So...last week was, of course, when the blizzard hit. The University of Arkansas was closed Tuesday-Thursday, and I don't have the best luck driving in the wintry weather, so needless to say I stayed home for 3 days straight! Friday was a different story...I had a plane ticket to go to New York to visit my German friend who is doing an internship there right now. I had debated on whether or not I should go because of the weather, but she is not going to be there much longer and I wanted to be able to see her one last time before she goes back to Germany in early April. So I braved the roads...the main roads and the freeway were actually not too terrible...my neighborhood was another story, specifically my driveway...
|Solid ice from the neighborhood kids sledding down it for 3 days straight!|
|And just to give you an idea since it wasn't that obvious in the previous picture, here is my neighbor's driveway. I live in a duplex, so our driveway has the exact same slope as this. Giant slope + solid ice = scared Lauren|
So seriously, I was terrified. But I kinda figured if I could make it out of my garage and down the driveway in one piece, I could handle anything...
I made it down successfully, although it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life...and then loaded up the car with the bags and dogs (thought it would be best to not have the distraction of two raging pit bulls in the back seat while trying to control a vehicle down a slippery slope...) and got on my way.
I had to take the dogs to the vet to be boarded (which I hate doing, but I didn't really have any other options, and I wasn't going to ask anybody to risk their lives on the crazy roads to come to my house and puppysit for me), so I did that first. A typically 6 minute drive, took me about 25 minutes. But we made it :) Then I headed to the airport...and let me just say, that if ever in my life I own a 4 wheel drive vehicle, I will use it for good and not evil. Those people are crazy and what makes these conditions most dangerous for the rest of us! Anyways...I made it to my flight in plenty of time, although it took me a little more than twice as much time as normal to get to the airport...if you've ever been to XNA, you'd understand why. Yes, the main roads and freeway were clear, but apparently in Northwest Arkansas we think it's fun to put our airport in the middle of nowhere, where the only way to get there is to drive on backroads with hills and twists and turns. It was fun...
Anyways, my flight that was supposed to land at 2:30 pm somehow managed to land at 1:45 pm. I've got to say I've never been on a plane that arrived 45 minutes EARLY to it's destination. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that there was a total of 13 people on the plane...including the two pilots and the flight attendant. haha. I had lots of time to kill, because Katie didn't get off work until that evening and wouldn't be able to meet up with me until about 6pm. So there was me, wandering around New York City with a duffle bag on one shoulder and my laptop on the other. When Katie finally arrived, I was relieved! She knew of a hotel that had lockers you could pay to store your luggage in, so we did that and got on with our evening!
I had never been to New York, which also means I had never seen a Broadway show...so we went to see Mamma Mia! It was a lot of fun...the movie is almost the exact same. The best part was, the show was not near sold out, and we were able to get student tickets for only $31 :)
After that, it was 10:30 at night and we were starving...so we went to Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. on Times Square.
|Me with my and Katie's cocktails...they tasted like mostly fruit juice, but we got to keep the cups! haha|
|The drink and dessert menu was made from a ping pong paddle :)|
|This was for when you wanted to get your waiter's attention...|
It was a little pricey, but that was to be expected on Times Square I suppose. We had fun and we were so hungry that it didn't matter at that point. After that we went to the hotel to pick up my bags, and went to Grand Central Station to get on a train to take us to Katie's house...which was about an hour ride, plus about a 10 minute walk (in the snow/ice I might add...haha). We got back to her house and got settled by about 3am...I was exhausted!
On to Day 2 of New York...
We got up fairly early, made our way to the train station and road back into the city. It was really rainy and foggy all day, so sightseeing was kinda a pain, but we did it anyways!
