New York – New York

My first trip!

It was December 2006 and my first trip to New York was a flying visit – literally. I was taking a flight from Denver on the morning of Wednesday December 20th to attend a Christmas Party in New Jersey that evening and then flying back the following day, or so I thought. Everything that could possibly go wrong did go wrong. Snow was forecast and it arrived with a vengeance. I left for the airport early and my flight was the last to leave Denver International Airport before it closed. It snowed for three days.

People were stranded at Denver International Airport for days.

I arrived in at La Guardia Airport flustered, tired and wondering how the heck I was going to get to my hotel in New Brunswick in time for a party which started as six o clock. It was already 4 pm. I hadn’t the slightest idea how to start my journey to New Brunswick, so I took a cab. It cost me over a hundred dollars, but it was better than trying to get a train in the middle of the rush hour.

My husband was watching the televison, and the chaos in Denver, when I arrived and went to get me a drink to calm my frazzled nerves. I washed, changed, fixed my make up and then off we went to the party. It was a fabulous party and worth the journey.

The next morning I put the television on to discover Denver International Airport was closed and there wouldn’t be any flights going in or out until Saturday Dec 23rd. I picked up the phone and called the airline to be told that I couldn’t get a flight until Tuesday Dec 26th, the day after Christmas. I fought back the tears and told the booking agent I was not going to hang up until he found me a flight before Christmas. My daughter was in Denver and I did not want her to spend Christmas alone. We had to be together, we were a family. My voice trembled, but I was insistent and I held onto that phone for ninety minutes. The gentleman dealing with me was extremely nice and eventually, with much effort, got us on a flight early on Saturday morning. I put the phone down and cried with relief.

For the first time ever, I had only packed enough clothing to last me one night, and here I was stranded for three. The lovely lady in the hotel gift shop gave me a ride to the local Costco, where I bought some jeans and tops. I then went for a walk around rural New Jersey. It was a very nice area. I could relax again, knowing I would be home for Christmas.  I planned a trip to New York the following day and was extremely excited.

I got an early train and just wandered. It wasn’t too cold and I walked for miles. I loved it. I was giddy with excitement.

I wandered through central park, walked down Madison Avenue, Broadway, Fifth Avenue. I stopped occasionally for coffee. I window shopped, took photos. It was an unexpected delight to find myself in this vibrant city just before Christmas. It was even more delightful knowing I was going to make it home for the holidays.

My husband called me and told me he had left work early (he was working in New Jersey) and was almost at Penn Station. Even better.

I hurried to meet him. What a treat. We wandered around a little longer and then found a restaurant where we had a couple of glasses of wine and ate an early dinner. We were both in high spirits when we took the train back to the hotel.

Yes, my first trip to New York should have been a flying visit, in one day and out the next. It could have been disastrous, but it turned out to be  a lot of fun.

The flight back from La Guardia was scary. People were grouping together and chartering planes to get home on time. The airport was packed with less fortunate people who were struggling to get a flight back to Denver, or that connected in Denver. Some people knew they were in for a long wait.

I was happy and relieved that I had managed to get a flight home for Christmas.

I have been to New York several times since this trip, but the first time was the most memorable.

I definitely do LOVE New York.

Our trip home from the airport in Denver was difficult. Our driveway was under about three feet of snow, but we made it.

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