Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Story About NY

I will begin by saying we had a lot of fun while in New York. Our only complaints were about the place we stayed. This weekend stay was gifted to us by a friend of my husband's. It was one of those time-share previews where you get a discount on your stay and you listen to their sales pitch for 90 minutes, then otherwise enjoy your time.

The location of the hotel was great. It was on West 56th and 7th Avenue. Like I mentioned before, just a short walk south to Times Square, and an even shorter walk north to Central Park. When we first arrived somewhere around 1 or 1:30 the receptionist told us we couldn't check in until 4:00 even though our appointment to do the tour and hear the pitch was at 2:00. They said they would store our luggage for us though. So we went out walking briefly and then came back for our tour. About 5 minutes into the conversation with our salesperson, it came to light that I am currently on leave from my job. She told us that without my income we did not qualify for the tour or the gift of either tickets to a show or dinner vouchers. So wait, we don't have to spend 90 minutes of our day listening to you talk about something we're not going to buy? Sounds like good news to me. Keep your tickets. And off we went.

We walked around the city for a while longer, went to the top of Rockefeller Center, ate dinner at our favorite place, Heartland Brewery, and finally returned to the hotel a little after 8. We got our luggage that had been stored and headed up to our room. Our room turned out to be decent, but nothing special for a place that was supposedly selling us property. The biggest issue though was that it was hot in there. I'm almost always chilly, and I had to change my clothes. We set the thermostat as cold as it would go (there was only a dial that had "cooler" and "warmer" on it), and set the fan to "high." After over an hour my cheeks were still flushed so I reached up to feel if there was any air coming out of the vent. It was, with about the force of my breath. We decided we'd have to open the windows to be able to sleep comfortably. Keep in mind the low temps in NY that night were in the 40s, and we were on the 22nd floor, and there was no screen in the window. We slept all night with the windows open and I was only half-way under a sheet.

That was the biggest problem. Another issue was the furniture. The sofa in our room was neither clean nor comfortable. The cushions looked like they had been cleaned, but the arms of the couch were dark and oily from 1.3 million people touching them. GAG. I understand it's a hotel that lots of people use, but if you're trying to sell property to someone, wouldn't you at least try to make a good impression? Is that what we'd get if we bought a place??

Moving on. In the morning our plan was to get the complimentary continental breakfast (we had spent a lot on all of our other fun and figured, if there's a free breakfast, we might as well), and then head up to Central Park for a morning walk. We found the breakfast on the 26th floor. It was, you guessed it, nothing special. Cold bagels, mini boxes of cereal, some muffins and pastries, and some whole apples and oranges. There was also coffee but I decided to wait until we were leaving to get that so I could take it with me and it would be nice and hot. Good thing, too. We each had a bagel and my hubby had a bowl of Wheaties. We also each had a small glass of juice. As we were finishing our food, a waiter walked over. Mind you, this was a self-serve situation so this is the first we've seen of any wait staff. He placed a bill on the table and walked away. Ready for this? Here's our bill.....

(notice gratuity included... for a self-serve continental breakfast!)

The hubs called down to the front desk to ask about the "complimentary" breakfast. He was told that complimentary breakfast was part of the "gift" that we didn't qualify for. Well, who knew? No one told us $40 bagels were included in the things we didn't qualify for. Trust me, had we known, we would have walked the couple of yards to any number of nearby cafes and stuffed ourselves with a hot, made-to-order breakfast for half the cost. When my hubby asked to talk to someone else he was told that no one could help him because it was Sunday. Wow. Never again.

We enjoyed Central Park thoroughly. The weather was perfect fall: cool and crisp, bright blue cloudless sky. After that we did one more trip around Times Square and hit a few stores. I had a cup of coffee, we stopped in Midtown Comics, then we stood in line for lunch at the Carnegie Deli. It was good but over-priced. Granted the sandwich we split was enormous, but it was still a $26 turkey club. Finally we were ready to grab our Jamba Juice smoothies and hit the road. Back in the hotel lobby while we waited for our car, my hubby decided to use the bathroom one more time before we left. If everything else hadn't been enough, he found in the bathroom one of New York's finest... a cockroach. It was not on the floor, but sitting atop the hand drying towels.

Needless to say, the Manhattan Club got their little feedback survey from me... along with a strongly worded letter. Looking back, it made perfect sense that the man in the elevator told us he owned 4 shares and wanted to sell them all, cheap.


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