We left the bike shop in Poughkeepsie about 3:00 PM and drove back to New York City. It took a little over an hour and a half to drive to Central Park where we parked our car in a deck on 66th Ave. Realizing that we had a couple of hours to waste before the park would be closed to car traffic, allowing bikers and pedestrians a safer pathway, we decided to go to the movies! I had secretly hoped that we would be able to see an early screening of The Wife, starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce, at the Paris Theater, and my wish came true 🙂 . We walked about 10 blocks to the theater and arrived just in time to pay for our tickets, go to the restroom, and purchase a drink before scurrying into the dark theater where the previews had already started. The movie was definitely worth our extra effort; the acting was flawless, and Glenn Close’s portrayal of a wife trapped in desperation was mesmerizing to watch as years of her pent up frustration exploded on the screen before our captive eyes. The ending was completely unexpected; she finally had her freedom but not as the audience expected. I certainly hope that this deserving performance will finally earn Glen Close the Oscar, which has eluded her several times in the past.
Exiting the theater, we walked a few blocks west to the bike shop where I had purchased our 2-hour rentals through a Groupon for $12 prior to the trip. The rental agent informed us that the bike shop closed at 8 PM instead of 9 PM, which I had mistakenly thought. Since it was already 7 PM, we had only an hour to ride the 6.1 miles around the park, including pushing our bikes a few blocks over and back. As directed by our map, we entered the park on Central Drive and proceeded counterclockwise around the perimeter. There were literally hundreds of joggers and bikers following this same route, and it almost felt like a Friday night traffic jam in Atlanta. Bikers zigged and zagged around the joggers and pedestrians, whizzing by us as if we were standing still. The route around the park is hilly, and I needed to lower my gear several times as I strained to make it up some of the hills. Thankfully, neither of us succumbed to dismounting our bikes and pushing them; however, our uphill speed was nothing to brag about 🙂 . Since New York is further east than Atlanta, the sun sets earlier. As we neared the end of the loop, darkness was fast approaching, and many bikers turned on their headlights. We returned our bikes with five minutes to spare, and I crossed off another item on my bucket list: bike through Central Park 🙂 .
I talked Joyce into eating dinner on the patio at Terrace on the Green. Thankfully, I had packed my jacket because it was chilly sitting underneath the canopy of lights on the terrace. Although this restaurant is located in a beautiful, romantic setting in Central Park, the food was really just average. After dinner, Joyce and I lamented that we should have purchased dessert instead of wasting calories on a bland meal that was not very satisfying. We walked back to the parking deck, paid $40 (ouch!) for our car, and drove toward LaGuardia to our hotel. Since it was night and we were not familiar with the highways to Long Island, the drive was a bit stressful; however, Joyce remained calm and we did not miss a turn 🙂 . Arriving to the Wyndham Hotel after 10:30 PM, we were informed that we could either pay $25 for parking or try to find a legal place to park nearby. We carried our luggage to our room and returned to the car in an effort to find a free parking space; however, after circling the streets around the hotel to no avail, we decided to concede and pay the valet fee. We probably didn’t get to sleep until after midnight and had to wake up early the next morning to get to the airport. After a quick breakfast at the hotel, we returned our rental car and took two shuttles back to LaGuardia. I slept during part of our flight home, and was thrilled that my husband had decided to pick me up at the airport rather than have me take MARTA to the North Springs Station. I was glad to be home but already planning our next bike trip on the newly inducted Cardinal Greenway in Indiana.