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Published: February 1st 2020
Had an awesome day today! Or really, the second part was awesome, and the first bit was a little stressful. I’ll start with the first bit.
So, we’ve noticed that when we get to the airports at the recommended time we sit around for ages and ages not doing anything, so today we decided to get to the airport only an hour and a half before the flight (realising on the way that it’s technically international so in hindsight maybe two hours would have been better). We got the train from Union Station, the third biggest station in North America (according to the CN Tower guide) but it was super confusing. The station for the airport is different and therefore has different ticketing, and without realising this we bought tickets from the regular area before following the signs to the airport train. When we got there Adam started to piece it together and he thought we’d bought the wrong tickets, so he went and asked the customer service centre. Turns out we had bought the wrong tickets (which were a lot more expensive) and she couldn’t refund us for the regular ones because it’s a different section.
So while Adam bought the new tickets I ran back down to the regular area to see if I could get money back for the other tickets. We had ten minutes until the train. The other station was a four minute run away. So I ran as fast as I could, arrived at the service desk totally out of breath and panting and wheezing out my words, somehow managed to convey to them what I needed, and they gave me cash back. CASH. Canadian cash which in two hours I was no longer able to use. But anyway, I said thanks and ran back, found Adam anxiously waiting outside the train’s open doors, and we flew onto that train immediately.
Now, normally at home I go for a run every day, so a few minutes sprint isn’t usually what I’d call intense. But I am three weeks out of practice, was dressed in jeans, boots, two coats and a scarf, and was panicking, so when we leapt onto the train it took me about 15 minutes to fully cool down and breathe normally. Which Adam thought was hilarious. And I’m sure you do too.
Anyway, that issue was solved. The next issue was at the airport. Everything is going smoothly, we’ve done this a million times, and suddenly whilst using the security machines (scanning passports etc) it needed fingerprints. Adam got through this process easily, but it literally took ten minutes for the stupid thing to scan my fingers. I was holding them too lightly, or pressing too hard, or my pinky was too far to the left etc etc. It was taking way too long and we were both getting frustrated, watching the minutes tick by and wishing we’d gotten to the airport early. Finally I think the machine gave up because it printed a receipt and told me to go away without even scanning my other hand. I think it needed a little rest after dealing with me.
We got through finally with fifteen minutes to go before boarding, and found a Starbucks to spend the cash I’d been given on breakfast (side note for my coffee fanatic friends- I got a cold brew with salted cream foam! Who even thinks of this stuff?!). We carried our breakfast back to the gate, where they said they’d be boarding our zone in five minutes. So, actually, we timed it absolutely perfectly!
The one hour flight was a bit bumpy, but that didn’t stop Adam sleeping the whole time. I read my book, which I need to have a little rant about for a second. I’m reading The Count of Monte Cristo, which is a 1055 page book with very small print, and I swear I’m reading so much of it but every time I put the bookmark in it’s like I’ve barely made a dent. I read 50 pages on the plane (which doesn’t sound like much but hey, it’s translated from 1800s French) but it looks like I’ve stayed in the exact spot for weeks. Anyway.
We arrived at LaGuardia airport safe and sound, and then began a super confusing hour trying to figure out how to leave. I won’t bore you with all the details, but an Uber to the hotel was going to be about $100aud so we needed to get public transport which is a little complicated. We eventually got a shuttle bus to the subway, and then a subway to 7th Avenue, and then a ten minute walk. The subway was cool at first, because I thought about all the different movie scenes with subways and how exciting it was that I was finally in one. But then I thought about the scene from the Joker, and spent the next 20 minutes staring at the ground hoping nothing bad happened.
And then we finally got to the hotel!!! We’re staying at the Hilton (because how often do you get to go to New York and stay at the Hilton), but it’s one of the garden inn’s so don’t get too excited. It is beautiful though, and we’re close to everything.
Eventually, at about 5:30pm we headed out into the big Apple. I don’t think I’ve conveyed it yet, but I am so so happy and excited to finally see New York! We’re close to Times Square so we couldn’t resist heading there first, and its exactly what I always imagined. Except for the fact that there was a Trump rally going on. That was a bit of a mood-killer. First things first though, we needed a hot dog from a hot dog cart. But we also needed cash to purchase said hot dog. Thus began an hour of searching for an ATM that would accept our cards. Eventually we got some cash and got our hot dogs! They were wonderfully average, and I loved it. We then walked around Times Square for a while, and eventually decided on pizza for dinner. We passed heaps of pizza places, but Adam kept saying no to all of them.
“I know what I want but I don’t know how to describe what I want,” he said, “and I know it’s not any of these restaurants. It’s gotta be something more...authentic.”
“Are you thinking of something like a hole in the wall, 99 cents for a pizza slice, not sure if they’ve ever had a health safety inspection type place?” I asked.
“Yes. Yes that’s actually exactly what I’m thinking of.”
And you won’t believe this, but around the corner from our hotel is a tiny, hole in the wall, 99 cent pizza place, that serves only cheese pizza and has a long line out the door. So we got a slice. And it is the best pizza I have ever had. Sorry, Italian restaurants.
We headed back to Times Square then and went to Sephora (I needed new eyebrow tint and we also got some face masks to rejuvenate our tired, winter-affected faces), the Hershey’s store, the MnMs store, and Levi’s. Of the two pairs of jeans I have on this trip, one was $7 from Kmart and the other is so old I can’t even remember where it was from, but they’re very worn, way too big, and Adam has been hounding me for ages to throw them out. So we went to get new jeans! Levi’s was too expensive, but we found the perfect pair at GAP. After our random but successful shopping trip, it was 9pm and raining, so we headed back to the hotel.
We played cards for a few hours, and eventually we realised we were hungry again. Hey, don’t give me that look. Technically the hot dog and the slice of pizza we’d had earlier was really our lunch, because we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, so really we hadn’t had dinner yet. So Adam went and got us some more slices of pizza from the 99 cent store, and we ate pizza and watched tv until midnight.
It was an awesome first half day in New York, and I absolutely cannot wait til tomorrow for our first full day!
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