Sunset House at Christmas

Sunset House at Christmas
Sunset House at Christmas

Saturday, October 1, 2022

09-10-2022 Our Final Day in New York City


Writing about this last day in New York City is a bit of an afterthought considering how incredible the previous two days were for us.  It was still a good day, with a Broadway Show, a visit to the last iconic feature in New York City that we were to enjoy, and a farewell dinner with the group.

This day for me is a bit of a blur, actually, and it was so even on the day I was in the middle of it.  I knew it was our last day, and as usual, when I am at the end of a trip, my mind is moving forward to the next one in spite of my conscious attempt to stay in the moment. 


We had a late morning again, departing the park at 12:30 in order to be at the doors of the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater on West 45th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue.  So yes, it was ON Broadway only a couple of blocks from actual Broadway Ave.  The theater was beautiful, and the show has been incredibly popular this season in New York City.  


The reviews are stellar, with some reviews as high as 9. One called it a “big bearhug of a musical” and I thought that description fit the show perfectly. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 98 percent ”Tomatometer”.  Of the many shows playing on Broadway while we were in the City, I think both shows chosen by our leader were great choices.


Especially at this time of year, it would be popular, since the true story began on September 11, 2001, celebrating the kindness of the people of the town of Gander, Newfoundland, a town of about 9,000 people.  This tiny town, with no warning, suddenly found itself providing emergency food and shelter to 7,000 airline passengers stranded there for days when their planes couldn’t land after 9/11.


The show is a highly energetic, funny, and rambunctious musical.  The story moved quickly, the music was fun, and the stars were great singers. Mo and I enjoyed it thoroughly, although at the beginning we wondered a bit what we were getting into.  By the end, I was no more dry-eyed than most of the folks in the theater.  It can be a bit of a tear-jerker.

Once again, after the show, we meandered around in the bus through Times Square on our way to the highlight of the day, a visit to the observatory at the top of the Empire State Building.  


So many times, as we rode through the Square, our various guides would talk about the infamous “Naked Cowboy”.  There are also naked girls adorned with little more than paint, which you can see behind the cowboy.  He really isn’t naked but he still is a bit of a story in the Square.  As someone said, “He can’t sing, he can’t dance, he can’t play the guitar very well, and he isn’t that great looking, but he sure has made a name for himself.”  Can’t believe I managed to get a photo of him.


What can I say about the Empire State Building that hasn’t been said a thousand times by thousands of people?  A surprise actually, was the beauty of the building which opened in the midst of the Great Depression on May 1, 1931, 91 years ago.  King Kong was released in 1933, featuring the iconic building, with hopes that it might increase greater exposure during a time when the country wasn’t inclined to be happy about much, even a spectacular building that at that time was the tallest in the world.

The lower floors of the building are filled with exhibits detailing the long history of how it was built, how King Kong was filmed and the effect it had on the American people.  There were scale models of most of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, and displays explaining the complexities of elevator design that made these buildings possible.


The ride to the top was nearly instantaneous, and I never felt a thing.  Once outside on the top floor, however, we did notice that when trying to focus our cameras for a photo, the image kept moving slightly.  The swaying of the building was only barely noticeable, but most of us felt it.  After all, it is 1,454 feet tall at the tip, and we were on the 86th of 102 floors. 


We spent as much time as we were allowed outdoors at the Observatory, walking round and round viewing the city in each direction.  I thought it was especially nice that this last great view of New York was after we had come to know the City even a little bit.  Each of us laughed and pointed at some of the sights we had seen during the previous 9 days.  I found Little Island, and everyone wanted to know where the RV Park was over on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. 


I got out my phone to check google maps for the location of Brooklyn and Long Island, and to try to figure out the route of our dinner cruise two nights previous.  The weather was perfect.  Unlike our visit to the Top of the Rock, we had clear skies and great weather for viewing New York City from her most well-known landmark, even more so than the World Trade Center building which is so much taller.


We descended to the bus for one last trip through the city, ending up at a fairly new restaurant in Times Square.  Our Farewell Dinner with the group was held at the Yard House, a trendy venue with the “best variety of beer, great food, and classic rock music”.  The hosts took us up to the second floor where we were served a great variety of appetizers, with soft drinks included.  We did have to buy our own beer, but there were more than 100 taps to choose from, including a few from Newport Oregon Rogue Brewery.

The sad part of the entire experience is that it was so very crowded and so incredibly loud that sitting through the more than two hours we spent getting our meal was a kind of torture.  Mo had some very interesting tacos, called “Volcano Tacos”, that were delicious in spite of being in a very strange melted cheese-coated tortilla.  Of course, after two hours of appetizers and noise, by the time the food came, we couldn’t eat it and most everyone gave up and took the included dessert in to-go containers.

Sadly, there are a few people in any group who are very loud, very constant talkers, and for us, that got a bit wearing as well.  Especially on this final night when we were tired and pretty much done with our New York City Tour.  I actually surreptitiously plugged my ears for a while just to get a bit of relief.

