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And we are off to the APAP Conference in NYC

Overcoats, sport coats, undershirts, long-handled underwear, mittens and my new scarf, hand knitted by my d-i-l, Mrs. Chicken Boy.  Traveling to NYC in the dead of winter.

I needed a camera to help me remember the stuff I might see (quite conveniently Santa brought me a new camera), a computer for note taking, as well as something to read on the airplane. Even when bags fly free this is a lot of stuff to get into the overhead bins on Southwest Airlines-better known as the company jet.

As I am collecting the gear I hear the sound of Ruby’s dog dish on the tile floor – she is pushing it into the kitchen urging me to offer her not one, but two breakfasts.

Which reminds me – I was supposed to drop the evil dog and the good dog off at Rover Oaks for boarding. We were preparing to  leave for our  trip to NYC to attend the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, or, “APAP” as it is known and the girls weren’t allowed to attend this conference.  We were about to be very busy with 5 days of music, dance and drama from 11am til we drop.

After kennelizing the mutts, I filled the minivan with all the cold weather clothes that we own, and we were out the door and on the way to the airport. By the time we arrived at Hobby the sign advised that there were 91 spaces available on the 3rd floor so up and around and around we went.

Once we found the perfect parking spot we unloaded all of our cold weather gear and headed into airport. We made it through the x-ray machines pretty smoothly, I even remembered to remove my coins and keys. However, once we found our way to the gate I noticed a rather large crowd milling around looking disgruntled and annoyed. Rumor had it that the plane could not be boarded because the crew had yet to arrive.

Not to worry, the crew showed up only fifteen minutes late and they soon had us lined up and ready to board. I asked if we, in the first class seats, would be allowed to board early but unfortunately the usually good-natured SWA attendants failed to find this jokester funny. Seems it’s tough to find the funny when the last plane you were on was unable to get you to work on time due to nasty weather.

Three hours later we were landing in Newark. Unloaded all the gear, headed over to the train and within thirty minutes we were in Penn Station wondering which exit to take. It was 5:30PM better known as “rush hour” in Manhattan. Should we walk the 1.3 miles to our hotel or take a cab? The winter baggage caused us to opt for the cab. From Houston to the Hilton on 6th Avenue took a total of five hours. Not bad. However, we no sooner checked in than we were in search of sustenance–SWA peanuts don’t last too long.

dinnershotthreeI grabbed my new camera and we sorted ourselves into two taxis and headed to Emilio’s Ballato.

We had made plans to meet up with Greg and Claire, Weezer, and Chris and Eleanor. While we were munching on celery waiting for everyone to arrive I reached over to get my camera so I could prepare to take a nice photo to share with all of you. H’mmm it must be under the pile of coats. No. Oh, maybe Michael put it in the big canvas bag. No. Well, uh. Hmm. Oh no! Slowly but surely, it dawns on me.

The camera that Santa left me was last seen on the seat of the Russian taxi driver’s car.

Luckily I had gotten a receipt from the driver, so I pulled it out to call
Yellow Cab.

I stared at the receipt for more than a few moments before I could accept that there was no information on the receipt.  I had no way of finding the taxi driver who had just dropped us off.

After filing a lost report with the taxiing authorities I called and asked for Sergeant Sipowitcz with NYPD Blue thinking he might be able to help find my lost camera.

You may not believe this but Sipowitcz is no longer on the force. I got a report number and returned to dinner and drowned my sorrows with dear friends, good pasta and great brunello.


After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the big conference. And yes, I checked the backseat of the taxi, just in case, but alas, no camera.

Once we reached the hotel, and only after  some expert persuading by TWWNCBUIP  we were able to get the night manager to sit with us and go through the video tapes from the evening to try to get the license plate of taxi we had taken earlier. No luck, but it was nice of him to make the effort to help us.

And so ended day one……..

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