Club Wyndham Midtown 45
Club Wyndham Midtown 45, as the name suggests, is in New York on 45th Street. I was looking forward to a full New York City Tour and visiting a few places that would bring back some great memories. New York also held some tough memories for me and many others as well.
Video by Island Hopper TV
Day One Arrival
Driving to New York from Virginia is not difficult, or a long drive. The full drive is just over 6 hours if you go up the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Now traveling with a car to NY, NY will carry an added expense of parking and it is not cheap. But typically, I would drive my 6 hours and not see my car again until it was time to leave. I take the subway almost everywhere and get in a few blocks of walking after that.
Parking spots with millions of drivers is just not something that is feasible or makes sense. If there is on street parking you are not going to get it, you are going up against professionals who can parallel park in 20 seconds, and do not mind hitting a car or two if needed. It is the New York city version of “rubbing is racing”. As I arrive at this resort, I find out that the prices (NY City Style) are lower with most vehicles at $60 a day. If you are flying in, do not plan on renting a car and the airport. It is not worth all the added expense unless you will be leaving the city a great deal on your trip.
Traveling around NY is easy with the Subway and abundant taxi and car services. My plan is to get in some walking and take the subway almost everywhere I want to go. Then taxi to and from the most distant locations just to speed things up a bit.
I considered taking a train in but at the end of the day I felt that was just more of a pain than the short drive and paying the valley fee and storage for the car.
If you have never traveled to New York by train, that may be something to consider. From almost any direction, your train can bring you into Grand Central Station in the heart of New York. This is the same Grand Central Station you have seen in many movies. With its antique and impressive clock, and many of the ornate fixtures.
The station is a center for culture and history for New York as well. It seems to be a living history museum of sorts. Now that I am thinking about it, I will probably walk there for a visit on my trip since it is about 3 city blocks away, or about an 8-minute walk from the resort. That is how well situated the Midtown 45 is.
I could imagine coming in on the train and having a single bag with good rolling wheels on it and just walking from the train to the resort. That would be amazingly easy.
For me, let me give you an idea of what that would have looked like.
Since the train stops several times on the way, I would take over 12 hours for the train ride itself. However, there is a train station within 30 minutes of my home so that is very convenient. If I want to drive to Richmond VA, which is about 2.5 hours, then the trip by train would only be a 7-hour trip. The cost from Richmond is only $150 round trip and you can carry up to 4 bags for free. So, if you were working in New York, and had a home or apartment there but not parking, that would be a clever way to go.
It turns out you would come into Penn Station versus Grand Central. Which is right by Madison Square Garden. Then you could take the subway to the resort from there. Penn station is on West 31st street so a bit of a long walk (comedic understatement) but a short subway ride.
If you are coming to New York from the Northern Line, then you would be more likely to come into Grand Central Station. See you learn new things every day.
Back to the resort at Midtown 45. The valet service was professional and fast, and that took some pressure off. After driving in to Manhattan with moderate traffic, I felt I needed that break too. I am fine with driving in New York but it is intense with people constantly changing lanes, and large city streets with 3 or more lanes it can be fun getting over where you want to be in traffic. If you are not careful, you may start talking like a native New Yorker when you are cut off.
Once I had my bag and was in the check-in area of the front desk, I was relaxed and calm already from my driving adventure.
You will find these helpful hints on the Wyndham website, but I am sharing them with you here for your convenience.
The resort does not allow bicycles, scooters, or skateboards inside the building.
The fitness center is closed for renovation until further notice.
No smoking is permitted at the resort.
No pets are allowed.
- In Room Safe
- Cable TV
- Internet Access
- Owner Lounge
- Presidential Reserve Owners Lounge
- Business Center/Fax
- Laundry Facilities
- Fitness Room
To ensure the preparation of your room meets CLUB WYNDHAM standards, guest services will be happy to accept all check ins beginning at 4 p.m. daily. Please note that early check ins, including that of VIP owners, cannot be accommodated.
Valet parking is the only option offered by the resort to park your car during your stay. The per-night cost is $60 for vehicles less than 181 inches, $80 for vehicles over 181 inches in length, or SUVs. Please note that certain large vehicles, such as pickup trucks or large vans, will be charged $120 per night. In and out privileges are available for an additional fee of $10 per re-entrance.
