Thursday, July 07, 2022

New York City Adventure - Day 1 - It Begins

Life isn't fair. For proof of this old adage, we need look no further than the travel day Shira and I endured today.

We both arrived at DCA at 5:00am. I hung out for a few hours casually sipping tea, people watching and knocking out a few last work tasks before I officially started our NYC vacay. At 8:30am'ish I boarded my flight and after 35 minutes in the air, I was in New York City. My only task at that point was to wait for J to arrive on his Jacksonville flight.

Shira's journey, however, wasn't so pleasant. As she boarded her 6am flight to Tampa, she got notified that her 11am flight back to New York was delayed until 4pm. Suddenly, our carefully choreographed day of flights had evaporated.

Shira would spend hours flying to Tampa. Meet the kids there and hang out for the day. Then spend hours flying to New York. And rather than shopping and getting set up in our Airbnb in the afternoon, we'd be doing it, exhausted at night.

While it was a slog of a day for Shira, everything ultimately worked out fine. J's flight was delayed, but that was all good. We Ubered back to our Airbnb where we confirmed we could get in, did a bit of shopping and then purchased a couple of metro cards for the week.

We walked around our Brooklyn neighborhood and wandered into the Crown Heights area to pick up some Kosher food. It was surreal seeing 'moshiach' signs everywhere, but I suppose that's to be expected when you're in the heart of Hassid country.

J and my final test for the day came when we decided we'd metro take the subway to meet Shira and the kids at the nearby Wegmans. We dutifully watched this YouTube video to learn about the nuances of the NYC Subway.

Between my fatigue of the day, the size of the New York City subway system (472 stations!) and the nuances laid out in the video (e.g., entering thee right station using the wrong entrance could spell disaster) , J and I approached our first subway trip as though we were traversing an ancient, booby-trapped temple. Using Google Maps as our all-knowing guru, we ever so gingerly made our way to meet Shira and the kids at Weggies.

Ultimately, the subway trip went fine and we didn't make any wrong turns or trigger any poison darts. Though I had to smile at one bit of advice the video above offered: never step into an empty car. Any empty train car is a sure fire indicator that there's a smell or other condition you absolutely want to avoid. This seemed like smart advice to me. That is, until the first train we were to ride pulled up: it was completely empty. What do we do? Get on? Wait for another train? We got on, and it was fine, but for a moment, I was pretty confused.

It was a true pleasure to finally meet Shira and the other kids at Wegmans. We made our way through the store, stocking up on items we'd need for the next week. Shira and I had carefully created a shopping list (like we've done our last few trips with the kids), but because of our exhaustion, we didn't consult it. Just how tired and scrambled were our brains? We walked out of the store without buying bread; the foundational component to every lunch we planned for the next week.

We finally made it to our AirBNB at around 9pm. For the most part, the place was accurately described in the listing. The bedrooms were a reasonable size, and there were plenty of places for folks to sleep. The kitchen and eating space was going to work fine and by NY standards was probably large. It was the the bathrooms, especially the one Shira declared as 'ours' that were comically tiny. The half-sink in our bathroom, combined with a shower that was just big enough for me to stand in, made me feel like I was getting a true New York experience.

Tomorrow our adventure truly begins. I can't wait!

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