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
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.
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.