Our very last day of three weeks on a cruise ship. It could have lasted much longer – it was wonderful to not have to pack and unpack all the time, to be in one room, with fabulous meals and room service. To magically get from port to port…
But now we’ve spent three days and two nights at sea, leaving the Caribbean, passing Puerto Rico, even passing through the Bermuda Triangle without vanishing…
And now our final port is in sight. We get up early because how often in your life do you get to sail past the Statue of Liberty? She stands there in the early morning hours holding her torch high after we sail under the George Washington Bridge.
And then, after one final breakfast, we have to leave our stateroom. Dragging one little suitcase each, we leave our bubble and re-enter the real world. For as far downtown Manhattan can be classified as the real world.
We can actually walk from Pier 88 to our hotel, which is less than a block from Central Park. We’re happy to get the exercise and the weather is great. It feels like spring.
Even though it is only 10 AM, our room is ready The hotel is unusual: it seems a cross between a rinky dink old building and a modern hotel. A large empty lobby, tiny rooms. Some things are renovated but the window is old and single pane. We hear all the sirens of New York all night long. But the place is half a block from Central Park. (https://www.morganshotelgroup.com/hudson/hudson-new-york)
As almost always, I book most trips through: www.orbitz.com
And right next door is a fabulous eatery, a cross between an old fashioned diner and a trendy restaurant, Fluffy’s has amazing breakfasts, anything you could think of for lunch and good coffee, plus gorgeous pastries at good prices: http://fluffyscafe.com/fluffyscafe_main.html
We walk to Broadway, cross Time Square. I love the weirdness, the wildness of NY. Everything is possible in this city that never sleeps. I don’t either.
My favourite is a visit to the New York Public Library with its famous lions. We visit the children’s library and I sign the copies of my books they have. And we admire the original Winnie the Pooh, Eyeore and Piglet on display. How cool is that.
The next day we planned on renting bicycles to see all of Central Park. But a cold wind helps us to decide against bikes and to just walk. We end up walking 10 KM – criss cross through the park, past the Met and the Guggenheim, along lakes and statues and the carousel. What a fabulous foresight the designers had who decided, well over a hundred years ago, to set aside this land for a public park. And how awesome that greed never turned it into yet another high rise here or a condo building there. 840 acres (340 hectares) of public lands where people hike, jog, ride, stroll. Squirrels chase each other, birds sings. You can almost block out the sirens and the honking rows of yellow taxis here.
For the very last night of our holiday, we find a lovely Italian restaurant with out-of-this-world-pizza. OMG, best pizza I ever had: http://bricconyc.com
So we sit in this little hide-a-way Italian place in Manhattan with pizza and wine and toast: to a great cruise, and to our next trip!