Friday, September 14, 2007

Empire State Building, Anyone?

I work two exits south of Cleveland Hopkins Airport on Interstate 71, and if I'm feeling particularly frustrated at work I'll head out to the lawn behind our office building and wait for an airplane to pass over, sometimes arriving and sometimes departing, but always doing something that I've never done--flying.

I tracked Jon's flight for most of the day, hitting refresh on the Continental Airlines site every 30 minutes or so, trying to reaffirm that last years debacle wouldn't reoccur with his flight coming in 10 hours late. To my surprise they left 5 minutes early, and then I continued to watch as he flew over Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, and finally neared Cleveland. At 15 minutes to their estimated arrival time I went outback and waited, and wouldn't you know, a plane came flying overhead, low enough for me to see and hear it loud and clear, and then it swung out far to the East, making a large U-turn for landing at the airport, then disappeared behind some trees. I waited a few minutes and then went back inside to refresh the webpage one last time, and found the status had upgraded to Landed, Taxiing to the Gate. I was a little doubtful, but mostly convinced that my husband had just flown over my head.

Tonight I leave for New York but I'm not flying, rather I'm headed out on a long coach bus ride. I have a few things left to do yet:

1. Scuff up my two week old sneakers.
I'm headed out on this very exciting trip to New York City and all I can think about is an article I read on last summer. They accused Mid-Western tourists of continuously wearing ugly shoes. And while I can say that my sneakers are not bright, white Reeboks or even clunky, plastic Crocs, they aren't roach killer Manolos or sporty, uncomfortable Sketchers either. No, my shoes are white and green KSwiss that I picked out specifically for this trip and with the Gawker blog in mind. I felt they were comfortable yet fashionable, but perhaps they could use a little more dirt to make them look worn-in.

2. Change purses and wallets.
We all know I'm notorious for leaving my purse behind (see that time I left it in a shopping cart at the grocery store), but I've always been fortunate enough to get it back. Something tells me I won't be so lucky in New York, and so I'm moving everything from my little leather handbag to a somewhat larger, almost-messenger-bag-type-thing. I figure this way I can always wear it around my neck and across my chest and not have to worry about setting it down. Not to mention I can fit an umbrella and camera along with the other necessities. I figure so long as I'm not wearing a fanny pack I'll be just dandy.

3. Dump the pictures from Vegas.
You can tell Jon was a little intoxicated on the night he opted to roam around Vegas and capture a few shots. Most of the pictures are just colorful blurs of lights or photos of the fountains after the water had done all of the intricate acrobatics. Of course, my favorites are the pictures of Mexican men who stalked up and down The Strip passing out fliers with a photo of a very sexy woman, promising a good time if you call this number. Anyway, I have to clear the photo card of colorful Las Vegas and make room for what looks to be a cold and wet, but very, very large New York City.

4. Fill out my permission slip.
It's actually what the bus company has dubbed a Get To Know You Card, but could have been more accurately named an Emergency Contact Form. I have to provide them with my husband's phone numbers and my mother's contact information and answer a few personal questions about myself. I have a bad feeling that they will formally introduce me on the bus, which I'm not looking forward to, but at least they will know who to call should I try to jump out the window.

5. Pack and prepare.
The nice thing about a weekend trip is there isn't much packing involved, but there are a few odds and ends that I have to bring along like the aforementioned camera and umbrella, some snacks and drinks for the ride there, and a travel tooth brush. I'm sure I'm missing something and I'll take this down to the wire like always, but I'm really trying not to stress about it. After this weekend I will finally know what the big deal is about New York, and can decide once and for all if the Big City Life is for me or if I really am just a country bumpkin.

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