Freya Meets Eloise

NY Travelogue

High Tea in the Palm Court of the Plaza Hotel
(Seated next to large screen-sized gilt framed free standing mirror.
This is Freya in the looking glass. Click for a better view.)

March 2001

Her GrandMa had promised Freya that when she turned 10 we would take her to New York.  This was always billed as the height of excitement and a kind of passage ritual to a level of sophistication - and of course a step which must be passed in order to accompany us later on a trip to Italy.  We are in may ways very simple, ordinary people of modest means.  We have, however, developed a sense of taste and style that we believe is important to maintaining and advancing civilization.  We know that our lives have been enriched by experiencing the cultural legacy before us, and we are endeavoring to pass this on to our grandchildren.  

When you have a beer budget with Champaign taste, it requires ingenuity to enjoy the Champaign.  Ingenuity comes partly with frequent flyer points - the legacy of thousand of hours of bum time in service to our employers.  So free air fare for GrandMa, GrandPa, and Grandchild.  So free hotel rooms.  When they are free, why not take the best: 3 nights at the Waldorf=Astoria.  Combine this with a knack for working the system. That means booking very far in advance to snag the few free rooms and smoozing the check-in clerk which yielded an upgrade to a mini-suite (on a free room!) and coupons for free drinks and free full breakfast at Oscars each morning. Phew! This freed-up lots of budget for a few splurges, and gave Freya one-hell-of-an introduction to New York.

We were programmed to show Freya the A list, and we started right in the famous lobby of the hotel.  Actually, there was immense excitement because the front lobby was closed - for a private wedding.  A mere 1,000 guests.  The flowers we glimpsed in the converted lobby had to cost $100,000, and the entire place was filled with people in formal attire.  Freya was dazzled.  Oh well. We had free coupons so we plopped right down in Peacock Alley and ordered Martinis and an elegantly presented Shirley Temple for Freya.   Our dear friends Liz and Vince Whibbs from Pensacola were coincidentally in the hotel at the same time; a stop-over on the way to Europe.  We called their room and they came down to join us.  Great fun.

As soon as we hit our room Freya checked everything out, including our view up Park Avenue and straight down on the dome of St. Bartholomew's.  She instantly found the big fluffy robe, stripped out of her travel clothes and lounged about as if, well, at the Waldorf.  We knew it was going to great watching her discover.  There was so much joy in seeing her love New York, and become so sophisticated.  But, it was sad too.  She is growing up so fast and the little girl is starting to dominate less-and-less.

So here, enjoy our little travelogue of our "three perfect days in New York" as Freya meets Eloise. When you are done, move two years forward to June of 2003 and check-out her brother Dietrich's trip to New York.

New York Travelogue