Sometimes life is weird. And sometimes, it’s weirder than weird.
Back in the summer, my other half decided he wanted to take me to New York as a surprise birthday present.
So on October 28th, we went to New York…
Now if you were following the news at the end of October/start of November, you might have an idea that the surprise he’d planned was outdone by a bigger surprise…
Yes, we arrived in New York, just before hurricane Sandy (also known as Super Storm Sandy or the Frankenstorm) showed up.
We arrived at our hotel – just as a mandatory evacuation was announced. Unsurprisingly, some people were a little stressed by being told they had to find a new place at such short notice. Thankfully having stayed in NY before, we simply phoned a hotel we stayed at before and managed to get their last room. Lucky sods that we are!
The next day was my birthday… in a very shut New York. We were in midtown Manhattan, where there were only tourists and ‘crazies’ on the streets. (Yes, it did feel a bit like a movie!)
And everyone was in search of food… there were no cafes or restaurants open, room service was off the menu and even all the Starbucks were closed!
So we celebrated ‘worst case scenario’ birthday New York with a pumpkin instead of a birthday cake, eating Cheetos instead of food and bouncing on the bed… well, because who doesn’t do that in a hotel room? (If you don’t, you should. It’s like your constitutional right… or something like that.)
And then… well, on Tuesday, New York was still shut. On Wednesday, the MoMA was open – and that was it. Which was pretty crazy. You don’t often see ‘I Am Legend’ style New York. By evening, whole blocks were in complete darkness with only the Empire State Building to light your way.
By Thursday, our lovely original hotel reopened (we’d been on standby at our emergency hotel) and we managed to persuade a rather nice taxi driver to take us there. (Not many had gas/petrol or were willing to drive to Brooklyn.)
It was a little more open than Manhattan, so we went in search of actual food… some shopping, and some street art. (Since street art doesn’t close!)
By the time, we’d had our first proper meal (it’s amazing how delicious a little seaweed wrap tastes when you’ve eaten only Cheetos for three days!)… we were beginning to feel more like we were on holiday…
We wandered about, we strolled, we sauntered, we meandered (yes, the subway still wasn’t working properly)…
But it was great… we snapped some street art, found a junk shop, did some thrifting (of course)…
Oh and we shopped. I splashed out on a lavender coffee, a pink bobble hat and a Leah Reena Goren dress. (It has kitties on it and pockets… essential purchase!)
And then… well, then my other half got very, very, very sick. We didn’t realise it then but he’d caught the Norovirus (the winter vomiting bug). And that was that.
(This sad sloth represents how we both felt about that!)
By Sunday, he was well enough to go out and explore New York again. (Matt Dillon is here to represent how happy we felt about that!)
We had 8 hours before we had to be at the airport…
So we went to a flea market, then took our unused Halloween masks to Manhattan…
And it was a gorgeous day. Look at that beautiful blue sky… Hello Chrysler Building.
And a cool crisp Autumn evening… Hello Election themed Rockefeller Centre.
And then it was time to say goodbye…
But there was one more surprise left. I got the Norovirus too. In an airport. In front of a whole queue of people waiting for their plane. Let’s just say it wasn’t my finest moment!
Back in Scotland, we decided that drastic times called for drastic measures – yes, it called for Elf.
“Why are you smiling like that?”
“I just like to smile, smiling’s my favourite.”
And everything was right in the world again.*
*Ok, that’s a bit of a lie. I was still very very very sick and had some really freaky feverish nightmares that may or may not have been inspired by Elf. But heck, it’s certainly going to be a trip we’ll never forget. We’ll be those old people going ‘We were in New York when…”. Hopefully I’ll leave out my spectacular puke performance in the airport though!