Years in the planning. Budget overages. Safety and security issues. Cross border negotiations. IT issues. Transportation restrictions. Homeland security. No, it’s not a summit, it’s a trip to NYC with friends and I haven’t even packed yet.

Thursday morning I head out to New York City with friends for an extended long weekend. Preparations for this trip have proven, once again, that in life, as in travel, the journey is the destination.

Years in the planning
Years ago when my favourite 18 year old was then in grade 10, her mom and two of us friends declared “When you graduate from high school, we’re taking you to New York City!” And darned if she didn’t do it. Good on ya Sara. We’re so very proud of you.

So starting last summer, the hunt for tickets and hotels in the Big Apple began. And for the centre of the universe, it isn’t really the easiest place to get to or stay in, believe it or not.

Budget overages
There is one daily direct flight from Calgary to NYC but Air Canada can’t get you from Kelowna to Calgary in time to make that flight. WestJet only flies to NYC until the end of October. So they’re out. We could fly from Seattle on a discount carrier but you probably have to go thru Fort Worth to get there. And with only 4 days to devote to this adventure, I can’t afford a layover – no matter how tempting the balmy climate.

Air Canada is willing to fly us out of Kelowna to Vancouver, to Toronto then to New York. Sure, what’s an extra 1,000 kms when you’re already at a flying altitude of 35,000 feet? So that’s our route. So, it’s their way, at their price. But it’s fine. You couldn’t get a taxi or bus for that price. Small consolation prize but I’ll take what I can get.

And if anyone can find a decent hotel in NYC for under $500 a night, please, let me know. I’ll be sure to check it out whether or not it’s an urban myth.

Safety and security issues
These are very minor. In fact, so minor, the human eye can hardly see them. Bed bugs. Everywhere in New York. My mom wanted me to cancel my trip. “Everyone is cancelling their trips to New York”, she claims. Like it’s going to be post-apocalyptic Manhattan. Better than those legendary line-ups I guess. So we google the bed bug issue and learn that silk linings for sleeping bags repels the little pests. And we make a pact to leave our suitcases outside until they freeze to kill them off when we get home. Problem solved. I hope.

Cross border negotiations
I like to keep in touch when I’m away. Which brings me to the matter of my least favourite topic: cell phones. I don’t want the nasty surprise of roaming charges on my next bill because I dared to cross the border with my i-phone. Ugh. I reluctantly phone Rogers and ask the customer service agent what would happen if I left my phone on while away in the states for a weekend. “Well”, he says, “that depends”. On what? My credit rating? So I arrange for a special travel pack which allows me a few text messages and the chancge to google a thing or two while there. Phew. There’s 45 bucks I’ll never get back. But that’s the price of worry, I suppose. I’m happy to pay that out.

IT issues
What’s the issue? To bring my laptop or not to bring my laptop. I thought about it and I decided that if I can’t get away from my laptop for four days, I probably have bigger issues than all of the above. So it’s staying home and I’m going away.

Transportation restrictions
And this has more to do with how much stuff I need to transport to feel at my best in NYC. Can I really fit two pairs of boots in a tiny MEC backpack?  Probably not. If I wear one pair and pack the other, would that work? How about coats. Long? Short? Warm? Stylish? Practical? The jury is still out. I’m thinking I could wear my cozy pjs under my long coat and boots and no one would be the wiser. God forbid I should look like a tourist while on vacation. How silly.

Homeland security
But ultimately, I want everyone to stay safe while I’m away.  Suddenly I’m treating my husband like a fifteen year old babysitter. Here’s the health cards. Here’s where I’ll be. Don’t hesitate to call. Don’t forget to pack their lunch. Lock the doors before bedtime. There’s microwave popcorn in the cupboard if they want a late night snack. I mean c’mon. He’s their dad. And I love him for putting up with my nonsense.

So off we go. NYC with the BFFs. Can’t wait. Wish us happy landings.





2 Responses

  1. Re Hotel under $500. Last December we paid $278 plus a multitude of taxes taking it up to about $335 at the Casablance at 147 West 43rd, 1/2 a block off Times Square.

    It was a nice older hotel, similar in feel to the Sylvia or the Georgia in Vancouver. Small rooms and a dated decor, but friendly and pleasant.


  2. No hotel leads Louise but your “Suddenly I’m treating my husband like a fifteen year old babysitter” certainly got me smiling. Bon Voyage!

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