New York state of mind, or something

Here’s the recap of the rest of our NYC trip, and be warned, this is going to be long. But first, a funny story. After that last post, our plan for the day started like this: Go to T’s apartment. Have breakfast with family. Everyone gets on the subway and heads down to the ferry, which will then take us to Ellis Island. Great!

Here’s what actually happened. We took 3 steps out of our hotel, and a giant inflatable Scooby-Doo floated by several stories above us. As it turns out, the route that would take Dave and I from our hotel to my sister’s apartment required us to pass through Times Square, which was sort of a main artery of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. And guess what? You can’t cross a parade route. I got out my cell and called my sister.

Me (yelling over the crowd noise): We can’t get to your place because the parade is coming down Broadway.
Her: The what?
Me: The parade? That happens every Thanksgiving?
Her: Seriously?
Me: Um, yeah. In fact, Big Bird is passing in front of us as I speak.

She tried to give me a different route, but basically it just wasn’t happening. So the revised plan became: Dave and I would find breakfast on our own, catch the subway ourselves to the ferry point, and meet up with my family there. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Right. Here’s how that played out. We got on the subway (quick aside: before we got on, Dave stopped to have a smoke in Bryant Park. I just realized today watching Project Runway reruns that that is the place where their Fashion Week show was. Love it!). And because Dave stupidly let me be in charge of reading the subway map, I got us on the correct train, but going the wrong direction. We were in Queens before we realized our error. Oops. So we got off, walked across the platform, got back on the train going the right direction, and rode it to our stop. We had to change trains then, and I was starving to the point of crankiness, so we thought we’d get out and look around for food there. Guess what? Most restaurants are closed on Thanksgiving. So we had breakfast at McDonald’s, which is the first time I’ve eaten there since seeing “Super-Size Me,” and it was just as revolting as I thought it would be. Blecch. Then we finally found our second train, met up with the family, and did the whole tourist thing for the rest of the day.

Friday, we all split up. My folks left, Dave went off in search of boy things (video games and such), my brother used my sister’s guest pass to work out at her gym, and my sister and I went shopping. Ah, Macy’s, how do I love thee? The Macy’s in New York is nothing like it is here. It’s 8 stories tall and takes up 2 buildings. It is truly an awesome sight to behold. And I did well in the self-control department, I only bought one pair of pants (black corduroy, and yes, they were on sale) and one pair of really adorable shoes (only I got them in black, not champagne).

That night, Dave crashed early, so my siblings and I went to this karaoke place where you can rent a room by the hour and sing all the karaoke you want in a soundproof room, just you and your friends. That turned out to be pretty hilarious. I couldn’t even begin to tell you all of the songs that we sang, but a few of the artists include Britney Spears, ABBA, Captain & Tenille, Reba McEntire, Elton John, Barenaked Ladies, Van Halen, Weezer, Billy Joel, Electric Light Orchestra, and at least a couple dozen more that I’m forgetting. We were there for well over 3 hours. It was great.

Saturday, my brother left early in the morning, and we had some time to kill before our flight, so my sister took us to see the World Trade Center site. It’s a weird place to go as a tourist – there’s just a general sadness in the air, and you notice that everyone on the street is a lot quieter. It’s almost like going to a cemetary to pay your respects, or visiting one of the concentration camps in Europe – only in this case, there isn’t really anything left to see except a huge hole in the ground. We didn’t stay there too long, it’s a bit overwhelming. On our way back, we passed through Grand Central Station so Dave could see it from the inside. It’s really beautiful there, and the bustling of noise and activity was quite a contrast to the place we had just left.

The flight home was pretty miserable. I’m still sick – the severely cold weather in NYC didn’t help me at all – if anything, I think I might be worse, and I’m going to try to get in to see my doctor tomorrow. So, from a sinus standpoint, I was in hell for 5 1/2 hours. Also, the in-flight movie was “Must Love Dogs”, which I watched out of boredom, and god, that was a piece of crap film. Good actors, bad movie.

That about sums it up. We had a great time, I’m just happy to be home and sleeping in my own bed now. I missed the cats, too. And hey, I start a new job this week! Woo!