Vail Daily column: R and R and TLC in NYC |

Vail Daily column: R and R and TLC in NYC

The choice was simple: use it or lose it.

Purchased at a school auction last fall, and seeing how it was a week’s stay in a private home at 93rd and Park Avenue in New York City, we finally made the obvious choice to use it.

My bride and I had done most of the main tourist stuff over the years, but w had always stayed in hotels and never visited the 9/11 Memorial or seen the new One World Trade Center building.

So yep, the same day some idiot set off a pipe bomb in Chelsea we set off for the Big Apple, sort of our own way of thumbing our nose at those who wish to inflict religious terror and scare us from leaving home.

Plus, I didn’t mention the bombing to my wife until after we arrived (one little vodka drink and she was back to normal).

It’s always fun to leave Happy Valley for quick unplanned getaways, especially knowing the beauty we can anticipate upon return. Trading our purple mountain majesty’s for a carriage ride through Central Park as the sun sets behind the concrete and steel urban mountains (and glass, lots and lots of glass) is worth it with the comfortable knowledge that it’s only a temporary view.

I spent a few days concerned with how my emotions would possibly react to visiting the 9/11 Memorial. I choked up just looking at the website, but as we approached the first of two reflecting pools where towers once stood, the crowd was much more upbeat than expected, thus surprising and somewhat suppressing my feared emotional outburst.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like people were celebrating or even enjoying the visit, but more like a collective “let’s all remember why we’re here.” It was a few moments to reflect internally, looking at one another as we vow to never forget, and then pledge to continue forward out of simple respect for those who cannot.

Having lunch at 1,776 feet atop the One World Trade Center was symbolically cool, and I toasted a few cold ones before we headed to Midtown for dinner on top of Rockefeller Center, and then the ultimate ending to a perfect day: “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway.

To quote a brand of beer I refuse to drink, “It don’t get no better than this.”

We walked until our feet hurt, had a few lunches with old friends, rode taxis and Ubers, took advantage of subways and even attended a taping of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

The Metropolitan Museum was as wonderful and time-consuming as ever while the Phrick was frackin’ fenominal. The Guggenheim was skipped as I felt once you’ve seen a pile of dirt strategically placed in a corner as “art,” well, you just don’t need to see it again.

I made immature jokes at Trump buildings, spouted spontaneous sarcasm upon seeing Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters fame) on 6th Avenue, poked fun of obvious tourists as if I was not one, and for the first time posted all of it on Facebook to chronicle and share with friends.

I highly recommend all of the above.

Passing west over Genesee Pass we saw real mountains for the first time in a week, and within minutes witnessed the brilliant yellow/gold splashes of color as it cascaded down the slopes, and by the time we came out of the tunnel we were in a snowstorm.

And both of us were grinning from ear to ear, giggling like schoolkids.

NYC is a wonderfully romantic place to visit, but nothing ever compares to returning to the RMV (Rocky Mountains of Vail).

Richard Carnes. of Edwards. writes weekly. He can be reached at

Support Local Journalism