New York, New Hugh, What Really Happened – Day 5

As dawn broke over New York, we realised this was our final day in the city. Our flight was leaving JFK airport at seven-thirty that evening, so we had a whole day ahead of us.

New York, New YorkDays one, two, three and four had flown past (excuse the pun!) and day five was to be no different.  After our final American breakfast, we headed to the The Guggenheim Museum. It had been my idea to visit the museum and I thought that most of the day, before we had to travel to the airport, could be spent there. We were in and out of the museum within one hour.  I’d made a mistake and we should have gone to the The Metropolitan Museum of Art. John enjoyed what The Guggenheim had to offer but, other than some oil paintings, Anna and I were at a bit of a loss as to why what appeared to be a floor painted blue, some bits of card with shapes cut out of them, and a room with some flashing lights, were considered to be art?  Don’t get me wrong, I do like art and have visited many museums and enjoyed my time at them, but some of the art on display at The Guggenheim was mind-boggling.  The building itself, however, was simply beautiful.New York

We decided to walk down Madison Avenue, taking a right, and eventually came to FAO Schwarz which, for those of you who do not know, is a huge Toy shop.  We simply had a great time in there and I could not help but take some pictures of huge bars of chocolate they had for sale.  I also came across some more ‘Salt Water Taffy’ and giant size stuffed soft toys bigger than all of us put together.  I was like a kid in a toy shop…oh, I am in a toy shop!

Saks on Fifth Avenue was our next stop where John made another purchase while Anna and I marvelled at the beautiful Christmas decorations on display. The inside of the store was like a fairy grotto and I felt very at home, but time was getting on and we had to make our way back to the hotel so we could collect our suitcases and get to the airport.  It was at this point that John got a text message to say that our flight was running ninety minutes late.  Now we could have either stayed a little longer in Fifth Avenue or travel to the airport and enjoy the lounge and, after a little debate, it was agreed we’d go to the airport.Inside Saks on Fifth Avenue

A few more cocktails at the hotel later, and we were in a car and on the way to JFK.  No further announcements about our flight had been made and we agreed it was not too much of a concern as, at least, the flight had not been cancelled.  We were all pleased about this, especially Anna, as she was attending a Wedding the following day back in the UK.

When we got to the Virgin Atlantic check-in desk, there seemed to be a problem.  One passenger in front of us asked what time flight we were booked on and, upon telling him, he told us that the flight had a technical problem and that Virgin Atlantic staff had no idea if the flight was going to leave that evening.  Panic started to erupt, especially for Anna as she had the Wedding to attend, and by the time we reached the front of the queue there were quite a few unhappy Upper Class passengers giving the check-in staff some grief.  The choices were to either fly with Delta Airlines at 7pm, but in economy, or to sit it out at the airport with no guarantee when or if our flight would leave that evening.  There was a Virgin Atlantic flight leaving at six thirty and others later that evening, but all were fully booked.

While John went over to the Delta desk to see what seats they could offer us, I decided to put on my ‘Customer Service’ head.  It wasn’t so much as a little flirting with the lady on the check-in desk, but agreeing with why she could not tell us how long the repair to the technical fault on our flight would take. I had a little laugh with her and complimented her on the way she was handling the situation and agreed with everything she was saying.  Then, out of the blue, she told me to call John over (he was still talking to the Delta airline staff) and announced that three seats in Upper Class on the flight leaving at six-thirty had suddenly become available.  She checked us and our bags in at super speed and we ran through the airport to get the flight, leaving some of the other rude passengers booked on the seven-thirty flight behind. We made it to our seats with time to spare and enjoyed the flight back to the UK even though we did not sleep very much on those hard flat beds.  It was probably the nightmare I was having about the loving couple on our flight over to New York that prevented me from going into a deep sleep.

