Monday, January 10, 2005

Trains, Planes and Automobiles (and hooters) Part I

Monday marked the end of our time working in Washington and although fun tho it was, I was looking forward to NY, and time from work to relax. As I was flying out on the Friday afternoon, I was determined to do as much as possible. Leaving Washington was fun, there was a fire alarm (yes, another one) and an evacuation at 3am. At this stage of our washington visit, the temperature decided to decrease so much that night, it was below freezin. Anyhoo, the alarm goes off, and I was pondering to just sleep through it, as the last one was a false alarm after a test went wrong. After about 20 minutes, I thought bugger this, I'm off to investigate - wandering down to reception in jeans and tshirt only to be told to get out. Not expecting this evacuation, here was me in flimsy clothing in front of all my colleagues who decided to be cautious and wear coats ... and hats and scarfs. After the firemen had turned up, using stereotypical "Backdraft" walking with their kit, searched the area and decided we were all safe - so we all moved back to our warm toast beds *
The morning came oh to quickly, and the people going up to New York (BC, his wife, Helen, Barry & myself) met for breakfast at some god unearthly hour, chit chatted and checked out, then drove up to Washington to dump the hire car and get a nice train up to NYC. This trip only lasted 3 hrs 15 - but felt like 60 mins - there was no hassle, no delay - basically no english running of the system.
Well, this is true, until we got to Penn Station in NY where we waited for 1 hour for our bags to turn up ( these were travelling seperately in another train. We managed to successfully get a Taxi to 57th on 7th - which was to be our base for the time in NY - a nice old fashioned hotel -- of which I was on the 16th floor. Once everyone got settled, we met up in a little deli/cafe type thing across the road for coffee and muffins, then set off for a little wander around Central Park. Arrangements were made for that night, and although it appeared to be a "couple night" I was invited along, but declided - mainly due to the fact that on the way up in the Taxi, I noticed Hooters around the corner from the hotel. I've never been in a hooters before, and thought it would be a funny thing to do as its tatt and a good place to meet the Captain. 5 pints later of drinking the beer "blackboard" I receieve a call from the captain sounding almost amused, saying he'll be about 50 mins. [ The story behind this is probably best told by himself, but basically, he was due to fly from Brum, transfer in Dublin and fly to JFK. Instead, he got a cancelled flight, complained, shipped in a taxi to Heathrow and boarded a BA flight. All of which improved his humour for the day I'm sure ] So sure enough a tired looking captain arrives in Hooters after directions from my good self - sup a couple of beers and I tell him I'm retiring for the night and he is probably wise doing the same. Needless to say, he decides a couple of beers in the hotel bar is needed - and spends about 5 quid on bottled beer.

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