We arrived at our hotel in Irvington, NJ to ominous looking skies. That's right, I said Irvington, New Jersey. You see, while shopping around for a great deal on Expedia I came across what appeared to be a REALLY great deal. Three nights for $170. So I looked on the map and it looked like it was pretty close to a NJ Transit train station. I figured this was going to be easy.
This turned out to be false.
We were nowhere near a train station. After some investigating, we discovered that we could take the free hotel shuttle to the Newark Airport, catch the Air Train to the Newark NJT Station, and then take the train on into Penn Station in Manhattan. Which we did with relative ease, except for the part where it costs $15 to ride the train one way from the Newark Station to Penn Station. This was also the same price it was going to cost to get back. As we were going to have to do this for 3 days, my brain began cramping as I was figuring out just how much $$$ we were actually going to save by staying in Irvington.
But we managed to make our way to Times Square to enjoy an afternoon of walking around the city. Of course, we exited the subway to a torrential downpour. We were meeting one of Chris' friends at the Public Library later that day, so a strolling we went in that direction. By the time we made it the eight or so blocks over there, we were drenched. Lucky for us, there was a Mets team store across the street where we were able to purchase a couple of Mets rain ponchos. We looked like a couple of bizzaro portly Jedi with a big NY logo emblazoned on our chests. I am thankful there are no pictures of this.
We strolled back up to Times Square, because we had seen a Yankee store when we got off the Subway. We were inside all of about two minutes when we both became physically ill from seeing that much Yankee stuff and bolted for the door. We were stopped by one of the clerks who asked if we had any plans for the night. We told him that we were going to the Mets game and that we didn't have tickets yet and BINGO! He produced four tickets to box seats at Shea!! Our first break of the day!!
Feeling pretty good about the score, we headed back towards the Library for a few pre game beers. Our euphoria ended pretty quickly upon our arrival as we learned that the game had been cancelled!!!
So...pre game beers turned into rain out beers, and rain out beers seldom turn into good things. This was no exception. After consuming many fine beers at a cool little place called The Ginger Man, we called it a night around 11 p.m. and went back to Penn Station to depart back for the hotel.
This is where it gets a little fuzzy. Evidently Penn Station is one honking huge place, with more than one entrance. Naturally, we didn't go in the one we'd come out of earlier in the day, and were completely lost. We walked around for what seemed like a good 30 to 45 minutes trying to find out where we were supposed to get our return tickets, what train we were supposed to catch, what stop we were supposed to get off at, etc.
Note to self: Pay more attention in the future to how you got somewhere in a strange town if beer is going to be on the agenda that day.
The events over the next hour are a little blurry, but somehow we made it back to the Newark Airport. Unbeknownst to us, there is a stop on the Air Train SPECIFICALLY for hotel shuttles. P4. I will never forget it. We did not know this though, and got off at Terminal C, where we had been dropped off that afternoon. We waited in line out in the rain with about 50,000 other people who were waiting for cabs out of the airport. Eventually we got a cab ($23, yay!!!) and when we walked in our hotel room it was 2:30 a.m.
I am pretty sure on the next trip I will not be in charge of making the hotel reservations.
But you live and you learn (thanks Alanis!) and we were hopeful it would get better.
Monday, May 5, 2008
It's Been One Week, Volume 2
The first of our three days in New York turned out to be fairly miserable.