Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New York City. Part 1 of 3.

First off, sorry about this not being posted earlier/last night.
Stuff came up, thanks to Nadine...

So, part 1.
It all began with the trip to Chelsea's house to pick her up and get on her way. Nate and I got out of the car to go pet her lion, Big Momma and then her mom came outside with her. Janine (her mother) was telling us not to let her meet up with this creep that she had met online a few months ago. Nathan and I both agreed.  We did not need our bff to be killed in New York.  At least not until she paid her part of the trip. Ha. Just kidding! :)

So we pulled down her street and turned on our NYC playlist on my iPod, which would entertain us for almost 9 hours.  We were driving towards the boarder of Canada, so we could begin our adventure.  First step, Niagara.  We got to Canada, and I was so nervous talking to the boarder guard, because they are just so intimidating, but I got through without stuttering from nervousness.  Then, we saw the speed limit sign. Only it was in KM/MILE.  Well, crap. I had no idea how fast I was going, because on the dashboard, the speedometer goes up in 40 km/h incriments, so it was hard to tell my exact speed.  Luckily, Nate turned to my Tom-Tom navigator to km/h, so I could see my speed on there.  Lucky for me, I didn't speed AT ALL during the whole trip.  It was insane because we saw a sign on the side of the road regarding speeding tickets and their prices.  10 km/h over (about 6 mph) is $100 fine. 20 km/h (12 mph) over is doubled to $200.  30 km/h (about 18 km/h) over is $300. BUT WAIT FOR IT.........  25 km/h (24 mph) over is $10,00!  Yes, you read that right. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! Crazy.

It was a little bit into Canada that Chelsea switched seats with Nate.  She became my co-pilot and he became sleeping beauty.  We jammed and sang tons of songs and laughed and laughed and just talked.  We are so much alike, it is insane.  About 2.5 hours into the drive, we were supposed to get off on an exit to a different highway.  Too bad it was closed.  Tom (GPS) recalculated our route and told us to get off at this other exit, about 5 miles down the road.  Guess what? That was closed too. So we did this long loop around to get the right highway, and this is when we (as Chelsea and I agree) crossed over into a different dimension.

About and hourish later at 3:30, we arrived at Niagara.  We first parked at the casino's parking lot, which said it would cost $5 unless you had a player's advantage card.  So at the casino, Nate and I naturally applied for one, just for the free parking.  We then cashed in $10 to gamble with and went on the hunt for free drinks.  We couldn't find a free drink station, but eventually asked and found out that the free drinks were at the bar. So we got a Coke (Chelsea) and 2 coffees (for Nate and myself) and then went gambling.  I wasn't doing to well, not winning anything, but then I won about $1.25, so cashed out and left the casino with $1.25 more than I arrived with.  A win is a win.  After than, we left the casino to go look at the falls.  We walked down this long driveway and were standing agaisnt the ledge staring off into the darkness.  We had expected their to be lights lighting the falls, but nope.  We could see them decently, but the falls definitely did not show up in our photos.  The worst part about traveling, is not having a person to take pictures of everyone.  So we stopped some guy running and asked for a picture.  He was some sort of asian, and I'm pretty sure he did not know what we were saying, but when we handed him the picture, he figured it out.

Then came time to leave Niagara.  We walked back to the casino parking lot, and were ready to leave, but... WE COULDN'T FIND TOM!  I must have blacked out when I hid it in my car.  I thought I remembered putting it under the driver's seat, but none of us could find it.  At this point I was delirious and could not stop laughing. Chelsea and I found it so funny, but Nate did not. We searched and searched, and about 5 minutes into searching, we found Tom.  Guess where he was... under the driver's seat.  With that situation settled, we got on our way. Pulling out of the casino, we had to either pay $5 or swipe the player's advantage card.  Nathan swiped his, but the gate did not move.  Then, we read the sign saying we needed points on the card... which you get with a lot of winning.  Welp...... he tried swiping mine, then his, then mine, and finally the gate lifted.  We had no idea why or how, but we just sped out of there before the gate changed it's mind.

Chelsea and I doing a Spice Girls pose in front of the falls.

Now, I was exhausted and passed out in the back. I only woke up when we got to the boarder, so when the boarder guard asked to see me, he could.  Funny thing though, when we were supposed to pay the $4 fine to cross the bridge, we got into the wrong lane and drove right past the paying station. Whoops. Free bridge for us!  After crossing Rainbow bridge into Buffalo, NY, I passed out again.

