"Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today I want to be a part of it, New York, New York."
We met Andy’s boyfriend the day before our trip to New York. He was a cute kid, red hair, freckles and a mischievous glint in his eye. “Andy, I’m sorry, if I had known earlier we could have taken Rich with us.”
“That’s ok Mr. Bradley my family always spend New Year’s at my grandparents in Florida. I like the sun and swimming in the ocean.”
“Well, I hope you have a great time in Florida. You can tell us all about your time there and Andy can tell you about New York.”
Jeff took Rich home of course Andy went with them. They were going to stay at our place since we’ll be leaving early in the morning. We had a 7 am flight to New York. Nancy Jean will sleep in the guest bedroom and the boys will share the bed in the room next to the master bedroom.
We all headed off to bed. “Cody, let’s go and soak in the hot tub. I’ve always wanted to sit in a hot tub in the winter.”
“If we do we should wear trunks or at least our boxers. With the boys next door, they can see. We should keep our voices down as well.”
I turned on the heater to the hot tub and waited until it warmed up. We decided to wear our boxers. When the water was hot, we quietly slid the sliding door open and got into the tub.It felt fantastic. We were lying back with our eyes closed, when I heard a door open. Before I could open my eyes, two boys joined us in the hot tub. I opened my eyes, and started to laugh. Cody opened his eyes and he joined me in laughing. The boys were naked.
“I thought you were supposed to be naked when you go into a hot tub.”
“Yes, you’re right Andy, but normally you're with guys who are the same age. But don’t be bashful. I didn’t expect you to be awake.”
“I was looking out of the door at the sights when I saw you come out and turn the tub on. I woke Jeff and told him.”
“I told him let’s go. We see a lot of naked people in our gym class when we shower or after a sports game.I saw no reason why we should be concerned. We know you both and feel very comfortable around you.”
“Thank you Jeff, you also know we are gay and I don’t want to give anyone ammunition to shoot at Cody and I. You're welcome to use the hot tub naked but because of your age, Cody and I will always wear something when you are with us. In fact, I’d like you both to wear something when we share the tub. Let’s head off trouble before it starts.”
“But for right now since you are in the tub, let’s just relax and enjoy the hot water.”
I looked at Cody and winked.
The next morning we were up very early. “Let’s get breakfast at the airport and if we leave in the next half hour, we’ll have plenty of time.”
We arrived at the airport 2 hours before takeoff. I checked us in, Cody saw there was a restaurant in the airport hotel. We proceeded to the dining area and ordered our breakfast. If you ever saw teenager boys eat, you would wonder why there isn’t a food shortage. “That should hold me until lunch. Do they serve a snack on the plane?”
“Yes, Jeff, in fact they may serve another breakfast at this time in the morning.”
I saw the smiles on the faces of the boys.
We did board on time and they did serve an additional breakfast. Cody and I passed, but the teenagers ate it all and appeared to be looking for more.
Three and half hours later, we were landing at La Guardia airport. Collecting our bags, we headed to the taxi stand. I rode up front with the driver while the rest rode in the back. Once we got to our hotel, I paid the cabby and checked us into the hotel. I gave Nancy Jean her key and told her once she had checked her room to come to our room.
When the bell hop opened the door to our suite, I thanked him giving him a tip. I let the boys select which bedroom they wanted and told them to unpack.
When Nancy Jean joined us, “Let’s go and do some sightseeing, we can go to the Empire State Building and then after lunch we can go and see the Statue of Liberty. How does that sound?”
“Cody, can you go and get three of those disposable cameras. They probably have them in the guest shop downstairs.”
While we waited for Cody to come back, I gave each of them 50 dollars. “If you see a souvenir for your family or friends, you can use that to pay for it.”
As soon as Cody came back and gave each of them a camera, we headed out. A brief discussion was held when we left the hotel, should we go by taxi or walk.Want to guess the outcome, 4 to 1 we walked.
“Is this the tallest building in the States?”
“No, not now, but at an earlier time it was. If I remember my history it may have been the tallest in the world then.”
“What’s that building?”
“That’s Madison Square Garden. A lot of basketball games are played there.”
Cody and I watched the kids as they looked at the City from the observation deck. I had a few quarters so they could use the telescopes. You can always tell when kids get hungry. They head for the souvenir stand, and give the look that conveys their desire to leave.
“If you guys are finish checking out the City from here, we can go and get some lunch.”
Magic words, lunch.Again we walked to a restaurant close to the Gardens. “You can order anything you want but I think pastrami sandwiches are good.” The boys and Nancy Jean order the sandwiches with fries, Cody and I ordered the sandwiches but no fries.
When our sandwiches came, I cut mine in half. Cody knew that it wouldn’t last long with the two boys. Nancy Jean took one look at the sandwich and also cut her sandwich in half. I noticed that by the time I was finish with my half, Andy had finished his sandwich and almost all of his fries. Jeff was already eating the other half of Nancy Jean’s sandwich. I caught Andy looking at my uneaten sandwich. Cody took my plate and pushed toward Andy. I didn’t have a chance to open my mouth when Andy had already taken a bite. He gave Cody a big smile.
