Note: There’s still time to enter my Patrick Wilson DVD giveaway! Just click here and enter!
Yesterday when talking about the time I met soon-to-be-A-List-Mega-Star Patrick Wilson, I mentioned the fifteen hour trip I took to New York City.
I said it was a story for another day, and guess what! It’s another day!
I decided this counts as a confession because the entire thing was caused by a lack of available funds and a lack of proper planning. But sometimes, those are the best kinds of trips, n’est-ce pas?
It all started, like I mentioned yesterday, when a bunch of my internet friends decided to fly to NYC to see Patrick in a Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s (sadly, non-musical) play Barefoot in the Park. Show tickets went on sale in October, so we had to plan early in order for our group of 20 or so to attend the same show.
I bought my tickets for the play in November. Only for the play. Which was on April 1 (the irony is not lost). I bought two tickets so that my roommate-at-the-time, Kelli, could come with me. We were SO excited. Neither of us had ever been to The Big Apple and we couldn’t wait. Winter was extra long that year.
As our departure date approached, we started shopping for airfares and found some really good deals. But since we were young and brilliant, we had bills instead of credit cards and kept putting off the purchase of the all-important airline tickets. And then, all of a sudden, it was the middle of March and we were leaving in TWO WEEKS. And we had NO plane tickets.
(Yeah, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m sort of a procrastinator. Even when it’s something I am really looking forward to. Do they have a pill for that?)
Anyway, LOOOOOOOONNNNNNNG story short, we ended up with an American Airlines flight from Salt Lake City to La Guardia, leaving sometime in the early-ish part of the day on Friday, with a layover in Dallas. The return flight was for even earlier-ish on Sunday morning from JFK back to Salt Lake and I don’t remember having a layover. I might have slept through it. I don’t know.
We crammed what little we needed for the quick turnaround trip into backpacks and dashed off for the airport, beyond giddy about our first trip to New! York! City! With no luggage to check and boarding cards in hand, we zipped through security with lightning speed and arrived at our gate with plenty of time to spare.
Even more time to spare than we bargained for, as a matter of fact.
Our plane was late arriving.
Several hours late in arriving.
So many hours late in arriving, that when we finally got onboard (and, sadly, in very separated assigned seats) we discovered that there was a strong possibility that we would miss our connecting flight to La Guardia. I relaxed and did my best to enjoy the flight, thinking of all the exciting things and people that were waiting for us when we stepped off the plane.
As we flew over the Great American Desert (having a window seat is not always glamorous), I came to learn that, not only were we going to miss our flight, we were also going to miss the last available flight for the entire night. I thought New York was the City That Never Sleeps. How can there not be a red eye?? Thankfully, American Airlines actually accepted responsibility for what happened and offered to put us up in a hotel for the night.
I resolved to make the most of this unexpected detour. As soon as our plane landed, I told Kelli that since we were in Texas we needed to get a Real Texas Steak. As soon as we got to our hotel, checked in and found our room, we were completely starving. Kelli called the front desk:
Kelli: Hi, I’m not from around here and I was wondering where we can get a Real Texas Steak.
Braindead Front Desk Employee: Hmmm. There’s an Outback Steakhouse up the street.
Kelli: There’s an Outback Steakhouse up the street from my place in Utah. Is there anything a little more authentic nearby?
Braindead Front Desk Employee: Oh, you should try Bennigan’s. It’s right next door.
For the uninitiated, Bennigan’s isn’t much different from Chili’s. Just sayin’.
So we were booked for the first flight out on Saturday morning. At 6am. We were up and waiting for the shuttle at 4:30. I saw the line of refugees checking in the night before and there was NO WAY I was getting stuck behind that lot waiting to get back to the airport. So we left early.
At 11am, our plane landed at La Guardia. I had sort of planned how we would get from there into the city, but I hadn’t checked it out as carefully as I’d thought and ended up being a little bit confused. Train? Bus? Taxi? What to do. We settled on a bus that promised to deliver us to Penn Station for only 20 bucks a person. It ended up not being too bad, and by NOON, we had arrived. We were so there. New! York! City!
The night before, when it became clear that we would have very limited time to do a week’s worth of touristy stuff, we prioritized. Here is how we spent our precious few hours:
- Ran! to the Empire State Building and waited in line for 1 1/2 hours to get to the top where Kelli, seeing a tiny patch of lawn in front of an office building, stated that she thought Central Park looked a lot bigger on TV. She was serious.
- Found a subway station and managed to figure out how to get most of the way to Battery Park before the subway track ended and we had to get off and walk several blocks to find the park so that we could see the Statue of Liberty.
- Found Battery Park and saw the globe that once resided in the World Trade Center complex.
- Found Ground Zero after getting lost and going up the wrong street twice, joining forces with a very nice couple and finally locating the gigantic section of ground with the chain link fence around it. It’s amazingly easy to miss when you’re in a hurry.
- Managed to get from Ground Zero to Times Square in under 40 minutes by finding another subway station, figuring out how to navigate, and then running eight or so blocks to our friends’ hotel.
- Met the friends (and Patrick Wilson) at a really great Italian restaurant only a block or so from the hotel.
- Waited outside of the Cort Theater before the play started, chatting with Marika Dominczyk (Patrick’s sister-in-law), who then informed us she had to go meet her boyfriend, who was waiting for her inside. (She’s now married to that boyfriend, and his name is Scott Foley.)
- Sat in Row 12 for the play (Marika and Scott were in Row 6), and then had fun waiting outside at the stage door where we took many, many pictures (most of which were lost three months later when my computer crashed).
- Found a little bar with friends and ordered Dr. Pepper while they were drinking Margaritas.
- Went back to the hotel with the friends and stayed up all night hanging out, chatting, and gushing over the fact that we had just met Patrick Wilson.
- Hailed a cab at 4 am to head to JFK airport, wait a few hours for our plane, and then return back to Salt Lake. I’m pretty sure I slept the entire way.
- Got up and went to work at 7am on Monday morning. I’m dedicated.
Even though it didn’t turn out like we had originally planned, and even though we didn’t get to see 1/thousandth of what I want to see of the city, it was an amazing trip, and one that can never be duplicated. All told, the entire weekend cost us each about $300, but the memories and the laughs will last forever.So…who’s ready for me to book their next weekend getaway? I know how to have a good time!