Bound for Glory - July 2011 travel blog

lavish suite


These days whenever you read about air travel, the reporter rarely has anything good to say. The gracious, lah-di-dah experiences early carriers like Pan Am provided with fine china and champagne, has become a Greyhound bus, cattle car marathon. While we don't fly all that often these days, when we take a domestic flight we always hope that we can take Southwest Airlines to our destination.

So today we flew Southwest from Midway to LaGuardia and while the flight was totally full, it was an efficient, business-like, economical experience. We left a bit early and landed a bit more early. Boarding went smoothly even though no one had an assigned seat and with this system, we were able to situate ourselves a good distance away from the crying baby and the guy with a dog under his seat. There was room for our carry-ons and our luggage arrived when we did and we did not have to pay extra to bring it. We got snacks and drinks, which is all we would expect for such a short flight. All these facts are unremarkable, except for the fact that we no longer expect them on the legacy carriers. Too bad the only international destinations Southwest services these days are in Mexico.

We were in New York less than a year ago and while we loved the Broadway shows and other things we did, we swore we wouldn't be back any time soon, because of the high price of hotels. But winning the World's Best Cruiser contest brought us back here again. For this trip we struggled to find a place to stay for less than $200/night and found a well located Econolodge right off Times Square that fit the budget - barely. It's clean and has everything we need except space. There is barely room to walk around the bed and nowhere to put luggage or unpack. Real estate is expensive around here. Probably our wonderful inside cabin on the cruise we will take in a few days will be equally intimate. But we won't be in the room much. There's always plenty to do in Manhattan.

Most of the Broadway shows are matinees on Sunday and we got here a bit too late for them. So after a stop at the half price ticket booth, we went to an Off Broadway show at the YMCA that was polished and professional. It just didn't have the staging, costumes and music that the big shows feature. And the price was right.

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