In April, 2003, we planned a trip to Washington D.C. and New York City. We stayed in a suburb of Washington, in Baltimore, and rode the subway into the city the following day. We did drive in the second day which was easier for getting around to see those things that were more difficult to get to on the subway. We also went to look at the gay neighborhood and got stuck in rush hour traffic. Washington D.C. has all these roundabouts that seem to bring traffic to a halt.
The weather was springlike in Washington. The cherry blossoms were in bloom We visited all the usual monuments and enjoyed the Smithsonian. We saw all these school age kids running through the Smithsonian taking notes on various exhibits. I thought to myself how wonderful it must be for these kids. Rather than just sitting in a classroom reading about history, they could actually experience artifacts of that history.
On the third day in the D.C. area, we drove down to Mount Vernon and took a tour through George Washington’s home and saw his slave quarters.
On what must have been the fourth day, we drove to New York. I have no problem driving in downtown San Francisco and almost any other city, but Manhattan intimidates me a little. We had looked into parking in the Time Square area and it just seemed exorbitant. We decided to park our rental at the J.F.K. airport and then take a bus or cab into Manhattan since we were only going to be there a couple of days. That worked out very well for us.
Hotels in New York City tend to be very expensive so we decided to try Priceline’s bidding process. As it turned out, we bid $100 and obtained a room at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which is located right next door to Grand Central Station and a few blocks away from Time Square. It was an incredible deal. It does seem to me that we didn’t like the first room they gave us and we had to request a different room. Milton says that they gave us a different room on a higher floor.
The weather changed in New York. A storm came in and it was blizzard conditions while we were on the hop-on, hop-off tour. There were many things we couldn’t see through the falling snow! We did go up to the top of the Empire State Building and we went out to the Statue of Liberty and spent some time on Ellis Island looking at the exhibits about the immigrants that came through Ellis Island.
We went and stood in the freezing cold in line at the half off ticket booth in the center of Time Square and got tickets to the Disney production, Aida. We had pretty good seats in the front of the mezzanine balcony. We enjoyed the show.