Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Planes, trains and huge shipyards

Well, I survived the bitter temperatures in NY and CT…and I hate to admit it, but it wasn’t all that bad! I mean it WAS cold (9-degrees on Friday with a wind chill of neg 14 and 30 on Saturday) but I found myself not whining as much as I expected. The colder climates are much like Florida only the opposite (duh) – but what I mean is, down here we dress for 90-degree temperatures but freeze our asses of anytime we enter any business or restaurant. Up there you dress for sub zero temps and end up losing 5 pounds in sweat whenever you spend any time in doors. I spent much of Saturday walking around with my coat, hat, and gloves in my arms.

I usually have terrible travel luck…flights delayed for hours, missing connections, flights cancelled, etc. My flight up, however, resembled that of “Meet the Parents”. Everything was on time (early even) and on both legs I had an entire row all to myself…no screaming children or fat people spilling into my space. This wasn’t the case on the trip home though…will
wrap up this blog with that story.

Friday in NY was fabulous (and fabulously cold and windy – which meant much time indoors and underground). We had a most magnificent 2+ hour lunch at Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (notice the “Wall of Wine” comment! Definitely my kind of place!! Hehehe). The food was wonderful and view spectacular! From there we went shopping at NY’s 6 floor Macy’s. Neither Hannah nor I are big shoppers so that was short lived; we decided that our time would be better spent in a neighboring Irish Pub. Hannah and I met 2 very nice Irish gentlemen…one of whom is opening his own Pub in NY in March. (I will be planning a trip in the warmer months to check it out.) From there we met Joe for dinner at Samba Sushi. Here we dined and drank the night away waiting the DJ to start up. Either there was no DJ as promised or we missed him to catch the last train out of the city :o(. Hannah and Joe live in CT, which is an approximate 1-hour train ride from Grand Central Station. We are not sure, but almost certain that the train ride was much longer than that as we all fell asleep and missed our stop! At approximately 1:30a we found ourselves at the end of the line. This was the last train of the night so we had to take a cab to get approximately 40 miles back to our stop when Joe had left the car (most definitely not a cheap mistake – but rather amusing!).

Saturday we went to see the shipyard where Joe works…he is the project manager over the building of some massive luxury ships. I really had no idea the scale of these vessels until we entered (sporting our fashionable hard hats) the enormous hangar where his most recent 140+ foot catamaran is being built. This thing is ginormous!! I don’t really have the words to say how spectacular and amazing this construction is. It’s hard to believe that it’s all fashioned out flat sheets of aluminum. From there we went to a cute little town for window-shopping then to the grocery to get ingredients for a yummy tapas style dinner.

Sunday was my journey home day. The flights were not all that bad…first leg only delayed by 20 minutes. Second leg on time, but even though I pre-booked an exit row isle seat I found myself in the back of the bus squished in a middle seat between two rather large men (one of whom was quite the talker – thank God for iPods and good books!). When we landed I made my way to baggage claim to get my suitcase and head home to hug my very missed kitties. I stood there for what seemed like an eternal amount of time when I saw the big blue block that signified the end of the luggage line. WTF?? Where’s my bag?? My planes were all on time and I even have a 2-hour lay over in ATL (plenty of time to get my bag to the new plane). There were several of us looking around helplessly for answers so we found out where to submit our complaint and got in line. The complaint office was empty and we were told that there were some cancellations and that all Delta representatives were helping rebook those passengers and would be over when that debacle was over. 45 minutes later a security guard came over to tell us that it would probably be best if we all went home and came back tomorrow. I was worried that my luggage (containing every toiletry and hair care product that I own) might be lost for good so I called Delta’s help line as I was leaving the airport. An hour later I’m still on the phone and the customer service rep is telling me that there is going to be a charge to deliver my bag to my house when it arrives because I did not fill out any complaint paperwork at the airport itself!! WTF? No way am I going to be charged for any of this! So it was back to the airport Monday afternoon to get my stuff :o(. My bag arrived about 30 minutes after my arrival to the airport, which is not so bad…but the morning at work I felt like a grease ball. I have been blessed with unfortunate hair…it’s wavy, curly, frizzy, whatever you want to call it - without a hair dryer or flat iron I look like little orphan Annie so I was not about to wash my hair before work…not to mention the temp outside was in the 30s!

All in all it was a wonderful trip…Thanks Hannah and Joe!!!!!!

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