Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New York Memory (1)

As I mentioned HERE, this particular New York trip needs a post of its own. I tried to think of my favorite memory from this adventure but couldn’t, so instead I am sharing the whole thing….well, the parts I can talk about. Just kidding.
Wow, how do I begin? It was my freshman year of college and my friend Megan was going to school at Loyola University in Maryland. For my spring break I decided to go visit her for the weekend and together we were going to go to New York. At the time, Megan had never been there and I had only been there twice. This would be the first time going to the city without my dad and although I was a little nervous, I was beyond excited. I flew in to Baltimore on a Thursday and we had plans to spend a night in downtown Baltimore. It was a blast! I got to meet a bunch of Megan’s friends and explore a city I had never been to. A short side story…I was a good little girl growing up and made it all four years of high school and a semester and a half of college (in a sorority, nonetheless) without ever having a single sip of alcohol. That all changed the night I arrived in Baltimore.
 About to go out in downtown Baltimore!
Friday morning Megan and I sprung out of bed (late of course) and flew out the doors of her dorm room to catch a cab to the bus station. Now, we were late getting out of bed but this cab driver was ridiculous. He was supposed to pick us up outside of the cafeteria but couldn’t find it. We waited and waited and waited and finally, thanks to some help from a friend Loyola employee we were in the cab. We made it to the bus station just in time to miss our bus to New York City. First-I called my dad freaking out. Second-the lady at the bus station told us there was another station across town that had a bus leaving in 30 minutes. Third-we got back into the stupid cab and started our journey across town. It should not be hard to make it from bus station A to bus station B in 30 minutes; however, we were unaware of what we now lovingly refer to as NATIONAL FIELDTRIP DAY! I kid you not, there were thousands of children in downtown Baltimore that day and they were all loading in to hundreds of school buses. It was insane and of course slowed us way down. Don’t you hate that feeling when you are in such a hurry and you’re just sitting in a car and no matter what you do you aren’t able to go any faster? It’s all out of your control. Ugh, stress. Finally, we made it to the bus station with time to spare. We sat waiting for the bus with our belongings clutched to our bodies praying we wouldn’t get mugged or worse. To say this bus station was shady is an understatement. Finally, we hopped on our Peter Pan bus and were en route to New York City!
Our plan was to get off the bus and hop a cab to Megan’s mom’s cousin’s place where we were staying, then quickly shower and change and head to Time’s Square because we had tickets to a taping of TRL. That’s right everyone, TRL! Our bus arrives late and we quickly realize there is no way on God’s green earth we were ever going to pull off this plan. We weren’t certain we’d even have time to go to the apartment and drop off our stuff. So again, I call my dad. He suggests we find a hotel, pretend we’re staying there and just ask them to hold our luggage until we get back. If you’ve met me or Megan you know we are not smooth. We’ll say this plan did not work and leave it at that. I honestly don’t remember what we ended up doing with our luggage. I know for a FACT that we went to TRL wearing crap clothes and no makeup, but what happened between getting rejected at the hotel and meeting Elijah Wood is a complete blur. (yeah, Elijah Wood was hosting TRL that day! Way cooler than meeting Carson Daly…and our un-cuteness was definitely shown several times on TV. Great. )
 Me and Meg at Rockefeller Plaza after TRL...note, no makeup!
Friday night we went to Caroline’s comedy club and then had plans to go to Club Avalon, which was an old cathedral style church converted into a posh New York nightclub. Sacrilegious, I know…but it was amazing! While there, we met two brothers Ben and Sam who lived in the city. They bought us drinks, we danced, and it was wonderful! Ben and I have actually kept in touch after this trip and I have met up with him again during some other NYC trips. It’s fun to have a friend in the city because he always gives me great recommendations on places to go.

 At Caroline's Comedy Club!
Club Avalon with Ben and Sam
Before I left for this trip, my dad and I sat down and made a list of all the places Megan and I wanted to go, and then he organized an itinerary for us. As nerdy as it sounds, it’s a must-have when traveling to NYC. There is so much to see and the city is so big that if you don’t plan to do and see things that are close to each other you waste a ton of time traveling, and we all know how expensive cabs are. I will tell you that after being out at Avalon until 5am that itinerary went completely out the window. We slept through a good chunk of the day on Saturday, and then went shopping! We spent of our time in Chinatown buying knock-off jewelry and purses and then window shopped our way up Fifth Avenue.
 Showing off our knock off Louis bags from front of the actual Louis
That night, we had plans to go to dinner and had tickets to Chicago on Broadway. For dinner, we went to my absolute favorite restaurant, Chiamm. It’s nestled in a cute East Side neighborhood and has the best Chinese food I’ve ever had! We walk in and ask for a table for two and the following conversation takes place:
Barely any English speaking Host: Christina?
Kristin: Nope, not me. Table for two please.
Host: Yes, Christina. Table for two.
Kristin: No, my name is Kristin, we don’t have a reservation
Host: Yes, yes. Your dad call. Two young girls. This time. Christina.
Kristin: Ok?
Host: He give us his credit card number. Dinner on him.

WHAT?! Amazing! I couldn’t believe it! This was the nicest thing my dad had ever done! He knew were going there, knew how much I loved it and wanted to give us a little treat on our maiden solo voyage to NYC. It was fabulous.  We toyed with the idea of ordering a bottle of wine to share, but chickened out, afraid we’d get carded. Which we now know, we wouldn’t have. And, because we’re good little girls we got water, and shared an appetizer and an entrée. Needless to say, my dad was shocked to get his bill. Our meal came out to be somewhere around $40.00. He still gives me crap to this day….”I was so nervous waiting for that call. Assuming it’d be hundreds of dollars. And you spent $40.00? That’s it? You SHARED an entrée?” Damn, I wish we could go back and try that again! After dinner we went to Chicago, which was AMAZING! This was the same year that the movie came out, and the combination of seeing both the movie (4 times) and the play sent me into a whirlwind Chicago soundtrack obsession.

 All dressed up, ready for Chiamm and Chicago!
After the show, we met up with Ben and Sam at this really cool club that I don’t remember the name of. It had three floors and every floor played a different style of music. We were all about the 80’s floor!
Sunday, we finished up some last minute shopping and sightseeing then hopped back on that magical Peter Pan bus. The whole trip was hilarious and amazing. It was so liberating exploring the city on my own and I remember leaving feeling really proud. Megan and I had the time of our life on that trip and I will never forget it!


Carolyn said...

OK... two things.

#1: All these NYC posts are going to make me go crazy! And book a trip to NYC! Especially with your text photos of gorgeous shoes.

#2: I am going nuts without our daily convos. Hurry back.

Your BB

(Hope you're having an AMAZING time in NYC with your mama!!)

Pete said...

Wow what a wonderful suprise dinner treat! Looks like a good time for all! Keep up the good Posts!

Valerie said...

What an amazing trip! You girls are adorable!


Stephanie said...

Hahaha that conversation with the waiter is funny :]