Emergency Landings and Dysfunctional Families: Our First Day in the Big Apple

What?  I was hungry!

What? I was hungry!

Kate was thirsty for some chocolate syrup!
Kate was thirsty for some chocolate syrup!

My lil sis and I left Monday for NYC for the US Open.  Because I waited too long to book our flight we had to leave Seattle at 12:50 am, fly to Minneapolis and then catch a connection to NYC.  Not the best scenario, but what can you do? 

It seems that Kate and I are destined for adventures this trip.  Our first started at 4:00 am this morning (6 am Minnesota time) when our flight had to go through an emergency landing at Minneapolis because “one of the three systems was leaking hydraulic fluid.”  After the announcement, my mind immediately started running through options.  Steering?  Brakes?  What is the third???

As if the announcement from the cockpit wasn’t concerning enough, the flight attendants started moving around the plane in a pack and looked completely freaked out.  Naturally, Kate and I were in the emergency exit row, by the door, so we had a prime seat for the action.  First, the man in the seat next to Kate and closest to the door, would not wake up, saying he needed to sleep even when the emergency landing was explained to him and we had started to descend.  A pack meeting amongst the flight attendants then took place and he lost his seat to a young guy two rows back, because “he didn’t want to help.”  After that little drama everyone buckled up and prepared for whatever type of landing we were in for.  In order to calm Kate and myself down, I explained to her that leaking didn’t mean empty and the system could still work partially.  We were not convinced.

The flight attendant in the jumpseat closest to the door was holding on to the seat for dear life as the attendant next to her kept whispering to her with an emergency handout in front of her face, apparently so that if by some miracle we could lip read, our attempts would be foiled.  This was not reassuring.  We watched our descent from the window and had a prime view of the fire engines awaiting our flight.  When we hit the ground the brakes worked, so that was good, and we landed safely on a runway.  At that point I felt it would be ok to ask the attendant across from me if the issue was steering.  She confirmed that yes, it was and that the plane would have to be towed to the gate.  15 minutes later we deplaned and 30 minutes later Kate and I were on board our next flight.  Disaster averted!

Of course all this drama worked up an appetite so after a nap and lunch at Dos Caminos on 50th Ave East (excellent chicken quesadillas with a type of BBQ sauce) we headed to Times Square for theater tickets and dessert.  We had loads of options, but as you can see we opted for Hershey’s 😉

We were able to score tickets for “Next to Normal” for 40% off at the TKTS booth in Times Square.  “Next to Normal” is – wait for it – a musical about a family whose central figure, the mother, suffers from depression in addition to which she is bi-polar with delusions.  A cheery uplifting theme for a musical.  The music was beautiful, however, and the story was extremely compelling.  We lucked out with an almost original cast and it was easy to see why Alice Ripley (the mother) won the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for this performance. 

Since we were still on West Coast Time, our dysfunctional family time was followed by a pit stop at Ray’s pizza for a slice and then dessert at Ellen’s Stardust Diner where the tourists were in abundance and the wait staff sings.  Truly an awesome cheesy tourist excursion (food was average, some singing was way above average). 

By that time it was almost 1 am and we headed back to our hotel for some much needed sleep.  Emergency landings and dysfunctional families are emotionally tiring after all!

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