Monday, November 21, 2011


Well, this is the end of our vacation in New York. We had four event filled days that seemed to have sped by us like an express Manhattan train. We left our borrowed apartment before 6:00AM leaving the key with the concierge. I was great having the use of our son-in-laws apartment in Jersey City but it was time to go home. There was still one more gesture of goodwill that he extended to us. with all the points that he had accumulated on Amtrak he was able to push two tickets for our return trip home on Amtrak in business class. We were extremely happy to have that extra perk.

As I said, we left before 6:00AM and we are at Exchange place just after 6:00AM. We thought that the place would be deserted but there were at least a dozen other early morning commuters on the platform. When we got on the train at Grove street that was going to 33rd street there was standing room only. After getting off at the 33rd street station we stopped at the McDonald's on 7th Avenue near Penn station.

In Penn station there is a waiting room where you can sit comfortably as long as you have a train ticket. After we parked all our suitcases in the waiting room my wife went to Zaros to get half a dozen bagels of different variety to take with us on the train. There was no way we were going to leave Penn Station without getting bagels from Zaros.

On the platform we were directed to the first class car. Although all the seats for two people were taken we found single seats, one in front of the other. There was a copy of the New York times in each seat, a nice touch. We were located right behind the canteen and we had our own bathroom. When you consider that we were going to be on the train for the next ten to twelve hours have these simple amenities was going to make all the difference. After finishing my muffin and coffee I sat back and read the New York Times. By the time I had worked my way through the Times we were already passing through Poughkeepsie. Along with Vassar College, Poughkeepsie is also the home of the CIA, that is the Culinary Institute of America. My wife has often talked about visiting the CIA in Poughkeepsie. They also serve gourmet meals at the CIA. One of these days we will do that.

Eventually, some of the other passengers left and we had two seats together which we kept for the rest of our journey. It was a pleasant comfortable trip in business coach. we passed the time looking at the scenery as the train passed through the country side. Fall foliage was starting to appear and there were a lot of colorful trees to look at. We also talked about our vacation in New York. We also spoke with the couple in front of us who it turned out were from Texas. They had spent a few days in New York and were on their way to Niagara Falls Canada to round out their vacation. We also spent time reading.

Eventually, we made it to the Canadian border where we had to get off the train to clear customs. Being in Business coach we got to go through customs first which only took about two minutes. After waiting for everyone else to clear customs we got back on the train and continued on our way.

The rest of the trip was not more than an hour and we were home. Our vacation in New York was great. We saw and did so much that it will take some time to digest it all. Yet there was so much that we didn't see. We never did make it to Central Park. That would be an entire day trip in itself. My wife would like to spend time in the fashion district. She only managed to visit one shop on this trip. I imagine that she could spend an entire morning or afternoon in the fashion district. That be an opportunity for me to spend time at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). We would like to go back to Chelsea to visit the shops and art galleries. I would like to go through some of the major galleries in Soho as well and there is the Whitney gallery and the Frick collection. All of that is just in Manhattan.

Then there are the other Burroughs of New York. There are many things to see in Brooklyn. There is a Pratt Institute sculptural garden. There is the Bronx zoo. I could go on and on but you get the picture. We have to go back to New York to see everything we didn't see the first time!

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