Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little Fish in the Big Apple

As a surprise to my wonderful, caring, hardworking and (way) older-than-me husband, i planned a surprise trip to NYC to celebrate his birthday. we would fly down after work, spend the whole next day and night walking aimlessly around the city with cameras in hand, and fly home the next afternoon. easy and fun right? well, let's remember who we're dealing with here. nothing i ever do can be both easy and fun. that would be just way too, well, predictable. and i'm a hot mess at all times, so let's not let a little getaway sans children be any exception.

the last time we took a little weekend to ourselves was this summer when we went camping ("Not- Quite Campers"). remember that whole little bit about paranoid husband making me carry around a pocket knife just in case, i don't know, some bear jumped out at me or something? well, i'm lazy, and that knife was sitting in my weekend bag this whole time under my bed. that is, up until a couple of nights ago. that knife is now sitting at the security checkpoint at the airport. just a reminder, everyone: knives are not allowed on planes. they get kinda freaked out when you claim to have no idea what they are talking about as they pull you aside to dump your whole bag. (and, um, yeah... here's how our weekend began).

In an effort to both save some money and enhance our true sense of adventure, i pulled out the directions i had scribbled off the internet. google said that it was soooooo easy to get from the airport to our midtown hotel, and if google says it, it must be true, right? to make a very long, irritating story short, let's just say that google lied. after approximately 3 conversations with strangers and 3 different sets of directions, 4 unnecessary train transfers, 100 utterances of "are you serious, jen?", five long manhattan blocks in the rain, and one very lost walk through an empty grand central station in the middle of the night, we finally arrived at our final destination. note to self: subways are for natives, not suburban-like mothers who drive SUVs. us on a subway at night = fail.

We woke up the following morning looking forward to a fresh start. the concierge told us that if we stood in front of the hotel, times square was a couple blocks in front of us, central park was a 5 minute walk to the right, and soho was a quick subway (here we go...) ride to the left. no problem, we thought. we can totally do this. and we won't even look like tourists (cuz, uggghhh, who wants to look like a tourist?!?) so we started walking. stopped to eat, and continued walking. and walking and walking and walking. and nothing looked like anything we had seen in previous trips to the city, and the park (where we were headed) was no where in sight. and oh yeah, it was the only cold and rainy day the city had seen in over a week. 40 minutes later we smartened up, swallowed our pride, and asked some random person where we were. imagine the level of delight we experienced when we found out we had been walking in the WRONG DIRECTION for the entire time. the only thing that was better than the news was the weather- it was now pouring/sleeting, and of course neither one of us had a winter coat on.

but true adventurers don't let a little weather get them down, and we were determined to make the best of this little mishap. we ducked in to the nearest starbucks so i could let my slicked-back wig-like coif frizz out a little, and devise a plan. after a quick trip to soho (so i could get my picture taken in front of Dash of course- and no, much to husband's dismay, kim wasn't there.) we decided to do what any other smart couples without their children would do- start eating and drinking heavily. and i think husband ended up having a pretty decent birthday.

and then it was time to go. the sun was shining brightly, people were all over the streets loving their lives, fake purses were being sold at the street corners, and we, of course, had to say farewell to this crazy city. don't worry ny- we'll be back for round two. and we'll probably get insanely lost again. but we'll still love it, as always.

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