Monday, December 6, 2010

New York-Uh Wow!

As you know from the post below we went to New York this past weekend and Holy Smokes! Although I was nervous I had no idea what I was getting into!

I spent my childhood and late teenage years in LA and OC California so it's not like I've never been out of the pasture. I grew up in the 70's and 80's and always had this mindset that NY was full of mean,hateful people that were rude,selfish,obnoxious and self absorbed. This could not be further from the truth with what we experienced there.

It's not like I didn't run into any of it of it though. But the incidents were isolated.

When we stepped off the plane in through the gate at La Guarida a lady came right up to us and asked where we needed to go and escorted us to the curbside pick up.

Another RettMom picked us up at curbside and off we went. The one thing that wasn't exactly my favorite about New York was the traffic. Seriously, 24 hours a day it was like playing Extreme Frogger on PCP. No lanes, no turn signals. Absolute insanity on the roads and that was just in Queens.

We stopped in Astoria Park to get a view of the skyline and take a few pics..they really didn't turn out that great and I had only taken a few when a guy road past me on a bike and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and Stefanie..the RettMom who hosted us yelled,"Get in the car!" He had dumped his bike and was coming towards me. I jumped in and we sped away. So besides the near mugging 10 minutes after I got there it wasn't all that bad!

We stayed up for a few hours and talked and laughed and became instant friends. What an awesome family to take in strangers like that. We had talked before on the Internet and on the phone but to take us in the way they did...forever grateful.

The next morning after about 4 hours sleep I stepped out on the front porch and was immediately greeted by the Sanitation worker with a ,"How you doin Sweetheart?" and a "You have a nice day there."

I'm suck a redneck that I ran in all excited because the Trashman said Hi. They got a good laugh at that one!

My girlfriend from High School that lives on Long Island soon arrived to be our personal assistant,caregiver and chauffeur for the day. She was a pro and I would have been lost without her. Thank you so much Kelley. I love you woman!

Yesterday you got the story from the hospital so I'll pick up from there. I was told that I couldn't come home without having a Hot Dog from a street vendor so I was hoping we could find one. Not a problem since there is about 3 on each side of the street on almost every block. So I had my first Dirty Water War Dog. I was starving. Gotta say not my favorite. I'll order differently next time. Onions on your dog here are onions. There they come in this tomato ketchup watery base. Kinda yukky.

Everyone on the street or sidewalk parted for the wheel chair and they opened doors for us. I don't even get that here. If you go into a place with a wheel chair you are escorted the moment you walk in the door. No questions, no eye rolling. I told my friend that I felt like a celebrity with the treatment we got.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was next on our list. We didn't have time to go back to Queens so made plans to meet up with our host family at the Museum. We had about an hour and a half to spare so we took a little tour.

We drove through the Bronx and Harlem on our way to Manhattan and took a drive down Park Avenue,5th and Madison. There is no wonder people in New York walk so much. The people on the roads were INSANE and I'm pretty sure most of them couldn't have possibly ever taken a drivers test.

If the police actually ticketed every driver that didn't use a turn signal, cut someone off or every person that jay walked I'm pretty sure we could settle the National Deficit in a week or so. So not kidding.

We were treated to what is called Rett at the Met. An evening where Rett families get a private guided tour and dinner afterwards. We met families that I have talked to or seen pictures of for years. We were treated like royalty. That place was incredible. The way their staff attended to us was amazing and so personal. He saw so many things and if alone I would have spent the entire day there. We even saw Hugh Jackman! Pretty cool! If I could I would go there once a week if I lived in New York and disappear into light and art and color and history. Unforgettable! The only thing missing was my new found sister Stefanie who wasn't able to make it because her daughter was ill.

The next morning we had a flight out at 1120. I wanted to get there pretty early because I heard that LaGuardia was a nightmare. We woke up late and pretty much had to stuff bags with what would fit and haul butt to the airport. I was sure we were going to miss our plane and my stress level was through the roof!

When I lifted Abby out of the car and into her wheelchair a security guard met me at the curb and asked what airline. He then took us to the front of the line at the Frontier Airlines desk and they moved us to the front row immediately. The same guard then told us to follow him as he walked us through security to the front of the line. That line had to be 2 blocks long. Everyone parted and not one person said a thing. I was allowed to stay with my daughter while my bags went through and her chair was patted down. They were so careful and attentive with her. I on the other hand got the full patdown you've been hearing about on the news. They were gentle and kind about it but I had not gone through the xray so it was procedure. The security guard waited for us so he could escort us to our gate. He told the gate that we would need assistance on and off the plane and shook my hand and quietly walked away.

We were the first to board and the Stewardesses carried our bags, took care of the chair and asked if we were comfortable and had everything we needed before they let anyone else board. I was so shocked. This is the way people should be treated. Everywhere. I was amazed.

When we got off the plane they asked us to wait for others to deplane so as not to feel rushed. When we got off there were 3 people waiting from Frontier waiting. One with the chair and 2 to help with the bags and anything else we may have needed. When I put Abby in the chair I turned to get my bags to find the Pilot was holding all 4 of them for us. THE PILOT! He handed them to us with a smile and turned back to his plane. Incredible!

The people from Frontier escorted us clear out of the gate to the waiting are and asked if their was anything else we needed before they turned away. I will never fly another airline! Absolutely the best service ever!

And to top it all off. Someone else paid for our tickets with their airline miles. When the airline called to confirm because they were in someone elses names and heard our story they comped the tickets. Round trip, non stop and they comped them!

Thank you New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Frontier Airlines for making this a trip we will never forget!


Erica said...

wow, wow, wow!!

Jill said...

once again you brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy that all went well for you and Abby. Gotta love it when people are kind and restore faith in humanity!

stefanie (christopher) gutierrez said...

awesome post!
me: "this is a really safe park, don't worry."
terri: "ok" (snapping pics)
enter weird biker dressed in black. he does a double take. he stops his bike. starts to come at terri.
me: "hey terri! GET IN THE CAR!"
terri: "you said it was safe here!"
me: "it is... err, was!"
and we drive off, laughing in to the night.
thelma, meet louise. louise, meet thelma.
miss you sister!

Jen Dalton said...

I am so glad you had such an AMAZING visit! When I read things like this it shows how many good (minus the mugger) people there are in this world! Thank you for sharing your experience with us!