New York City Itinerary:: April 2013

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013:

  • Depart Milwaukee Mitchell Airport (MKE) on Delta
  • Check-in at Verve Hotel, an Ascend Collection hotel
  • Buy a 7 day unlimited MetroCard for $31/person
  • Lunch at Panini & Company Cafe
  • Visit 9/11 Memorial and St. Paul’s Chapel
  • Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe New York City
  • Shopping in Times Square at night

Wednesday, April 3, 2013:

  • Shopping in Times Square
  • St. Thomas Church
  • FAO Schwarz
  • Lunch at Ruby Tuesday
  • Times Square
  • Tickets from TKTS
  • Supper at McDonald’s Times Square
  • Off Broadway Musical, Avenue Q at New World Stages on 50th Street

Thursday, April 4, 2013:

  • Walking in Central Park
  • Lunch at Shake Shack at 154 East 86th Street
  • Chelsea Market
  • The High Line
  • Brooklyn to view Manhattan skyline
  • Barclay’s Center for Nets vs. Chicago Bulls game
  • Shopping at Modell’s Sporting Goods

Friday, April 5, 2013:

  • Depart LaGuardia Airport (LGA) on Delta

Verve Hotel, Long Island City, New York:: April 2013

At the Verve Hotel, the front desk staff was very friendly and polite. We checked in and made our way to our room. We were on the first floor which at first I thought would be great because we wouldn’t have to mess around with the elevator but as soon as I got to the room and looked out the window, I rethought that. There was a fence a few feet out of our window.

Luckily we didn’t plan to spend much time in the room or in the hotel so it really wasn’t an issue. If you are making a reservation here, you should request an upper floor room. I’ve read that the views of the Manhattan skyline are great. Our room was clean and spacious. There was plenty of drawer space if you like to unpack and there was a small closet with robes inside. The bathroom was clean and functional. The beds and pillows were comfortable.

The included breakfast each morning was a nice way to start the day. There was a hot drink machine outside the breakfast room which was available all day. Being a non-coffee drinker, I was glad that it also included hot chocolate. We started and ended each day with hot chocolate. It was really good. There also was a water machine which was nice for filling water bottles to take along or just to have a drink at breakfast or to take to the room. In the breakfast room, there were some things the same each day like juice, milk, cereal, bagels, donuts, oatmeal, a waffle maker and then there were two hot items that changed. There were scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, veggie omelet, and egg white omelet.

We didn’t spend any time in the rest of the hotel other than our room and the breakfast room.

The Verve hotel is convenient to two subway stops. The closest one is the 39th Avenue stop which is on the yellow N, Q line. The only issue we had with that one is that we had to ride the line to the north then transfer and come back through because the train didn’t stop at that station when it was heading south. I think that was just at certain times of the day but it would be something to look into if you are planning on using the subway (which I would highly suggest). The other station which was a bit further away but still an easy walk was the Queensboro Plaza which is on the yellow N, Q and purple 7. The yellow N, Q would take you to Central Park while the purple 7 would take you to Grand Central Station and Times Square. We used both of those.

If you are looking for an affordable hotel near to the city and convenient to the subway, the Verve hotel is a great choice. Through hotels.com, we paid just $125/night.

NYC Verve

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

Derek and I decided to fly out of Milwaukee for our trip to New York City. This was the second time we flew out of MKE. The first time was in 2010 when we went to Disney World. We are lucky with our location in north central Illinois that we are able to use many different airports: Bloomington, Peoria, Quad City, Rockford, Chicago Midway, Chicago O’Hare. My parents live further north and so that helps with the use of Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport. Of course I partially chose our flight for the price because I always enjoy a good deal but it also is an easier airport to fly out of than say, O’Hare. When searching for flights, it is good to keep in mind that you may be able to use a multiple airport search. Don’t assume that the one you are used to will have the best prices. Also take into consideration how much it will cost driving, parking, tolls, etc…

When we arrived at Mitchell Airport, we followed the signs to the SuperSaver lot. Remember of course which Lot and which area you park in because it would be difficult to find your vehicle when you return if you don’t. I wrote down the information. Ours was Lot A. Section H. 3rd Shelter. It was enough information that I was afraid I wouldn’t remember it. If you forget to take note of it, your shuttle driver may remind you. Our shuttle driver, Charlie, was very helpful. He announced the location of where he picked us up and also gave us information about where we would find the shuttle to take us back to the parking when we returned, which was outside near Baggage Claim 5. For a total of $6/day, the price can’t be beat. That even includes tax.

We had a 9:15 flight and we got to the airport by about 7, which is more than enough early. We were the only people at security so that was quick and easy. There was even a recombobulation area after the security area which made me laugh out loud. I kept asking Derek, “Why do I find that so funny?” Then I would laugh more. It was nice, however, to have a bench to sit on to retie shoes and get our stuff put back together.  There weren’t a lot of choices for breakfast once we cleared security, but there is enough. I wished I would have gone through McDonald’s on the way there. The airport was very clean and not busy. It was a nice change from O’Hare. We took off on time and had no issues, which is a great thing when in an airport.

New York City Public Transportation:: MetroCard

I grew up in a town of about 7,000 people. I live in a town with less than 4,000 people. I think there is one taxi in a neighboring town. We don’t have a public bus system or a subway…except for Subway the restaurant! So, when I visit a big city, public transportation can be a little intimidating. When we got to New York, we took a taxi to our hotel because it was the easiest option that required the least amount of thinking. We knew, though, that we would be using the subway system because it was going to be the quickest and most cost effective option. We were only in New York City for 3 nights. I wasn’t sure which option was our best choice because I didn’t know how many times we would be riding. I thought it would be right around 13 rides and that is the number that makes the unlimited option more cost effective. In the end we decided that if we had the unlimited and then made a mistake that we wouldn’t have to worry about it. We made only one mistake that we weren’t able to “fix.” We went into an entrance that the train was heading south and we wanted to head north. We had done that before but were able to get to the other side of the track without exiting. At this location, we weren’t able to do that. We tried to leave and go to the other side but when we swiped we couldn’t get through. The screen read “Just Used.” I read later that you have to wait 18 minutes before using the card again. I suppose that keeps people from sharing a card. We ended up walking that one! By our last day, we were even able to take the subway to a bus transfer (which was included in the cost of the MetroCard) and take the M60 bus to LaGuardia from Astoria. At least we saved the fee of the cab on the return to the airport as well, which would have been $20. We paid $31 each for the 7-Day Unlimited and a fee for a new card. If you are staying for 3 nights or more, I think that the Unlimited would be the way to go.

 

 

I copied this chart from here: http://www.mta.info/nyct/fare/FaresatAGlance.htm

 

Ways to Save

Number of Rides Refill/Buy this Card Cost Your cost per ride
Fewer than 13 Pay-Per-Ride ($5.25 value with 5% bonus) $5

$2.38

13 trips per week

20 trips per week

25 trips per week

7-Day Unlimited $30

$2.31

$1.50

$1.20

48 trips per month

50 trips per month

60 trips per month

30-Day Unlimited $112

$2.33

$2.24

$1.87

Express Bus Rider

5 days per week (10 rides)

7-Day Express Bus Plus $55

$5.50

Occasional Express Bus Rider

Pay-Per-Ride

($10.50 value with 5% Bonus)

$10.00

$5.71