The next day started with a trio of phone calls at five o'clock in the morning. They each picked up their wake up calls and sleepily greeted the operator. After a few minutes, the showers of the suites two bathrooms could be heard, along with show tunes being sung loudly but beautifully from the smaller bathroom. The old man enjoyed the shower and the serenade, feeling fully refreshed and ready to start the day. He carefully dressed, aiming to go for sporty but comfortable, knowing they had a long day ahead of them.
He emerged from his room of the suite, to see mike sitting at the table enjoying a cup of orange juice and reading the morning paper. The old man stretched and made his way to the table, pouring a glass of juice and sitting down.
"What's for breakfast?" asked the old man.
"Number fifty one." said Sukie coming out from the room behind them.
"Fifty one?" asked mike.
"You don't mean..." started the old man who trailed off as Sukie nodded.
"Yep!" she answered excitedly.
"Oh, awesome! We'll take a cab too?" asked the old man, the excitement palpable in his voice. Sukie nodded as the old man beamed. "that's two down early today. Excellent."
Mike sat there for about half a minute in silence as he contemplated his juice, before the light bulb went on over his head. "Are we going to Tiffany and Company?" he asked.
"Yes, you got it in one." answered Sukie. "figure, today, we'll be doing a lot of literary things in the morning."
"Literary?" asked Mike.
"Yeah," said the old man, "If I'm not mistaken, we will be headed out to visit some of the places in some of my favorite books."
"Which books?" asked mike, sounding very interested in what the answer would be.
"For starters, Breakfast at Tiffany's, by Truman capote." said the old man as Sukie and mike nodded. Mike glanced out the open window and saw the exterior of the museum of natural history framed by the trees of central park.
"Let me guess," started Mike, as he glanced out the window again. "You still wonder about the ducks in the pond." said mike. The old man laughed and nodded. Sukie nodded her head as she said, "Yep, we're following the catcher in the rye today too."
"I've always loved that book," missed the old man. "It's a sort of escapist fiction, I guess," he said as he shrugged. "It's always been my favorite genre. I guess, that's partly why I was inspired to make the list."
A knock was heard at the door. The old man looked Down At his watch and said. "At least our man is pretty close to punctual. It's just about six now." Mike nodded in agreement ad he went to the door. He glanced out the peep hole, and took a step back and stood up straight as he opened the door.
From the table, all Sukie and the old man could see was mike standing straight as a pillar peering through the open door. They heard a gruff voice say, "Permission to come aboard?"
Mike smiled, and saluted as he stepped aside while saying "Permission granted, you old bugger! Get on in here!"
The man who entered stood about six feet six inches, with an impressive beard and mustache on his smiling face. He was carrying a paper bag and a carrying tray with four coffees on it.
"Mike, take this stuff, I gotta fix my gear." he said as he handed mike the tray of coffee. Mike walked inside and set the coffees Down onto the table, as the large man adjusted an impossibly large backpack. He carefully set it down, and made his way to the table.
"Hey, I'm Don, I'll be your silent partner today" said the large man as he reached across the table and shook Sukie's hand first, and then the old mans next. "I got the call from Mr. Wong last night, and I happened to be in town, with plenty of free time, and so, here I am."
The four chatted for a few moments, discussing the days plans. Don glanced at his watch, and said, "No time better than the present to get going, we can get a great view of manhattan henge, and the streets around Tiffany's won't be so clogged." They agreed, and put themselves together to go out.
Ten minutes later, they were in front of the building, mike and don with cameras in tow, Sukie and the old man carrying breakfast, waiting for a cab. "You three in the first cab. I'll meet you there in a few minutes." said don, as he moved around filming.
"you sure?" asked the old man.
Don laughed. "Ronin picked me because I'm practically like a ghost if I need to be. You'll barely notice me, but I will be around." Mike nodded, "He's the best of the best. With him, there's nit a shot that will be missed."
Don laughed, "Now, I'm going to end up with a swelled head. Okay. Enough chat. We'll meet up for lunch later. Have fun!"
The hotel doorman waved down the next cab that passed, and opened the door for the three. Sukie climbed in first, followed by the old man and then Mike.
