 a night or so.  I was a bit sad, but was convinced by everyone else to keep my reservation.

We arrived at the Waldorf an hour before official check in time.  The clerk was taking forever to find us a room that was ready and on a high floor as I requested. She told me it would be worth the wait when she booked us in the Waldorf Towers, Room 36R2.  She included two tickets for complimentary cocktails. 

We had a bit of trouble figuring out how to get  to the 36th floor but a uniformed attendant helped us and even opened up our room for us.  As we got off the elevator, he quietly told us that we were sharing the elevator with the General Manager of the hotel--so he certainly made a good impression of service to a guest! 

The room was amazing!  A view of Park Avenue, high ceilings, antique furniture, quality bathroom products,  and mirrors everywhere.  I know this room took far more than the 80,000 points I put into it.  So much for wondering if a guest who used points would be treated like the royalty and others whose photos are on the walls everywhere. 

After a bit of quiet time, we walked to Grand Central Station and took the 5 subway and the L line to the new Whitney Museum.  Jim stayed in the lobby reading someone's essay and doing crossword puzzles while Dan and I toured the museum.  The building itself was wonderful, the view of Manhattan was spectacular, and the exhibits, both the Stella and the Motley, were worth seeing. 

We stopped at the Strand Bookstore where Jim and I each picked up a volume.  The one I wanted was on a top shelf.  I asked a clerk how to get it down and she asked me, "Are you comfortable climbing on a ladder?"  Then with barely waiting for my answer and probably noticing my hesitation, she said, "Never mind.  I'll get it for you."  I was grateful!

We walked about a mile to Ribalta's in Union Square where Dan treated us to wood-fired pizzas.  Then, with Dan's expert help, we took the subway back Uptown to 51st Street and a short walk to St. Patrick's Cathedral where we joined hundreds of other tourists. 

Back to the hotel and that complimentary drink in Peacock Alley with Dan.  At $20 a piece, we were happy to pay for just one of them!  But what a treat to have a drink in a hotel bar with your son even if he did have to leave for still one more engagement for the evening at 10 back in Williamsburg.
The Empire State Building and the Google complex from the Whitney Museum

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