I’m so glad I got to go to New York City for my first time, and for a great cause!  We were only there 24 hours, but they were the most awesome 24 hours! 

And we were blessed with slack constantly through the weekend.  We started off with a little snag.  We were supposed to go to see Triptykon in Baltimore on the Friday beforehand.  Several weeks before the Devival, we were trying to figure out how to pull this off.  Do we go to the show in Baltimore on Friday, and then go up to New York on Saturday?  Do we skip the show in Baltimore?  So many choices, none of them ideal.  Until out of curiosity, I checked the bus schedule, and there was a bus leaving Baltimore at 1 in the morning on Friday night….. for $1.  In the time it took me to email my posse to find out if our show was going to be done by 1am and if we’d be able to catch that bus, the price went up to $3.  No biggie though.  We determined the show would be done in plenty of time and so we booked our tickets.

Welp, needless to say, we called the venue of the show on Friday night, and discovered a big glitch in our plan.  The band we were supposed to see, Triptykon, was going on at 12:45 am.  There were 4 or 5 other bands going on before them.  Ottobar had totally overbooked the bands.  D’oh!  Well, we still went so our friend can see the band he wanted to see (1349), and then we headed to catch our bus.

When we got to the busstop, we found a bunch of people were there waiting for the bus.  We asked if it was Megabus, and a guy said, “Yes, but it’s late.  My bus was the 9pm bus, and I’ve been here since 7, and no buses have come to take us to New York.  Only DC-bound buses have been coming”.  Sure enough, the next 40 minutes, several buses went by, but they were all headed to DC.  There were two chicks that had a close call when they boarded the DC bus, and the driver had to loop around and drop them back off.  Finally, one of the bus drivers stepped up to the plate and called some people and walkie-talkied some people to let them know that about 30 people were waiting here to go to NYC.  Then he told us that “It should be here any minute”.  As he drove away, I figured he just fed us lies to placate us.  But 20 minutes later, a bus showed up that was going to New York!  Yay!  Second snag smoothed out! 

The bus ride was interesting.  30 minutes into it, the bus stopped at a rest station and the driver got out to buy himself some food.  I figured that was allowed, but it was annoying when it started to get stuffy inside the bus because he had turned the bus off so there was no air blowing.  But he finally came back and we were on our way again.  Clint took advantage of the free wi-fi on the phone.  It was weird being so high up off the ground.  A lot of the time, it just seemed like the driver was all over the road… I was slightly scared.
 
We made it to New York at like 6:30 am or so.  We caught a cab who asked where we were going, and our friend Persie said, “Sheraton LaGuardia”.  The driver asked for the address and Persie was silent.  Luckily, I had written down the address because I had anticipated that it’d be an important detail.  And then we were on our way.
 
When we got to the hotel, the question became, “Do we eat?”  We had stopped at Taco Bell on the way to the bus station in Baltimore, so we had been held over.  Clint was hungry though, and so Carolyn & Clint decided to ask the concierge where a McDonald’s was.  Persie went to bed.  He told us to bring him some random food.  We ended up at Burger King, which was right around the corner from our hotel.  We were surprised they didn’t have free courtesy water.  WTF? 
 
We went to bed at like 7:30ish and woke up by 11.  We realized we weren’t going to be able to fall asleep again so we decided to go ahead and get up.  We decided to go get some actual New York food, instead of fast food which we can get anytime.  We took advantage of my phone, and I tried to look up local restaurants.  I said “What kind of food do we want?”  It didn’t take long for us to decide on Italian, so I put that into the phone and the first one to pop up was “Magna”.  We looked up, and there was a Mango right next to us, but that wasn’t it.  I put the walking navigation on, and we were on our way.  It wasn’t too far, and soon we were sitting at a restaurant all ready to order Calamari and spaghetti noodles.  Clint & I also split a meatball sandwich thing.  Both were delicious.  Persie had the fettucine.
 
After we ate, we had to decide what to do.  I think someone had mentioned to Clint about a sex museum so we decided to check it out.  We went to the subway, (which just happened to be by our hotel).  After some confusion about how the subway works (we rarely even use the DC metro), we decided we can take the purple line all the way to 5th Ave and then walk from there.  It turned out to be a longish walk, but it wasn’t too bad.  I should mention that even though I call it the purple line, it was really called “F” or something.  The subway lines were either numbered or lettered, and so I think if I lived there, I would have a better idea of what’s going on, but the colors served me better.
 
On the subway, a guy started breakdancing.  Complete with a boombox that he’d turn on!  Surreal!  He made people move away from the standing pole that he was going to flip over.  While he was setting up his stuff, my mom called.  While she was talking, his music suddenly started blaring.  She was like “Can you hear me?” and I said, “I’m on the subway… in New York!!!  That’s a guy break-dancing”.  
 
As we were walking to the sex museum, we passed by the Empire State Building.  The sidewalk was a bit more crowded right next to it, and to make matters more confusing, there were ticket officials asking everyone on the street if they wanted a ticket.  Clint asked, “For what?” and the guy was like “To go up into the Empire State Building”.  Clint was like, “What, I can’t even walk on the sidewalk without being spammed?”  It was the weirdest thing ever.
 
We finally arrived at the sex museum.  It starts out with a store that sells dildos and books and artsy things.  We saw on the website that they had $3 off the admission price if you print out a coupon.  When we were buying our tickets, I showed her my phone and asked if we can still get $3 off even though we don’t have a printer.  She gave it to us, along with 2 coupons for $2 off of a speciality drink from their aphrodisiac bar. 

