Category Archives: Travel

NYC Extended Weekend

As I said Monday, it rained on us all day. We mostly relaxed, though we did go see the Flatiron Building. What a magnificent piece of architecture it is! While in the area we had lunch at Maison Kayser. We both ate the croque monsieur and some of the wonderful desserts that Maison Kayser has. Susan had the chocolate cake, and I had the salted caramel eclair. Both were out of this word delicious. We then took home some apple, pear, and lemon tarts, along with their special Father’s Day cake. Susan said the pear tart was juicy and delicious. We both tried the apple tart with was also juicy and delicious. The lemon tart was, well, tart and delicious. The Father’s Day cake was indescribably good. We ate dinner at Coppola’s East again because the restaurant we wanted to go to had suddenly closed the week before.
On Tuesday, I got on the train with sad farewells to Susan and headed back to Vermont. The trip home was a lot less eventful than the trip down.

NYC Weekend

After a disaster of a trip down, after the Gala and all the hard work and long nights associated with that, the weekend  has been great. My friend Susan was a wonderful host and has made this trip to NYC terrific. Saturday during the day, we kind of laid low since we were going to a Broadway show that night. We saw The Book of Mormon which was fantastic, irreverent, vulgar, and just plain hilarious. After the show, we walked to Times Square. I cannot describe the awe of Time Square at late at night. There were so many people, so many light. it was just amazing. I don’t think there is anything like Times Square at night in this world.

On Sunday morning as we were on our way to lunch, we stopped at The Little Church Around the Corner, also known officially as The Church of the Transfiguration. A few days before Christmas in 1870, Joseph Jefferson, an actor renowned for his portrayal of Rip Van Winkle, approached the rector of the now-defunct Church of the Atonement to request a funeral for his friend and fellow actor, George Holland. Upon learning that the deceased was an actor, the rector refused to hold a funeral for the man in his church. Joseph Jefferson persisted, and asked if there was a church in the area that would hold services for his friend. The rector said, “I believe there is a little church around the corner where it might be done.” Jefferson replied, “Then I say to you, sir, God bless the little church around the corner.” To this day, the church maintains close ties with the theatre. It has served as the national headquarters of the Episcopal Actors’ Guild since its founding in 1923, by the third rector, the Dr. Randolph Ray. The church is a beautiful little neo-gothic style church influenced heavily by the  Anglo-Catholic movement within the Episcopal Church from its founding. The complex has grown somewhat haphazardly over the years, and for this reason it is sometimes called the “Holy Cucumber Vine”.

Sunday afternoon, we went to Macy’s. I was interested in seeing what they had at their Pride store. The mezzanine level is rainbow colors everywhere. It so refreshing to see Pride everywhere. The rainbow flag flies at most hotels, some have rainbow lights, mine has small rainbow flags with the hotel name on them in the lobby. Of course, while at Macy’s we saw Herald Square. We have been taking it easy and not trying to rush and see everything. It’s been a nice vacation. Last night when I got back to the hotel, they had complimentary champagne for the guests. We had a wonderful dinner at Coppola’s East, a great Italian restaurant,

It’s rainy today, so I am not sure exactly what we will be doing. I do know whatever we do, it will be fun because Susan is with me.


NYC

What a fucking disaster the trip down was! We were driving a 27′ long truck which is just hard to handle. Luckily, I was not the one driving. However, we did get pulled over by the police once because we passed a truck inspection spot and didn’t stop. Then we were in two accidents. Ugh! It could hardly have gone any worse. We made it though and got the truck unloaded and ready for the Gala event tonight. Tonight, we will start setting up around 3:45 and be “on” for the guests, happy cheerful faces and all. We probably won’t finish until well after midnight tonight. The trip from hell has only just begun. Luckily, once the Gala is over with, I meet with my friend Susan, and we have plans for a much better trip, which includes a Broadway play and who knows what else.


Getting Home: The Nightmare Version

(For the sake of simplicity, all times shown are Eastern Daylight Time) 
 
Last Saturday, I was scheduled to fly from Midland, Texas to Burlington, Vermont via Dallas and Washington, D.C. then drive to my apt; I would have arrived there early Saturday evening. Sunday would be a day to unwind before going back to work on Monday. 
 
SATURDAY morning, I was notified that due to severe weather, my flights out of Midland and Dallas were cancelled. I was given a new itinerary for Sunday leaving Midland on a 6am flight (much earlier than the original Saturday flight time), again flying via Dallas and Washington, D.C., and arriving in Burlington late Sunday afternoon. Although this change in plans was annoying and disruptive, a one-day delay was still somewhat acceptable even with no day off before returning to work.
 
I arrived at Midland Airport SUNDAY morning at the ass-crack of dawn to begin my journey. I got as far as Dallas. While waiting to board my 9:57am flight to Washington D.C., a notice went up that my flight was delayed. Eventually, it was cancelled. There was no co-pilot! I then had to wait on a loooong line to speak to an agent to rebook the rest of my trip home. I didn’t fly out of Dallas until 1:45pm that afternoon now flying via Birmingham-Philadelphia-Burlington.
 