Bringing a car on vacation to the Wyndham Midtown 45 at New York City is not recommended. Many visitors to New York choose to use the city’s robust public transportation options to enjoy area activities.
Wireless Internet is free for up to 4 devices, ideal for emails and basic web browsing. For more streaming and surfing options on unlimited devices, Enhanced High-Speed Wireless Internet is available for $9.95 per day, $49.95 for 6-10 days, and $59.95 for 11-30 days.
I discovered when checking in that some accommodations have elevator access and some do not. So, if you require and elevator, request elevator access when booking. This resort has villas and regular hotel rooms as well. If you choose the hotel as accommodations, then all of those rooms do have elevator access.
I would be staying in a 1-bedroom Presidential villa which, by New York standard, is very roomy at almost 600sq ft. If that sounds small, remember some apartments in the city are smaller than that.
The villas have small kitchens with stove tops, and coffee makers, and toasters, as well as a kitchen sink. You can warm up food here but you will probably not entertain by cooking.
I think this would be a good set up for a simple breakfast one morning on my trip, so I will try that.
I had stopped on my way in to the Big Apple for a late lunch, so all I really wanted now was a snack and a couple of drinks to wind down.
Across the street from Midtown 45 is Bierhaus, which offers beers, cocktails, wine, and bar food. So that was perfect for me tonight.
Day Two in the Big Apple
Today I wanted to go to ground zero. I have been to New York since the towers came down a few times, but I just could not make myself go. On this trip, I wanted to make myself do that. Then see about visiting the Statue of Liberty afterwards to remind myself of the best of our Nation after seeing one of the worst moments in our history.
I have added a walk-through video for you here.
Video by The NYC Walking Show
The trip to the site of the towers got to me more than I thought it would. I had been to the top of the observation deck on a school trip when I was in high school. I remembered that experience like it was just the day before while I was there. I also knew a few people who were lost on 9-11. Not very close friends or family, but people that I knew from my childhood. Things were done tastefully here, and if it has personal meaning for you, I would go.
After that experience, I wanted to dip myself in pure Americana and go to see the Statue of Liberty. I know you can not go inside and up anymore like I did once when I was a young man, but to just go to the island and visit, I thought, would be meaningful to me.
I know to some this may seem dorky but to me this is hollowed ground too. I was raised to love our nation, and I do. When you travel to the islands Ellis Island, and Liberty Island (location of the Statue) you need to purchase tickets ahead of time for the ferry. I recommend you check the park service website for updates to make sure you can make this a part of your trip.
Since you can no longer go into the Statue of Liberty, they have improved the museum on site and it offers some great perspective.
Ellis Island is literally where I can trace one side of my family’s entry into the country. I chose to get the ticket that included a 90-minute tour of the immigrant side of Ellis Island. They call it the hard hat tour because the buildings are not restored. This gives you the feeling that you might have gotten a hint of in the Godfather movie when you saw the young Godfather quarantined on Ellis Island.
Afterwards you can go to the museum portion if it is open during your trip. There you might find records of your own ancestors, or see other family names you recognize. Ellis Island is the closest island to the New Jersey shoreline and the larger of the two. There is another island called Governors Island, but the ferry boats do not go there.
I chose to do all three islands today, so next I was headed to Governors Island. This is the one that I have never been to before, so I was excited to see and experience it.
Manhattan ferries run daily from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South St. That is where I headed so I could catch the next ferry out. The island itself is fairly large at 172 acres and from the exterior you can visit most of the island.
There are food locations around, but almost all are vegan. Which is wonderful if you are a fan, but plan ahead if you are not.
I am a tourist with a capital T on this trip. But for me that is the draw of New York City, the touristy things you can do. Today I will start off with the Rose Center for Earth and Space. This is part museum and part functional research center. The planetarium here is one of the best in the nation and has a great projection system and a 25-minute show that should not be missed.
A good visit here takes half a day or so if you are a space nut like me. In 4 hours, you can see most of the exhibits and get a feeling for space that you may not have had before.
Next, it was to the American Museum of Natural History, which is really a part of the overall experience.
This is on par with Smithsonian museums and worth the time on your trip.
I could have stayed in New York City or the Big Apple for many more days if I had the time. This was just a 3-day trip. Tomorrow I had to be up and moving before check out time to avoid the morning rush hour traffic on the way home.
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