Off to New York!

Trip Start Dec 24, 2008
Trip End Jan 05, 2009

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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, December 30, 2008

After about five hours of fitful sleep, we pack all our stuff up and head out. Dad MUST buy his lottery ticket, so we stop at the Avondale and try and get him some. Apparently, they don't sell them until 5:30 a.m. He's addicted, so he mandates that we don't cross into the states until he can get his 6-49. If his numbers come up this weekend and he doesn't get them, he'll be mad.
The border crossing is easy, without anybody asking me if I'm a drug dealer. It probably helps that my parents are answering the questions one second before I can from the back seat. It's my turn to drive, and I feel that I can answer the questions sufficiently on my own.
So, I keep driving and as the sky gets brighter mom and dad take over and drive. I drift in and out of sleep from the back seat.
Somewhere in the Poconos, Keith notices a big billboard that says "the Niagara Falls of Pennsylvania", so we pull off to find out what it is. We drive in circles for maybe half an hour, and when we get to the gate, it's "closed for the winter". How can you close a waterfall? It seems ridiculous that private interests can control water in this manner, but there it is.
On our meanderings, we also noticed a sign to Reskin Falls, somewhere nearby. We drive around for another 45 minutes back and forth, finally getting stopped by a security guard at a gated community. He tells us to turn around and then turn right. That's it? Yep. OK, so we do that, but we don't see any falls. Turning around, we go back and mom asks a lady in a store. Turn here, then you will see a Boy Scout camp, and there is a path to walk down. Alright, fine, we find the falls and walk around for a bit. We already ate our sandwiches, so there is no waterfall-side picnic, as we presumed there might be. Oh well.
We're almost in NYC, so Keith takes over driving and I navigate for a while. We almost get run over by a bus trying to get into the Lincoln Tunnel. Oh my god, people are retarded. After we get through, there are more traffic jams, the police are out in full force directing all these crazy drivers through intersections that would normally be fine if people would just do what the lights say. Green means go, red means stop. Our hotel is not very far, but the traffic is frustrating, so my mom drives instead of Keith for a while. We check into our rooms, after a little bit of confusion at the desk. I thought the lady told me there was one room for four nights, not two rooms for two nights. Arg! Soon, she figures it out and we go for a well deserved nap after an eggnog cocktail. We're all tired, and plan on waking up and going skating.
So, we all end up waking up, eating dinner at a cute Italian restaurant, and heading over to Bryant Park with our skates. There is free skating there right now. So, by the time we get there, the ice is mostly snow, and before we know it, we are kicked off and the zamboni is going around. We have to wait a half hour to get back on for maybe 10 minutes of skating. It's OK, the atmosphere is nice, there is good music, but the ice is just packed. We leave and keep walking around, on our way to Rockefeller Centre. I always wanted to buy some hot chestnuts from a street vendor, and some of them are selling them, so I get some. Really not as good as it's made out to be. My nuts are burned and cold... blech...

It's almost midnight, so my mom and I hurry over to try and get on the ice there too. But all of a sudden, they turn the lights off. We look at the sign and realize that it's $15 admission anyway, so it's just as well we were late. On the way back, my mom sees some department store windows at Saks Fifth Avenue full of some kind of display. So we head over there and look at the weird story about the snowflake who was different from everyone else. So, that was interesting.

We walk back to the hotel and go to sleep.
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