Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Friday: Travel Day

This post won't be too terribly entertaining since I spent the whole day basically on an airplane, train or subway, but there were some entertaining points.

My wonderful ride picked me up promptly at 9:30 Friday morning to head to the airport in OKC. I was a bit apprehensive about this trip because it was my first time flying and really traveling completely on my own. I'm terribly introverted (I fake extroverted quite well though) and being alone really charges my batteries, so I knew this trip was something that I needed with as much as I do with other people when I'm in Norman.

He drops me off at the airport around 10:00 before my flight at 11:30. I had checked in and paid for my bag online the night before (what did we do before the Internet, really?) so that was a breeze. I packed pretty lightly for me (though Chris would argue that since he put my suitcase in the truck!). I had one suitcase to check, medium sized, and a carry on, specifically my croc bag that I haul around all the time and have to explain that it is NOT a purse. It was perfect for my computer and book (though I decided that I needed the new Stephen King book, 11/22/63, which when I purchased at Barnes and Noble I realized that it was 849 pages and hard back, oh well). I get through security no problem and had to take a picture of this because I love the wording:

I like the wording under number 3: "Thank you for 'participating' in security." As if we have a choice? Anywho, I make it through security with no problems and head to my gate. I was flying United and was there really early. I take a seat and wait on the plane to get to the gate. They start calling passengers and they have two carpets for people to walk through: a blue one and a red one. The guy next to me, as they are calling for the "priority" passengers said "well that will make you feel insignificant, huh?"

I get to my window seat and get cozy for the three hour flight. The guy from the terminal was in the row ahead of me along with a mom, her teenage son, and her mother. The guy asks the three of them if they want some cookies he had from Boston. The grandma asks if there's anything in them, like pot. I thought the mom was going to die. It was pretty funny.

Overall the flight was fine, and the book is excellent. We landed at Dulles in one of the roughest landings I've ever had (a theme for this trip apparently). We got off the plane via steps and I have to admit it was pretty cold in DC that afternoon. I made it into the terminal and had a text from Orbitz (I guess they are good for something) that my next flight was delayed. When I checked the board, however, it was on time. I got something to eat, checked voicemails and checked in with everyone that I had survived my first solo flight. Then I hunted down an electric outlet to charge my dying phone (another theme). I chit chatted during the layover and boarded the next flight around 5:00.

On this flight I had an aisle seat next to a not so pleasant man. We ended up delayed while on the plane due to high winds. It was only twenty minutes, yet he was flipping off the window at the announcement. We finally made it to the air and the flight was short. We landed in Newark, which again was extremely bumpy, but it was amazing seeing the lights of the New York skyline as we landed.

Whitney sent me incredibly wonderful directions ahead of time and I had no problems getting myself around the airport because of it. A few years back, 2005 to be exact, my best friend, myself and three of her cousins went to NYC. Well I learned that when you have someone who lives in NYC telling you the best way to get around it is much easier. I still wonder how the five of us survived that trip. Especially before invent of cell phone GPS.

I make it through baggage claim and onto the train into Manhattan. (Much easier than whatever we did that involved a Newark city bus before!) I got off at Penn Station, hoped on the subway and made it to the 6 train. Apparently there had been a "incident" therefore the trains were way behind. By this point it is around 8:00 and I'm slightly exhausted and ready to be done with the traveling thing. Finally the train arrives and I hop on and make it to Lexington and 77th. Again, Whitney's directions were excellent and I got off lugging my huge (I swear it got bigger while en route from OKC to Newark) suitcase. At the subway station there are a few steps, by a few I mean something like 8 million (yes this is an exaggeration), however there was a very nice man and his wife and he carried my suitcase up all the stairs to the street. This is just the first in my campaign that New Yorkers are not like most people think they are. So far I have met some of the kindest people on this trip.

I head to Whitney's, which was a bit of a walk, but it was a nice evening. I get to the brownstone and she buzzes me in. I was not anticipating the two flights of stairs about as wide as my suitcase. I made it up, but that part was not exactly fun. I am seeing a cab ride back to Penn Station in my future Friday!

We chatted for a bit and then I realized that I had not checked in with the four people expecting me to check in with them when I got to her apartment. As it took me forever to get uptown I think they were probably mildly concerned by my lack of communication. I will give everyone credit, however, they have given me time to get places without freaking out and calling 75 times (though I'm sure they have wanted to!). I made my phone calls and texts and we talked for a few hours before going to bed.

I set my alarm for 7:00 the next morning so I could get up and wash and straighten my hair (I quickly regretted that decision) and make it back to Penn Station to leave for DC.

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