I’ve had so many positive travel experiences, I guess I was due for the not so stellar. We arrived at JFK 2 hours late due to mechanical errors, and finally left the airport around 10:00am. We were starving, so settled on the first thing we found – Tim Hortons (only do Canadians come to NYC to eat at Timmy’s). The MTA machines wouldn’t take my credit card for the metro passes – a blessing in disguise – so I paid for them all in cash.
We took the airtrain/E train/1 train to the beautiful Upper West Side. I’ve never really explored this part of NYC – but I must say that I LOVE IT! I was wondering where all the “real” NewYorkers lived. I actually found my first grocery store and Ray would love it. They have a cheese monger and fishmonger and butcher. And entire section dedicated to truffle oils and raw chocolates. Fresh produce lining the streets. TWO FLOORS! Last night we stopped to pick up some groceries – and all I could think was how much Ray would love to shop at Fairway. All this to say, the UWS didn’t disappoint.
The hotel is fine – nothing fancy – but it was what we booked. Enough beds. Clean rooms. Wifi. Location is good and that was most important. The apartment across the way has a brick facade and is covered with ivy, all making me feel like i’m living in an older, calmer era.
We went from the hotel to Grand Central Station. The kids were wandering around, in awe, taking photos. I switched to my regular glasses and put away the sunny specs. A “tourist” asked if i could snap his photo. As the kind tourist I am (and as I have done for many before) I quickly did. I should have clued in when he wasn’t so concerned with the background, and he wanted the wickets instead of the concourse. I mean, who chooses the wickets? I made sure my bag was zipped up before I took his camera, but apparently someone else must have stepped in behind me and taken my wallet from my bag because 5 minute later I was in the basement of GCS, looking for lunch…and my wallet. I went through the whole thing with the Police. They have to technically report it as missing and not stolen, since I can’t guarantee it was taken – but this is NYC after all, “these things happen.” I can call back on Tuesday or Wednesday to see if it was “returned.” Meanwhile the credit cards have been canceled. My Driver’s Licence is gone (thankfully my passport was back at the hotel so I have photo ID). My debit card, proof of medical insurance and Surrey School District teachers ID. And of course, the few dollars I had left after spending all my cash on the metro passes.
Ray had everything canceled in a heartbeat – the wonderful man that he is – and now I’m just left with the after affect. MasterCard will send me an emergency replacement. Ray wired me some cash. Mostly it just started my week in a stressful way from which I am still recovering. I’m grateful for my patient students who were willing to wait for me to sort this out while pacing downstairs through the children’s book section of the New York Public Library. They did get in an hour of shopping in Times Square, an tour of the new 9/11 memorial, a view of the statue of liberty, a guide to the subway system AND a lesson in securing your valuables. Quite a lot for one day. And on less then 3 hours of sleep + jet lag.
Here’s hoping for a better Sunday.