Day 1 of the epic adventure-of-a-lifetime, and I'm already overwhelmed with happiness. I LOVE traveling. I don't know what it is about traveling that I love so much... I just love it. The people, the sights, the newness, the adventure, the mishaps and happenstances... it is all so wonderful.
Yesterday (June 2nd) D and I arrived in NYC. There were a few anxieties about that particular leg of the trip. #1: I haven't navigated the subway system in a long time... let alone with two backing packs, and a camera bag. #2, Daniel has never been to The City, and is a crowd-o-phobic. I didn't know how he would handle the hustle and bustle, the switching trains quickly, and chronic personal space invasion by New Yorkers. Praise be to God that everything went so smoothly yesterday as we found our way to The City.
We had a little hang-up with the Metro Card. I remember first trying to slide my card to get through the turnstile back when I was here for college. Too fast = don't get through. Too slow = nice try. Fast beginning swipe, with a slowed finish = negative. Juuuuust right, the New York way = Permission to enter. I felt bad as I stood there on the other side watching D try over and over to get through. I knew saying too much would be upsetting to him, so I mostly watched. People behind him were frustrated, he was flustered... but once he switched lanes... he did perfect! Way to go! It will take a little getting used to... but I think he is a New Yorker at heart.
After we got settled in to our place in Harlem (which I love, btw), D decided he wanted to see Chinatown. What?!?! The place I purposely avoided while living here?!?! Where crowds are thick, the stinch is horrible, and cheap crap is abundant?!?! Okay. So we did. and it was wonderful. We ate at A-Wah (I have no idea how we ran across this place). We shared fried dumplings, General Tso's Chicken, and Lo Mein Hong Kong Style. It was.... different. As in, sometimes you should just stick with what you know. Tso (which they pronounced the "t") was good... the sauce was out of this world... and the rice was amazing. Hong Kong Lo Mein... not so good. I was hesitant in the beginning to get the dish, but we decided that we HAD to try something different. We walked away deciding that we were happy to try something new, maybe Chinese food isn't something we necessarily want much variety in. And I'm okay with that. I like my noodles sauted, and my meat completely cooked.
We made our way by foot up Manhattan, and stopped at a Chinese bakery to try some Bubble Tea. We asked that young girl her favorite tea favor, and she told us watermelon was the best way to go. She was right! I'm not sure all that goes into bubble tea... you drink, and chew, and suck up slimy gummy somethings all the time. It is frozen, sweet, and fruity. D LOVED it! I was cracking up. Every drink there would be a surprised little "Ah!". Another slimy gummy something popped into his mouth. Best quote of the day: "I bet this is the perfect drink after getting high on pot and you get the munchies." You drink, you chew, and you enjoy.
We walked all the way up to Union Station, grabbed groceries at Trader Joe's, and began the subway journey back home.
Favorite moment of the day: waiting to get the keys to our place in Harlem at a Dunken Donuts. The whole time we were practicing our German and French phrases, and it was SO hilarious. Vous pouvez m'aider? Nothing is pronounced how it is spelled... and we sounded and probably looked, ridiculous. Wir sprechen nicht Deutsch. -- True story.
Today... we don't know what we want to do yet. Maybe Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge, Freedom Tower, and then some Midtown action...Rockefeller Center...Piano Bar...Grand Central?
- D's cold gets better
- I wouldn't get sick
- We would continue to grow closer and enjoy this time together.
P.S. - D loves NYC. I was worried... but he loves it.