For the past few weeks I had been planning on getting down to NYC to visit some friends and catch the highly anticipated football game between the Giants and Cowboys. Rather than driving down and back running on unleaded and coffee, I figured I would make an actual trip of it.
So here I was, early in the week without any reservations, but still looking to make something more of it. I had just received an email from Jet Blue about their 12 day “December to Adventure” sales event, so I checked it out. Their first offer was a $20 one way ticket to and from select destinations and happened to have one from Boston to DC on Thursday morning at 6:30. I had a good friend in DC and decided to make a quick stop and head down there for nearly nothing, en route to NYC.
I was curious at what the last minute hotel deals would be in DC, so I checked out Expedia and found a great place right near DuPont Circle. Being close to all the sights and sounds of the holiday season in the nation’s capital this time of year is phenomenal. The St. Gregory hotel was a steal at around $100 with excellent reviews and a brand new restaurant in the lobby. I booked it, which left me just needing transportation from DC to NYC on Friday, and NYC to Boston on Monday.
My preferred site for finding the best flight deals is definitely Skiplagged.com and once again, they did not disappoint. Their “hidden city” fare sent me from Reagan to LaGuardia for $95 around noon on Friday, leaving me with one last method of travel to book. For that, I decided to go with LimoLiner, a luxury bus service with daily trips between Boston and Midtown Manhattan (I’ll post a quick blog about them soon and go into further details). This cost me $99, leaving my multiple-city transportation fee just under $220 for last minute travel – pretty, pretty… pretty good.
After my $19.10 direct flight from Boston to DC, I took my free Uber ride (Amex Airport holiday special) to the St. Gregory Hotel and was granted a 10:30 AM check in. The room was much larger than anticipated and featured a kitchenette and small living room in addition to a comfortable bed and nice bathroom. Shortly after, I met my friend for some delicious Mediterranean cuisine at Zatinya, a José Andrés Restaurant nearby. We indulged in some delicious food and good wine, reminiscing about the good old days with each other. If you enjoy truly gourmet Mediterranean food and culinary specialties from Lebanon, Greece, and beyond, I highly recommend Zatinya in Downtown DC.
The next day was from DC to NYC, I flew via Delta up to LaGuardia on a noon flight and upon arriving at LGA. Friday afternoons heading into Manhattan are an absolute nightmare in terms of traffic, so the Uber fee was around $75 from LGA to Midtown. As mentioned, Uber and Amex combined to offer 2 free rides up to $65 from select airports in the month of December. I used my first ride leaving Reagan the day prior, so used my 1 remaining which left me with a $10 tab for my trek into the city. Great success.
The next couple of nights seem like a bit of a blur, consisting of food, alcohol, and good times with good people. Also, Santa Con was going on in Manhattan so that was a pretty fun event to take part in as it was my first time in NYC while it was going on.
Finally, the big football game that I referred to in the very beginning was upon us, and luckily for me, I have a great connection within the New York Giants organization. This allowed me to get a
parking spot right in front of the stadium, onto the field before the game, and a great seat to take in the action in the frigid cold. It was a fantastic game with the Giants coming out on top of the Cowboys 10-7, and almost everyone leaving the stadium happy.
The following day I hopped aboard the LimoLiner bus at 11:15 and was back in MA around 3PM. Refreshments, a hot meal, unlimited WiFi, and a comfortable leather reclining seat was exactly what I needed after a long weekend with lots of walking and very little sleep.
I will be doing a hotel review of the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando coming up right after Christmas. This will obviously be a bit more lavish and less frugal than this trip, but hopefully with the same fun and charm. Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and happy travels and such afterwards through the New Year.