We landed at Heathrow airport an hour earlier than we would have done had our intended flight taken off, so Anna was able to make it to the Wedding and John and myself had an hour more of trying to stay awake until bedtime.  We later found out that the seven-thirty flight had been delayed by four hours.

Welcome Home from Toby

As I finally closed my eyes that night and drifted into a long deep sleep, I dreamt of Christmas socks and how I had failed my mission in New York. Perhaps it’s a British thing?

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38 thoughts on “New York, New Hugh, What Really Happened – Day 5

  1. If anyone could sweet talk their way on a flight I knew it had to be you Hugh!!! I am sorry your visit ended. I have enjoyed seeing New York through your eyes. I am glad you made it back safely and poor Toby! The look on his face is perfect! I miss your stories already. ❤

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  2. Yes, flash your eyelashes and be super nice…it always wins people over. And you boys always have the long eyelashes that we girls crave. It’s not fair.
    A brilliant post. I’m stumped about your mission and I think I’ve missed something. I’ve going to re-read …or have you really been all the way to New York and not done something you wanted to do? LOL!

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  3. Well fear not UH – Santa has been contacted & provided u stay on the good list (of which I hav no doubt), u never kno… that mission may yet be accomplished by none other than Santa himself…! :0) xxx

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  4. Knew it 🙂 Although if I am being absolutely honest I was a teensy bit worried about the “Rudolph thing”. Socks are so much more genteel.
    Glad your charm charmed the Virgin lady (yes, innuendo intended).

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    1. Not a Rudolph thong in site. Just like Christmas socks, Claudette, they were nowhere to be seen. And believe me when I say I hunted high and low for them. I had some strange looks from one or two sales assistants when I asked where I could find any. I’m guessing Christmas socks really are just a British thing.

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  5. The Metropolitan Museum would have taken you a fair amount of time, although it’s location is very good. I liked the Guggenheim building, but can’t remember much of the exhibitions themselves (it was a long wile). I’m sure the toy shop was fun though, and it is a spectacular one. I’m impressed by your way of handling the flight thing…I’ll keep it in mind, although as Dorne says, it might not work out so well for us if it’s a lady at the counter but hey….
    Looking forward to your writing…

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    1. I think we would have spent the rest of the day at The Metropolitan Museum until we had to make our way to the airport, had we gone there instead of the Guggenheim. Like you, I was very impressed with the Guggenheim building, it is certainly a beautiful creation in itself. Thanks for coming along on the trip with us by reading all the posts day by day, Olga.

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  6. I read from day 1 all the way back to England with you. Did you enjoy the play? Did you land in NYC at night? I did once, the lights were glimmering and I was rapt. I love shinny things. You know it’s not fair you didn’t reveal your mission. Will you at another time? What was the most memorable part of your trip? I suppose it’s passé to go to the top of the Empire State Building? I’ll bet you didn’t take the ferry out to the Statue of Liberty because of the cold. Thanks for your account of your trip. I’m happy you all made it back in time for Anna to make the wedding. You’re skill at getting information and what you needed from the airline attendant was superb. You’re a world class traveler now. Do you get a badge for that?

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    1. Thanks for joining me on my trip to New York city even if it was only by reading my posts, Meredith. I enjoyed New York very much. Both shows we saw were completely different. I have to say that I’m a huge fan of The Radio Centre Music Hall and The Rockettes. Their Christmas spectacular is the same every year but thousands still flock to see it. Considering they run six shows a day from mid November until New Years Day (even on Thanksgiving) tells you just how popular they are.

      We landed at JFK at 5.30pm local time, so it was dark. Unfortunately I was on the wrong side of the airplane to see the lights of the city as we came in to land.

      As for my mission, the clue is the link in the very last line of the post for Day 5. It will take you to one of my recent posts. I could not find this item anywhere in New York city, so I’m thinking it’s just a British thing.

      I think the most memorable part of the trip for me was the meal we had at The Sea Grill restaurant at the Rockefeller centre. With the ice skaters on view, the sound of Christmas music and a wonderful meal, it was the perfect way to end Day 4. The Key Lime Pie I had for dessert was the best I have ever tasted.

