Saturday, June 7, 2008

Disaster - 24 MAY 08

Today was our first full day in NY and nothing prepared me for my life's most traumatic moment that I was about to experience later that day. Woke up pretty early at 5.30 am since I had to collect the New York Pass at Madame Tussuad's and then start the bus journey (hop on, hop off).

The best way to see cities in US is to take a ticket for a hop-on-hop-off bus. These buses are run by various tour companies and they have a fixed route, with various stops en route depending on places of interests that the routes cater to. You hop ON a bus and ride on it to the next point of interest. Then, you hop OFF and proceed to explore a point of interest, say a museum, a building, a ride, etc. Once you're done, you come to the stop from where you had hopped OFF earlier, and then wait for the next bus (of that same company) - that serves the same route - to arrive. You hop ON this bus and similarly go to your next destination and then you hop OFF again. Buses run after every 1/2 hour or so, and you much come back to the same point to board the next bus from where you had earlier hopped off. It's a great and one of the most efficient ways to tour a city. There are guides on the tour bus, so they talk and explain about the sights and sounds you see whilst on the bus, so even if you do not want to get off, you get a good idea of the city just by sitting in.

My first chosen stop was the Statue of Liberty ride. To go to the Statue of Liberty, you have to go to Battery Park and then take a boat that takes you to the Liberty island. Our turn to hop on the boat after an agonising wait of over 2 hours since it was morning + weekend + Memorial Day weekend. So NY was very crowded. Once we hopped on the ferry, I took mom to the top deck of the boat since I was keen on taking some great pictures of the NY skyline. Mom felt it was "too sunny" so she went down and sat on the first deck. Unfortunately, when the boat reached Liberty island, everyone - save for 4-5 passengers I suppose - got off. Since I was on the top deck and there was mad rush at the entrance, i thought mom would have gotten out. But she hadn't. And I got off. By the time I realised she was still on the boat, it was too late - the boat was ready with another set of passengers waiting to go onwards with their journey and the boat was ready to leave.
I had to wait for an agonising 3 hours at the Liberty Island waiting for her to take the next boat to come back, but that didn't happen. After almost three hours, I reluctantly took the boat myself and headed off to Battery Park, where, thank GOD, I found her. Turns out, she had gotten off at the Battery Park from the same boat that we had boarded earlier that day.

Anyways, the day was ruined, my mood was off and despite checking out Wall Street and the Bull as a saving grace, we checked in back at the hotel and retired for the day at 16.00 hrs. I did not expect that I would be back at my hotel at 16.00 hrs on my first-ever day in NY.

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