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Adventures in America - pt 1

I had arranged with my friend Fran that after MR04 ended, Cass and I could come and stay with her on the Upper East Side -- but when I rang from Split Rock to let her know we were thinking of driving down route 80 and crossing over the GW Bridge, the concierge told me that she had left New York in a hurry on Friday, to deal with a family emergency in Colorado. She had left no instructions regarding guests arriving on Monday.

So there we were, Cass and I, up the creek without a paddle -- but not really. We just needed to make new arrangements, and one of these was that now we could take a detour to Connecticut and meet Julie's husband and son, and then the next day she'd drive us up to NYC all the same. We made reservations at a Best Western, and left the Split Rock resort with something of a spring in our step on Monday. On the way over, we stopped at some outlet stores as I was in dire need of a sturdy belt, having noticed that weekend at the resort that my trousers were falling down on me (has there ever been any research done into the possibility of air travel causing sudden and noticeable weight loss in females? I'd bought my pink jeans only weeks before going to the con, and now I had to constantly pull them up! The same with all my other trousers, so a belt had to be added to my wardrobe). We wandered into a GAP store, and stocked up on jeans (Jules), children's wear (Cass), flip-flops (me) and tops (all of us). Then we had lunch.

After arriving at the hotel and freshening up some, Julie brought her family over (hello Ron, hello Eric) before we went out to dinner at the local Japanese restaurant, which -but for us- was deserted. An enjoyable evening (with scallops!) was had by all.

The next morning, Cass went down to sort out our accommodation in New York while I had a leisurely bath; when I came down I was told that the staff had exhausted their options and New York was booked solid. Jules arrived to take us up there, and we took a snap decision to stay at the Fort Lee Best Western, where they had just one room with a queen and a pull-out bed available. Who cares? We weren't planning on spending any great length of time in our hotel, anyway.

We loved our trip up: Cass and I were suitably impressed by how big everything seems to be in America, and how strange it was that we could smell wildflowers along the motorway. We even saw some eagles soaring overhead at the Delaware Water Gap, or I think that's what it was called...

When we got to our stop-over point, the desk clerk advised us that the best way to get into Manhattan would be to take a cab to the bus station, hop on any bus to take us over the bridge, and then take the tube subway to wherever we were going. Our first cabbie implored us never to take a NYC cab back across the bridge as they would easily charge us $20-25 for the privilege, but basically take the same route back: bus across, and NJ cab from the bus station. It all sounded so reasonable and easy-peasy...

Anyway, since Cass had never been to NYC before, there were a few things on her list that she really, really wanted to do: go up to the observation deck on the Empire State Bldg., see Times Square, visit the Guggenheim & the Met, take a stroll through Central Park and finally, take a ride in a helicopter. Me, I had no special wishes, other than that I quite fancied going to the cinema to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, simply because I'd heard that two of my favourite actors, Gary Oldman and Alan Rickman, are in it. Well, that and meet up with Fearless Leader Lush later on in the week. Having made arrangements with Julie to join her for a visit to the Zoo the next day, that left us with 2 days and a bit to cram all these activities in.

We arrived in Times Square around late lunchtime, and just off it, I spotted a cinema where Harry Potter showed. That was our evening sorted then, and off we went to find sustenance. Which we did, in a 'Bucket of Boat Trash' and great big glasses of speckled lemonade (it was a hot day) at Bubba Gump's. Then, we wandered along the streets, slowly but surely making our way to the Empire State Bldg., and did our tourist-y thing. There was a sale on in Macy's and Cass tricked me into buying a predominantly red top and a black and lilac outfit.

The third Harry Potter-film (and the first one I've ever seen) proved very good and entertaining, quite dark and scary when you're a kid but not too much when you're an adult, and I liked it better than I would have expected. Pity both my favourites had such small parts, though...I cried when the hippogryph was killed, and I got confused every time Harry would call his owl, but other than that, it was alright and I enjoyed it.

It was late when we tried to make our way back to the GW bus station, but proper signposting is not one of America's better virtues and in the end, we did take that NYC taxi over the bridge, paying the exorbitant fare just to get to bed without too much hassle.



( 18 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Jun. 17th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC)
Hmmm. Sometimes when plans go all awry like that, it can lead to much more interesting things.

I got confused every time Harry would call his owl
Hee. I did wonder about that...
Jun. 18th, 2004 12:07 am (UTC)
You're back! Or on-line at least...how have your days away from the Internet been?

As to the name thing: I suppose that people with a name that's fairly common learn not to react to it every time it's called quite early on. I've never had that conditioning, and get flustered on the few occasions that it's called and it isn't me that's wanted...
Jun. 18th, 2004 12:12 am (UTC)
how have your days away from the Internet been?

Not too bad, it's nice to get away and everything.

it isn't me that's wanted


Jun. 18th, 2004 12:36 am (UTC)

...although sometimes, that can be a huge relief!

So, your Mum still alive and well then?

Jun. 18th, 2004 12:37 am (UTC)
The temptation to push her off Beachy Head was tremendous, but she survived.
Jun. 18th, 2004 01:22 am (UTC)
I'm glad. Beachy Head, eh? Will we get a full report?
Jun. 18th, 2004 01:28 am (UTC)
I will be posting something later. I just need to pull some pics off the laptop.
Jun. 17th, 2004 09:30 am (UTC)
So did you get to see the Statue of Liberty like you had hoped?
Jun. 17th, 2004 11:51 pm (UTC)
Stay tuned! (but um...yeah...sort of)
Jun. 17th, 2004 11:23 am (UTC)
You girls packed a lot of activities into your visit -- sounds like fun. Thanks for the MR reports too ... now you can say that you saw the very last GotR concert!
Jun. 18th, 2004 12:17 am (UTC)
you can say that you saw the very last GotR concert!

Yes, that realisation has sunk in already...and left no sense of awe at having witnessed a historic event. Their show, while entertaining in part, was very unremarkable, and it's not like they'd ever been any rock greats. I hear Charlie & Steve are going to continue working on the second album under the name of Gods of the Radio; if there are any die-hard fans out there, I'm sure they'll be immensely thrilled at the news.
Jun. 17th, 2004 04:19 pm (UTC)
Jeez woman, couldn't you have put the picture behind a cut or something? I HATE seeing pics of myself. Still, you and Jules look good.
Jun. 17th, 2004 11:46 pm (UTC)
Geez woman, will you quit your whining? There's nothing wrong with the way you look...but I agree I was wrong in putting it up there without your (or Julie's) consent. I didn't think. Sorry.
Jun. 18th, 2004 05:40 am (UTC)
Oh, I wasn't implying you needed to ask! Bloody hell, no! Post what you like (unless you have anything especially compromising...)Just came as a bit of a shock seeing myself - and, yes, I do have a thing about photos, reasonable or otherwise. I think Jules managed to snap me more on this holiday than anyone ever has before. Might even get used to it one day!
Jun. 18th, 2004 05:53 am (UTC)
Post what you like (unless you have anything especially compromising...)

I guess that's a firm no then to that really clear picture I've got of you, JM and the large tube of petroleum jelly?
Jun. 18th, 2004 05:56 am (UTC)
Jun. 19th, 2004 03:45 am (UTC)
You never checked the airing cupboard...
Jun. 19th, 2004 04:39 am (UTC)
Bloody hell! And we'd just evicted Julie from under the bed...
( 18 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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