      We did not do the trip to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island or, indeed, the Empire State Building, but I have done those before. This was my fourth visit to New York and I just love the city so much. I was last there in 2008 to attend a Wedding.

      No badge for me I’m afraid. I’ve always found that being polite pays off and, on this occasion, it did not fail me again.

      Thanks again for reading all the New York posts and commenting, Meredith.

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  7. That was a bit of a last day in New York for you, Hugh. Ogling at some magnificent architecture and then chocolate in a gigantic toy store. Fabulous. The chocolate looks massive, I would be drooling right there. It must have been hard for you to resist.

    Glad things worked out with your flight. Part of my job involves working in customer service, and it never is pleasant when customers/clients start demanding this and that at that very moment – when it’s impossible. And it rarely solves anything. You sure know how to stay calm and I am sure you charmed all of the airline staff with your nice demeanour in the end 🙂

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    1. Yes, wasn’t it, but politeness and courtesy paid off in the end and we got back to the UK earlier than thought.

      Whilst those chocolate bars were huge in size, compared to what we get here in the UK, I was able to resist, but it was very tempting. Knowing me I would have eaten the whole Snickers bar in one go!

      Thanks for coming along on the trip with us Mabel, even if it was just by reading my posts.

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      1. It just goes to show that being rude and demanding doesn’t really get you anywhere. Better to be polite most of the time – not only do others around us feel better, but we do feel less stressed too.

        Ah, eat the while Snickers bar if you gave in to temptation? You sound every bit the chocoholic, Hugh. I’m sure the UK has it’s share of good chocolate too 🙂

        I enjoyed reading your trip to New York. You make a great tour guide. Thank you for sharing your experience so honestly, even the not-so-good parts. They are part and parcel of every travel trip.

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      2. Oh yes, we have some great chocolate here in the UK, Mabel. I especially enjoy Cadbury’s Crunchie bars and Creme Eggs when they come out just after Christmas.

        I’m glad you enjoyed my trip to New York. I wanted to try and write everything that happened to us in the posts, but they would have been very long posts!

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      3. There are some shops in Melbourne that sell imported Cadbury UK chocolate. When I get the chance to check them out I will have a closer look and see what there is.

        I thought it was very wise of you to break up your NY trip into bite-sized posts. Perhaps you have it in you to write about travel.

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  8. I absolutely love NYC so it’s a real treat to come here and see some nice images of it. I especially love the look on pup’s face , I know it well, and it’s always nice to come home to.

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  9. What an eventful ending to your trip! I have found that your method is quite effective when dealing with people- especially ones who can do nice things for you like get you on flights. Having worked in retail for years long ago, I am always nice to those people behind the counter. I remember how that feels.

    I’m surprised you didn’t complete your mission. Then again, I have not shopped for Christmas socks recently so maybe they are hard to find. Hmmm Now, I will be looking….

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us! It makes me miss NYC all the more! 🙂

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    1. Yes, I worked in retail for about ten years, Kat, and like you, when ever dealing with shop staff I always think back to how nasty and rude some customers could be, so I always treat staff, and anybody else, exactly the way I’d want them to treat me.

      On Day three of our trip I almost completed my mission of buying some Christmas socks in New York but, alas, the socks were not Christmasy enough in my opinion, although the store did have some Christmas boxer shorts. Over here in the UK, the shops seem to have racks and racks of Christmas socks, so a huge range to choose from and I suppose I was thinking it would be the same in New York. I put Christmas socks down to being a British thing now. 🙂

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  10. Clever you, Hugh, getting those seats on the plane! I’m impressed.

    Not always keen on modern art myself. When I was in London I enjoyed the National Gallery and the Tate Britain very much – more so than the Tate Modern.

    Thanks for sharing your New York adventure!

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