I always expect packing to take more work than it actually does. Maybe I remember too many childhood trips taken with four people, when my brother was a baby, and lugging what seemed like a dozen (although was probably more like four) bags around.
Instead I toss as many clothes as I can into a suitcase along with Tech Support's, and it only fills one suitcase, and we're done. And I wander around the apartment trying to find what I've forgotten.
Still, I don't sleep great before flights, and the night before last was no exception. As a result I was pleasantly out of it for the ride to the airport, breakfast at McDonalds, and most of the flight too.
We took off a little late and Tech Support and I were sitting in a front area with massive amount of legroom and no place for our bags. The single window was covered up by our third row-mate, so the entire time I kept pretending that we weren't actually in the air, but in a strange vibrating room. Frigid air was blasting from the emergency exit, making our poor row-mate who sat next to it miserable, as well as bewildered and upset that no one could do anything about it mid-air.
So for about 5 hours we read, fussed, got hungry but didn't pay for expensive food, dozed, and then landed.
It was raining in Jamaica (where JFK is, which did confuse me). We actually were late getting in because of a "weather system" which we later discovered to our extreme surprise were tornados in Brooklyn. We missed all of it, and took a cab into Manhattan. Traffic was slow at first but eventually we saw the bright lights.
After checking in and changing we headed out to meet up with Erica. Not sure how to get a cab Tech Support kinda flailed in the air until a driver took pity on us. We met up with Erica and her beau and enjoyed good company, good conversation and chianti. Afterwards we split up, tried to find the subway, gave up, and took the taxi back to the hotel.
Neither of us slept too great. In the morning I dozed poorly, my body bewildered by the way the sun blasted through the windows at 5am (it didn't know about the time change). Eventually we dragged ourselves up and out to breakfast.
We enjoyed our breakfast thoroughly, and almost as much enjoyed watching about two dozen well dressed New Yorkers poured into the restaurant. There was a lot of hugging and chatting and near as we could figure a large group of family and friends had just come from service and were enjoying some kind of occasion together for breakfast. Envelopes kept being passed to one member of the party. Tech Support and I speculated on what was happening.
After that we figured out the subway system without too much pain and took two short jaunts to get from near our hotel up to a corner of Central Park.
Of course we had to go to the Apple Store there. Tech Support got himself a diminutive magic gizmo for taking credit cards which seemed to make him happy about a future of charging people. Rather than going to the park we went further down 5th street, checking out all the fancy stores. We found Uni Qlo and checked out the clothes but weren't ready to shop yet, so turned and headed back to Central Park.
Under orders from my mother to go to Strawberry Fields we went entered the park. We'd been discussing Law and Order and the high chances of finding a dead body in the area, so I took every opportunity to go under bridges (the best place to find a body). Unfortunately my zeal lead us far afield of our actual goal, and even took us directly under Strawberry Fields. Thanks to Tech Support we finally ended up in the right area, where dozens of tourists were gathered around the imagine mosaic. A man with a guitar kept singing "Let It Be" over and over again, possibly not even using any other lyrics. I wondered why he didn't sing Imagine.
After that we meandered through the park a bit more, enjoying a perfect day too much because suddenly we were out of time and rushing back into the city to meet with Erica on time. I almost got us lost but then we found her and her guy in time for "Avenue Q".
"Avenue Q" made me feel very different about puppets. It was also an excellent way to relax after walking all over the city. Afterwards we had a few more minutes to catch up with Erica, though it didn't really feel like enough, as they walked us back to our hotel. We shared awkward hugs and waved goodbye. Unfortunately, it wasn't until later that day I realized I'd failed to take any pictures of us together.
Tech Support and I weren't really ready to retire to our room, but since we were at the hotel we went inside only to discover the hotel wasn't ready for us either -- the elevators weren't moving. We left and went down the street to a restaurant in our guidebook where we enjoyed a long romantic dinner together.
Tech Support had some romantic New-York-Notion of staying out late doing more things, but by the time we were done and it was nearly 8pm we instead were ready to collapse into our bed. Luckily this time the elevators were working and we got to our room without trouble.