Nom de Plumage

February 14, 2012

Goodbye New York, Bonjour Paris

My Hotel RoomMy Hotel RoomMy Hotel Room and ThroneMy final day in Manhattan and with so little time to spare, I decide on an easier tour on foot. First things first, I check out of my hotel room and put my luggage in security for a couple of hours. I exit the hotel and turn right towards the ever impressive and massive Central Park. To see the park in full, would no doubt take all day, something I could not afford, so I opt for a short walk just to get a small glimpse. Not far from the park are a few notable sights. The audacious black glass structure of Trump Towers with the bold signage in gold. There is also the Majestic Hotel made famous with the marriage of Katherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas. Across the street from the hotel is the F.A.Q Schwarz toy store the appeared in the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks. This was something that I was really looking forward to explore, only to be surprised at just how small the store actually is. A great store otherwise, but not what I expected. My final stop for the day was at the Museum of Natural History. I needed to get at least one museum in and I thought this one would be a great example. It did not disappoint. The wonderful display of North American animals, history and culture was so well documented that I enjoyed the few hours of exploring. I reluctantly walked back to my hotel to await my pre-booked shuttle bus to take me to Newark Airport.
My shuttle bus luck continued because I was privileged to sit next to the driver, therefore getting a farewell tour of New York and also catching a glimpse of New Jersey. When I finally arrived at the airport, I checked in without any problems and made my way slowly to my departure gate. It was here, sitting down and looking at my ticket, that I realised that I had not been given a seat placement. At first, I did not worry and so proceeded to read a book and even write in my journal. But something kept nagging me and I had to go and ask one of the attendants for information. Ah Paris, the city of lights, love and BLOODY STRIKES! I was aware of the public transport strikes in Paris, A FEW WEEKS AGO and had not realised that the Parisians can hold a grudge for so long. So all flights into Paris were either delayed or cancelled. Even though I had booked my flight six months ago, I had no seat. This meant either I may be lucky to get a later flight or will have to stay another night in New York and hope that I can get a flight tomorrow. I was not dealing well with this dilemma, the seasoned traveller that I am (not!) and when the passengers were finally called to board the flight, I was swearing and cursing under my breathe. My plans appeared doomed and I would have to come up with another alternative, which equalled more money. When everyone was finally boarded, I waited and prayed and sure enough, four people did not show and I was the very last person to be called up. I jumped up from my seat, ran to the gate and handed over my passport. The flight attendant ripped out my green card (which I would later get in trouble for) and I ran onto the plane. My seat was right at the back, near the window and thankfully I sat next to a very nice woman from New Jersey who was travelling to Paris with her husband. Seating in a state of disbelief and euphoria that I was on my way, was short lived. Newark Airport is so congested that when your flight departure says 18:05pm, it actually means 19:05pm. One hour sitting and waiting for the traffic to ease and our plane’s turn to depart. Then, it finally happened and we were on our way. A smooth, uneventful seven hour flight to Paris and the mess that was waiting for me.


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