We have now learned that all trips from Madison to the east coast in winter involve some sort of incident. In this case, the "incident" was that Grandpa came down with an upper respiratory infection complete with cough, low-grade fever, and wheezing right before we were supposed to fly out to New York for our annual Christmas visit. Not wanting to risk exposing Lemon (who is on his third course of antibiotics so far this winter) to yet another illness, we decided that Lemon and Grandpa couldn't see each other. It was a tough decision, because they have so few chances to get together, but ultimately his health has to come first.
So, instead of staying in Manhattan for five nights and making a daily trip out to Queens on the subway to see Grandma, Grandpa, and Great-Grandma, we decided to just stay in Queens in a hotel so that it would be a short drive for Grandma (who remained healthy) to come see us. And thus it was that we ended up celebrating Christmas in a La Quinta Inn and Suites in South Ozone Park. For those of you who have not had the pleasure, I will only say that there are likely several good reasons why you have not made South Ozone Park a specific destination on your trips to New York City. But, our room was large, clean, and cheap, which was an advantage given that we were basically confined to the hotel for 48 consecutive hours. Grandma came to visit us every day, bringing her magic Duane Reed bag of surprises for Lemon.
In spite of being a little confined, we managed to find ways to keep ourselves entertained.