Another good weekend to report...
Friday was ultra-stressful, with some difficult client negotiations and a proposal to finish that was giving me fits. But I managed to get it done, get us home, and get us to the train station in time for our 5:15 train to NYC. That would be the 5:15 train that left promptly at 5:51. -eyeroll-
Remind me to not take the following advice again, no matter how handsome or confident-sounding the bearer of said advice is:
"We don't need the stroller."
"We can just walk to the hotel from here."
Moving right along...my dad and uncle were in NYC to see the US Open, so we decided to go down for the weekend to spend time with them. We had a lot of fun doing some touristy stuff and just hanging out at the hotel, and we also managed to snag a couple of hours of hanging out with a couple of friends.
We stayed at the Radisson on Lexington and 48th, which was supremely preferable to the hotel they'd originally been booked in -- a Comfort Inn in Flushing. The backstory is that they were given this trip as a gift, but the hotel didn't get booked until the last minute, and because of that, there wasn't much available within the vicinity of Winged Foot. So this is what they were given. We had planned on coming down and spending the weekend with them at whatever hotel they were in. Call me a hotel snob, but when I saw that, my reaction was a solid HELLS NO. The more I thought about it, the more I thought I really needed to step in and do something. I did a little digging, found that there was a free shuttle bus from the Mamaroneck train station to the course, and that the trains were running an expanded schedule from Grand Central during the tournament. So I suggested that they stay somewhere midtown near Grand Central. Easier said than done. I must have looked at 50 hotels that were booked solid. Though, IIRC, the Waldorf Astoria was available for $500/nt. ;) I got tired of searching and set my travel agent loose on the issue. He came up with the Radisson at the superb average rate of $245/nt for their stay. Ours was even better since the weekend prices were lower than weekdays -- $189/nt. I even arranged for a car service to pick them up at JFK.
Anyhow, back to the weekend. We had upgrade coupons, so after the first night (they were full that night), my dad and uncle were upgraded to a "suite." Because of our rate, our room was apparently not upgradable, but strangely enough, our room was bigger than their suite, and it wasn't just that we had a king and they had two doubles so ours seemed bigger, either. Our room didn't have the mini-fridge and microwave, but it did have two bathrooms. Radisson also has Sleep Number beds, and the first night, my Sleep Number was zero. I don't care what the Bionic Woman says, give me a Heavenly Bed any day.
Some things we did:
Empire State Building
lots of walking around
dinner at ESPNZone (my idea)
Toys R Us in Times Square (and a ride on their Ferris wheel)
American Museum of Natural History
My uncle, the retired fire chief in our hometown, wanted to see the WTC site and I was jaded about it until I got there. It's something else -- the contrast of the bustle of the rest of Manhattan and relative stillness of that site is incredible.
We had a nice time at the AMNH, and Alex caught site of the new (I guess?) ground fountains outside the Hall of Planets or the Rose or whatever it's called. For some reason, I packed a change of clothes for him that day, something I almost never do. Lucky thing -- he had a great time playing in the fountains. I have to say, I enjoyed it myself. Not that I played in the fountains, but I did stand in near enough that my feet stayed wet, and therefore cool. And if I accidentally got splashed a time or two, I wasn't complaining.
We planned on leaving on the 5:45 train, but ended up staying to watch the final round of the Open with my dad and uncle. When we returned from AMNH to collect our bags from their room, we were surprised to find they'd just gotten there as well. They had called it a day and trained back to watch on TV -- Winged Foot is a tough course for golfers AND spectators, plus when you're there, the most you can really see is 1/18 of the action. I guess it sounds funny to think that we all had a great time sitting around talking and watching golf, but we did. After Ogilvy won it (how did Johnny Miller predict that one??), we went out for pizza and then Joe, Alex, and I left for the train station. And this time, we took a cab. Fool me once and all that business...
All in all, a very pleasant weekend. Alex was a trooper and we had a nice mix of family time, friends time, stuff we all enjoyed, and stuff that was all about him. He's now ridden the subway in four major cities in three countries. :)
Also, Phil Mickelson could use a Bro. Or a Manssiere.