Christmas in...June?

As most of you know (or can most likely deduce) I quit blogging around Christmas. I got caught up in the handmade projects I had going on, and the crazy, awesome trip my family took to see the oldest child in New York City.

Since then, I've missed you all! And I know you are dying to know all that's been going on in my oh-so-exciting life. *har har* So, for your viewing pleasure today, and because I love ya so much, I'm posting the wild and crazy ride that was Christmas in New York City. Strap on your seat belts, because this will become one wild ride before the day is over.

We left home on the Wednesday before Christmas. Our plan was for Mom & Dad to stay until the next Monday, after Christmas. I was going to stay through New Year's Day, and fly home on Sunday, the 2nd of January. This is all crucial information, believe me.

We boarded our plane in the morning. We waited to grab a morning snack thinking, we'll be at our layover destination around breakfast time, so we'll just wait. *bad idea*

After sitting on the tarmac for about 30 minutes, we were informed that our plane was undergoing "maintenance." Not a fun word to hear when you are ready to be in the air on the way to New York City for pete's sake!

I'm not sure how long we sat there, but eventually we were allowed to leave home.

I love window seats in airplanes. They make for enjoyable flights.

Once we got to our layover destination, it all went downhill. Because we were delayed on our first flight, we had to rush to our gate to get to our next plane, which would ultimately take us to the City. (Ultimately...) But that didn't happen for a very, very, very long time.

Because it is June, much of that day has become one huge blur of baggage, running, angry passengers, hearing the words "maintenance" so many times I wanted to scream, more running, waiting, lugging around our carry-on bags, more waiting, running, oh, and a little more waiting. Needless to say, it was the least fun day of traveling I have ever had.

When we got to our gate for our next flight, after running halfway around Dallas airport to get to the gate, we were told the flight had changed gates. And guess where the new gate was. Yep. It was the gate next to where we had originally gotten off. So, we went ALL the way back, only to be told, again, that the gate had changed. I think that was the point that I almost lost it on the poor TSA woman behind the counter, before my mother gently led me away from the desk.

After waiting for an eternity, we boarded our plane bound for New York, only to wait another hour, all while hearing grinding and working on our plane, to be told we had to get off the plane and find another flight on our own. I tell you, you've never seen mass chaos like a plane full of angry passengers trying to procure the first flight out. *aaahhh*

Eventually, many hours after we were supposed to have landed in New York, we were on a flight out. I'm pretty sure I collapsed into my seat on the plane. Just happy to be in the air. Going anywhere.

We finally landed late in the evening. And we were starving. So, after Sister picked us up, she took us to a local diner to eat a late "breakfast." And it was delicious. One thing New York does right is diner fare.

The next day we ventured out to do some shopping and exploring. I can't remember the neighborhood we went to, but it was full of all sorts of shops to visit. One of my favorites was a little furniture store, with some very eclectic pieces of modern furniture. Mom & Dad weren't too impressed, but Sister and I had a blast looking around.

We stopped for lunch at a wonderful pizza place. Pizza in Oklahoma is nothing like pizza in New York. I'm not even sure we should be allowed to call it pizza.

They definitely don't have anything like this back home. Chicken caesar salad pizza? Yes, please!

Or this. My all time favorite NY style pizza. Pizza margherita. Simple. Elegant. Delicious. *drool*

On Christmas Eve we spent the day at home, then Sister took us into the city for an untraditional Christmas Eve dinner in Little Italy.

Watch out! =) I'm pretty sure Mom was about to have a coronary when I took this picture.

Please forgive the poor iPhone photos. At the moment I don't own a wonderful camera, so I have to rely on my trusty iPhone camera. And believe me, it does not do justice to Little Italy during Christmas.

It was so wonderfully decorated. And so beautiful. It was lovely.

I absolutely loved being in Little Italy. And the quaint italian restaurant that Sister had reservations at....oh my.

There is nothing like homemade, real italian food, while sitting in Little Italy. I'm pretty sure it's the closest thing to actually being in Italy. It was fabulous. And our waiter was the funnest guy. Made the meal that much more enjoyable. We even met an italian Santa! =)

After dinner Sister took us to an amazing dessert restaurant. Even though we were so stuffed from our wonderful meal, we managed to swallow down the delicious italian desserts.

