The Big Apple ~ My husband’s gap year at 60 ~ Leg One

We’ve just returned from a five day trip to New York, the first of my husband’s carefully planned experiences for his ‘gap year!’ Wow, what a trip and I’ve been lucky enough to tag along with him.

The Metro Hotel 35th Street

The Metro Hotel 35th Street

We arrived at The Metro Hotel at midnight NYtime, a bit dazed but excited, immediately noticing the Art Deco style lobby and the picture of the old Queen Mary behind the desk. Always feeling I was born in the wrong era I felt at home immediately, which was strange for a country lover like myself.

Our first day, Sunday, was a day for orientation. We walked just one block over from 35th Street to pass the entrance to The Empire State Building on 5th Avenue, then ambled down to Central Station, standing in awe of the elegance of the building. Next we peered into the lobby of The Chrysler Building – the ultimate in style and design in my opinion. I had very foolishly not realised the

Great Central Station

Great Central Station

influence of the 1920’s on the much loved city, blending with the neo-classical, beautifully reflected in the ‘modern’ towers of glass.

Crossing the city we navigated the numerous crossings, map in hand, to locate Time Square – not an easy place to miss. Think Piccadilly Circus and almost double the effect of electronic billboards, flashing lights and ticker-tape messages – even more impressive at night. The walk back to the hotel for a short rest only took at most half an hour, just as well since we returned for a 3pm performance of Les Miserable in The Theatre District, centreing on the neon illuminated square. We just had time for tea and cake in Junior’s.

‘That reached the spot,’ winked the waiter when I thanked him with a smile. Well, we could not let our British reputation down for our liking for afternoon tea, could we?

I’d seen Les Miserable twice in London years ago, but we were both swept by the moment into another world – the iconic soundtrack filling my head for the remainder of our stay in The Big Apple. Stunning voices pulled at the heart strings – I gasped and sobbed with the rest of the audience, so wrapped up was I in the performance.

We wandered back – can you wander in New York or are you swept along by the pace of the crowds? We looked out for somewhere to eat and not far from our hotel we stumbled on the first of many Irish Pubs in the vicinity. Not being big eaters we only wanted a simple course and the menu was ideal. We both dined on Shepherd’s Pie – though I didn’t like to tell them that it was really Cottage Pie with beef rather than lamb. Nevertheless it was warm and hearty – perfect comfort food for a cold New York evening, washed down with a half of Guinness. Delightful, and the service was friendly and relatively fast too.

Content but tired we fell into bed and slept well that night, anticipating the adventures of the days ahead.


About Diana Jackson

Author of 'The Healing Paths of Fife', Historical Romantic fiction ~ The Riduna Series set in 19th and early 20th Century a murder mystery ~ 'Murder, Now and Then' and two memoir. What links my books ~ history! Riduna on Twitter and on Facebook too!
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5 Responses to The Big Apple ~ My husband’s gap year at 60 ~ Leg One

  1. Pat says:

    Oh, Diana, it was so nice to have you on our shores. Welcome, welcome, welcome. Though, it’s been many years since I’ve been to New York, I know it can be a lot to take in and you did, I’m glad you enjoyed it and didn’t get snow bound. I hope you’ll come back. 🙂

  2. We were so fortunate Pat. There was snow a couple of days before our visit and the weekend after but apart from the odd romantic flurry over Central Park and as we were walking by Central Station the weather was fine. In fact some people had made a snowman outside the station with a case beside him. We’ll certainly come back.soon 🙂

    • Pat says:

      Well, from the weather reports I’ve been hearing with snowfall hitting the east coast, it looks like your trip was in perfect timing and you left just in time. Happy you enjoyed it. 🙂

  3. sonniq says:

    Nice trip you had. I’ve been to the city a few times for a few days each quite some time ago. It’s a great place to visit and I know many people feel it’s the greatest place to live but I don’t think I could. I live in a rural town now and we have horse and buggies and lots of farms. I’m going through a”gap” year of 60 myself and peace and quiet is welcome, unlike my youth.

    • I am a country or ‘by the sea’ person but I must admit I loved the buzz of NYC but I’m also enjoying my husband’s gap year with him. What are you doing with yours?

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