Before starting a blog, I decide which category (see right) it should be put into. Today, however, what I'm about to report could be described as a stroll down 'Memory Lane' as well as being a 'Ramble' during 'Retirement'. So, the obvious solution is to put it in 'Miscellaneous'........
Although getting about isn't normally too much of a problem, negotiating airports is a challenge for my wife; so, when I booked our flight to and from the USA, I requested wheelchair assistance. Not surprisingly, the Virgin Atlantic staff providing that service at Heathrow were commendable. Sadly, however, and not for the first time in my own experience, what we encountered at JFK was awful.
As far as I could tell, there were only two men assigned to push at least five wheelchairs from our aircraft into the terminal. As a consequence, the chap looking after my wife was trying to push somebody else's wheelchair at the same time; so, I ended up pushing her (my wife, not the other person). Heaven knows what someone a little more senile than myself would have done.
To add to our problems, it seems that JFK is one of very few airports in the world where a fee is required to get a trolley. Putting aside my natural reluctance to pay for a service I expect to be free, I hadn't any cash because it had been my intention to get US money at the airport - and those facilities were a little further along the line from where we were. The upshot of all this is that I had to 'hook' our bags together (a bit like a train) in order to exit the airport.
Whilst planning our trip, we had decided to take a bus ride rather than a taxi into Manhattan. Hindsight is a wonderful thing - but, had we known how bad the weather would be in New York when we arrived, we would have taken a taxi. Apart from the fact that we got soaked whilst transferring our luggage from the bus to a taxi at Grand Central, it had been so overcast during the journey that we didn't even see the Manhattan skyline (which had been the whole point in taking a bus).
Fortunately, however, the view from our bedroom was a lot better on the following morning..........
We were in New York for four days and, in that time - amongst other things, we visited two friends, took a cruise around the island, and attended a Suzanne Vega concert where we saw Lloyd's new Small Ensemble for the first time.
We and our guest had been allocated some very nice seats quite close to the stage. However, Lloyd thought that the sound might not be too good for us because we were right underneath one of the amplifiers - but, to be perfectly honest, I thought it was OK. Getting a special mention from Lloyd caught his mother and I off guard a bit - but, so long as he only does it every fifty years, we can live with it.
The visit to NYC ended up with a pleasant AMTRAK train journey up to our family in New England.