When I next woke up, we were at a rest stop to take a bathroom break.  Except this rest stop smelled like horse piss. It was seriously the worst smell. (Like a certain bum on the subway in NY, which the story will come later.) But I pee'd and went back to sleep only to wake up again in an hour, to pee again.

Nate and I switched again, and I was driving the last stretch.  Chelsea and I jammed to REPO! and then Rocky Horror. It was so much fun, and then Nate came up to the passenger's seat and Chelsea went back, but then refused to sleep.  Soon after, we saw NYC in the skyline. AHHH! We were so excited! 

We crossed a toll road, and then were in NEW YORK CITY! It was so exciting.  We drove to our apartment, and dropped off Nate so he could check in, and until he was done and we could move our stuff in, Chelsea and I had to drive around to try to find parking.  We drove around in a square and couldn't find anything, and then Nate called and sad he found a spot where we could park and unload our things right in front of the apartment.  So I was driving down the road and spotted Nate, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD.  I was freaking out. There was no way I'd be able to make a U-turn. I was so nervous because the drivers in NY are insane.  But with Chelsea's encouragement, I made a successful U-turn and parallel parked.  We unloaded our car and then were on our way to find a parking garage.  We found one the next street over and parked there.  We then walked through a park back to our apartment. The park was named "White Playground." It was pretty funny.  Back at the apartment, Nathan showered and we all cleaned up a bit and then were on our way to Times Square!

We went to the subway station near our apartment. I bought my first subway pass, which was really exciting.  We were standing along the tracks waiting, when Chelsea and I thought up the BEST ACTIVITY to do whilst in NY.  RAT WATCHING! Obviously it is when you stare down into the tracks looking for rats. We came up with rules later.  We found one rat before the subway came, and it was really exciting for me.

This is the reason Rat Watching is more challenging than you'd think.

The subway came and it was super crowded.  There were so many people, we were crammed in there, and with no seats available, we had to stand holding a pole.  When the subway first started, I actually was jerked back a little.  I did not think the subway moving was going to be so forceful.

We got to 42nd street and got off the subway and made our way up to Times Square. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before. So many people. So many buildings. It was amazing. Nate and I bought the classic "I <3 NY" shirt for only $3!  We walked around just soaking it all in for a while, before we set off on our plans for the day.

Our first goal, was to go to Mood (the fabric store that stars in Project Runway) and meet Swatch, the resident live-in dog. We walked all around, trying to find Mood.  We had the address, and knew it was on the 3rd floor of the building it was in, but couldn't find it.  We must have walked past the building about twice before finally realizing it was the right building.  We went in a went up the elevator (which was an old-school elevator with the self closing door and an elevator man who pulled the lever to go either up or down. We walked into Mood, and my first thought was "This is smaller than I thought-- Where's Swatch?"  From the TV show, Mood looks HUGE and confusing.  It was a bit confusing, but was smaller that I thought it'd be.  Chelsea and I searched all three floors for Swatch, but no luck.  Chelsea than asked a worker where Swatch was, and we were informed that Swatch doesn't work on the weekends, but he would be there Monday wagging his tail waiting for us. Add that to the list of things to do on Monday...

After Mood, we were starving so we were on the search for food.  Nate and I had Subway, and Chelsea, since Subway had no pizza dough left, ate at Cosi.

After eating, we went to the huge 3 floor Toys 'r Us and basically got lost. Chelsea and I went to the Barbie house and performed a OMBRE-HUNT. Ombre is this ridiculously fabulous hair trend right now. We stood on the balcony of the Barbie house and just stared at people's heads.  Nate got fed up and just left, so we followed him out.

Next, we went to H&M where Nate bought a few items while I played dress up.  I tried on a sweater and this weird neck warming item. It was like a turtleneck sweater minus the sweater part.  Walking out, I heard this hipster black girl saying, "H&M is cool and all, but I can't buy the stuff here.  It is so cheap that everyone has the same things." Idiot.

Next, we went to Serendipity to buy the infamous frozen hot chocolate, but then decided waiting for 2 hours for a frozen treat was ridiculous and left.

