Because this trip is heavily East Coast urban, it’s making RAS blanch a little (thanks for taking one of the team, honey). But the girls are quite excited, simply with the idea of going to see some of the most iconic and almost cliched American landmarks – the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the US Capitol, the Smithsonian museums, the supposed Pokemon store in Manhattan.
(Only they would include that last place among all the others – yikes)
In the accommodation planning for DC, we’ll be staying with friends in suburban Virginia. But for New York, we will have to find our own place, and we immediately ruled out hotels.
That’s because we simply can’t stay comfortably in them anymore with just two beds in the same room.
I never really sleep well in hotel rooms, but I sleep even worse when my family is with me. That’s because JRS will wake me up, right when I have fallen asleep and say NLS is moving around too much on the bed. Or NLS will wake up and say she’s scared, even though all of us are there to protect her.
The girls, firmly entrenched in tween-hood and moving into adolescence faster than I’d like, need to have their own sleeping spaces if we’re going to have a fighting chance at getting enough rest for our vacation demands.
So I’ve started looking for rentals, which is now my preferred choice for travel accommodations. That’s especially true now when we bring the girls along.
At last count, I’ve inquired about 20 different owners on VRBO, HomeAway and Trip Advisor, half of which have responded back. It would be nice if those who haven’t could at least say their place is taken, but asking for courtesy these days is too much to expect.
Here’s our rental wish list: a bright, spacious and airy Midtown or Upper West Side two-bedroom apartment or condo with an elevator, a great view, within running distance to Central Park, walking distance to supermarket, an updated or renovated appearance, full kitchen, wi-fi, cable and central A/C. Swimming pool as a bonus. For $200-300 a night.
Not too much to ask for, right?
Well, I’ve found a few that fit that idealized description to the letter. They just happen to be upwards of $400 and usually more a night. Grrr.
Some other things I’ve noticed on the listings:
- The definition of a “bedroom” in Manhattan is pretty broad. Some beds have been crammed into a space that looks no bigger than a shoebox. Often, a living room counts as a bedroom. There was even one front room that had an actual bed (not a sleeper sofa) right near the entry door.
- Kitchens are really tiny, sometimes galley-sized. No wonder most New Yorkers love to eat out a lot.
- We’ll have to get used to seeing other people’s places if we look outside the windows. Hopefully just their places, and not them undressing, or worse.
- Some living room areas look so narrow, we could touch the walls on each side if we stood in the middle of them.
- Walk-ups?? Didn’t RAS and I have enough of those in Italy last year (or does it count as a walkup if the elevators aren’t working)?
- Other than its central location, why would anyone want to stay near Times Square and deal with all that noise and craziness?
- Who are these people who can afford a rental at thousands of dollars a night?
Once we figure out our New York place, I’ll report back here on what we find, and detail my travel writing and blogging plans. Hopefully, I’ll still have my sanity intact 🙂
photo courtesy of Fotolia