December 28th, 2014
Around noon I finally arrived in New Jersey, bundled up and headed to the baggage claim. Right away I noticed a large dent on the upper end of my suitcase and contacted an airline representative. He claimed that these kinds of dents are common with hard case suitcases and that I could pop it out. Therefore, I would not have any claims. This didn’t leave me very happy but I also didn’t feel like being stuck in that conversation forever. I took the bus to Port Authority at 8th and 42nd street, as this is the cheapest and easiest way to get to Manhattan when flying into Newark. The trip once again felt like it took forever and I picked up a conversation with the lady next to me. She went ahead and suggested a book that according to her, should be helpful for my professional future. I probably will go ahead and check it out. (Comment from me in August 2015 as I am adding pictures to publish it… I have not looked back on the picture of that book and hence, have not checked out the book… oh well)
Once the bus arrived in Manhattan, I picked up my luggage and walked two blocks north to our hotel for the week. Unfortunately, our room wasn’t fixed yet, so I dropped off everything but my purse and headed to Central Park aka one of my favorite spots in New York. It wasn’t too cold and it was a great day to just sit down, read a book and enjoy some solitude.
After some time passed I picked up a salad at Hale and Hearty Soups and some chips for the others to munch on once they arrived. Back in the hotel, the room was move in ready and I could head upstairs. As I am the only one in the group that unpacks her suitcase rather than living out of the suitcase for a week, I put away all my clothing and discovered a giant tear at the bottom of my suitcase… you know the one with the dent… normal damage and all? Well the dent did not budge one bit when I attempted to “pop it out” and the tear was not fixable. So instead of having a nice relaxing evening, I was stuck in United’s hotline for thirty minutes before talking to a representative. After explaining the situation, the lady finally agreed that I might be able to claim a new suitcase… but I would have to head to Newark airport within seven days… even though United flys to both JFK and Laguardia… and they would be much easier to reach. But good old bureaucracy wants you to go to the airport you landed at.
I guess it is quite understandable that the day left me in a rather bad mood. In Albuquerque I had bought a nice bath bomb from Lush, knowing that the hotel room would have a tub, so I ran myself a warm bath to let go of the stress and relax from the long flight.
As it was a sunday night, football was on NBC and the Steelers were playing. After the bath I crashed on the bed with my salad and watched the came. During half time I realized that the room had turned into a sauna and there was no way to turn down the heat. The front desk sent up two guys to fix the heating. They weren’t able to really fix the heat but managed to turn it down a bit and open the window that had been jammed. The room started cooling down from the 26°C /78.8°F it had reached by now. The whole thing made me miss out on the third quarter but shortly before the end of the fourth quarter while the Steelers were winning with fashion, Steffi texted me that the three had finally arrived at the hotel. So I rushed down to the lobby to welcome them and soon we all crashed into bed.