Mar 2014
Bobby Becker

Surviving New York City (pt. 1)

I’ve made it back from the Big Apple after an unforgettable trip. I saw some pretty amazing landmarks, met some helpful (and some not-so) helpful people, and got plenty of exercise. In a series of blog posts over the next few days, I’ll highlight the most memorable parts of the trip as I experienced many first times including taking a taxi, riding a city bus, and commuting via the subway.

Toll booth near Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Coins only. Too bad I didn't have any.

Toll booth near Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Coins only. Too bad I didn’t have any.

Getting to New York wasn’t easy. I left Omaha, Neb. at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday night then drove to Ames, Iowa to pickup my friend Ryan who was joining me on the trip. From there, we drove all night to Chicago for a 6:00 a.m. flight to New York. We had to pay several tollbooths in Illinois, the last of which only accepted coins. I, however, had no change because I cashed it in the day before for a little extra spending cash. Great. So we proceeded on without paying. Illinois has an online option to pay unpaid tolls. So I put a quick reminder in my phone to take care of that later that reminds me, I have four days to pay that until there will be a warrant out for my arrest.

We finally arrived to Chicago O’Hare International Airport but accidentally missed the economy parking exit. After an excessive detour, we parked the car and I ran after a shuttle bus in fear that it was leaving us behind. No worries, it was just turning around. We boarded our plane and slept for about an hour tops. High wind speeds made for a rough flight but we landed safely at LaGuardia Airport at 9:00 a.m.

Unfortunately there were no rooms available at our hotel for us to check in that early so we decided to take advantage of the $10 breakfast that we were assured was “delightful.” We quickly realized it was a cheap continental breakfast complete with cereal, toast, waffles, and hard-boiled eggs. Not exactly appetizing when you pay $10 a piece. There was still no room available (the concierge urged us to keep pestering the front desk) so we decided to go for a swim at the hotel pool. The water was probably about 65 degrees and our feet barely entered before we quickly made our way to the hot tub. After about an hour, a room finally became available.

The first order of business was to cleanse the chlorine with a nice, hot shower. Ryan jumped at the chance to go first. After about five minutes of turning the water off and on, he informed me we had no hot water. He even attempted to transport the hot water from the sink to the bathtub with the small ice container. No success. After each of us took a cold shower, we unpacked our clothes and took a short nap before venturing out into the city.

That is all I’ll include for this post, but be assured that are plenty more interesting stories to be told. Check back soon!