On the bus ride home, Terry and Owen thank everyone for coming and asked each person what they thought of the trip.  Each person in turn sang high praises for the hosts, the venue, and the rally in general.  I was tired.  I said a few words, but nothing even close to what I actually felt and thought.  I was dang tired and didn’t want to talk anymore!!

It was after 11 when we got back to the park.  Mo and I knew that we had 300 miles to drive the next day to get to our friend’s home on Lake Champlain in Vermont.  There was a lot of talk about a “continental” breakfast and a hook-up goodbye visit with the group, and I told Terry that we would be leaving early and I wanted to say our goodbyes now.  She laughed me off.

The next morning, without a second thought, Mo and I packed up the rig and the dog and our tired bodies and were out of the park by 7 AM.  We did miss the goodbye breakfast, and later when I saw all the photos, I didn’t mind.  


Val, from Florida was a lot of fun.  An independent woman traveling alone.

Mo and I were definitely ready to be on our own again.  Being social like this for almost two weeks was the hardest part of the rally. There were a few people we met who we enjoyed, but no one that I can imagine we will keep in touch with in the future. 


Our New York Rally with Adventure Caravans was a complete success, a trip of a lifetime, one we will treasure, and something we will never need to repeat.  Vermont, here we come.



11 comments:

  1. Like-minded people, you and I. When I'm done in, I'm done. Loved every minute of it (mostly), but let's get outa here! You know. Glad you got to the "top" of the Empire State Bldg, always fun, better if it isn't crowded. We've been to Gander NFL and, of course, have read about the stranded people being taken in, lovingly, by the kind people when the skies were empty. I'd like to see the show. Haha, you can see some sights in Times Square, some you'd just as soon NOT see! Hahahaaa Enough NY -- on to Vermont.

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    1. Funny how that long-suffering patience simply flies out the window toward the end of something, isn't it. I don't even like drinking the last of what is in the coffee cup. I am ready to move on. I hope that maybe that show will make its way to California some time so you can see it. Having been there, I am sure you would love it.

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  2. Another great post!! New York City is definitely unique in so many ways including that amazing picture of the naked cowboy. Don't know how you got it but it made me laugh out loud. Somehow I didn't realize that your tour was 9 days. I think I would have a very hard time with 9 days of a group and the constant chatter. I'd love to meet Val and find out how it was for her being a single woman. Still you have done the nearly impossible, made me think that perhaps I might like to do this. Or some tour with this tour group. I must admit I do have a bit of a prejudice now that I am a single over the price that is not discounted very much for one person as opposed to 2. Seems like everything should be cut in half other than the price of the campsite. Thanks for all these posts Sue I have really enjoyed them.

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    1. Val was a kick. Never married and has always traveled alone. She has a house in Crystal Springs and volunteers to make sure kayakers don't bother the manatees. Our trip cost double the cost because we paid for two people. Double check. I think it is a reasonable difference between one and two people. Of course, maybe you know someone that would like to travel with you? Glad you enjoyed the stories. We really did have a good time overall. Although chatter was a mild word for it.

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  3. I'm with you Sue--when we are done, we are done, out of there. I really don't think I could travel with a group because of the noise, I know Mike couldn't! So glad you enjoyed your trip and saw so much--onward!

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    1. Yes. That really was the hardest part..But still worth it.

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  4. Also agree that when the party is over I am ready to go, and usually before. Like I am right now and don't fly out until Tuesday. Also like Sherry, you've put a visit to NYC on my mind. Maybe we should go together. On to Vermont.

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    1. Day late and a dollar short, Gaelyn. You know I try to respond to everyone who makes the effort to comment, and somehow this got lost in moderation. thank you. And yes, on to Vermont. Seems like a long time ago already!

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  5. Yeah ... done and ready to move on ... so don't give me any more social activities. I think we had more than a bit of that on our last Arctic trip, so we didn't participate in any of the shipboard activities. We've learned over the years to spend time someplace ahead of a cruise or whatnot because by the time the end comes around, we're ready to go home. Or if we are going to do something at the tail of the trip, we build 3-4 days on our own first to relax so we have fresh eye to view the upcoming adventure.

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    1. Makes me smile to see how many of the people we consider close friends are similar to us in how we respond to different things. Maybe that is why we make good friends, we see things in a somewhat similar way. We did exactly what you said you do. At the end of this trip we scheduled four incredibly rejuvenating days with our good friends Jeanne and Alan in beautiful, quiet Vermont.

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    2. From Regular IPad reader Liz wicks, with permission: I so get being over the togetherness and the noise! Too bad your last dinner was under the stress of not being able to have a conversation. Even wearing hearing aids, I often find I just can't be in a group that has a high noise level. Give me small group quiet conversation any day!
      Your last play sounds wonderful and your photos are great, as always. Looking forward to the rest of your adventures!
      Liz

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