"Where to?" asked the driver in a heavy Brooklyn accent.
"Tiffany's, please." said the old man, beaming.
"Okay." said the driver as he pulled off into traffic. The old man looked out the windows.
"The city is so calm this time of day," remarked the old man as they easily navigated the streets. "Sukie, you gotta take a picture of is in the cab, you know, this is my first cab ride ever." The cab driver laughed as he heard the old man speak. Sukie held the camera at arms length and snapped a photo of the trio in the cab. They looked out the windows, pointing out landmarks.
They were driving through central park, and the old man leaned forward and asked the driver "Hey, sir, you ever wonder what happens to the ducks in the pond in the winter?"
The cab driver laughed heartily then replied, "You know, I usually get that question driving through here. I ended up looking it up. Turns out the ducks never leave, they stay here year round, but if the weathers especially nasty out, they go and shelter themselves in the park."
"Hey, thanks." said the old man. "I have always wondered about that as a kid."
"You're nit the only one," said the driver. "They don't go into it in the book, so I looked it up in the computer. I think if google had existed when Salinger wrote that book, it would be an entirely different thing." the old man nodded in agreement. The cab pulled over in front of the granite facade of the famous jewelry store. They paid the cab driver before stepping out of the cab and stretching.
Together, the trio walked to the first display window. Mike was careful to film the old man opening and taking the first sip of his coffee while he looked into the window in awe of the display. The diamonds glittered like prisms,and little rainbows showered the entire window. Sukie and the old man pointed at particularly spectacular pieces in the window as they oohed and ahed.
Eventually, they made their way around the entire building after carefully examining all the windows. An older man came out from the front door of the store, and approached the trio.
"Hello, we were expecting you!" said the man. The three looked at him, surprised.
"Expecting us?" asked the old man.
"Yes, we have arranged a special private tour for you, Mr. Wong arranged it earlier, I take it that he left it as a surprise?"
Sukie nodded her head. "Mr. Wong seems to be chock full of surprises on this trip."
"Yes, I know him for many years," said the older man as he guided them inside the store. "He's pretty well known to us for spur of the minute things. We here at Tiffany's aim to please, as he always shows us in the best light. By the way, My name is Joseph, and I am one of the general managers here, and I will be leading your tour."
They began the tour, looking through the multitude of cases on the first floor. As they finished, the old man thought that he has seen it all, until the older man guided them to the elevator in the back of the showroom. They visited all the floors, marveling at all of the amazing pieces. On the diamond floor, Joseph showed the trio a nearly flawless diamond the size of a marble. The sight of it nearly took their breath away, but the mention of the cost succeeded where the stone's beauty did not. As they finished up their tour, Joseph smiled and lead them back down to the main floor.
"As a token of our appreciation of you choosing to include us in your adventures, we'd like to give you a little token." Joseph smiled and reached into the inside breast pocket of his suit jacket, and pulled out a small blue box. He handed it to the old man. "Please open it, I insist!" he said, smiling.
The old man opened the box, and saw a little blue leatherette bag inside. He finally understood why people loved getting gifts from Tiffany and Company- the presentation was impeccable. Opening the little bag, he pulled out a small rectangular key chain, with the Tiffany and Company logo on one side, and the reverse was engraved, "Best of luck in all of your adventures, T & Co." The old man's smile was huge as he marveled at the key chain.
"Thank you so much! I've been collecting these, and it's a perfect reminder of this day!" The old man insisted to Sukie that she should take a picture of him and Joseph in front of the famous windows. She snapped the photo, and after they had said their farewells, they stood outside in the crisp air. They finished their breakfasts as they started walking up town towards Rockefeller center.
"What did Don mean when he mentioned Manhattan henge?" asked the old man. Mike smiled As he replied. "Manhattans buildings are on such a precise grid, aligned north, south, east and west, that if you stand in the right place on the right time of year, at the right time of day, the setting sun aligns with the buildings on the east west streets, and is really cool."
"Is today the right time?" the old man asked.
"Kinda. It might be a little early, but I could be wrong, we can check it out tonight to see." the old man was fully satisfied with Mikes answer, and they continued their way north.