Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Travel Log - Day 1, Part 1

This is the Day 1, Part 1 entry covering my recent trip to New York City. Please note: this trip was taken with my son who was not-quite-21 (this will be important later) as an early birthday present. Why go in March? It was Spring Break, natch.

Thursday, March 8: Awakened by alarm clock @ 4:45 am. Check on my son, who was supposed to come over in the middle of the night, "After I do laundry." Of course, he wasn't there. Call his unfortunate roommate on his cell phone and ask him to go kick my son and tell him he was going to miss the trip. The (obviously well-trained and polite) young man agreed to do so.

My son pulls in the driveway 2 minutes before we are supposed to leave for the airport. It was destined to be that sort of trip, I mused. Repacked his stuff a bit because, as expected, he hadn't checked the FAA or current airport regulations to know that no liquids or gels more than 3 ounces can be taken in a carry-on bag. We get to the airport parking deck with him dozing and me in a bit of a fog (this also becomes important later). Make the flight and get through security with no problems. Good weather, good flight, arrive at La Guardia about 8:45.

Catch a cab right away. Cabbie takes the longest route ever to the Park Central Hotel - seriously. Through Spanish Harlem to the far side of Central Park, then down 7th. But, we got a great tour of Central Park, so it was worth the extra $9, I suppose. There is snow on the ground from the day before, the wind is icy, the sun is shining. A lovely day.

The hotel lets us check in, even though it's only 9:30 am. Sweet! Especially since my son has been camping in the mountains for several days and only skidded into town in time to make this trip. All his clothes, he informs me, are dirty. At least he can shower, since we're in our room. "Showering" takes about an hour and a half when you are my son. The selection of the right outfit for one's first day in NYC is, apparently, mission critical. There is no hairdryer in our room. Sensing a crisis brewing, I call for one. It does not appear before my patience evaporates and I force my son to put on a coat and leave the room.

We walk to the Tourist Information center to buy Metro cards and pick up the requisite maps of subway and city. Armed, we head to Chinatown. My son has never ridden the subway before and is charmed by how NYC everything is. In Chinatown, he haggles with a guy over the price of a knit hat with flaps, but doesn't buy it (he regrets this later). He does buy a hat from a different guy. This one looks like a fourth-grader made it from scraps of fabric he found lying about, then gave it to his dog to chew on. It has a poorly-executed skull-and-crossbones on it. My son adores it and wears it the rest of the day (this also becomes important later).

More to follow, wherein shopping is accomplished and leather is lusted after.



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