Oct 7, 2013

Start Spreading the News

One of my sisters had a big birthday coming up. Not "big" as in high number but "big" as in it-begins-with-a-four-and-ends-with-an-0. She texted one day and announced she was spending her birthday in New York. All of her sisters were invited but she got a screaming deal on airfare. I was not as lucky in that respect but I finally decided to go.

We all left on Wednesday night; Suzy, Jene and I from Salt Lake, Joey from Phoenix. We took the miserable red eye and arrived early at JFK. We had an hour to kill before Joey arrived so we claimed a corner and went to sleep. It was a very short hour.

We reunited with all the sisters and hailed a cab. I ended up in the front seat and had a white knuckle ride. Taxi drivers in New York are certifiably crazy. I thought I was going to die. Meanwhile, in the back seat, Suzy was beyond exhausted and hit nausea. Her first taxi cab ride in New York and she threw up. Jene then mocked her by calling her "Grandma." I was glad I got shotgun, after all.

We dropped our bags off at our hotel where we were invited to partake of breakfast which was good since Suzy's first breakfast at the airport didn't count. She felt better but none of us were anxious to get into a cab ever again. We headed for the subway and somehow found ourselves (miraculously) at the spot where we were to take a bus tour. It was a double decker and we slept sat above board to see everything. Although it was a hop on, hop off tour, we determined to stay on to get the lay of the land. This did not happen, however. In Manhattan, there is no way to get a handle on directions. My Wasatch Mountains are always on the east side. I never get lost. In Manhattan, at street level, every skyscraper looks the same. Still, we were able to pick out the major attractions and pushed through our wall of exhaustion.
We ended up exhausted and hungry at Rockefeller and wandering around in a daze. We finally settled on a street vendor for linner (lunch/dinner) of chicken/lamb, rice, vegetable and Greek sauce. We boarded the subway a few more times in attempts to return to our hotel and got lost a lot. I glanced over on one of the subway rides and almost decided I was hallucinating when I saw Rod Stewart. 

Hallucination or not, the Rod Stewart on the subway was not thrilled to be recognized but he was gracious enough to let me be photographed with him. Then he returned to his I Phone, probably tweeting that he was just mobbed by middle aged women on the subway.

For the record, he has really great hair.
I passed exhaustion, was unsure if I was hallucinating and skipped dinner which was a New York pizza joint. I heard it was good. We hit one more tour bus for a nighttime tour of the city but were far too tired to get much out of it. For reasons unknown to me, we wandered around Time Square. It was not a parade or holiday yet it was crowded beyond anything I could have comprehended. And it was a freak show. Apparently, the Naked Cowboy originated in Time Square. We saw him. Sadly, he was the more modestly clothed than some of the others. Guitar-Strumming-Grandma-with-the-long-white-hair was disturbing but so were the beggars in the overgrown and filthy adult-size Halloween costumes of Elmo, Spiderman, or the woman who's costume was body paint. For $5, we could get our pictures taken with any of them. 

I don't remember getting back to the hotel. If I didn't have pictures of some of the things I described, I would believe I was hallucinating. Following that logic, I can't be certain of the Naked Cowboy, Guitar-Strumming-Naked-Grandma, or the body paint woman.

But there were Minions, various Statues of Liberty that gave me the creeps, and Elmos that needed a bath.

Maybe I hallucinated the view from the roof of our hotel, but I snapped a few photos just to be sure. Let me know if there is nothing in them. 

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