We arrived at the Empire Hotel in NYC on the 21st. It is right next to Lincoln Center and just a couple blocks from Central Park. We needed to be in NYC for the pups first veterinarian visit on the 22nd at Heart of Chelsea Veterinarian. Heart of Chelsea has a department that specializes in helping pets travel internationally. They made the boys travel so much easier than it might have been without having experts helping us. 

The Empire Hotel is a little older but very posh and the location was perfect for us. We wanted to spend as much time in Central Park as the weather would allow. The boys loved walking in Lincoln Center and in Central Park, except for the few days it was bitter cold (the window in our Suite iced over). 

We explored Central Park, walking all over the southern portion. We visited the Alice in Wonderland Statue and walked past Tavern on the Green that I visited in 1998 on a school trip. The people watching and the statues in Central Park were great to enjoy. We cannot wait to visit again  on visits home when the weather is better. 

On the 28th we headed to the Ace Hotel in Brooklyn. Having spent the 1998/99 New Years in NYC, I was not interested in being there for New Years again. The Ace Hotel location was perfect for getting to the Cruise Terminal for our January 3rd Embarkment on the Queen Mary 2. 

The Ace Hotel was a super hip hotel and our room was a very cool corner suite. It was also very close to some shopping places that we needed for some last minute supplies. 

While in Brooklyn we got to visit with two of my high school friends. BJ stopped by for a few hours. We had sat with him at my 20th high school reunion in 2019, it was great to see him in the city that he’s called home for several years. He’s running a marketing team for a major hospitality brand and after visiting many hotels in the weeks leading to our visit he had some fascinating insight. We also got to visit with Holly, who I had not seen since high school. But she had been on the same NYC trip in 1998/99 and we had our first NY experiences together. She’s also been living in NY for several years and working as a neurologist. We had lots to catch up on and lots of theater nerd shit to discuss. I begged her to go see a limited showing, Anthony Rapps’ Without You. I hope she can get tickets and tell me all about it. 

January 3rd we headed to board the Queen Mary 2 for the next part of our journey. 

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