New York, NY
We’re home! We put out the Do Not Disturb sign, picked up the remotes and ordered delivery.
We’re in New York to take care of business for both companies, my trucking business and his creative business, but we needed downtime after the greatest trucking weekend ever.
We were pooped when we arrived on Tuesday. We walked miles around the Kentucky Exposition Center. Tested several different seats and decided on a Bose driver seat, the vibration canceling technology is as good as hyped, at least in Bose’s simulator, if not they have a 60-day money-back trial and it cannot squeak as much as the current seat. We have selected an Isringhausen passenger seat because it’s comfortable, looks beautiful and it swivels. We lined up about $15,000 in improvements to the tractor. We indulged in a food frenzy with our friends Salena and Eddie in the trendy Bardstown and East Market Districts, loved 732 Social, appetizers, salads, main courses, fine wine, Kentucky bourbon. We talked to several different motor carriers, comparing possibilities and met other husband/wife team owner operators.
A fabulous bonus, we timed a meeting with our friends Mel and Michele from Washington State. They were pulling a load to Virginia. We crossed paths at the Pilot in Simpsonville, Kentucky on our return to Columbus, Ohio. They had enough time for an ice cream sundae at the Dairy Queen. We left our truck in the shop for some minor work. It’s always something with a big truck.
When we hit the road three years ago, we happily traded our 475 square foot New York City apartment for an eight by eight by eight tractor sleeper and as many hotel rooms across America as we could try, excited by the idea of life with no fixed address.
We have discovered that while we enjoy hotels, especially me because there is nothing to clean — we were in the Embassy Suites and Seelbach Hilton in Louisville, Kentucky (scored free street parking) for the truck show last week and we loved the Hilton New Orleans ($96.09 a night including taxes) when our transmission was repaired, and Tub Tim in Koh Samet was a winner — we crave familiarity, routine. It is comforting. It’s the simple things we want, to know the channels on the TV and what’s in the neighborhood. Starting from scratch every time is tiring, it is not always fun.
We have a regular home in New York at the DoubleTree Chelsea. We have the same feeling here, that everyone has when returning home from a whirlwind trip, we know where everything is. McGyver’s only disappointment is that everywhere we go he is a Bandwidth Beggar, never enough in the hotels for his big downloads, the Sprint 4G wireless at $59.99 a month is not as reliable as anticipated.
This hotel is ideal and it’s location, location, location. We’re on West 29th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenue. Ten minute walk to our storage locker, less than five minutes to the Subway, the New Jersey Path train and New York Penn Station, Waldy’s pizza is two minutes, we recommend the wild mushroom and red onion with garlic, and they deliver. Macy’s is five minutes north, Starbucks is two minutes south. FedEx Office, Staples, The Container Store, Bed Bath and Beyond and Dave’s, the best work wear store around are all five-to-ten minutes away, so is Whole Foods. The chiropractor and the dentist are 15 minutes by Subway. There’s even a truck stop in the ‘hood. Dhaba, Punjabi for truck stop in Curry Hill on Lexington at 28th, a 15 minute walk, serves excellent Indian fare.
If this week’s room had a kitchen, it would be the same size as our former apartment.
McGyver has a hotel strategy. First, he checks his preferred travel websites, including Kayak and Hilton.com, looking for the best Hilton property deals and the best deals overall. In March last year we had a suite, upgraded by Diamond status at the Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue for $261.13 including taxes and a welcome drink.
This is the brilliant part, once he’s decided on the best price rate and best location, he books one hotel for each day of our intended stay.
One New York stay last November, because every hotel across the city was really expensive and we had to be in New York on specific days and we were running out of time on our 28 stays in a year for Diamond status, we changed hotels every day for four days. That was crazy. Normally, it’s not like that.
There are several reasons that he books, for example, three reservations at the same hotel for a three-day stay. First, if we leave early, they charge a fee. Second, we have discovered that the price surprisingly often, comes down depending on the day and the third reason is the upgrade. It doesn’t
work all the time, but enough of the time that it’s worth trying.
On Tuesday, our first night, we were upgraded to a junior suite, two rooms, two TVs, one in front of the king-sized bed and one in front of the sofa, McGyver misses sitting on a sofa, I want to stretch out on the bed.
On Wednesday morning I told the front desk that we were staying another night and asked if we could stay in the same room. It helps that now everyone, the front desk staff, the bellmen, the housekeeping manager and the servers at breakfast in the dining room recognize us as regulars. We stay here every two-to-three months. We’re so regular, that yesterday when we showed up for a breakfast at six o’clock, that everyone commented that we “were up early.”
Sometimes, someone has booked the upgraded room, and we have to move. Each night, was a different price, we saved about $150 with McGyver’s strategy.
We stretched our upgrade for our entire stay and for the first time, McGyver wore his slippers to breakfast.