We took the subway to where the Plaza hotel was, so Nate could get a picture for Amy.  In that area, we went to FAO Schwarz, the HUGE toystore.  We played around in there a bit, got a picture in this mirror box thing, and went to see the giant piano, made famous in BIG, but there was an outrageous line to play on it, so I just took a picture and went on our way.  Also at FAO Schwarz, we found this picture of a horse on the wall.  Chelsea and I needed to take a picture with it.  The reasoning behind that, is explained in this post by Chelsea. Basically, we are pretty fond of Taris and horse heads remind us of the wonderful man.

After we left that area, we walked towards the Empire State Building, which was supposed to be lit up pink in support of breast cancer awareness, but it wasn't.  We then walked back to Times Square to just sit down and relax.  On the way, we found a Jamba Juice, which Chelsea insisted we needed to go to because they were that good.  Well, we walked up to the store and it was closed.  What kind of store in NYC closes at 7 on a Saturday night? We were pretty upset. In lieu of Jamba Juice, when we got to Times Square, we bought freshly made juice from a vendor in the street.  It was very good, probably because it was made from fresh fruit and a blender.  Delicious.  With our drinks in hand, we sat and just watched the lights of Times Square. We needed a picture in Times Square at night, and it feels so awkward just asking random people, so when this assumed bum came up to us to ask for money, after Chelsea and Nate gave him some spare change, Chelsea asked if he would take a picture of us.  When we handed him our camera, he at first turned and did this shuffle thing, pretending like he was going to run away, but then turned back around and laughed.  He fumbled with the camera for a good few minutes before finally taking the picture.

After finally getting a picture, we were on our way back the apartment to get some sleep for the HUGE excitement the next day. Our apartment was in East Harlem and we were sorta freaking out.  It was dark and there were hooligan children playing in White Playground.  Scary hooligans.  So we ran past them and ran into the apartment.  Chelsea and I stayed up for a bit watching Fear Factor, but Nate was passed out in a few minutes.  I was photoshopping some pictures, and when I was done, I went to show Chelsea, but she was sleeping.  So I was just laying there watching TV and a commercial for a scary movie came on.  During the commercial Chelsea sprung up and said something, and she basically scared the crap out of me.  We had a good laugh about that and finally both went to sleep.

That was day 1 of 3. Pretty fun, no?

To see pictures of Day 1, click here. Blogspot isn't letting me upload photos right now, so that is why there is a lack of photos in this post.

Also, go read Chelsea's and Nathan's blog for another point of view of the trip!

1 comment:

Chelsea Kirchoff said...

Big Momma: Lion. Remember when I kept saying I was going to die in NYC? No one thought that was funny except me. I'm also glad I've reached BFF status.

Chelsea = Best Co-Pilot ever. Together, we could drive to Mars. Or Transylvania. Could you just sing forever like we did there and back? I'm glad we're basically twins. I don't know what I'd do without you.

That casino was bunk. It was a vietnamese wasteland. That bartender was ruhl nice though and said I was a doll or dear or maybe a peach. Whatever. Thanks for that soda, dude! Azn jogger made the night. Thanks for the picture, guy! Remember when we were going to jump over the ledge? Also, nice choice of the Spice Girls pose. Baby would be proud.

Where's Tom? I love you when you're delirious. Not to say I don't always love you, but when you're delirious, you laugh at me and we get along even more and Nathan hates it.

Free bridge pass. Zuckonit.

That rest area was the best place on the PLANET. The people inside were all really weird too. Why did we have to pee so many times? Are we camels?

Nate needs to start enjoying Rocky Horror too.

Remember how I was excited about NYC at all until we rode the subway? RAT WATCH. RAT WATCH. Remember how determined we were EACH TIME we got down to the track? We would just walk with such purpose to the yellow painted area and STARE.

I'm blown away by your city driving skills too! I'm so proud of you for doing that illegal u-turn! <3

Swatch will be working on Monday. We're talking about the dog, right?

Too bad there were hardly any ombres. That's because it's a stupid trend that isn't even IN, Matt Benyo. Get with the program.

Horse head. Taris. Love.

Suck on it, Times Square Jamba Juice. Also, sitting in seats at Times Square was like my fourth favorite activity ever. I hate that bum too. What an idiot. We gave him money. The LEAST he could do is take a decent picture. GOD. WEEN.

Sorry I scared you.

This was so long, but so worth it. I'm legit not posting tomorrow.