Getting Closer

Getting Closer
Getting Closer

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The beginning and the end

thunderheads are building over New YorkIt is the beginning of our New England cruise trip but the end is all about the last hour of our flight to New York’s La Guardia airport!  Our non-stop flight from Denver was 3 hours of simplicity until we reached the east coast, until we  reached New York, where there was a wild mess of storms that spawned tornados in Virginia. Thinking of Erin and Mui, of course, and hoping you two didn’t get hit by all that wind.

We circled over La Guardia for almost an hour with rumors of a diversion to some smaller airport who knows where before the pilot finally received the notice that we could land.  The turbulence was a bit exciting, and watching the plane circle around those big thunderheads made for some interesting views.  Our seatmate was a frequent flier from New York, you know, those kind of folks that are supposed to be so calm and jaded??  This lady was NOT calm, and with every jump of the plane she screamed and even said once, “I want my mother!”

circling the thunderstorms while we wait to land at La GuardiaEven though I had my camera packed and buried, I suddenly remember “airplane mode” and the camera in the iPhone 4 (no not the 4s yet) and pulled it out for some great photos of truly dramatic clouds.  Once we landed, it  was amazing to me how one dimensional the cloudy sky appeared compared to the three dimensional shape changing views as we circled.

We began our trip with a nice drive from home to Reno, down 139 to 395 into the wide open dry and very warm deserts.  Staying at the Ramada, with the Park and Fly option, our room only cost 79. with all the taxes and ten days of parking for the car, including free shuttle to the airport. The room was lovely, and just 12 blocks from downtown where we parked right on the street near the Silver Legacy Casino.  After dropping a bit to support Nevada in the slot machines we found dinner at Sterlings Steakhouse.  A bit of a sticker shock didn’t stop us, though, and we proceeded to have one of the finest dinners we have had in a long time. In addition to perfectly mesquite fired steaks, our dinners came with amazingly seasoned spaghetti squash, butternut squash,  snap peas, and sautéed spinach.  Yum and double wow!

laughing while we are circlling and shaking over New YorkMy daughter has supported me through the 40 days of 500 calories a day, and now I am on maintenance, and wow, maintenance is so much fun, Deborah!  Somehow skipping the bread and potato and dessert didn’t feel a bit like any kind of suffering at all.  Can you believe I brought my scale along on this cruise and will be watching daily?  I don’t want to mess up all that hard work, and this morning somehow I was down another 2 pounds. Yay for Deborah and all her encouragement!

Our flight from Reno left at 6am, calling for a 3am wake up call and a dark ride to the airport. Check-in was simple, and security in Reno wasn’t the least bit daunting and we were in the air as the sun rose over the Rockies.  Denver is a huge airport, but lucky for us we didn’t have to change terminals so spent a lovely 90 minutes wandering the great shops and eating some more of last night’s yummy dinner that I carried with me.

our view from the East Elmhurst Comfort Inn in New YorkOnce in New York, an hour late, we called the Comfort Inn shuttle to pick us up.  No lost baggage was a relief, and in a short time we were settled into our very tiny room.  Here in New York, the rooms aren’t cheap, with 157 dollars, yes that is US dollars, for our one night here.  We are actually in East Elmhurst, Queens, not far from the airport. The room is at least very clean, but the bed is a bit hard and as I said, it is TINY!  I guess that must  be a New York thing.

We walked a couple of short blocks to the local recommended restaurant, Joey’s, an Italian place.  A glass of wine and some simple antipasto with a ceasar salad was the perfect ending for a long day.  We were entertained by a couple of big Italian guys at the table next to us speaking rapid Italian.  I realized that on the west coast where we live there aren’t a lot of Italian neighborhoods, except maybe in San Francisco.

I have never been to New York before and am looking forward to our drive to the Brooklyn pier today and a gorgeous sunny, if windy view of the Statue of Liberty as we sail from the harbor tonight.

La Guardia to Hotel and Brooklyn