Wednesday, December 28, 2005

NYBG Holiday Extravaganza!

The line was long. Very long.

Too long.

The hordes trudged up the far path to the conservatory, where the famous holiday train lay running. Even a casual glance informed the aware of the obvious: we weren't going to make it. For it was already 4:00 PM. The NYBG would cease allowing visitors into the conservatory at 5:30 PM.

That line would not move that fast. Yes, there were that many people there!

It was a free-admissions Wednesday, after all.

Not that that included seeing the holiday exibits. Like the trains. Oh, no! Those were extra--above and beyond the price of admission.

We stepped onto Perennial Way proper at around 3PM. A stroll along the path had brought us past the conservatory to the awaiting cross path. A cafe and shopping frenzy awaited us on the right. A tram stop and signs pointing to the Children's Adventure Garden stood at our left.

Guess which way we headed?


A brief wait, and our Fine Young Fool posed with each of us by Thomas the Tank Engine. The arduous trek through the Children's Adventure Garden brought us to a Ginger Bread house, which our FYF refused to enter. What a wasted opportunity.

Upon our return to the intersection of Perennial Way, we discovered the hordes lined up for the conservatory. Confident that time would erode their will and diminish the line, we window-shopped at the tourists' La Brea Tarpit gift shop. After a worldwind tour of the premises, we again embarked on our quest for trains.

Unfortunately, our earlier confidence proved to be misplaced. The line hadn't gotten shorter.

It had gotten longer.

Much longer.

We shuddered to think as we took our place among the herd. FYF would soon need diversion. My Blushing Bride took the first turn striding up Perennial Way with him. I took the painfully tentative steps forward our line allowed. That's when hope dawned.

A young woman from the NYBG offered memberships to those awaiting entry. For $90.00 a year, a family could enjoy free entry and parking to the Garden anytime for the next year. Including today.

That meant no waiting in line.

My eyes perked up. Entering the conservatory ahead of the hordes looked real good right then! The trouble is, I had already paid for parking and our tickets to see the train. That, plus another $90 would place me in the doghouse with the BB for a year. Or worse!

She returned a short time later. I hadn't moved much further then when she left. Just as we began to realize that we weren't going to make it, another NYBG associate came by offering membership. By this time, many of us salivated at the very chance we could just walk in. They could have asked us to take out a mortgage and we would have happily signed up! The BB, however, kept her head about her.

"We already paid to come today. How would we work that out?" she asked the associate.

"Well, we would deduct that from your membership, including parking," the associate, a middle-aged woman with a genteel smile, replied, "That would come to $47 for a membership, active today."

I looked at the Blushing Bride. She looked back. We both smiled. I already had my VISA card out.

Seconds later, we dashed past the hordes and entered the conservatory. Ah, the priviledges of membership!

Was it worth it? You decide:

Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall!

St. Patrick's Cathedral!

Coming around past the NYBG Conservatory!

Come on! How nice is this?

Want to see more? Check out my page at Flickr!