Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had some fun bringing in the new year, I know I did. My initial plans were to go over a friends house in Pennsylvania, but that plan sorta got scrapped. A week before New Year's two of my friends called, Theresa and Donna, and they were planning to go to Times Square in New York City and wanted me to go with them. Well, since I had no plans, I decided to go. They asked me to drive and I said no problem, so long as they paid for the gas and the parking.
Donna had to work early on Saturday so we didn't leave for New York until about 2:30PM. The car ride to the city was very smooth and surprisingly not much traffic. A few times we mentioned to each other how crazy we were to be doing this, but that is the fun of being young. The drive was made even better by the fact that I had my laptop there with all my songs on it. So the music was just fine (exept for the fact that Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" was played 5 times). The traffic only started to pick up once we hit the city. That was when it got fun. Theresa is originally from New York so I was counting on her for proper directions. She told me to go down Broadway and that would lead us directly to Times Square. So I proceeded to go down Broadway but, along the way, the street ended and lead us to the outside of the city. I tried doing some fancy maneuver to get back on track, but some random New Yorker gave me the good 'ol New York hello (honking his horn and waving a happy finger at me). We drove by the Statin Island Ferry and got back to the main city by getting on one of the avenues.
Along the way there some random cabbie tried the fancy manuever that I had tried a few minutes before. Theresa yelled at me to get me to blow my horn at him, saying it was the proper thing to do there. I gave him the New York hello sans the finger waving. After that I felt fairly comfortable driving in the city (actaully I find D.C. harder to drive considering at least New York has roads that make sense). Theresa said I would have had a much harder time if there was the normal traffic. So I proceeded down this avenue and we found the general area of Times Square. After making several turns and getting lost and quickly finding out where we were, I found a parking spot (total time driving in the city was about 50 minutes). The parking spot was well lit, had several nice buildings around it (less likely to get broken into), and was fairly inexpensive.
When we got out of the car, we first stood there for a minute in disbeleif that we we actually in New York City. My instinct survival soon kicked in and I broke the silence, "Boy am I hungry, let's get some pizza". Last time I was in the city, I had some of their pizza and it was the best I had ever had (even better that the pizza I had in Italy, which is very hard to do). Everyone agreed and we found a nice pizza place along the way. I could go on about the pizza, but let me sum up... it was yummy and my appetite had been satisfied.
Then the adventure of going to Times Square began. Lots of walking, lots of random cops stopping people from walking for no apparent reason, and a whole lot of people. Long story short, we were in Times Square when New Year's hit and I can now mark one of the things off my "To Do List Before I Die". We were in a good spot to walk back to the car, only taking us about 45 minutes. We were also fortunate to have a very good parking space, which was seconds away from the Lincoln tunnel. We got out of the city quickly, and was on the road home in no time.
I dropped off Donna at her house in Maryland at around 6:15AM. I had done all of the driving up until then, but my eyes were not focusing nicely so Theresa offered to drive back to her house for me, which I did not mind. I stayed up and had control of the music for the next hour and 15 minutes. When we got to her house, I took control of the car and headed back to my house. I made it early for 9AM mass which, I am proud to say, I was wide awake for the whole thing (exept for about 10 seconds, but I stopped that quickly by pinching myself). I got home around 10:10AM, changed into my pajamas, and was asleep within 2 minutes.
Overall it was a great experience and a very cool day. It was made even better by the fact that I woke up around 3:45PM, got to watch my Redskins play at 4:15 and watch them clinch a playoff berth for the first time in 6 years! So it wasn't a perfect 24 hours, but it was a memorable one that I will not forget.