|On the Brooklyn Bridge foot path! Katie said normally you can see the whole Manhattan skyline in the background, but not through the fog!|
|We went and saw Ground Zero and what they are currently working on for the 9/11 Memorial. This is what they are planning on building in it's place. It was so sad to see all of that :(|
|Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum...me and Jerry Lee Lewis were rockin' out! :)|
After a long day of walking around in the rain, I really wanted to go see Wicked on Broadway, but when we got to the ticket window, it was just way too expensive. So we opted to go grab a quick dinner and then see what we wanted to do next. We went to a little "fast" food Chinese-ish place. It did not sit too well with my stomach, so that along with being completely exhausted from going to bed at like 3:30am and walking around in the cold and rain all day, I was not feeling my best. We started walking around and decided to stop at a little pub that claimed they were having a stand-up comedy show that night. And let me just say...I have never been so humiliated to be an American than at that moment. First of all, I was irritated because I wasn't feeling well, then they practically attack us at the door and say, "Come in for a "free" comedy show!" The once we're in, the proceed to tell us that we have to order a minimum of $10/person to be able to go to the show. I wasn't to keen on the show anyways, just trying to find a place to sit and relax. So the idea of spending 10 bucks trying to stuff more food/drinks in my already upset stomach nearly made me nauseous. So after some explaining...they agreed to let us spend $10 total. So we sit down in this room of a whopping 9 people including the waiter and the "comedian"...and this loser gets on stage and basically starts ragging on me because I was texting and not paying attention to him. I then look up at him and say, "I'm a female, I can multi-task. Say something funny and maybe I'll pay attention to you." He made some nasty comment and then started asking the other 6 people in the room where they were from. Two were from South America, two from UK and the two girls I was with were from Germany. I was the only American in the room, and he asked me where I was from and I said Oklahoma. Then he goes on making comments insinuating that since I'm from Oklahoma I must be 1) completely unintelligent 2) incapable of knowing what a good time was and 3) in New York to get an understanding of what fun was. He also told me that 1) it's no wonder I didn't have a man, and when I let him know that I did, and a very good one at that, 2) "He had to be the most miserable F*** alive to have to live with someone as miserable as you", and 3) when I let him know that we were actually very happy and have been together for nearly a year and a half, he proceeded to tell me he "guaranteed he had cheated on me at least 5 times by now." It took everything I had not to die laughing, but at the same time I was in complete and utter disgust. Here I am, the ONLY North American in a room full for foreigners, most of which were experiencing the United States for the first time, and another "American" is being utterly disrespectful to one of his "own" people. I was embarrassed for him, and felt so sorry for those people that THAT was the first thing they experienced about the U.S.
Needless to say, I got a wonderful reminder that night that you should never judge a book by its cover, sometimes people just have bad days, and you should always have enough respect for humanity to get to know a person at least a little bit before you start telling them a bunch of ugly things about them that couldn't be further from the truth. Just so everyone is aware, I called Walter laughing to tell him what had just happened...and his first response was, "He is lucky I wasn't there..." Me too...my boyfriend might be in jail for murder. haha. That experience also definitely made me appreciate how blessed I actually am...here this "comedian" is, saying all these horrible things to me about the man I'm in love with...and I could completely shake ALL of it off because I knew it couldn't be more wrong. That makes me happy :)
Anyways...onto the Day 3 - My last day in New York!
|More sightseeing - this is the Rockefeller Center|
|Central Park - It was probably my favorite part...I bet is gorgeous in the fall!|
|Some random guy in the subway station playing a steel drum. There were musicians/bands everywhere in the subway stations, but this guy was my favorite...he was so friendly and helped us figure out the right train to get on!|
|Last adventure - Chinatown for the Chinese New Year Parade...WAY too many people for my taste, but cool to say we went!|
After that, we went to Little Italy (right by Chinatown) and had some Italian food for lunch. Then we rushed back to the subway station so I could go by the hotel locker and pick up my bags and head back to the airport. I had to take a subway to a bus stop, then a bus to the airport...I really hate the transportation system there. Half the stops for the subway are shut down for construction or just not stopping there for no reason, and somehow I managed to follow the signs EXACTLY and get on the "wrong bus"...which I STILL don't understand, I got on the Q33 bus as I was told, which ultimately took me back to the airport, it just took FOREVER. Sorry if that was confusing...I honestly can't explain it myself because I'm still confused.
So in summary, I am glad I got the opportunity to go to New York, say I've been, see a few things and have that experience. But I can wholeheartedly say I would NEVER want to live anywhere near there and have absolutely no desire to ever go back. I love my car (not subways) and the southern hospitality way too much! I don't care what people think about us Oklahomans/Arkansans...at least we are friendly and know how to treat people....especially those that are "guests" to us! I must say, I'm very proud and feel lucky to be where I'm from :)
I was going to do my Day 6 of my 30 day blog journal today, but this is already long enough, and I need to eat something for breakfast! Enjoy :)