Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The exciting ending.

This post might seem anticlimactic to some of you. Apparently my tone in the previous email left you guys with the wrong impression. Several misguided text messages and blog comments left me wondering what it was that could have led you guys in the completely wrong direction.

Let me first say, no, Cyndie is not pregnant. Secondly, after all this build up this post has no chance of living up to the hype. What the heck though, I'll tell you anyway.

I'm usually a very punctual person. The truth is I hate being late. But when it comes to flights, for one reason or another I'm always pushing the limit; getting there as close to my flight time as possible. I have, however, missed a few flights in the past couple of years though, and I've learned my lesson. I drove to DFW airport Tuesday morning and got there a safe hour and a half early. I checked my bag, went through security, and found a comfortable place to wait to board. I hadn't slept much the night before so I thought I'd close my eyes and try to get a little sleep in the hour I had left in the terminal. I fell asleep and woke up what seemed like 2 hours later to the sound of the gate attendant calling passengers for preboarding. Well it felt like 2 hours because it was. Our flight had been delayed an hour and a half. That's really not all that bad but I only had an hour layover in Cleveland. I was going to miss my connection. Bummer.

I landed in Cleveland about 10 minutes after my connecting flight took off. I talked to an agent and they placed me on another flight about 4 hours later. Ugh. 4 hours in the Cleveland airport with Cyndie waiting for me in New York. I begged them to find another flight to put me on and I got put on standby for one leaving about 30 minutes later, but they told me not to get my hopes up. I headed down to the gate waiting for them to call my name. THEY DID. Finally something went right. We boarded the plane and took off to New York.

As we were approaching the city we had an incredible view. The Manhattan Skyline, the Statue of Liberty, Shae Stadium we pass all of those and are preparing to land at Laguardia. We begin our descent and just as we are about to touch down we go sideways. Seriously, SIDEWAYS. We're inches from the ground and all a sudden we're sideways. We pull up hard. Hard, like Maverick is our pilot and we're being chased by Iceman, hard. Everyone is freaking out. The pilot comes over the intercom and lets us know that we had experienced a little bit of windsheer so we're going to make another pass at it. Wow.

We land without incident and I head on over to baggage claim where Cyndie's waiting for me. She'd flown out from California to hang out for a few days with me in the city. We hire a towncar to take us to our hotel... $85 dollars later we arrive. That's a pretty freaking expensive trip to the hotel.

We drop our stuff off, and head out into the city. We take the train into Time Square and walk around looking for a place to eat. We end up at a pretty cool brewery/grill in the East Village. After that we just strolled around the city. On our way back to the hotel we realized we were right in front of the Empire State Building. It was about 12:30am but we went inside to see if they were still open and they were. We paid for our tour and went up 102 floors to the very top of the building. Wow. It was incredible. The night was amazingly clear so you could see forever. We went down to the 86 floor observation deck where its a little easier to take pictures. Here's what it looks like from the tallest bulding in Mahattan at 1am.

After that we headed home for the night.

The next day we took off and went to ground zero. Its tough to see anything from the ground because of the fencing they have up but if you take the subway there's a stop that goes right next to it and you get an incredible view of what's going on. From there we went to Saint Paul's Chapel, the church right next to the towers that was mysteriously unscathed. Its a pretty big tourist trap, with a thriving gift store in the sanctuary... not sure how I feel about that but whatever.

We then hit up the Gray's Papaya, the famous New York hot dog stand made even more famous by the movie, Fools Rush In. All I can say is believe the hype. That afternoon we took a boat trip around the Harbor and saw the sights.
Following that we went over to Central Park to scope it out for my shoot the next day. We walked around and ended up on the Upper East side at dinner time. We walked down Madison Avenue and had a great dinner at this quaint little Irish cafe called Viand. After dinner we kept on walking down Madison, which is pretty much the sweetest shopping street in the world. We ended up the night at MECCA... the Apple Store:

Thursday morning we slept in, really late. It was awesome. We grabbed a late lunch and headed over to the World Financial Center for the shoot with Stefanie and Roy. Read about that in yesterday's post.

Friday we were supposed to fly out at 5:00pm. We decided we were going to take the subway to the airport this time so we left plenty of time to get there. We arrived at the airport about 2:30. We allowed so much time, one, because we were using the subway and, two, because I had a wedding the next day and wanted to make sure nothing went wrong. I can't think of anything worse than missing a flight home and not making it back for a wedding.

So we get there early and again I find a comfortable spot and get some rest. I wake up again only to find out that we're delayed 30 minutes. Not good news since, again, we have an hour long layover between flights. We board the plane and preceed onto the runway and then stop. We wait... wait... and wait some more. Three hours go by. They're telling us its because of some weather system but people are calling family members asking them to look up the weather in New York. Nothing... Its beautiful. We finally take off and now I'm freaking out. There was one flight leaving for Orange County an hour and a half after our original connecting flight but it looked like we were going to miss that one.

We arrive in Houston and get off the plane and there is a gentleman handing out our new tickets. They'd gone ahead and rebooked us on new flights and printed the tickets for us. How thoughtful. We look at the ticket and it says we fly out at 9:15am! I'm supposed to be at a wedding at 8am! We look at the tickets again and we notice we're not only flying out at 9:15, we're flying out at 9:15am ON SUNDAY!

Cyndie goes to work while I sit in the corner in a fetal position and thankfully gets us on a flight into LAX that night. The only bummer was it was without our bags. Luckily I always carry on my camera gear. So we get into LAX about 1:45, get home about 3am and I have to get to work backing up all of the shoots from my trip. I get to bed about 5am and wake up about 6:15 to get ready for the big day.

Strangely I wasn't all that tired that day. I shot an incredible wedding (which will be blogged very soon) and slept about 15 hours that night.

So there you have it... I guess the ending of the trip was more suspenseful than exciting. Poor choice of words on my part.

My bad.

Oh by the way, I found out yesterday that there was some big terrorist something-or-other going on at JFK while we were sitting on the runway for 3 hours. I'm assuming thats what the pilot meant by "weather".



Blogger Nic said...

We pull up hard. Hard, like Maverick is our pilot and we're being chased by Iceman, hard." That is probably the funniest line I have ever read in your blog...Top Gun reference...Nice. Oh, and by the way, thanks for calling me up when you were 20 miles from my house.

4:00 PM  
Blogger ♥ joleen ♥ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous joleen said...

oh my holy heck.

6:01 PM  
Blogger ChristineFarah said...

*LOL* Yes you definitely misled us with your words in the previous post. :) I am soooo happy things worked out and you got there in time!! I cannot wait to visit NYC.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous endren and caohien said...

hey mon! so we are in jamaica and still checking your blog...... somehow I feel something is wrong with that! You're awesome Michael!!

7:28 PM  

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