One last vacation story for you, then it will be back to your regularly scheduled programming.
On Friday, while I was visiting Dad's side of the family, my sister and her husband took the train up from NYC to visit with the in-laws and my parents. They spent the day shopping and looking around at a nearby town. On Friday evening, I rode the train back to Manhattan with Emily and Matt. I spent the whole time playing Angry Birds on Matt's iPhone. Highly amusing.
Anyway, after a day of hunting down this doll in NYC (to no avail, though I had my heart set on it) and book shopping and kitty-seeing, I was exhausted and it was time to go back to the hotel with my parents. I thought my sister would take me to the station and get me on the train.
Well, not so. She said, "I moved to this city at 22 and had to navigate the entire thing by myself. We'll put you in the cab and give you directions, and you will find the train by yourself. If you get lost, you can ask an employee for help or call us and we'll help you."
I was terrified. Navigating is so not one of my strong suits. I even called my mom and said that Emily was just putting me in the cab. She said she thought I could do it myself and that she'd be waiting as soon as I got off the train.
Emily and Matt explained exactly how to find my train, what to do with my ticket, how to tip the cab driver, etc. They even offered to write it down. The explained and explained again. I was still terrified.
We walked to the street corner and Matt hailed a cab. "Take her right to the entrance of Grand Central Station."
After a fairly quick cab ride, I paid the cab driver his money ($7) plus his tip ($2) and made sure to get out of the cab onto the sidewalk and not into traffic. I asked, "Where is the station?" and the driver pointed it out. I got my bags and marched right in.
I immediately found the computer screen that Matt had talked about and found the blue line and the train that said Southeast. Track 112. I looked up and scanned the big central part of the station for something that led to track 112, and found tracks 107-120 labeled over a hallway. I followed the hallway. Then, I saw black and whites (a type of NY cookie), which are delicious, and I bought one to eat on the train. No, they're not gluten free and yes, I got sick and itchy from it, but it was delicious!
I looked up again and found tracks 111 and 112 and, following the hallway, found myself looking at a train that read Southeast, but its doors were shut. It was only 7:14 and my train didn't leave until 7:48. Holding my heavy bags, I stood directly in front of the door of that train until the doors opened at 7:30. I also got hungry (hadn't had any dinner) and enjoyed my black and white.
I watched out the window the whole way home and payed close attention to whcih stop it was the entire time. My stop was last. I got off the train and immediately saw my mom and Bob. They both hugged me and I said, "Too much love, too much love!" But really, I don't know when I was last so happy to see them!