In a spontaneous move for me I hopped on a bus on Saturday and spent the weekend in NYC with Gillian. It was mostly low-key, I was pretty tired by Saturday night so I stayed in and slept while she headed out to a party. The day was a perfect day to be in the city, warm, but not too. Sunny, but not too. Breezy, but not too. Crowded, but not too. We hit the garment district and a little bit of fabric was purchased, but I did not find a copy of the most recent Burda World of Fashion Magazine (June 2009), which I have been searching high and low for. (Anybody?) It seems everywhere I went they had just sold out or had it, but in languages I don't read or speak. The search continues. (Update: I found it on ebay. Yay.)
On Sunday I took a brrr cold shower (the super was on it, but not early enough to start my day) and we headed out to run some errands (I got a great canvas bag at Target-I'd not really shopped at Target before! That place is great) and then back into Manhattan to just walk around, have lunch and watch people. Some of the people gave us more to look at than others.
What is this? Fantasy Fest?
After that it was dinner and the Tony Awards! There is so much I could say, but really, it was so.much.fun. It is a black tie event and to be in a theatre where, with few exceptions (umm, Carrie Fisher? Hello!) everyone is dressed in their best is a blast. And rare. Who dresses up anymore? Remember when you dressed up just to go out to eat? Or to a show? Or church? Or school? Or work? (I know it, another day another post.) Even after it was all over, walking around the city after it was fun to see so many people in gowns and tuxes.
See? There is Radio City Music Hall (a theatre with the most comfortable seats ever!) up ahead. Gillian is the pretty poser in that photo. I have to learn to pose.
When we arrived the line wrapped around the block and back again, walking through it gave the opportunity to see everyone's dresses and hair and botox jobs, cosmetic enhancements. The people? Hmmm, let's just say they like to see and be seen and talk about it the whole time. A far cry from my real life, but fun to peak in at.
That photo makes the stage look a lot farther away than it was. We had great seats on the second balcony and could see everything really well. Even Bret Michaels almost losing his head. Whew, that was a close one for the lip syncer.
Highlights for me? Oh wow. I don't even know how to narrow that down. The opening number was so energizing and ignited the excitement for the night. Angela Lansbury won her 5th Tony Award, standing ovation well earned. The cast of Hair took me back to my elementary school days. Neil Patrick Harris, who couldn't just love him? Liza Minelli brought the house down. The entertainment moved on and off the stage flawlessly. It was amazing to me that everything was on time and so well executed. Even the audience was reined in and corralled like kindergarteners at nap time. As if it isn't enough to get what happened on tv promptly performed, moved, cleaned and moving on and off, there was entertainment for the theatre audience during the commercial breaks. I always thought that the audience was left to mill around and chat, but no. We were treated to film clips about some theatre history, former actors and actresses, live entertainment from upcoming shows, other previews and a glimpse into some fundraising events. That is one way to keep the kindergarteners on their mats audience in their seats. You know you can't just tell them to stay there. You should have seen what it really took to get people to sit.down.the.show.is.starting! I always thought the cameras must get in the way at these things and I hardly noticed them at all. It never ocurred to me that I would go to any award show, I didn't really have the interest it making it happen, but I'm so glad Gillian invited me and that I went. Only down side? This is the first year that I had not seen most of the shows and one or two of the plays nominated. Weird. I had a blast.
Monday morning: I've been wondering just how to blog this, and I think I can do it without much of the emotion, the anger, discomfort or fatigue. You'll.Just.Know:
- 9 am. Leave Gillian's and take the short bus ride to Port Authority to catch my bus home. Looking forward to listening to my book and knitting my shawl. Perfect end to a perfect weekend.
- 9:45ish: After grabbing some fruit and an iced tea for the ride (had I only skipped that iced tea run!) I get in line for the 10 am Peter Pan/Greyhound bus to Boston, I should be there by 2:30 (this is important to remember). No bus, long line. At this point I had the fleeting thought on that gorgeous day to just stay in the city and take a later bus home.
- 10:15ish: Busses arrive and load. I hand over my ticket to the driver and get on the bus. No place for me to sit. Off the bus with the assurance that another bus is being sent for the 15-20 people that have been sold tickets for seats that don't exist. This is the first of many false assurances the PETER PAN/GREYHOUND employees gave this day. That must be their main training.
- 11:00: No bus.
- 11:30: No bus.
- 12:00: No bus, not even the 12:00 scheduled bus.
