Friday, September 02, 2011

The New York Cherney Journey: These Vagabond Shoes

I'm thinking of getting a t-shirt printed with:
I SURVIVED THE LAST TWO WEEKS IN AUGUST-NEW YORK 2011

Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but considering what occurred during my East Coast invasion tour since the moment we landed, these words ring true like the bells at St. Patrick's Cathedral at High Noon. Think I'm overstating it a bit? Consider these disasters and near-catastrophes in just 14 days.
Hurricane Irene
The East Coast Earthquake
Tornado Warning





A near-crash landing
A trip to the E/R
Need I go on? Oh, I will. Trust me. I have a blog.
And so, another adventure begins. FINALLY.

It had been too long of a time between escapades, other than the local kind. Staycations are great in theory, but the truth of the matter is you're going to run out of ideas sooner or later and if even if you live in a place of endless possibilities like my own Portland, Oregon, you're going to need a break. Even the Great Outdoors can seem confining after awhile.

Good fortune smiled upon us once again as we were able to spend (thanks to a generous grant from the Kuhn Foundation) two fun and not cream-filled weeks in New York, New York, the city so great it should be called New York, New York, New York.

This trip turned out to be a be a quasi-sequel to my book, PLEASE HOLD THUMBS, all about the trip to South Africa for the wedding of my daughter Lindsay and son-in-law Chris. That marriage has spawned a franchise with the arrival of my beautiful granddaughter Aefa on May 31, 2011. Hence, our vacation plans were pre-destined for an end of the summer blow-out in the Apple that is BIG. Like the major dork I proclaim to be, NEW YORK, NEW YORK ( the Kander/Ebb version, not the Bernstein/Comden/Green original from ON THE Town ) kept running through my head prior to boarding our American Airline flight out of Portland...several days prior to boarding. I hummed it. I sang it out loud. I even did a little dance when nobody was looking. At least, I think nobody was looking. I really wanted to go. So did my wife Laurie. After all, we were going to see her baby and her baby.

We departed PDX early Sunday Aug, 14 with lotsa luggage and a bag full o' provisional goodies to eat on the long trip (sandwiches, Clementines, protein bars and the piece' de resistance-wasabi arugula from Trader Joe's, Laurie's personal touch) as we jetted the first leg of our journey, Dallas-Fort Worth for a quick connection before heading off to Laguardia in NYC. This stopover proved uneventful with the exception of a 90 minute delay and a rollicking ride on the D/FW terminal light rail system, Skylink. a transport right right out of LOGAN'S RUN and if we stayed another hour, I would have ridden it a few more times just for shits and giggles. Somehow though, I think the TSA frowns on the ol' S and G.

On flight numero dos, the pilot announced that NYC was in the midst of a rainstorm of rather Apocalyptic proportions (though I'm paraphrasing) so we had to circle about until we got an all clear from Laguardia and air traffic was beginning to pile up like winged hemorrhoids . After another hour of circling we made our descent in storm central and what a ride it turned out to be. We hit the runway with such force that, for all intents and purposes, that could have been the end. It was just that sudden, just that severe. There was no time for goodies. No time for crying. No time to even say "Whoa!" It was more like like a "W---!" Another hard lesson in the fragility of mortality. To make matters even more fun, we hydroplaned across the tarmac until we mercifully came to a halt. I am just now now beginning to exhale from that landing.

Our son-in-law Chris greeted us inside the hot mess known as Laguardia Airport and patiently waited for our luggage to unload after another full hour. As my wife would say, "It wasn't lovely."

The rain had not subsided and the ride to the kids' place was treacherous to say the very least. New York roads are wretched, rutted and decrepit, all too easy to fill with murky lakes of rainwater, further extending our adventurous arrival. Along the way, Chris pointed out some all too familiar landmarks through the rain-soaked windows, a review of the vacation to come. Finally, the showers let up enough for us to make it safe and finally sound in Brooklyn to be greeted by one of my true idols in life, my daughter Lindsay. Afea had been asleep for hours and we were only allowed a cursory glance until morning. Laurie had presented their nervously sweet terrier Millie with a squeaky pink duck, guaranteeing that we had another new love in our lives too. After too much day, we drifted off to blessed sleep.

Bleary and groggy, I awoke in a strange land very early the next morning, Laurie, who had been wide awake for quite some time, said with her big brown eyes wide open, "I wonder if that baby's awake yet."

Sure enough, she was indeed.

Ladies and gentlemen, please rise. It is my honor and privilege to introduce the world to our main attraction:
Her Royal Highness Princess Aefa from the Kingdom of Brooklyn.

My Angel Baby.

Love at first sight.

Gee, does it show?

Coming up next: Straight inta Brooklyn
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