Who's ready for a trip to New York! Okay, here we go!
Ryan drove us to the airport early Saturday morning to catch our first flight from San Diego to Nashville. This has been our first trip in awhile. I think the last was two years ago when we went to Vegas for the T family reunion. One thing to note here, so I will always remember: the Southwest corridor of the San Diego airport stinks. There are literally no restaurants, so you're forced to go to the one little snack area to buy gross sandwiches and water bottles that total $30 for two people. $30! Somehow we always forget that, and we just figure we'll eat breakfast once we've checked in, and we always get screwed over that way. So future self, when you read this, get breakfast at home!
Okay, on to New York.
Our first plane was crazy full and we were in the last group to board so we didn't even get to sit together on the longest part of the trek. Luckily, we were in the middle of a group of kids and adults from Nashville who were returning from a Mexico missions trip, so that entire part of the plane was both sleepy and super nice. The flight was over three hours, but I'll admit it seemed to go much faster. I must have nodded off at some point because I was shocked to see (on the new Southwest tracker app that one of the missions trip chaperones showed me) that we were approaching Nashville already.
After a quick layover where we found ourselves in a real airport with real food (hello, Quiznos, I love you and your under $10 meals), we were back in the air for the second leg of the trip. The airplane gods were with us on this one, because for the second time in our lives we ended up on a super empty plane, so we were really able to sprawl out for the last two hours of the trip.
Chris edited. I watched free TV shows on the Southwest app, monitored our progress to New York, and leaned over him frequently to look out the window.
We found Sarah waiting for us at La Guardia. Hurray, we were there! I pulled on a sweater since it was now evening and, you know, the east coast is obviously colder than California. Then we stepped outside and got hit with Palm Springs night weather. If you've ever been to Palm Springs you know exactly what I'm talking about, and if you haven't it's hot and sweaty with no wind and leaves you thinking, "How can it possibly be this hot at night?"
I took my sweater off. (And didn't put it on again all week.)
We took a taxi into the city. Taxi's have gotten fancy, we discovered. They now have credit card readers and TVs in the backseat. Using my maps app, I tracked our movement from the airport to our little accommodations in the city. Down Queens. Over the Manhattan Bridge. Up Mulberry. And there we were.
So... it wasn't all that great of a place. We were on a dark, cramped, one way street. The building across the street was completely covered in construction. The street was strewn with dumpsters and trash that hadn't made it in them. Chris had told us that we weren't living glamourously, we were just renting out a simple little two-bedroom apartment in Nolita. What he did not tell us? It was a fourth floor walk up with no elevator. (What I did not tell him? I will be requesting full descriptions and photos next time we rent out a place. Question # 1: How many flights up is it? Question #2: Elevator?)
When we'd finally lugged our suitcases up those stairs, we were all (more) sweaty and exhausted.
The apartment was muggy when we finally got inside, so we cranked up the window coolers and did what anybody would do at 10pm after flying all day: we headed to the Empire State Building.
So here's the deal with the Empire State Building, and this is something Chris told us beforehand: It's not that great. You wait in line for a long time. I'd read that the best time to do it is early morning or late night, which is why we decided it might be good to just get it out of the way the first night. It still took 4 hours to get to the top and back down. And really, the view isn't that great. (When we went to the Rockefeller Building later on that week, the views were much better and we didn't wait in line at all.)
We made it back to our apartment early the next morning, delighted to find that the window coolers actually worked and our little New York apartment was nice and cold. We decided to never turn them off all week, so it would always be cold when we returned. (Did I mention it was HOT?) We all had to take showers that night because we were so gross from the heat, and we discovered the shower had pretty much no water pressure. It was more of a dribble, which made trying to get all the shampoo out of long hair super fun. (Question #3: What's the water pressure like? And that and elevators are really the extent of my criteria for a rental.)
After that we hit the sack for a full day of New York, and I learned my first New York fun fact: Construction sometimes happens in the middle of the night on small, cramped streets in the city. Thanks, guys.