Sunday, 6 June 2010

New York, New York

At the end of March, my aunt sent an email announcing that my cousin was engaged. Barely two weeks later, the date was set for the end of May, and we all decided to go for an impromptu celebration/mini reunion in New York. S and I booked tickets on BA, joking that we hoped they wouldn't be on strike. Predictably, the joke was on us: BA announced strikes and our flight to New York was cancelled (annoyingly, our flight back from New York was still scheduled to fly. Why couldn't it have been the other way around?!) After our non-trip to Istanbul in April, we were beginning to think that we might never fly out of the UK again. But in the end we managed to cancel the BA reservations and book new tickets on American via Boston.

At Heathrow, we were informed at check-in that they could not assign us seats until we reached the gate. At the gate, we were asked to wait while a woman typed furiously into her computer, shouted names and repeatedly sighed that there just weren't any seats available, particularly together. 'Did 35A and B get here yet? I'm giving them 5 more minutes.' They came. More furious typing. Finally, we were the last people waiting to board the plane. Still no seats. More furious typing. At long last, she gave us two seats together - directly behind two empty seats! The mysteries of airline travel are no closer to being solved.

More drama: I went to put my iPhone into 'Flight' mode and it froze. I couldn't even turn it off. It wouldn't respond to any touches or buttons, and I couldn't reset it. At best, I wouldn't have any music or games to entertain me. At worst, the radio signal would conflict with the flight gear and we would tumble out of the sky. Hours passed and the battery got lower and lower. I started planning my trip to the Apple store - would the New York Geniuses be able to help my UK phone?

In Boston, we found a power point and free wi-fi. Since I had my MacBook with me, I was able to sync it to iTunes and it came back to life. Crisis averted. Maybe that was the turning point, because the rest of the trip was smooth from there. We landed at LaGuardia, found our rental car, drove to Tarrytown, and arrived at the hotel at the exact same minute as my parents and my sister/brother-in-law, who had flown to JFK from San Francisco. After brief greetings at the rehearsal dinner, we sank into the expansive depths of our hotel bed...

Thursday morning we took the train into Manhattan. My sister had made an appointment at Devachan, the mecca of curly hair salons. We wandered around SoHo while she was pampered (and found an Apple store where we were able to play with an iPad - it's smaller than I had expected.) Racing back to Tarrytown for the wedding, we changed our clothes and headed to The Castle.



Friday morning we returned the cars and moved to the Distrikt Hotel near Times Square. The weather had cooled off since our arrival (when it was in the low 90s/around 30C) and it was threatening to rain. That didn't stop us from walking through Central Park, bumping into a friend on the way!






Late lunch at Sarabeth's on Amsterdam, featuring a bucket of iced mocha.

On Saturday morning, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and indulged in the most amazing ice cream sandwiches at Jacques Torres chocolates (even if they use Comic Sans on their labels, patooie!).




City Hall behind us, where we got married in 2006









On Sunday, we split into smaller groups: A & D went to a Yankees game, S took a walk with his camera, and my mom accompanied me on a frenzied shopping trip. I found some makeup at Sephora (I'm still sad that they no longer have stores in the UK), got my bracelet polished at Stuart Moore, and tried on every pair of shoes at Macy's before reluctantly accepting that my Cinderella moment was not to be. Sigh!

But like all good fairy tales, this one came to an end not long after midnight. We left the hotel as the sun was rising for our 6:45 flight to Boston; then on to Heathrow where the BA planes were still sitting motionless at their gates. American might not have been our airline of choice, but it got us there and back. Now, where next?!

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