And so our story begins...
It was a quiet Thursday night at work. I was in the back all night fixing computers, when I got an email from a guy at church who I had asked if I could use their car. We talked back and forth for a while, and got all the details worked out, and I was going to call him when I got off work to meet up and borrow his car. And now the story gets interesting.
So I call him at 9AM on Friday and he says, "Well, to tell you the truth, I am glad you didn't get off earlier. There was all this rumbling outside and a crane on one of the buildings fell about an hour ago. I don't know how long it will take to clear everything up, so why don't you call back later this afternoon." Can you believe it, a crane on a building near my apartment collapses and leaves the city in uproar and me carless for now. Thinking fast I have hedged my bets and have also contacted 2 other friends. One calls back and says that his inspection is out on his car, but I can still use it if I want, and the other doesn't respond. He usually doesn't though. He is pretty good about thinking things through and having an answer, but not telling me his response until I call or see him in person.
So, I did some light packing, watched Lost and the news, had a conference call about the summer program I am in with Apple, and then slept for about an hour. When I woke up at 4PM, and called my friend near the collapsed crane, he said they had shut down the entire area for investigation and safety, and didn't know when it would reopen. The final answer was "not while I am in New York".
Still waiting to hear from my other friend, I went to Time Warner to return my cable box for a non-HD version for a friend who is staying in my apartment while I am gone. I got there and took a number, and wouldn't you know, Time Warner gave me number 666. After waiting in purgatory there for almost 45 minutes, my number was called and I was seated at Desk 13.
Now, I am not a superstitious person, but those are bad numbers to team up I would think. Fortunately everything ran smoothly, and I was out of there without incident. I even paid my bill.
I got back home and decided to call my other friend who had not gotten back to me, and he said his mom wasn't going to be able to bring his car into the city because she had to go and get his dad from the hospital. I had to do something, and I needed to get it done that night!. I checked a couple of car rental places, and found out that in Manhattan, Hertz rents cars by the hour. I ran the 4 blocks to the nearest Hertz, got a car, came home and threw my stuff in the car and left. If only it were that easy. In actuality, I took stuff out in 4 or 5 trips up and down 3 flights of stairs, got locked out the apartment building for a little while, and even lost my phone for about 20 minutes.
I met up with my friend whose mom went to get his dad, and we went into the ghetto of Long Island City to my storage space. I took him to work, and printed off my boarding pass before returning the car about 10:30PM. on a side note, the reason I printed my pass online as opposed to at the desk, was that to have a second bag with AirTran, they charge you $10 to check it online, and $20 in person.
I went home and got my laundry together and took it to the nearby mat. Around 12:30AM I got home, ate a PB&J( the first time I had eaten since breakfast), and packed my bags until I could no more. Slept for about 6 hours, and went to meet some friends from church for breakfast. Then it was off to a fond farewell from my friends at Apple, and then back home to finish packing my bags.
There wasn't as much left as I thought there was, so that wasn't so bad. I met up with the girl who is staying in my apartment while I am away, and went to pay the rent and then took off for the airport. (Another side note, the landlord's office is right next to a movie theater showing the Sex and the City Movie, and there was a line of about 300+ people, 18 of which were guys. All of these people are waiting to see a movie about a TV show that ended a while back, and the weather in New York was a mix of Rain and heat which means muggier than Central Park at night.)
The flight was delayed, but everything ran smoothly. As I was landing in Atlanta to switch planes, I realized the reason there wasn't so much to pack was that I had left 1 of my 3 loads of laundry at my neighborhood laundry mat in New York. I called them, they said they didn't know if they had it, and then I called my pastor who lives near me. He called back and said he was on his way home from seeing Iron Man (probably the best summer release to date), and would stop by. They had all my clothes in a bag, and is going to mail them to the apartment that I am not yet at in the Bay Area of California.
All in all, I have finished the 1st leg of my trip, and look forward to spending time with Whitney on the road for the next 1800 miles. Hopefully the 2nd part won't be the same as the first, although it looks like we might have a flat tire...