The alarm went off at 8:00. We had an appointment with the Marriott Vacation Club salesman at 11:30, and had planned to go have a leisurely breakfast. However, while we were getting ready to go out, the Marriott office called and offered us an earlier time slot, so we sped up and left the hotel to walk a block over to meet with Nick, the representative assigned to us.

We walked in and were offered coffee, water and snacks, then we entered Nick’s office and he jumped into his spiel. Bless his heart, he did his best to convince us that spending $56K up front – with finance options, of course – and $2,400 a year in maintenance fees would save us money on travel for the rest of our lives. Our children could travel with us, thus strengthening our family bond and creating memories we could cherish forever. Just one pesky problem. We don’t have $56,000. The answer was no, but we had to give Nick points for trying.

By the time we left, two hours had passed and it was lunchtime. We found a little deli that served pastas, salads and sandwiches and went in for a bite to eat. We returned to the hotel after lunch where we wasted time playing on our tablets and watching tv. We didn’t have anything else planned until evening, so we allowed ourselves a little rest.

It wasn’t long before we were bored, so we put on shoes and walked to the nearest train station. We rode to 63rd and Park Avenue, and strolled through the rich people’s neighborhoods, then into Central Park. It was almost shocking to see grass and trees after two days of nothing but concrete and asphalt.

We had a nice walk through the park. The sun was out, making it very humid, but it was so much better than the rain from the day before. We were approached by a little monk offering us peace tokens and beads. All he wanted in return for his blessings on us was $80.00. We told him he could keep his beads and blessings and walked on.

We left the park and walked down 5th Avenue, through the diamond district and all its swanky stores. No shopping in this part of town! If we had that kind of money we could’ve signed up for Nick’s vacation program and bought all those happy family moments. We walked until we reached W. 37th street and went up the half block to the hotel. We were back.

It was time to get gussied up for our evening out. We had tickets to see Wicked at the Gershwin Theater. I had packed a dress and suede boots to wear, but changed my mind about the boots with all the deep puddles on the streets. Instead, I put on a pair of dark jeans with a nice blouse and black heels. Jeff wore jeans and a dress shirt with his boots and we called it good enough.

We called for a Lyft and went out front to catch our ride. The car showed up within minutes and we were off, winding through scores of taxis, buses and double parked delivery trucks, our driver laying on the horn the whole way. He got us there with time to spare and we went into the lobby.

The first thing we encountered was the merchandise booth, which is not, technically, a gift shop, but darn close. I may have purchased a couple of things.

It was too early to go to our seats so we wandered around, perusing the pictures on the walls of past performers of the theater and the memorabilia encased in glass boxes. When the doors opened, we went inside, collecting our playbills from the usher on the way to our seats. I had chosen seats in the front mezzanine on the aisle, and I gave myself a mental pat on the back as we sat down. Our view was perfect!

Soon, the lights went down and we were transported to Oz. All I can say about the show is, if you haven’t seen it, SEE IT!
We loved every minute.

After three hours, the performers took their bows and it was time to leave. Since the show was at 7:00 we made the decision to wait until after to go to dinner. 10:00 is a perfectly reasonable dinner time in New York. In his playbill, Jeff had spotted an advertisement for a restaurant called Glass House Tavern. He wanted to go there because the ad showed a picture of seared tuna which made him crave it. We looked up the address and it was only five blocks away.

Five blocks isn’t far when you’re wearing walking shoes, but in heels it seemed like quite a distance. But it just felt silly to hail a cab or call for a Lyft to go five blocks, so we walked, with me holding onto Jeff’s arm to keep from breaking an ankle on the uneven concrete. We made it but I was ready to sit down by the time we got there.

We’re not used to eating that late at night, so we opted for appetizers, which was fortunate because Jeff’s tuna was on the appetizer menu. I got a crab cake and a peach martini with Jeff going for the blood orange martini. I also ordered the warm chocolate cake. Jeff skipped dessert, and I probably should have, but I ate every bite and didn’t regret it a bit!

We caught a ride back to the hotel and I kicked off those shoes first thing. We had had another exciting but long day and it was time for bed.

More to come!

Lori ??