The culminating event of my entrance into the world of being 40 was a trip to NYC. As a tribute to our trip, I promised my friend I would recount our adventures in my blog for the world to see. For you, AP.
Traveling with folks who have never been to the Big Apple, I knew our trip was likely to have several adventures. Unfortunately, the fun began when Ellie May here tried to make it through security at the airport with a corkscrew in my purse. (A girl’s GOT to be able to open her wine!) Needless to say, I was escorted out of security , corkscrew in hand, to return my weapon of mass destruction to the car. Who knew the new TSA regulations hadn’t started!?
Our flight to NYC was great; actually arriving ahead of schedule. There was no problem with that, except the car we had secured to take us into the city wasn’t there yet. As the boys sat chatting, M said to T, “I just got the dispatch, they are on the way” (referring to our car, of course). However, my dear, sweet and very blonde friend says, “Oh! Our bags?”
After a good long laugh at her expense, we continued to wait for the driver. Our pickup time came and went and a call was placed to the agency responsible for our pickup. The driver had been waiting for over 30 minutes for us, passing us as he paced several times.
So the journey to the car finally began. As we walked, the driver turned to A (my girlfriend) and asked if we were the ones who had been laughing so loud. Yet another round of laughter as we trekked through the concourse.
We finally arrive at the car and the driver begins opening the trunk. Our bags though, decided they weren’t finished traveling and continued to roll through the parking lot. Run, Driver, Run!
Exploring the city, 5th Avenue to be specific, was great fun. Our first night ended with a trip to Yankee Stadium for a baseball game. Reminder, my traveling companions had never been to the city so didn’t really yet understand mass transit in NYC. T (A’s husband), therefore follows the suggestion given to him by our ticket connection; that we again take a car to the stadium. Did I mention we are IN MANHATTAN? I explained that the subway would take us directly to the stadium. But, at this point, none of my people are willing to take that first step down the stairs to the unknown world of underground travel. $110 ride later, yes, that was one way, T decides maybe going back by the $2.50 subway may not be half bad.
So begins the Great Subway Adventure. One fact I failed to mention to the group was that everyone FROM MANHATTAN at the game would also need to return to the city. Imagine all of Yankee Stadium trying to cram into the train…yeah, they LOVED that as their first taste of NYC underground transit. I’m not sure which was better though, trying to secure a metrocard or the sheer experience of riding like sardines. I got a good smile from it all.
We part ways for the night and know the next day will hold more fun. After being a member of a “live studio audience” for Michael and Kelly, we began the journey to Chinatown. Knowing the pitfalls of the evening before, I again offered travel via the subway, explaining that their experience the prior night was not a typical one. So three trusting souls again entered the land of underground travel. Let’s just say we got another really good laugh, becuase I was 0-2 when it came to selling public transit. Although this time it wasn’t crowded, there was the distinct smell of vomit that was pervasive through the car.
Fresh air in Chinatown…ahhhh. We decide to first visit Little Italy for a little lunch. After being hexed by a restaurant owner for not dining at his establishment (he had a pending sanitation grade–ICK), we settled into a nice, stereotypical little place. My typical drink of choice has become club soda with lime. So after ordering this, A asks about my selection. We have a discussion on the topic that ends with my dear friend saying, “at least its not nasty like that stuff that you get when the drink machine runs out of syrup!” Another good, long, hard laugh at her expense.
Well fed and smiling, we return to Chinatown. It had been a while since my last trip to NYC and apparently there have been some changes in the way business is done there. I had prepared A for trips behind closed doors to see walls of designer-esque purses and jewelry and warned her to not travel down alleys with folks making promises of Prada. There are no more hidden rooms and I had an extremely hard time finding a vendor to work with….UNTIL I figured out what was going on. As A and I shopped, the boys stood on the street, sunglasses on, watching us travel into and out of the various shops. Wanting to try on a piece jewlery, one vendor finally asked me, before she would allow me to handle the merchandise, if the man on the street was my husband. I responded that yes, the two of them were with me and she breathed a sigh of relief; that they weren’t “the people”. Yet another laugh…waiting husbands are now the Pocketbook Gestapo.
Dinner that night was at Tao, an upscale Asian restaurant. While perusing the menu, A again provides us with yet another moment of laughter. She asks us if we know what squab is; as it was the protein in a dish she was considering. We tell her that squab is pigeon, and a nice, loud, southern “Holy Hell!” echoes around the table.
There are a few other tales of our adventure that I promised I would leave out of the blog to protect the innocent, but can assure you they too would make you laugh.
I share these memories with the world because throughout those 96 hours, i thought often of the times A and I shared over the years. When our adventure began we hadn’t seen each other in quite a while, but felt like I had been with her just the day before. There are very few people in my life that I feel that kinship with, but cherish the moments with her, and each of my other friends like her as priceless treasures.
Here you go, AP, I hope you think it has a happy ending. 🙂