Next stop was the Statue of Liberty and for that we would take a taxi. While we waited for the ferry, “Thanks for the sandwich Uncle Alan.”
I noticed that for the last few weeks, Andy called me Uncle Alan but Cody was still Cody.I was glad as Mr. Bradley was too formal for the relationship that I had developed with Andy.
Taking the ferry gave us a full view of the Statue. Once we got to the Statue, it would be difficult to see it all at one time. The kids and Cody decided to go to the torch. I told them I would wait for them. I sat on one of the benches where I could see them when they reached the platform around the torch. I knew it would take them some time, so I went and got a cup of coffee at the kiosk. It wasn’t long after I sat down with my coffee when I heard, “Uncle Alan.”
Looking up, there were the three kids waving. I waved back but where was Cody. When the kids came back down they were laughing. “Uncle Alan, you should see the sights from up there. Cody said we could see New Jersey as well.”
“Where was Cody when you went to the torch?”
“He said the climb was too much so he waited for us.”
“Did you walk all the way up or did you take the elevator part way?”
“Andy and Jeff wanted to walk but Cody and I decided to take the elevator. Before the door shut, the guys jumped in.”
We went to the kiosk where the kids got a soda, Cody had a coffee.While we waited for the ferry, I mentioned that we were up so early this morning maybe we should have an early dinner and get good night’s sleep.Cody thought that was a good idea and I caught the gleam in his eye.
“It’s still early Uncle Alan.”
“Yes, by the time we get back to the hotel, wash up it will be close to 6.”
“That means dinner will be about 6:30 and then we should be back at the hotel by 8. We’ll do a lot of walking and sightseeing tomorrow. Without a good night’s sleep, you’ll need a nap and we won’t have time for much sightseeing”
“What are we going to do tomorrow?”
“I thought we could go to the museum, then the zoological gardens in Central Park and maybe some shopping.For dinner I thought a dinner cruise on the river would be nice. If we don’t do any shopping tomorrow, we’ll have time before we see the ball drop on Time Square.”
That seemed to satisfy the kids and when we got back to the hotel; they quickly got ready for dinner.I booked an Italian restaurant in Little Italy for 6:30. By 9 we were back at the hotel.Jeff walked Nancy Jean to her room.Before she left I told her to come here and I’d order breakfast for us all.
Cody and I went to bed, but before I fell asleep, I heard Jeff entering the apartment. I’m not sure how tired the boys were, but I was very tired and so was Cody, he fell asleep before me.
I woke early and for a minute I forgot where I was and expected our staff to come in with coffees. Cody snuggled against me, claiming what he had in mind last night. We showered, dressed and then I called down for room service. I ordered a large pot of coffee, orange juice, bagels and lox, scrambled eggs with bacon and rolls. I was hoping that would hold the kids until lunch time. I’m not sure if it was the smell of the food or Nancy Jean that woke up the boys. Thirty minutes after the food arrived, the boys came for breakfast.
As we ate, we talked about yesterday and what we were going to do today. “Today we’ll take a taxi to the museum and we’ll discuss if we walk to the zoo or ride. Central Park isn’t far from the museum but we’ll do a lot of walking at the museum.”
During the museum tour I told them to meet me in the cafeteria, I’d wait for them. A slow walk seemed to tire me more than a quick walk, the distance had a lot to do with it.
I had a coffee while I waited and took the time to read a newspaper.I was engrossed in a story when someone set a cup of coffee in front of me. The guys were back. “Why don’t you get something to drink and then we’ll see about getting to the zoo.”
Andy whispered something to Cody who nodded his head yes. “Alan, I think the kids are getting hungry.”
“Why don’t we walk to Central Park and if we see a restaurant, we can stop and get some lunch.”
That was enthusiastically met with approval from the boys. As soon as we left the museum, they spotted a hot dog stand and had to have one.I noticed Nancy Jean and Cody also had one. It wasn’t long before Jeff and Andy were eating theirs.I was afraid they wouldn’t want to stop for lunch. I must’ve been crazy to think that. As soon as Jeff spotted a restaurant, he sort of steered us there. So we had lunch.
After lunch, we walked to the zoo. We didn’t rush through the zoo. It’s always interesting to watch the animals. Many times I can see certain traits that have carried over to the human race or at least some of the actions that mimic the humans. Along the way there were feed boxes that you could buy and toss to the animal.Zoo’s today create natural environs for the animals.
I noticed the cameras being put away, “Cody when we pass a souvenir stand, get three more cameras. I think the kids have shot all the photos they can with the ones you bought at the hotel.”
Passing a refreshment stand, I bought them a drink while Cody went and bought the cameras. I had an ice tea and bought one for Cody. We sat at a table for few minutes before we took off on more touring of the zoo.Looking at the map of the zoo, we hardly touched the many exhibits.
When we had finished the tour of the zoo, “Do you want to go shopping now or go back to the hotel and take a rest before dinner?”
