Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Calm Before the Storm

My sister, my nephew and I were in New York for a long weekend and suddenly found ourselves with no way home. Every year, my nephew Kirk and I travel somewhere for his birthday. For months in advance of his July celebration, we discuss where we might like to go together and how we might like to get there. A plethora of ideas are laid on the table and they almost always include London and Los Angeles because those are the home towns of Kirk's favorite actress. We have traveled by car, train, and airplane. We have traveled near and far. This year, we agreed upon New York as our destination.

Kirk also agreed to allow his mom (my sister) to join us on this trip as well since the chosen location was so grand. We booked out trip for October because autumn in New York is so beautiful. The anticipation of our trip built over the course of the three months between Kirk's actual birthday and our departure date. Finally, last Friday, we boarded a plane and just over three hours later, we were walking the streets of Manhattan. 

I love New York. And now so does Kirk. But after a tour of Central Park via pedicab, visits to the top of the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, shopping in Times Square, and taking in a Broadway show, the weather shifted dramatically. Hurricane Sandy was suddenly pounding at the doors of Manhattan Island. Instantly, our experience shifted from fun and exciting to frightful and nerve-racking. 

I moved up our flights, hoping to escape New York before the storm hit bu our flights were canceled anyway. We rebooked them. Then we booked a rental car, just in case... We thought driving 16 hours wouldn't be terrible and at least we would be home. Within hours, however, the mayor of New York announced the city was shutting down. Our second round of flights was canceled and we realized that we would soon be without transportation and without a hotel room.

Finally, I booked a new hotel, we packed our bags and we walked 7 blocks to our new temporary home with bags in tow. 

Facebook provided a a way to keep those at home updated. Here are the posts from the first day of the storm:

"flights out of NY are canceled. we have no hotel after tomorrow at noon. we do have a car but can't pick it up til tomorrow. at Laguardia... and there is no mass transit or cab service tomorrow due to the state of emergency. the rain that was supposed to start at 8 AM has not started so that's the silver lining I suppose."

"longest day ever... we are staying in NYC until at least late Tuesday. Flights rebooked, found a hotel, bought provisions at the grocery store b/c the city has literally shut down. they're even sandbagging in Times Square & there are cops everywhere. (i mean more than usual.) the mayor ordered everyone to stay home tomorrow. still no rain. just a little windy. that said Jim Cantore is here in battery park so I guess it's gonna get real!"

We are safe. We are together. We are waiting out the storm.

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