The day started off in a terrible frenzy. We were all to be awake and at the Baseline Park and Ride no later than 5:45am. The bus was to leave at 6:00am sharp. I awoke at 3:50am without the aid of the alarm clock and got dressed, mostly. Realising that I did not have to be awake for another half hour, I lay back down on the bed and stretched.
I'm not quite sure what happened, but when I next looked at the clock, it was precisely 5:42am. Swearing in a manner closely resembling Hugh Grant's character in Four Weddings and a Funeral, I flew off my bed and into my flatmate's room and with a plaintive whine said, "uh, Jazz... It's a quarter to 6. The bus leaves in ten minutes."
Also swearing, my flatmate flew off the bed, and having received a "where is she text" from my Kung Fu brother and good friend, K.C., (to which she replied "stall them!") raced me out to the car, whereupon I promptly threw my gear (thankfully packed the night before) into the boot and I threw myself bodily into the front seat, putting on my shoes as Jazz roared out of the driveway.
Thankfully, my flatmate can drive like the devil himself. With an agreement that any speeding ticket she receives will be paid by me, she flew down near empty streets to get me to the bus in just eight minutes (also, lucky that we don't live that far away from Baseline Station). At precisely 5:59am, I flew up the bus steps, the last to arrive, to a fatigue-muted cheer and in another 5 minutes, we were on our way to New York.
A hundred thousand "thank-you"s to my flatmate, who really is very awesome for doing all that, despite the fact that she had a 9:00am call time that day. Words cannot express my gratitude!
The drive down was pleasant. Many sounds of friendly banter and laughter filled the bus, though some people decided they needed to catch up on the sleep they lost the night before. I managed to get some pleasure reading in. That was bliss. I even managed to listen to my music for an hour.
We stopped off at a Burger King for lunch. For those of you in Australia, that's the same chain as Hungry Jack's. The sizes in the U.S.A. are simply massive. I thought all of North American sizes would be relatively homogeneous. Not so. A small drink there was the equivalent of a Canadian medium. The large was spectacularly huge! I do have photos to illustrate the different, but alas, I forgot the USB cable that will allow me to upload them. I will post them up tomorrow, provided I don't forget that cable....
In any case, I am very glad that I was health concious enough at the time to ask for a small, though it turned out to be not that healthy anyway, as the small was, well, large. Others were not so fortunate.... suckers!
After we all piled back on the bus (and after a detour to return to the Burger King to retrieve a passenger's purse - a detour that was about an hour), it was another four hours until we arrived at out hotel in New Jersey. We were all given the chance to freshen up before heading into Manhattan to meet up with our Kung Fu Uncle, C.K.
Let me explain C.K. to you a little:
A Chinese James Dean.Complete with white shirt, jeans, and motorcycle helmet. C.K. is an incredibly nice guy, with a very open spirit and full of adventure. I was exhausted after the trip in, and so decided to skip out on the partying in Manhattan that C.K. and few of my Kung Fu brothers elected to partake in, and return to the hotel. There, we dined at the Outback Steak House, whose menu always makes me laugh hysterically (Kookaburra Wings? Seriously?). It was a fortunate choice, as they all arrived back very late (or extremely early, depending on which way you choose look at it), and in pretty poor shape.
There was another pub next to the hotel called Bazooka's which had $5.00 pitchers. Many went there to take advantage of that fact after dinner. I decided that sleep was the best course of action, and thus I showered and collapsed into the hotel bed, excited about tomorrow.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode: New York, Day Two, Part One: Mission Impossible.... and hopefully some photos as well....