They elected to go to the hotel and that is what we did. I made note of the fact that if we walked all day, they would eventually tire. When we got to the hotel, Cody took the cameras to a 4 hour photo processing kiosk and had the film developed, we would pick them up or in the morning.
I still cannot believe the amount of food the boys could eat. There was enough empty plates on our table that anyone passing by would think there was a party of 10. I looked at Cody as we watched the boys eat. Later that evening when we got back to the hotel, “Did you enjoy dinner tonight?” I got big smiles while Andy rubbed his stomach.
We went to bed, after Jeff and Andy walked Nancy Jean back to her room. I’m not sure Jeff appreciated Andy’s company, but nothing was said when they came back. I was tired and I think Cody was beginning to run down as well. “I can’t believe the amount of energy those kids have. If the mirror didn’t tell me my age, those kids sure did.”
“You’re not old to me. You kept up pretty well for an old man. I didn’t see you lagging except at the museum.”
“I’ve been in that museum many times over the last 30 years. I thought I’d give you some time alone with the kids and I enjoyed a little quiet time. Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. I thought maybe we could go shopping in the morning and maybe take in a show at Rockefeller Center or try and get into a television show. What do you think?”
“Either one of those sounds like a good idea. What did you have in mind for dinner tomorrow night?”
“I thought we could have dinner on the river. There is a dinner boat that gives a tour of the river while they serve dinner.”
“Do you plan to have snacks before or after dinner?”
“You’re right what they serve is enough for you and me but would never satisfy those boys.”
With a kiss, we went to sleep.
The morning was a repeat of the previous morning only this time I started the action but Cody rose to meet the challenge. I heard the shower in the other bed room, so we quickly got up, showered and dressed.From the bedroom I order breakfast substituting pancakes for the eggs and increased the bagel lox order by two.
“The program for today, if it’s acceptable, we'll go shopping in the morning, have lunch and then go and try to see if we can get tickets to be part of a television audience.We could also see if there is a matinee at Rockefeller Center. I’ve book a river cruise with dinner before we head to Times Square. Any comments?”None.
Again there were no left over’s from breakfast.
We walked to Macy’s and spent about 3 hours there.The kids bought gifts for back home, I saw Andy asking Cody about a gift for Rich. Before we left the store, I bought each of the kids a ring as a souvenir and I bought one for Rich but didn’t tell Andy.
We went to a Jewish deli for lunch. The kids noted that the menu included pastrami sandwiches so that is what they ordered. I had a bowl of chicken noodle soup with a half corned beef sandwich, Cody order the same thing but a full corned beef sandwich. When the food came, I think the boys found the answer to what the difference between a Jewish deli and the restaurant where we had lunch when we first arrived.I think even Cody realized that he ordered too much and the sandwiches wouldn’t satisfy the boys. As he cut the sandwich in half, he cut one half into half again.
“How are the sandwiches?”
“There better than what we had before. What kind of sandwich do you have?”
“This is corned beef. Would you like a taste?”
Both boys nodded their heads yes, and that is how Cody got rid of half of his sandwich.
We weren’t able to get tickets to Rockefeller Center or a television show. We walked around Times Square and then walked down 5th avenue and basically took a walking tour of Manhattan. We did stop at Carnegie Library and MOMA for a few minutes. Arriving back at the hotel, the kids were tired and decided to take a nap until dinner time.Cody went and picked up the photos.
The dinner cruise was nice and the kids enjoyed it, room service made a delivery of hamburgers and fries when we got back. Cody gave them their developed photos, which occupied their time until it was time to go to Times Square.
As we started to walk toward Times Square, you could see the excitement build in their faces.Jeff hung on to Nancy Jean’s hand and Andy never left Cody’s side. We were early enough to get a chance to stand close to the police line. I watched the excitement mount on the faces of the kids. They took out their cameras and started to take pictures of the ball and the buildings around Times Square. They took a lot of picture of each other. It had been a while since I was on Times Square at New Years. The excitement is catchy and tends to stir up the crowd.
When the ball touched the stage and everyone yelled happy New Year, I noticed Jeff giving Nancy Jean a kiss. This night was made for young love, so guess my surprise when Cody gave me a kiss saying Happy New Year. I saw the kids all hug and then Cody gave Andy a hug and a kiss on the head. I got a chance to hug all of the kids. On our walk back to the hotel, we passed a hot dog stand and had to stop.Even Cody had a hot dog and before we got out of sight, two boys ran back and got another.
We slept in late the next morning, when we did get up, the kids called their family wishing them Happy New Year. They had to tell them how they were doing and what they did. I went into the bedroom and ordered breakfast.
For the rest of our time, we did attend a musical on Broadway, saw a show at Rockefeller Center and had dinner at Four Seasons.The kids had used up the second camera and had their third camera almost finished. Our flight home was scheduled for early afternoon, so we had lunch at a Jewish Deli on Second Avenue. Checking out of the hotel, taxi ride to the airport and we found ourselves on the way home.