The museum was interesting.  They had different floors dedicated to different things about sex.  From movies and film to condoms and birth control, to STD’s, which I didn’t realize are called STI’s now, to art sculptures.. The last floor was dedicated to the animal kingdom.
After we finished all the floors, we decided to check out the bar.  I wasn’t disappointed that they weren’t alcoholic drinks, but I had expected them to be because it was called a bar.. heheh..  The drinks were interesting. My drink was supposed to bring out sensuality and passion or something like that.  Persie’s was longetivy, and I forget what Clint’s was.  Mine was rose and rosemary, Persie’s was ginger and orange, and Clint’s was cinnamon and saffron.  I liked Clint’s better than mine.  Mine tasted like roses.  Clint’s also came with a stick of rock candy, so I was disappointed that mine wasn’t as special.
 
After we got out of the sex museum, we looked around at the store a bit more, and thumbed through some of the sample books.  Then we decided to mosey on out.  We started walking back to the subway, but Clint realized it was a looong way, and he wondered if there was a closer subway.  There was a random couple on the street that just happened to be looking at a map of the city, so we asked them.  The guy said, “There’s one a half-mile that way”  and Clint was like “A half mile!  Nevermind!”  and the guy quickly said, “No, no, that’s not what I mean.  I’m French… I mean… 100 meters”.  Clint was like “oh, only a hundred meters? Ok!”  So we started walking, and cut through Madison Square Park.  Once we found the subway, which wasn’t far at all, we walked down the stairs, and there was a train waiting right there that said “Astoria”.  Lo and behold, this train was *THE EXACT TRAIN WE WANTED* going the EXACT DIRECTION we wanted!  Praise “Bob”!  What Slack!
 
We got to Astoria around 7pm, and walked the 6 blocks to the Devival.  Carolyn had the address and so she knew when the building was approaching, and so she saw the building first, and then saw Princess Wei.  Clint saw Princess Wei first and was like “Oh, we’re here!” 
 
We hung around chatting with everyone, watching the live bands and the preaching, and good times were had.  At first, I was feeling shy and awkward, but I loosened up later on.  Suzie The Floozy and Bunny Day both came up and told me I looked cute.  I was disappointed I didn’t wear the skirt I brought, but after I realized I didn’t shave my legs, I stuck to my jeans.
 
Our downfall was when Clint refilled the flask at midnight right before the wedding.  Apparently, we killed most of that flask between midnight and 2am. I don’t think I drank as much after the wedding, and I had taken a break from drinking before the wedding.  So it could have been worse.  We headed to a bar with Bunny Day and Anna Dynamite and someone else..  They eventually called us a cab and we went back to the hotel.  Clint said something about scheduling a wake up call, and John said he took care of it.
 
The next morning was a blur.  The wake up call came, and we started rushing around packing up our stuff.  We left and got into our cab.  Halfway to the airport, I realized I had forgotten to get my keys and stuff out of the drawer at the hotel.  A sense of dread overcame me.  The cab turned around, but told us he didn’t think we’d make the bus by 8am with this detour.  But we needed the keys… The entire way back, I prayed and prayed.  And I imagined the worse case scenario of missing that 8am bus.  It would be miserable!!!  I was like going over alternatives… Including imagining calling Two Beans to see if he still had his roundtrip ticket… but then I rememebered that would be only for 1 person.  So that wouldn’t solve our problem either.  Then…. the amazing happened.  The cab driver drove up, and there were 2 buses there, and he said “There’s the bus!”  We didn’t miss it!!  In my relief, I jumped out of the car and ran towards the buses.  The first one said Boston.  The second one said… Washington DC, via Baltimore!  We were saved!  I ran to the driver and knocked on the window, and then got yelled by the other driver who said, “The line is there.”  So I got into line.  Once we got onto the bus and got situated… I realized I totally did not thank the cab driver!  I’m horribly rude!  John said he thanked him.  I hope that cab driver knows how much I appreciate him.
 
Clint, meanwhile, was absolutely miserable, and he was still miserable that night.  I was miraculously not even hung over.  I guess I’m getting slightly more responsible even though I was still irresponsible with my intake.
 
On the bus, I found three seats, none of them were together, but they were close to each other.  I put myself next to this lady, and Clint behind me.  Then I realized the chair I was in was reclined, so I traded with Clint.  When I got situated next to the guy, I realized this chair was reclined too.  Oh well.  Later, I figured out how to put it up and so that was fine.
 
Meanwhile, the second the bus started, I regretted trading seats.  The guy next to me immediately started gagging the second the bus started moving.  Gagging like every few minutes..  We talked a bit, but not much.  He seemed nice enough, but the gagging… dude!  He fell asleep for like 5 minutes and it stopped, but then he woke up and immediately started up again.  I’m sure it was psychological.  I was scared the entire way that I was going to be puked on.  Halfway through I took my seatbelt off, and put the arm rest up so I’d have an easier time making a getaway if it came to that.  It never did, but it was annoying.  Clint heard it too, and I’m sure the lady in front of him heard it too.  She may have been worried about being puked on as well because she was definitely in range.  I considered moving, but when I looked around, people were making good use of their empty seats next to them. some had their bags in it, some were slumped over sleeping.. so there wasn’t really anywhere I could have gone. 
 
Finally, we made it to Baltimore.  Our car was still there, there weren’t any tickets or anything.  Nothing was broken into.  As we were getting ready to go, this other guy was like “Are you leaving?  I’m totally going to take your spot.  You just made my day.”  When we pulled out, I realized there were two cars vulturing me, but it wasn’t my problem anymore.  I stopped at Burger King so Persie can refuel.  Clint and I weren’t hungry though, so we skipped the meal, but we did use the restroom. 
 
The ride back was uneventful.  We got home and Clint went directly to bed, so Persie chilled for a few minutes before heading out.  Good times!

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