If this nightmare had a silver lining, it would be that the Birmingham Airport has a Jim and Nick’s BBQ restaurant. With 34 restaurants in 7 states, Jim and Nick’s BBQ has been a Southern institution since 1985.
 
But I digress. The nightmare continued. We were supposed to leave Birmingham at 5:53pm. We boarded on time, but sat on the tarmac for an additional 90 minutes for reasons which were never explained. This delay was just long enough for me to miss my connecting flight from Philadelphia to Burlington. When we landed in Philly, I already knew there were no more flights to Burlington until the next afternoon. I stood on another loooong line to speak to an agent about a hotel voucher and to verify I could fly out of Philly on Monday’s afternoon flight. The flight to Burlington and my seat on it were confirmed, but there was no hotel voucher. I had to find a nearby hotel, book a room, and pay full price for it. I also had to pay for a taxi to get there. There was airport shuttle service, but by then, I wasn’t up to waiting for it. It was already after 11pm. I had been up and trying to get home for almost 20 hours!
 
­MONDAY, I checked out of the hotel late morning and cabbed it back to the airport. I had lunch there, and worked on my Museum Studies homework until it was time to board for the last leg of my journey. The flight left Philadelphia on time at 4:29pm arriving at Burlington Airport at 5:50pm. My luggage, having taken other flights on Sunday of which I have no knowledge, was waiting for me in Baggage Claim. After stopping for dinner on the drive home, I finally… finally… walked in my apt. door at 8pm.
 
A trip from Texas to Vermont that should have taken less than 12 hours instead took 3 days. For me, that is a true definition of a nightmare.

Lost in Travels

Actually, just stuck in Philadelphia. I’ll write more tomorrow when I’m not quite so tired.


Odessa

What a sad little town! I’ve been staying with my fiend in Midland, which is okay, but Odessa is like a step down. We went to the only gay bar there which happens to be in Odessa. Turns out, it’s no longer a gay bar; it’s a sports bar. They quit being a gay bar last week with its last drag show. They even shut down their Facebook page. When we got there, there were only two people plus the bartender. We played a game of pool hoping it would pick up, but it did not. In fact one guy left. Another guy showed up, had one drink and left. We talked to the bartender and the guy who was sitting at the bar. He was a drag queen. He was in the mood to gossip. We didn’t stay much longer and eventually got an Uber back home.

Pic of the Day


Texas Thursday

We’ve got a lot planned for today. We are going to the Museum of the Southwest. While I’d read a lot of great things about the museum, I’ve heard quite the opposite from “actual” people I know. I’m reserving judgment. We are planning to have BBQ a for lunch and Mexican for dinner. Then for tomorrow night, we will be going to The Recovey Room, a gay bar in Odessa. It should be a fun night.


In Texas

I’m in Texas visiting my best friend for a week. Yesterday, I was in a plane most of the day or running from gate to gate. Not only were my planes delayed numerous times, but they also kept changing gates on me. It was a long day. I got up at 2:30 am eastern time and went to bed just after 11:00 pm central time. That makes for a really long day. 


NYC, Saturday and Sunday

On Friday night, Susan and I had decided not to be in a rush Saturday morning. When we got up, we’d go have brunch somewhere. So we took our time Saturday morning and then met for brunch. We ate at Moonstruck Diner. I had the French toast with eggs and bacon. Susan had the western omelet sandwich. The French toast was huge and I could barely eat half of it, but the eggs and bacon were perfection. It was a very good meal. After brunch we decided to walk around and check out the neighborhood. I enjoyed seeing Susan’s neighborhood through her eyes. Eventually, we headed back to her apartment. Honestly, I’ve never seen an actual studio apartment before and hers was interesting and beautifully done. I eventually went back to my hotel to get ready for dinner. Had I not been sick with a cold, we’d have done and seen much more, but I just wasn’t up to it. All that will come when I return in June. We have more planned then. Anyway, Saturday night, we had dinner at Pete’s Tavern. It’s one of the oldes continuously opened bars in the city. Local legend has it that O. Henry wrote his well-known story “The Gift of the Magi” in the second booth from the front. I ordered the gumbo instead of a salad to begin with. Never do this. I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t gumbo. It wasn’t half bad, it just wasn’t gumbo by any stretch of the imagination. I had the chicken piccata for my main dish. While it tasted good, it was unlike any chicken piccata I’ve ever had. When we left Pete’s we wondered around Gramercy for a while seeing the famous gated park there which is quite a lovely park. I knew Sunday would be a long day, so we didn’t do anything after that.

I woke up Sunday morning and had a Starbucks caramel latte before heading to Penn Station to catch my train. Penn Station is very confusing. Luckily, there were the guys in the red hats to help with anything you needed. One of the red hats got me to my train and I bid farewell to Susan. I settled into my chair for the next 8 or so hours. I’ve ridden trains in Europe before and it was always a gentle rocking. The Vermonter does not gently rock. It’s more like terrible turbulence in a plane. I was nauseated most of the way. Maybe if I had not had a cold, this wouldn’t have been the case, but I was so glad when we finally made it into the station at Montpelier. It was nice to be home.

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