The strawberry shortcake I had was...AH-Mazing. It was SO crowded, which was a testament to how wonderful the desserts were.

It was the perfect end to a lovely dinner.

Little Italy and Chinatown run into each other, so we walked around Chinatown after dinner, but I'll spare you the pictures of the open fish markets. Let's just say, it wasn't a pleasant site...or smell. *bleck*

We had a wonderful Christmas together. Because it would have been too difficult to bring tons of presents with us, and because our real present was being in New York with the oldest, we all exchanged stocking gifts. Of course, some of them were just too big to fit into stockings, but nevertheless, it was a simple, fun Christmas spent together.

We were going to go into the heart of the city the day after Christmas, but decided to stay home and just hang out. Unfortunately, that night the snow hit. And it hit hard.

Needless to say, there was no traveling to the city. There was no traveling anywhere. Not even home. The snow hit on Sunday, Mom & Dad were supposed to fly out on Monday, and they didn't end up flying out until Thursday morning.

As much as we love each other, after being cooped up inside an apartment for 4 days together, we started to get restless.

Mr. Knightley took it all in stride, and spent his days chilling on the couch. He's good at that. Sister has even started a photo album called "Let sleeping dogs lie." It's such a ruff life. =)

This is one of my favorite pictures from the entire trip. It's the entrance to Sister's basement apartment. This was before the giant snow storm hit. When all was calm, all was bright.

Now for the real fun. Still got your seatbelt's fastened? You're gonna need them!

Wednesday the oldest had to go back to work, since she had missed a few days because of the snow. That meant we had to dig her car out from under the massive snow drift. Okay who am I kidding. Dad dug it out. With minimal help from me. But hey. I provided moral support. It's what I do best. Anyway, she left, also leaving the key to the front door for us in case we wanted to walk to the local grocery store or diner.

Just to give you some basics: Sister lives in a basement apartment, with two doors. One opens to the outside, with stairs going up to the street. The other opens into the basement of the apartment building. It is the only direct access from street level to the basement. This is crucial information.

After work, instead of trying to find a parking spot, we just met Sister outside and went to eat dinner. It was glorious to be out of the apartment and back among the living. There was still massive amounts of snow, and when we came back home, trying to find a parking space was a disaster. Because everyone else was trying to go places too, we had to dig a new parking space just to get in.

At some point while trying to get in the street and shovel the snow, the oldest realized something very tragic. She didn't have her front door key. After all, she had left it for us. And Mom had no idea it was sitting inside on the table. After trying to call her roommate, who was on the other side of the country, calling the superintendent, who didn't have a key to the inside door, and trying to get ahold of the land lord, who was in some tropical island enjoying the sunshine, and after standing outside in the freezing cold, we all came to the conclusion that we had to call a locksmith.

Thankfully Sister lives in an apartment building, with heat. So, Mom & Dad took the elevator down to the basement, and hung out in the laundry room which is directly across from Sister's apartment door. The two of us stayed in the lobby trying to get cell phone reception, and trying to locate a locksmith somewhere close that was open at midnight.

After waiting for an hour, the gentlemen finally came, and within 15 second we were in the apartment. Poor Mr. Knightley was barking his fool head off the entire time.

Let me just tell you this: never, under any circumstances, lock yourself out of your home in New York City, at midnight, during Christmas time. The locksmiths will rip you off so steeply that you will have to give up your first born, your right arm, and any valuables you may have on your person.

Finally by 1am we were in bed. Mom and Dad were due to fly out very early the next morning, so they needed to get as much sleep as they could. The bags were packed and the clothes were set out for the next morning.

Mom & Dad were in the oldest's bedroom, she was in the roommates bedroom, and I was in the living room on the couch with the dog, which just happens to be where both doors are located. At some point during the morning I started hearing voices, and walkie-talkies in my subconscious, and I was seeing a flashing light. Around 4am, I heard banging on the front door, and woke with a start. A dog jumping off your body and barking his head off will do that to you.

