What a bargain! Today you get two monkeys for the price of one!! Meet Madison and Lexington. They had a long, tough journey back to the Midwest but we finally made it home! (Sorry Ann, but I guess these monkeys are naked too! But Maddie has a really cool tattoo!)
I met Maddie and Lexie on my first trip to the Big Apple. We hit it off and while I wanted to bring them home, their - ahem - "adoption" papers were completed yet. (Okay, I saw them in the first 4 shops in Times Square so I thought everyone had them. Wrong-o! By the time I got back to the original stores, we were freezing to death and ready to head back to the hotel so we skipped out on Monkey shopping.)
I knew that the first thing I wanted to do when I headed back to NYC was to go to Times Square and finalize the "adoption". Day 1 - mission accomplished. I managed to trek from my hotel at Central Park to Times Square and back without getting completely lost. For the record, I have a horrible sense of direction - even in New York, I get turned around easily. I even picked up the most excellent souvenir for Skaterboy, an exclusive NYC skateboard - complete!
Now comes the fun part. After being on the road for a week (Newark, Trenton, Manhattan, Brooklyn), I was ready to head home. I like to travel but a week alone is a little much and I was trying to win/plan a wedding from my hotel room, so I was ready to go. After my final day in the office, I headed for the airport. Not that I should be surprised, but our flight leaving LaGuardia was delayed. Not as much as some other flights, but we were still delayed. Maddie and Lexie are great travel companions so they didn't complain. When we landed in DC, we were held away from the gate for awhile thus making sure we had absolutely no time to make our connecting flight home. The 3 of us stood patiently in line waiting for the airline to get us on the next flight out.
After standing in line for 3 hours, we found out that we would have to wait until morning to go home. Good thing I decided to take advantage of the corporate travel agency to book myself a hotel room rather than be at the mercy of the airline and their vouchers. While it might be a coincidence, I think that the nicer you are to the ticket agent, the better your alternate travel plans will be. The woman next to me who screamed and yelled at the agent? She had to catch a 5 am flight with 3 different connections only to arrive at the same destination as me - 4 hours after I got home! My flight? Leave at 10:30. One connection.
On the shuttle to the main terminal, I found out that we were held on the ground because a plane at the gate was struck by lighting 3 times. Okay, now Maddie, Lexie and I are stuck in DC for the night but we didn't get electrocuted, so all was good. By the time I caught the hotel shuttle, it was getting close to Midnight and the monkeys and I hadn't eaten for about 12 hours. I wasn't complaining but it had been a long day (and a really long week) so when the shuttle driver asked me about my day, he got the whole story. Being a complete sweetheart, he took me to my hotel, waited for me to check in and then drove me to a restaurant near the hotel so I could get something to eat. The monkeys and I were extremely grateful and he refused to take any tip money from us even though wwe begged and pleaded with him. His comment "You deserve to have something good happen to you today!"
After a bite to eat and a huge margarita, I headed back to what was the world's most comfortable bed. Maybe I was just exhausted, but I loved this bed. I even wanted to redecorate my bedroom at home to match this hotel room - it was gorgeous! Refreshed from a good meal and a good night's sleep, we headed back to the airport for what was hopefully our final legs of the trip. I ran into a bunch of ladies from our long wait in line the night before and learned that they ended up having to share a room and the hotel was horrible. They didn't have shuttle service so they had to take a cab and the room was disgusting and they didn't get their wake-up call. Plus, even with the airline voucher, they paid about 50% more for their room than I did. Man was I glad that I decided to book my own room! I felt a little guilty describing my night but in some ways it was nice to see the look on the evil ladies faces! Besides, I'm not sure how they would have felt about sharing a room with two monkeys!
We finally made it home only to discover that our luggage was nowhere to be found. I made the trip to the airline's baggage service counter only to be told that they knew my bag was here and to go check one more time. Dutifully, I went back and no luggage. Of course, by the time I got back to the luggage service desk, their was a huge long line of people. Maddie and Lexie were ready to mutiny so I was ready to head home and come back later when I spied my suitcase sitting in the corner. No way was I waiting patiently for 30 people to fill out claim forms so I snuck up to the door and grabbed my suitcase and headed home!
I got a lot of comments and weird looks on this trip home but it wasn't because of the monkeys. It was because I was hauling Skaterboy's souvenir skateboard with me the entire day. I do not recommend hauling one around for fun, but if you ever wanted to have an excellent ice breaker, then this is the ticket! I guess if I was 18 it wouldn't have been so unusual to see but a 30+ woman in a business suit with a skateboard and a pair of monkeys must have been a sight to behold!