I Got Money in the Background

Trip Start Mar 29, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Travel Tip # 53: When  Air Canada gives you assurances on ANYTHING second guess it

I walked into the Leblanc's house and before I can get my brand new "walking boots" off, from the computer room I hear Noelle's mom say, "your flight is delayed, it's not leaving until 7:00pm tonight" Please do not joke, please do not joke, please do not joke. If you know Leon and Helen you would know that they are jokers. We had a short stay as it was and this delay would get us in at 3:00 am in the morning, thereby wiping out an entire evening and making for a very tiring following day. "Lets go to the Airport", we say optimistically, "perhaps they can get us on another flight!"

Little did we know where our haste and our faith in an airline would take us......

We were rerouted on another Air Canada flight.... success! not only were we leaving, but leaving earlier, however we did have to connect in Montreal and onwards to New York. We boarded the plane got ourselves fortified with Crown and Gin and happily flew to Montreal with whom I call, " Chatty Cathy" behind us. A fella who was sweet as pie, but although Canadian did not know what province Victoria was in and later divulged that he was positive the United Kingdom, "ruled the world or something don't they?" uhm no, "well they unite the world or something right?" uhhm no.  Anyway he became our buddy and was such a "light" person he was a welcome addition.

We arrive at the Pierre Trudeau Airport whereby they sent 5 exited travellers to the gate to connect....the wrong gate....we all hurry to the counter and discover that not only did we miss the flight, a flight we had NO hope of making in the first place, but there are no other flights for the rest of the night! They rebook our flights and upon questioning the validity of the said flights I was asked to go away and that she was not going to speak to me any longer. Yes I was irritated and yes I didn't trust her one bit and was questioning and questioning, but no I did not behave in a way that a customer service person should have gone to those lengths...trust me I was a manager in a hotel, I 've seen irritated, verbally abusive and well beyond.  Great customer service Air Canada,  you fuck up our flights and when we complain you don't want to deal with it or even offer any sort of apology.   We piled into a shuttle to what was the worst hotel I think I have ever stayed in,  I have been informed by the locals this is the worst hotel in the city....I would agree. Only 45 minute wait for our mediocre meal, a whopping $12 provided by Air Canada and rooms  beside construction zone within the hotel (for the last 10 years) and no word of a lie we had to travel past 70 rooms, 70 rooms to get to our room!  My lovely room overlooked several dumpsters. Well, win or lose hit the booze and so we had a few drinks and many many laughs thanks to Chris' stories of how to be a New York Girl in a bar. One of the funniest monologues I have ever heard and brightened our night. We all go to our beds...have to admit the beds were very comfortable, but could be that we were depressed and lying in a fetal position was of great comfort.

The next morning we return to the airport and lo and behold we can't check in at the kiosk and are notified via computer that we need to see an agent.  We head to American Airlines counter to receive boarding passes for onward flight...."sorry it's full, hardee har har," Joe the AA agent jokes.  I mustered a laugh and said, "please don't joke at a time like this you have no idea". Joe fell silent, " Uh ladies you aren't booked on this flight and it's full,  Air Canada did not book you on the flight" WHATTTTTTTTTTTTT!
"The AC lady (and that's giving her credit) searched for a flight, but she never confirmed the booking" Mother #$%^%$%$$%%%$$&&&" We will have to fly standby. We trudged toward the breakfast area where we could cash in our Air Canada, $7 breakfast voucher, we present it...... and......... wait for it......" I'm sorry this voucher is dated February 28th and not December 28th"  OK this is beyond ridiculous.Well Joe, our new best friend at AA gets us on the flight, "Priority Boarding", at least he was making an effort  and the other passengers were happy for us as we told anyone who would listen.

We arrive in New York the next afternoon exhausted.

The Pod Hotel is a quasi hotel, with small rooms, sink, wi-fi, ipod docking station, a flatscreen mini tv for each bunk(private room), the 4 bathrooms (private) were down the hall had the most amazing rain showers and music pleasantly piped in, it was a steal of deal for a great hotel, the location was second to none and the staff incredible a much welcome treat from our experience so far. We went for an amazing meal connected the hotel at La Bateaux Ivre (The Drunken Boat). The magret du canard was better than what I had in France. We had a bottle of red wine and giggled our way to a pub, any pub...Irish of course.