The oldest came rushing to the door, to find two NYFD firemen telling us there was a man hole fire on the street, and they needed to check for carbon monoxide poisoning. Because Sister's apartment is the only direct access to the basement, they needed to use her door to get inside. This is when they discovered that the fire alarm in the apartment had dead batteries. * comforting thought*

Eventually Mom & Dad just got up and got dressed, it was pointless to try to go back to sleep with firemen traipsing in and out of the apartment. A cab was called because the fire trucks were blocking the street, so Sister couldn't get her car out if she had wanted to. Mom & Dad & Sister dragged the luggage to the end of the street while I tried to keep poor Mr. Knightley relatively calm, only to have to drag the bags to the other end of the street because the cabbie was in the wrong spot.

Around 8 or 9 the situation was under control, but we had no electricity in the apartment. So we bundled up and slept for awhile, then got dressed and went shopping. Hoping that when we got home it would be warm, toasty and well lit. Unfortunately, it wasn't until later that evening that the electricity finally came back on, but we survived and weren't poisoned and still had some sanity left.

I told you this would be a long ride. It was an interesting trip to say the least.

After all the chaos, Sister and I took a trip into the city the next week. It was still freezing cold, but much of the snow had been shoveled away so walking and taking the subways wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. She took me to a wonderful little tea room, Alice's. While we waited for our table, we walked a few blocks down to a fun store owned by Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren.

It was such a fun place. This is the lollipop display in the middle of the store, right above the huge candy bins. Any type of candy and sweets you could imagine was available to purchase.

It was so crowded it was a miracle I got any pictures at all. But I was able to buy some wonderfully delicious candy, that miraculously made it home with me, and was immediately eaten. =)

The Stairway to Candy Heaven was so cool!

It didn't take very long for us to get a call that our table was ready, so we headed back to Alice's.

The entire restaurant is themed on Alice in Wonderland, so there are quotes painted all over the walls.

My wonderful Sister enjoying a nice, hot, cup of tea.

I just loved the drip stoppers. So fun!

It was a fun day. On the walk back to the train station, we even found a super cool hair accessory store, where I found it necessary to buy too many headbands and hair clips. I would fly back to NY just to go to that store. =)

We had a wonderful time on New Year's Eve with the oldest's church family at their watch night service. We were so afraid they were going to cancel because of the weather, but they went ahead and had it, and I was so glad! Her church is one of my favorite places on this earth to be. It was the first watch night service they had in three years because it had always snowed and made it difficult to get to church.

Thanks to my trusty iPhone, my clock reset itself on the 1st at midnight, and I woke up about 45 minutes after I was supposed to on the day I was to fly home, Sunday. It was about 30-45 minutes before my flight was supposed to leave, and I flipped out. It's just a wonder that I woke up at all and realized what time it was. We managed to scramble out of the house in about 10 minutes, and made it to the airport in record time. I was a nervous wreck, and didn't even get to hug Sister goodbye. So I was an emotional mess. After freaking out trying to find someone to let me cut in line, and after bawling on the phone with Sister trying to carry all my luggage, I finally found someone in the same situation and I convinced a rather hateful ticket agent to let me cut in line.

I made it to my plane with moments to spare, and once again collapsed into my seat. It was a crazy flight home, complete with screaming, kicking children behind me, having to drag around a way too big carry-on, and not getting anything to eat, but I made it home in one piece.

It was definitely a crazy, wild trip. But we had so much fun I can't really complain. I got to see Sister, who I miss terribly already, and got to explore NY. It was definitely a Christmas to remember.

If you've made it all the way through this, I applaud you. I'm pretty sure this is the longest post ever in the history of blogging. So, I'll just leave you with this:

Oh, and this.

And this too.

That pretty much sums up the entire trip. =)

-Jenn (With 2 N's)

P.S. Mad props go to Sherry @ Oh So Lovely for the new blog design. She rocks my socks. Thanks Sherry!!

1 comment:

  1. Finally! Every nitty-gritty detail! All I can add is: OH MY GOODNESS!

    Merry Christmas in June!