Even frequent travelers need a break from travel — sort of. For me, these ‘breaks’ are more like long-weekends in nearby cities, hiding n a quiet hotel, taking a bubble bath, watching “Entourage” re-runs and ordering room service.
Destination: New York City
While most people associate NYC with late night dining, raging dance clubs and endless parties, I found the perfect mix of ‘me’ time and ‘play’ time at the 70 Park Avenue hotel on the corner of Park and 38th. Located only four blocks from Times Square, the hotel is within walking distance from all the sights, but far enough away from the chaos that can consume anyone.
I’ve been to New York hundreds times and I’ve done all the to-dos that are on all the tourist lists. I’ve walked Canal Street, shopped on Fifth Avenue, seen countless Broadway shows and dined at some of the best restaurants in the city. This trip, I was committed to doing something new. I started my Saturday on the No. 6 train heading downtown to Brooklyn.
My last memory of the Brooklyn Bridge was on Sept. 11, 2001, when thousands of New Yorkers took to the bridge to escape the rumble of the falling towers. I started at the beginning of the bridge and walked through the steel ropes and grates that protected my feet from the concrete highway and Hudson River below. Thirty minutes later I was in Brooklyn and looking at Manhattan from a different perspective in a different borough.
I treated myself to an ice coffee at one of the nearby coffee shops and started my journey back over the bridge. The fresh air felt great, the exercise was doing my body good, and my bank account was thanking me for the money I was saving by not being in the SoHo shopping district.
It was Saturday night, and I was ready to pamper myself. After a nice dinner in the West Village with my cousins, I was back in room 1701 by 10 p.m. I popped open a bottle of wine and enjoyed a glass on the balcony, overlooking the Empire State Building. I watched in wonderment at the thousands of people walking 17 stories beneath my perch. Where were they going? What were they doing? I’d bet some of them were jealous of my Saturday night.
The bathtub was big enough for two, complete with jacuzzi jets and bath salts. I slowly fell into the fizz and bubbles and let my mind escape for 10 minutes in the tub. I don’t remember the last time I took a bath, but I’m certain the tub in my apartment will never compare.
Wrapped in the plush terry-cloth robe, courtesy of the hotel, I crawled into the king size bed and flipped on the high-def TV. Unfortunately, “Entourage” wasn’t on, but I found myself reminiscing with the characters on “Friends” about the trials and tribulations of every day life. Will I ever get married? Will I get the promotion I’ve been working so hard for? Will my brother ask me to carry his triplets for nine months? (ok, I don’t have a brother, but it’s one of the best story-lines in TV history.) It’s amazing how sometimes art imitates life.
That night was one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a while. Refreshed and revived the next day, I felt ready to take on whatever comes my way. Note to self: plan more Saturday nights in – it’s good for the soul