Elevators. Again.

I prefer elevators not to take me to the 17th floor. I mean, I prefer for me not to need them to do this. Elevators are obviously a better solution than walking all the way up. First hotel I was given a room on floor 17. I closed my eyes, prayed and survived the night, before going downstairs and begging to get something a little further down. I even arranged my facial features into a semblance of a smile, to look friendlier and maybe be more successful. Five was the lowest they go. I was happy with five. But still needed to use the elevator to get there. The ones they had clanked like wooden boxes being dragged up manually by someone.

Elevators continued being an issue, but always a new issue in each place. Next hotel had five lifts, unless you stayed on 16 or above, in which case there were faster ones to get you started. But it would have helped if all were in operation. Two lifts for the period when hundreds of new guests arrive is a little frugal. It took us half an hour to go down four floors, get cups of tea, and travel back four floors.

By Toronto there were more elevators than customers.

Elton John was there. In San Antonio. On his farewell tour we hit town on the same date. We had the wedding, he had his 65 000 fans. But somehow we all fitted into the same elevators.

It’s generally a nice thing to see real people when you’re away, so for New York I had arranged to meet blogger Monica Edinger, who has been writing Educating Alice. I’ve been aware of Monica for years, with some direct contact, and knew she lives in Manhattan. In fact, she lives in what I would term the archetypal New York apartment block. Very New York, in other words. As was her little dog, Ruby. We talked picture books and travelling, and Daughter turned out to be best versed and kept me afloat. (They’ve been to the same places.)

Last but not least there was Cousin E, who lives near Cousin C. She’s often more tied up with ‘life’, so it was a special bonus to visit Cousin E for a chilly but sunny afternoon tea in her garden. This was because of concern over Covid, but as I said, we have had two winters of cold meals outside, and we’d love to sit in her garden. It’s a nice garden, too. While one can sometimes conjure up what houses might look like, I had not been able to imagine the outside. E’s husband D had been baking, which was very kind of him. Also briefly saw their son J, so that was three new face-to-face moments. Well worth the efforts of getting to Canada.

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