We landed in Times Square, (WOW! is that a sight to see) at a pub called O'Lunneys, staff were so great, bought us a drink and did some shooters with us. In walked "Life" that's what he called himself and saddled up beside us and was a blast. I nearly choked on my beer when he said, "Girl! you have money in the background!" translation: "I got a big ass that black men love so much" God love em. Nearly moved there on that alone. I wonder if his perception wasn't a little wonky as he smoked no less than 5 joints whilst we were there. In the end we found ourselves purchasing tickets to their New Years Eve party and I was dressed up in Life's bling (hey that's a good title for something, Life's Bling). Although we would not have access to the square itself or a view of the ball, what we would have is a view of the viewers viewing the ball and be half a block from the Square. Not so bad really we didn't want to have be in Times Square at 4:00pm onward with no drink and no bathrooms for the opportunity to see the countdown. The night carried on and I played "tour mom" for one of the few times in my life, seeking out taxi's and foraging for food for a legless Noelle, she was hilarious. Had the greasiest sandwich known to man, wish I had a picture of it, imagine a smothered buttered hamburger bun roasted with 3 eggs and eight pieces of dripping bacon, add mayonaise, ketchup and a handful of cheese and you had our sandwiches. I could only eat two bites of the thing and that was forcing it down.

My "walking boots" were not holding up at all and cringed my way through 3 days of shopping, had to buy another pair of runners, but it was too late, my dogs were barkin' and there was no getting my feet back to normal.  We went to Canal street in Chinatown where they sell you "knock offs" they whisper to you "pursy pursy" and they say "come come follow me", well this is illegal so they try to appear as if they are not walking with you, a minute later they switch people you are to follow. You have to try and keep up, but they walk faster because as the tour guide told us they are being watched by undercovers, so no offence but following a chinese person in crowded chinatown and swapping people is not easy. They show you a laminated card of purses and then if you are interested they apparantly take you to a showroom where you make the purchase, we didn't get that far but the "mission impossible" scenario was kinda fun.

We left our last shop, I crawled really, I mean my feet were KILLING me. We stopped at the Waldorf Astoria on the way home. I suggested we have a cosmopolitan and a quick bite to eat in the Waldorf bar. Noelle ordered a Waldorf salad  and the bartender shook his head and said, " I don't recommend it, it's not very good"  Are you for real! You mean to tell me we are sitting in the Waldorf Astoria, the birthplace of the Waldorf Salad and you don't recommend it? So for our two drinks and a soup and salad (not the Waldorf) it cost us $85 with tip! Oh well. Chalk that up to a somewhat amusing experience, we bolted because some fur coat guy with shades was making creepy moves.

New years eve day I took a stroll through Central Park (LOVED IT!) and went to the Natural History Museum where just like the Louvre it took me 1/2 hour to find my way out. I kept running into the same couple, who by the third time seeing my aimlessness chuckled at me. I returned to our hotel, Noelle was at her new "local" swapping soccer stories with the bar staff, I started to get ready for the paaaahhttyyy. We walked to O' Lunneys. MY god it was cold. Had a great meal at party and went out onto the barricaded street at 10 to midnight to see the viewers viewing time square. I was content enough but was longing to be on the road 20 metres ahead of me. Several people started pushing and shoving and shorty thereafter an ambulance had to barrel through our crowd, this is when I lost Noelle as she was swallowed up by the crowd.  I was now at the front of the gate, with several pushers behind me, Noelle nowhere to be seen, NYPD were speaking in a fantastic New York accent telling people to cool it. I actually have been in these types of situations before and did not have a bad feeling at all, you just knew it was under control, well until that gate in front of me accidentally opened up, I actually tried to close it but then was pushed forward out onto the OTHER side of the gate, with people running behind me, well I might as well, RUN RUN RUN KERRI. Every moment I thought one of the many police folk would grab me by the collar and tackle me to the ground, just a few more steps....... OH MY GOD THERE IS THEEEEEE BALL. I'm here, I'm here, I'm here! Time on the clock: 57 seconds until New Years.

10...9...8...7...6...5....4...3...2....1 HAPPPPPYYYYY NEEEWWWWW YYYYYEAAARRRRRRRRR!!!!!! START SPREADING THE NEWS.......

Made up for EVERYTHING.

Oh that was until..... shall I tell you about our flights home? I just don't have the energy...... but I do have "Money in the Background!"

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kerryraz on

Money In The Background
Well Blackie, if you have money in the background, I got me some gold...

It sounds like it was quite an adventure - I'm glad you had a good time. Sorry about the flights though - lots of people had a hard time getting anywhere this holiday season.

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