Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New York City Part 1 (A Three Part Series)

Miranda: Why do I think living in Manahattan is so fantastic?
Carrie: Because it is.
-Sex and the City

I have always been obsessed with New York City. My mom claims it is because my first visit to the "Big Apple" was when I was still in her tummy. Throughout my childhood, I had dreams of becoming famous and NYC seemed just like the place to get my start.

Finally, the summer after my freshman year of college, my mom and I went "back" to the city. We had an amazing time and vowed to someday return together. Flash forward 5 years later, and there we were...sitting at my mom's house on Christmas Eve. She was coming to visit me in DC for New Years, and we were making plans for what we wanted to do to bring in the New Year. That was when a light bulb when off! Why not be spontaneous? Why not fly by the seat of our pants? Thus we began to plan our trip.

One of the best things about living in DC is the close proximity it is to several of the nation's biggest cities. Growing up in south Texas, it took about 6 hours or more to drive to Houston. So the idea of just hopping in the car for only about 3 hours and crossing through at least 3 states seemed blasphemous! DC also gives you several modes of transportation...you can travel by car, bus, train, or plane. Because we wanted to spend most of our money shopping and eating, we voted to take the bus. There are several different bus companies that offer incredibly low priced fares to NYC from DC. As a result of little research on my part, I bought us tickets on the Chinatown bus. Round trip the tickets were only 35 dollars per person...SERIOUSLY!!! What a deal!

Because we wanted to get to NYC as early as possible, Toni and I decided to take the 7am bus on New Years Eve. After waking up at 3:30am (because of Toni), we started to get ready for our adventure. It was a cold and very nasty morning, and while I was in the shower I realized that I had left my IPod Nano at the gym the following day. This, of course, freaked me out! I was not about to head to NYC with the idea that my IPod was maybe just sitting in the locker room of the Senate Gym. We had called the night before for a cab to pick us up. So when our cab driver got there I told him that we needed to stop at the Hart building first (so I could run in and hopefully find my IPod.) I jumped out in the rain at C and 2nd Street NE and ran into the building. Luckily my magical music device was sitting right where I left it...on the treadmill. I normally jam out to Lady Gaga or Britney while I run, but the following morning I had gotten consumed with Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa (I will be writing a blog about her in a few days.) Anyway, back on track...with Ipod in hand, I ran back out to meet Toni in the cab. However, Toni was on an adventure of her own.

The cab driver had thought that I was planning to stay at the Hart Building and my mom was catching the bus by herself. He would not listen to Toni as she repeatedly told him "My daughter is going with us" and just drove her to Chinatown. Finally, I am sure after some stern words, he finally turned around...drove her back to Capitol Hill, and picked me up. From there we headed back to Chinatown and to our bus. After all the confusion, our cab driver pretty much threw us to the curve behind our bus and took off. Either way we were happy we had made it. Now here is a bit of advice when traveling on the Chinatown Bus:

1. Get there early...they leave once the bus is full...and they overbooked our bus.
2. Do not plan to put much in the overhead bins. They are rather small and smell like McDonalds.
3. Take WATER! I have never been so thirsty in my whole life.
4. Don't overpack. If you plan to take a lot of stuff with you to NYC, the bus is not the best mode of transportation for you. You are responsible for loading and unloading all of your stuff, and it is hard to keep track of it. I learned this the hard way. Toni is a bit of an overpacker (although she will claim she isn't...I love you!).

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like fun! I'm dying to go to NYC...the last time I was there I was 12!