I just realized - its been a long, long, long time since I put up any of my travel stories. And I still have the trip to NYC made during the Fourth of July weekend in 2006 to bore you all with :-P. So here goes :-)!
Like all planning goes, the idea of going to NYC started with my undergrad friend P being sent on-site to the USA for a project from her company in India. P landed in NYC around the end of April. In the first week of May, another undergrad friend S (who had also been on-site in New Hampshire for a couple of months) and me decided that we should do something together for the 4th of July long weekend. After lots of discussions (we considered plenty of destinations including Alaska!!!) we finally decided to make it into a reunion in NY.
P, S, M (another undergrad friend) and me were thick as thieves in the hostel during our undergrad days. There are a few more who belonged to that gang - but even the four of us meeting again seemed like a wonderful idea. Finally, by the first week of June, all tickets were booked. We were to stay at P's place in Hicksville (a suburb of NYC) and visit Atlantic City and Washington during the long weekend. Yahooo :-D!
On June 30th morning, my manager was very nice to me and turned a perfect blind eye while I left work at around 11.30a to catch my flight :-D! Fortunately, this time, unlike the Canada fiasco, I was well on time for my flight. I made it to the connecting flight at Los Angeles with only a couple of minutes to spare - phew! From LA, it was one looooooooong flight. My book, my ipod and my fairly decent collection of snacks (which ultimately proved to be too less) helped me pass the time during five and half hour journey to NYC.
I landed at the JFK airport in NYC around 10.35p. M had arrived from Miami at a different terminal. P, P's husband D and S were delayed in coming to pick us up. By the time we had all assembled at the same spot, it was already past 11.00p. Then we spent another half an hour going up and down in the air train (I am not going to go into exact details as to how such a huge delay happened. Just know that we managed to visit each terminal at least three times during that trip). Finally we reached the car rental office around 11:45p. Thankfully they still had a car for us.
M, as the longest US license holder between M, S and me (P and D were yet to get their US driver's licenses), was unianimously nominated to drive on the mean streets of New York first. M reluctantly agreed (hehehe, there was no other choice) to take the wheel. And off we set. By this time, we were all extremely ravenous and wanted to get home as soon as possible.
So, of course, we almost immediately lost our way :-(! Finally, we had to stop at a convenience store to rechart our course. We almost got lost again but a chance turn brought us back on the right course again. Throughout the trip, such random acts of good luck kept happening. Otherwise we would have spent even more time being lost!
S was bent upon finding a Chinese restaurant to eat in. However, at 12.30a in the night, there was only a very bleak chance of finding such a place. So P said that she would make dinner for us real quick once we got home. After lots of arguments, we decided that P would make upma (pongal was vetoed thanks to me).
Once we got home, P made delicious upma which we had with chips and pickles (tip: Priya brand onion pickle tastes awesome). Once our stomachs were full, we all immediately perked up. Poor D was booted out of the bedroom and we girls made ourselves at home in there :-D! Then the chatting began. For the next couple of hours, I was transported right back to our hostel days. It felt soooooo good :-D. We pulled legs and dissolved into laughter over everything.
Finally, after having a tussle over the sleeping spots and then having the silly "She is doing this to annoy me" fights and then arguing over whether the night-light should be turned on or not, we called it a night and went to sleep.
From the time we all had met, till the time we went to bed we had had so much fun. And I knew, this was going to be one helluva a great trip!
To be continued ...