Heading for the Big City

Now it was almost over - our vaccation 2014. On this day we should return our rented car, and then spend the next few days in New York City, where you don't need a car. As our hotel room on Manhattan would not be ready until 3 pm, we had a lot of spare time, so we decided tor a visit to Long Island's South Fork, as Riverhead is where the island splits into North Fork and South Fork and we had already seen the Noth Fork.

Before leaving the hotel however, we made the car ready for return, that is we cleared out the mess of maps, brochures and other stuff that we had collected in the three weeks we had been under way. We also left our cooling box, that had served us well since we left Los Angeles. When the car was ready and our baggage packed, we left the hotel and headed east or rather southeast to South Fork, the longest of the two forks, that makes the eastern part of Long Island. From Riverhead to Montauk Point is about 43 miles. The road leads through "The Hamptons", a row of small towns such as Westhampton, Hampton Bay, Southhampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Beach Hampton and other small settlements. This is where some of the wealthier New Yorkers have their homes or summer cottages, if you can call a four bedroom/four bathrooms  house "a cottage".  The area is one of the most expensive housing area in all of USA. We saw a house for sale in the small hamlet Water Mill. It was a four bedroom, three bathroom, 6,000 square feet house with a pool, a pool house and 200 feet of beach and the asking price was only $ 29.95 million!

As we passed through The Hamptons traffic was very slow, and sometimes almost came to a full stop. We never discovered the reason, but as we got farther east, the traffic began moving again. Along the way through The Hamptons six ambulances with lights and sirens passed us, going in the opposite direction Not in a row but approximately 15 minutes apart. We never found out what had happened, but we supposed they were heading for a hospital in Riverhead or elsewhere. We continued across the narrow isthmus that connects the eastmost part of the peninsula with the rest and made a few stops to look at the landscape from different overlooks. Our goal was Montauk Point and the lighthouse there, on the easternmost point of New York state. When we got there we discovered that a lot of people had gotten the same idea, and as the parking lot was almost full, we were hit by a case of stinginess, and didn't want to pay the entrance fee, so we just looked at the lighthouse from a distance, then headed east once more. Along the way we did one more stop at an overlook to enjoy the view of Hither Hills Dunes. We had considered a visit to Camp Hero State Park to see if the conpiracy theories about the place was right, but gave up on ther idea. If you wonder what conspiracy theories I mean, just look up "The Montauk Project".

Back in Riverhead we continued east on New York Route 27, also know as "POW/MIA Memorial Highway". Along the way to JFK Airport, where we had to return out car, we made two more stops. One at a Walmart, when we did our last clothes shopping of the trip, and one at a gas station just outside the airport, as we had to return our car with a full tank. In JFK we easily located the rental car return and returning the car went as smoothly as usual. A guy scanned the barcode in the car, and gave us a receipt for the $ 500 we had to pay to return the car from LA in New York. When we were ready we took the Airtrain to Terminal 4. Here we waited in line approximately 20 minutes to get a taxi. The Pakistani driver took us to our hotel on 8th Avenue on Manhattan in only 50 minutes in spite of the rush our.

We had booked a room in the same hotel that Dorte and I used in 2008, only it had changed it's name. In 2008 it was called Milford Plaza and now in 2014 the name was Row NYC. The hotel had only recently reopened after several years of restoration. We got a room on the 8th floor, and it proved to be the smallest and most expensive on the whole vacation. When our luggage arrived and we had tipped the bell boy, we went out for a walk. The next day Tim had tickets for Les Miserables, and we wanted to find out, how he should get to the theater, which proved very easy. Row NYC is situated on 8th Avenue between  44th and 45th Street, and Imperial Theater is on 45th Street , so it was just around the corner, two minutes walk from the hotel entrance. And if the side entrance to the hotel hadn't been closed during restoration, it would have been even closer. 

From the theater we walked to Times Square (less than one block). Here we walked around for a while enjoying the many busy people,who swarmed the place. As we were getting hungry, we decided for dinner, which we had a the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restauant on Times Square. For some reason, Tim who enjoys most seafood, is not keen on shrimps, but luckily they serve other stuff as well, so we bouth got what we wanted. After dinner it had gotten dark and we enjoyed the lights on Times Square some some time before returning to the hotel.

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