- 12:20ish: After seriously considering just skipping the ride altogether (why, oh why don't I listen to that inner voice?!) and standing (you only get to stand in a bus station and don't abandon your place in line to complain, go to the bathroom, or get another drink because that iced tea you got for the ride? Long gone! You will lose any chance of getting on a bus if you leave your spot in line) I finally board a bus and think I may still make it home for my ride (Pete has a flight to catch after he picks me up).
- 1:30-2:00ish: Bus pulls over on the side of a very busy US95 in Connecticut. This does not look good. We are assured by the driver that this is a few minute fix, some computer code thing, and we will be on our way.
- 2:15-2:30ish: Okay, waiting for someone to call with correct code, none of the codes the driver has works. A little longer on the wait.
- 2:30: No go. PETER PAN/GREYHOUND is sending a bus to pick us up. From NYC. Ninety minutes away. (Alright, at that moment I totally understood that there was not a driver and a bus sitting there just waiting to come and help us out. I knew that right then, but I still had hopes that I might be home by six or seven.) We are to stay on the bus for safety reasons. HA! Did I say busy highway? On the bus, off the bus, we are not safe and we are hot and cranky.
- 2:30-3:00: People are getting off the bus.
- The exact timing of the following is sketchy in my memory (at some point isn't everything a blur?): CT State Trooper arrives and says that we really have to stay on the bus. About 30 minutes or so later he relents and lets us sit outside, reminding us that we are near a big city and we should be careful to not sit on hypodermic needles that may have been thrown from cars. And I don't think I need to tell you just how bad the "rest room" on the bus is getting with no circulation or air moving around in it. There is a rest area in our sight with a McDonald's and bathrooms. We are not to walk there, the state trooper says no (we hear stories of pedestrian deaths on this highway happening every seven something. Seconds? Minutes? Hours? Our driver is getting no information about the bus that has been dispatched to pick us up, so the state trooper takes over. Long story short (?) he cannot get any info out of PETER PAN/GREYHOUND (at this point it is important to say that the driver cannot get through to them either) so he calls the emergency number at the Port Authority to get through. He threatens (and follows through) to call a tow truck for the bus himself to get the bus off the highway, which will cost PETER PAN/GREYHOUND money and that gets them on the ball. Sort of.
- 4:30ish: We learn from our favorite CT State Trooper that no bus has left NYC to get us. Wait. I haven't maybe given that the proper emphasis: NO BUS HAS LEFT NYC TO GET US!!!
- Sometime after that: Tow truck arrives and tows bus with passengers up the road to the rest area, offering us if not any hope of getting home, safety, a bathroom and food. We sit outside and wait.
- 5:30-6:00: A tow truck arrives from PETER PAN/GREYHOUND to get the bus (being held captive by the first tow truck driver who I am sure is charging for every second he sits there) because THAT would be costing them money. Meanwhile, we watch many PETER PAN/GREYHOUND busses drive by. One stops and can take five passengers. (WHAT!?)
- 6:30ish: After a day of lies and misrepresentations from the PETER PAN/GREYHOUND company and employees (two actually laughed at us in NYC when we inquired about the bus they were sending for us), a bus arrives and we are on our way.
- 9:30ish: We arrive in Boston. We are safe. We are sound. Sort of.
- There was another blogger on the bus and she posted about our day as well.
You know, stuff happens. I get that. But how a customer is treated says a lot. Sending the tow truck before the bus, leaving us in harm's way? And had it not been for the state trooper's involvement, I can't even think of how the day might have gone. The driver was getting nowhere with the company he drives for. Twice Gillian offered to come get me, and twice I told her no because I thought the bus would be there before she would. I was so.wrong.
It feels good to be home and I cannot wait to get back to spend another weekend with Gillian, we had a blast. I think I'll be driving though.
Ten On Tuesday. Ten Favorite Things To Do During "ME" Time.
- Beach. I know, you are surprised.
- Fiber festivals.
- When I have the house to myself (ahhh) just enjoy the quiet and:
- Sew, knit, spin, listen to books. Especially on my back porch with iced tea or martinis.
- I love checking into a B&B for a weekend, preferably at the beach, and just hanging out.
- Visit with friends.
- Hang with my peeps, like Gillian this weekend. My family makes "me" time fun.
Seventy-three. Yes, I brought knitting. You'll be surprised to know it involves yarn overs and ssk. Really!