Back home!

May. 1st, 2009 10:17 am
chibimuse: mabel from gravity falls pointing a grappling gun (Default)
[personal profile] chibimuse
Today is my first day back from [livejournal.com profile] phnelt and I's epic trip to New York and Washington DC with her family. Photo post to follow as soon as I upload and pick the best pics.


Trip was awesome, my first time to actually travel around a major American city. The culture shock was extreme, it somehow seemed to make the shock worse that there were so many things the same as in Canada. Everyone speaks english, most of the stores are the same, and very few people would have guessed that we weren't American. It felt even weirder than being in European countries where everything was drastically different and few people spoke english. Like being in a bizzarro world version of someplace really familiar.

New York was my favourite, we had that subway system figured out and our hotel was a block away from the empire state building! We tried to hit all the major tourist spots, and we ended up accidentally at times square pretty often. There were many more things we wanted to see, but we only had a limited time so we had to pick and chose. We decided not to do the big ferry ride out to the statue of liberty or ellis island, just becase the lines were so boggling and the security so harsh. We did a tour of the UN, phnelt's favourite. We split our time between travelling with the family and setting off on our own, it's funny the kind of things you end up seeing differently when you travel with a two year old. She's super cute and had everyone charmed everywhere she went, and Macy's became a particular favourite of hers. The central park kids playground is pretty awesome too.

We rented a car and drove from New York to Washington.
Washington was much less wandering around the city and much more specific monuments and museums. Unfortunately we had chosen the hottest day of the week to walk to mall, so by mid afternoon I was melting! We rearranged our plans so that we could spend the hottest days inside, like at the smithsonian museums and the library of congress. As we walked around trying to find a view of the white house we managed to catch a glimpse of the presidential convoy driving into the white house grounds! (I have some photos of black secret service vans, but missed getting a photo of Obama's actual car). I also managed to find the gay area! Dupont circle had a very nice gay bookstore as well as cafes with the rainbow stickers I'm so familiar with in vancouver's gay district. The bookstore even had a little sign up about amazonfail with some of the affected books prominently displayed!

I'll post more details about our tourist exploits when I post photos.

The final leg of the trip, flying home, didn't go so well for me though. I'm a notoriously bad flier, prone to anxiety attacks and extreme nausea. Since this past december I've been taking attivan (much like valium) every time I fly, to try and reduce how stressed out I get by airports and the much hated rollercoaster feeling in the pit of my stomach during take off and landing. Travelling with friends or on short flights usually helps too.
When our group got to the airport I checked in with no problems and checked my bag, but the rest of our group, phnelt, her dad and stepmom and the wee one couldn't! I booked my ticket seperately. It turns out that united airlines had for no explainable reason cancelled their tickets three days before, and hadn't notified them even with a call! They were re-routed to a 4 hours later flight through Toronto, whereas I still had to fly right awayt o denver to transfer to my final flight to vancouver. Bad news for them, they had planned the flight so they could get the little one to sleep at a reasonable hour and now wouldn't even have seats toegther on their following flights and would have to ask people to move around.

Bad for me because being alone puts me into panic mode. I spent the majority of my second flight throwing up in the bathroom. The nurse sitting next to me was very kind and got my attivan for me, and the stewardess got me ginger ale and was very nice. By the time I got off I still wasn't really feeling better. usually I feel fine once I'm on the ground, and I'd never been sick for so long on a flight before. I struggled to stay awake thanks to the attivan and felt like passing out as I tried to stand in line for customs, there being nowhere to sit until after it. By leaning on the line barriers and being let go forward when some other people in line saw how bad I looked I eventually made it up to the counter, said "I really don't feel well" and promptly burst into tears. The guy called the paramedics and took me over to some seats, trying to figure out what was wrong and calm me down. There a quarantine nurse checked my temperature to check I didn't have swine flu before the airport doctors came to give me oxygen and check my pulse and stuff until the paramedics arrived. After I was sitting and calmed down I felt a bit better, so the paramedics got my checked bag and gave in my customs form, and took me to a taxi so I could go home. 

My stomach is still feeling fragile today, so I'm going to take it easy and enjoy my renewed access to limitless internet and my DVD collection.  
 
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chibimuse: mabel from gravity falls pointing a grappling gun (Default)
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