Thursday, August 02, 2012

Our Train from Washington DC
to New York City
Up early, we set our clocks and had "Snoozster" call my phone. We wanted to be sure we made the 9:20 Amtrak to New York City. It's about a 20 minute walk from our lodgings to Union Station, so we set out about 07:45. Once I converted the "confirmation printout" into actual tickets for the trip, we made our way downstairs for breakfast. Just as a note, the bottom level of Union Station is a large and extensive "food court".  Many of the court restaurants are quite nice, and good food abounds!!

Real Time Train Location
We located our track and boarded the train at 09:00 and found a couple of comfortable seats. I must say, even though I'm always bragging about the train system in Europe, I am impressed with the trains up the Northeast Corridor. Our seats were comfortable, the food car was open for coffee and pastries and -- yes -- we have free "wifi" right at our seat! Really neat. One nice feature of the wireless connection is a "real time" map of our progress up north into New York City. At this writing, 11:30 a.m. we have just departed the Philidelphia train station. Train we're about another hour or so to the Big Apple.

We arrived in New York City at 12:50 p.m. Penn Station is large, very large!! We wondered around a bit, and found the ticket counter for Amtrak. We  bought our tickets for Boston on August 8th. Luck would have it that a Wells Fargo ATM was nearby, so I was able to get a few $$$ for the day. We walked a considerable distance to the 7th Ave and 33nd Street exist of the station. After checking the map, we found our lodgings -- the Budget Inn of New York City -- was a short  (point) .9 miles away, so we setoff by foot to find the hotel.

Linda and "Enrico"
It turns out that our hotel is an absolutely delightful inn which opened just a month or so ago. The rooms are very small, but newly refurbished. Each has its own air conditioning -- something worthwhile in NYC during August. Wireless internet is available throughout the entire inn and in each room, so Linda and I are able to log into the internet (we both brought our netbooks). I noticed that the young man behind the desk was singing as he was checking us in -- AND, that his name was Caruso. I asked if his first name was "Enrico" and he replied -- "well no, but that's what they call me!". It was a delightful exchange and we felt we had made a new friend during our first few minutes in the City. I've been calling him Enrico ever since...

Now THIS is pizza!!
NYC style...
We happened onto a Metro subway station and decided to pay a visit to Times Square. It didn't take long before we were one of "thousands" of New Yorkers and tourists wandering the few blocks that make up one of the busiest areas in any part of the world. It was crowded. One could feel the energy all around us. We got some tickets for a Comedy Central show on Saturday night and then decided to head back to the Inn.

We walked over to the 45th and Madison and had a cool beer at the Roosevelt Hotel -- a favorite hangout during the many trips I made to New York when employed with Alps Electric in Silicon Valley.  I even ran into one of the "door men" that I became friendly with in the 90's. Hard to believe he still works at the hotel. But, it's his career and he's busy making a living in the city and raising a family in Long Island.

So, tomorrow is another day. We'll be in a car instead of walking.That'll be a nice change. I can tell I need to  workout on the treadmill at the gym before starting one of these adventures!! My feet and legs are urging me to "stop" -- well, too bad, it just ain't gonna happen!

More to follow.....