Let’s start with the people. They’ve been kind, helpful and a ton of fun. It started with the ladies at the front desk at The Crowne Plaza in Times Square. I arrived about noon. They’d upgraded me to, and reserved, a corner suite overlooking Times Square. Unfortunately, the folks currently occupying that room had late checkout (4pm) and I’d been on my way to NYC from Cocoa, Florida since 4 am. I tried to wait it out by wandering the nearby streets but the exhaustion took over and I headed back about 2. The ladies at the desk said the room they were holding was spectacular but they totally understood. We swapped pleasantries, stories of exhaustion and surgical histories. After much deliberation, they found me another corner suite. It was stunning! King size bed, huge TV, and never ending views of skyscrapers and the Hudson River. (I’m also an IHG Spire Elite rewards member.) I unpacked some things, took a quick shower, called my family, and laid down for a nap before The Book of Mormon. If I make it back to Times Square this trip, I’ll take those ladies some chocolate.
I arrived early for the 7 pm showing of The Book of Mormon so I could check out the theater and get comfy in my seat. Shortly after stashing my coat and snapping a couple of pics, a woman walks over and says “you look just like my friend Dawn!” (I must have one of those common faces because this happens a lot!) While we sorted out where we were from and what places we’d both been, a stunning, confident woman takes the seat next to me. It wasn’t long before she’d joined in the conversation. The three of us laughed, giggled, and downright cackled for the full two and a half hours of genius that is The Book of Mormon.
Wednesday morning I rolled out of bed at 5 am to be part of Good Morning America’s outside audience. The Harlem Globetrotters were going to break the Guinness World Record for most half-court shots by a team. Shortly before it actually started (7 ish? ) a group of three women walked up. They were a hoot! We ended up with free Harlem Globetrotters jerseys and headbands, were interviewed by someone inside security (no idea who, still haven’t found the footage) and took loads of photos together. I’ll post one here.
Second surprise was the cleanliness! Having traveled to 25+ countries, I expected a city with this many people to have lots of garbage. As I look out the window of this Starbucks on Park Ave, I see the the first bits of trash (half a pretzel and an empty Red Bull). The Uber driver last night was surprised at my assessment so, maybe it’s just Times Square that’s immaculate?
Third and final surprise: I’ve felt completely safe. As with any travel destination, I’m cautious and trust my gut. Really though, it’s well lit and everyone has been kind.
What were your biggest travel surprises?! Feel free to comment (Do I have a comment section?) or shoot me an email! Barbarakennedyswe@gmail.com