Sabbatical 5-6: NYC Getting There and Getting A Sandwich

Yesterday, Wednesday, was a travel day with all the stress and boredom that comes with a travel day. We left for NYC at 11PM after a day of getting packed, buying things to pack, and getting to PDX, and then wait for our flight.

I was up about 7ish as I had things to get done. As usual, I made myself a light breakfast (my meds require food) and did all the dishes. I could not sleep any longer as I realized I had no bag for the wheelchair parts, and I would, I thought at that time, and I would need to check two bags for Susie. So I got up and figured that all out. I have a spare Nike red bag that matches the color of the wheelchair (something I would call “hot red”), and everything fits perfectly in the bag.

I then got all our boarding passes done and paid for all the bags. Susie’s second bag was $45! Which is a lot for a $216 air flight (round trip). However, there was no choice, and thus I paid another $150 for all our bags (it is cheaper to do it online).

After Susie was going, I got her breakfast of yogurt and cereal; I got a late lunch/dinner at the Teriyaki place nearby in our local strip mall. Susie had her fav, Chicken Bowl, and I had the Bento. We ate early as we would be headed to the airport, and with Covid-19 restrictions and the hiring problems, there is little food in PDX to be had.

We got through the process at PDX, leaving about 7:50ish, and managed check-in with the help of a United agent. He saw that we had too many baggage tags and refunded the $45 one. So we would take our wheelchair to the plane and carry on the bits in the Nike red bag. It is a carry-on–I did not know.

We had a set of drinks at a bar next to the gate and then headed over just in time to be loaded nearly first on the plane. Susie made the plodding walk to the back of the plane (near the restrooms, but not too close). A kind stewardess walked Susie in her hands all the way to her seat. The other passengers behind us were supportive and told us to take our time. The same stewardess got us a wheelchair delivered in the plane to get Susie out; she would be too tired to repeat her Marathon walk after the flight.

My bag was missing after we managed to get to our baggage. Not all elevators work for you, and I had to try different ones to finally get to baggage claim with Susie. After a short adventure, somehow, the bag just appeared in the pile of missing tag bags. The baggage claim person was not happy to have to help me as she could clearly see all the bags, they have little bar code stickers on them, had reached baggage claim.

I was happy to have everything. We then had breakfast standing near a Dunkin Donuts by Baggage Claim 2. Yes, there was a line of folks getting their coffee and food items. Yes, I am back in the Eastern USA, where Dunkin Donuts rules!

Refreshed and refueled, we went for the next $100 plus adventure. A taxi to Times Square. As we had luggage for three and a wheelchair plus carry-ons, an Uber would require an SUV. I saw the taxi line was full of SUVs and decided that would work for me. So it was a boring 90 minute trip to Times Square. Our driver used some backroads to cut the time using some apps. There in New Jersey, I saw this rather old-school hotel sign.

Yes, back in the east, where mirror rooms are (were?) a thing.

I forgot how much I dislike bumper-to-bumper traffic in a tunnel. I used to do that in the Harbor Tunnel in Baltimore. The Lincoln tunnel air was good, and there was no water running down the walls like in the old Baltimore tunnels (yikes!).

We arrived suddenly, popping out of the Lincoln Tunnel into NYC, and were at the hotel. We thanked and tipped out the driver, who was polite (and not insane as many in the area).

The Times Square Fairfield By Marriott is wedged into the small streets and tall buildings of the area. I have a view of the bus station, and the New York Times building is just up a block. A very efficient desk gal got us into our room early (yes!), and we all crashed for a bit.

Mariah and I then went on three quests after resting for about 90 mins. First, we needed a sandwich and to bring one back to Susie. Second, we needed to locate the theater we are headed to tonight for the Broadway event I have planned, Moulon Rouge. Lastly, we wanted to see the local area and get more familiar with it.

I always forget how massive everything is and how well done everything is. Nobody wants a crappy sandwich here, and while the town can be rough, everyone is busy doing what needs to get done. Usually, people are helpful even if they growl a bit–the growl is like Portland’s passive-aggressive politeness. It is just a thing.

Susie rested some more, and we will start getting ready some more. Mariah is in Central Park with her camera. Last I heard, she was being pedaled around Central Park to be back in time to be ready for the show.

I will stop there and take a short break. I will write about the show in tomorrow’s blog.

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