Rockapella Holiday, Day 1
Saturday, December 3, 2011
The morning was difficult for me. The day before, I had been catching up on everything that needed to be done for the trip but couldn’t due to the loss of power at my house and the surrounding neighborhoods. Very strong winds had hit our area on Wednesday night, and trees were strewn about everywhere, knocking down power lines and making transformer bursts look like bolts of lightning all over the skies. 24 hours later, I had power, but the damage was done to my schedule. I had tons of stuff to do, and not enough time to do it. But I was packed and ready to go in the morning…until I kept remembering little stupid things that needed to be packed, and then I was too late to meet Wendy at our agreed-upon time. I realized that I didn’t haveWendy’s phone number in my phone anymore, and it also wasn’t written down anywhere. All of the searching for her number was not getting me any closer to the airport, so I texted Karla and asked her to contact Wendy if she possibly had a number. Well, thank goodness, she still had Jeff’s cell phone number in her phone, so I could relax and just meet everyone at the airport.
I worried about traffic because I heard about road construction on the 10 and couldn’t remember where the mentioned exits were located. I trudged ahead, though, and soon realized that those exits were not where I would be driving. I got to the airport parking lot, got a good spot, and walked to the terminal. The security line was a little longer than normal, and I realized that TSA only had 2 lanes open for their machines. You’d think that on a weekend in December, they’d have more lanes open for all of the travelers, especially because this is the time of year when the less-experienced travelers are out and about, visiting family and stuff. But noooooo. Karla gave me updates on the boarding status, but I remained patient. Even when the guy 2 points in front of me didn’t even have his boarding pass yet (Dude, did you not read ANY signs while we were standing in line?!). Even when the guy in front of me didn’t have his real ID and had to explain to the agent that he had lost his wallet and was told that he could use a photocopy. Oh, goodness. But I made it! My patience paid off, I barely made it into my boarding group, found my friends in row 10, and we were good to go.
Our takeoff from ONT was quite turbulent due to the remaining winds, but the rest of the flight went OK. We changed planes at PHX and Karla scored us seats in the 2nd row. We were seated behind a little boy who shares his name with a very tall former Lakers center that graduated from UCLA, so I’ll use that player’s initials here (KAJ) in order to protect the kid. KAJ had been pretty active in the airport already, and he was quite talkative. The flight attendants took a liking to him and talked to him to keep him entertained while he was awake. We learned that KAJ was 4 years old and he had a twin brother at home. They are identical except for one thing: Grandma informed everyone that KAJ got a mohawk on this trip, which Mom didn’t know was going to happen. The hairstyle kind of fit his personality. Like any other excited 4-year-old boy, he talked about what it was like to ride airplanes, and told stories about how he was just sitting there doing “nothing….nothing…nuuuuuuthiiiiing” when his twin up and punched him in the eye. Wendy and I had other ideas about how that happened, but still, he was funny. He wanted an iPad, mostly the one that the flight attendant said she owned. At the end of the trip, he was asked to sing, but wouldn’t do so until everyone in the group was quiet. Then he very quietly sang a song, during which, when he was told that they couldn’t hear him, he got irritated and told everyone to be quiet so that he could sing. Ah, a rock star in the making. He’ll learn soon that rock stars just turn up the amps and sing the heck out of the microphone in order to be heard. But I won’t be the one to teach him that. I just wanted to see the expression on his mom’s face when she saw his new ‘do, but we didn’t get to see that.
We went to Rockefeller Center, and Stacey took us up to her office on the 33rd floor of the GE building, where we leaned out the window of the library to take pictures of the skating rink and tree below us. Yeah, we leaned out of open windows. Kinda. We’re all kind of scared of heights, so I just strapped my camera on my hand and held the camera out the window. But look at how cool the picture came out!
|Rockefeller Center, from 33 stories up|
|The Posse at Rockefeller Center|
|Snowflake at 57th|
At the same intersection, I saw and really liked the Tiffany window of a carousel. When you look inside the porthole, you see the store and the window you’re peering into, so it’s like an infinity painting.
|Tiffany window of Tiffany window|
We waited at Penn Station NYC for quite a while with a LOT of other people before a train arrived to take us back to NJ. When the train got to Track 8, we were happy because we were close to the entrance. Then we were pretty much pushed into the door. I was not moving of my own accord. Wendy said that she even spun around a couple of times. I wish we had video of that. After I had to assure Karla twice that Wendy was, indeed, in back of us, we got seats on the train. We decided that we didn’t want to wait for the shuttle to pick us up, and walked back to the hotel.
Exhausted from all of the walking and traveling, we settled in for an exciting day ahead. Thanks, Stacey, for touring us around! We’re here, Pella!
Next up: Pella Pops Day