Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hello from New York


OK, so we made it to New York, and we're at the Hampton Inn as we speak. I admit things could have gone a wee bit smoother today, though. We made it to the airport this morning on time, and were able to use curbside check-in. When the cases were getting weighed one weighed 55lb, with a maximum allowed weight of 5o pounds per case. So I had to remove and redistribute some things in the other cases. Security check is quite a hassle; we even had to take poor little Bilal's sneakers off at the check point. I have to admit the whole process took less time than I expected, despite the fact that Zakir and Bilal kept beeping and had to have a body search done.

Bilal didn't really like being in the plane, so it was quite a relief when he fell asleep for the last 45 minutes of the flight. The plane made it to New York more than 1/2 hour early, so we were stuck in a hold pattern above La Guardia for a while, then spent a longer time on the runway waiting for a place for the little commuter jet to park. We decided to take a bus instead of a cab to JFK....... big mistake. We accidentally left the stroller on the bus, (luckily it was one of those freebies from Toys R Us) so there we were, stranded at International Departures, with two luggage carts full of suitcases, and a baby on my hip. We called Hampton and were told to go to 'Area D'. We fumbled our way there and proceeded to wait for the shuttle. About 40 minutes into the wait I called the hotel again and was told that we had and I quote: "fallen through the cracks", and the driver would be right there. Well, the entire wait was about an hour. So we were finally at the hotel, more than an hour later than we could have been, and minus one stroller. A cab would have been a much better proposition. That was a lesson in 'How not to travel from La Guardia to JFK'.

After a quick break to freshen up we hired a cab and made a trip to a local mall to buy a stroller. We ran into Target and came out with the cheapest one we could find, and stood outside the store, trying to assemble it, just as it was starting to drizzle a tiny bit. Well after the stroller came out of the box we realized that there was absolutely no way we could remove all the packing without a sharp object. But as most people know, you can't travel with sharp objects due to airline security! So Zakir ran back into Target and bought a pair of kid's scissors to remove the plastic tags. Bilal was starting to get hungry so I opened a jar of baby mac and cheese to feed him, only to find I had left the spoons at the hotel. I tried to feed him with my finger but he just wanted to bite, so I gave up. We ate at the Food Court, and headed back, but the cabbie who was supposed to pick us up was stuck with another customer, so we had to call someone else. It took another hour to get out of the mall, flooded with Christmas shoppers, and here we are, finally back at the hotel and determined to have a less eventful evening. The kids are Wi Fi-ing on their Nintendos, and Bilal is ripping up the Yellow Pages to shreds as we speak, but who cares? Praying for a good flight tomorrow!

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