It feels like Mum and Dad just saw me off at the airport. I still can’t believe that I am in New York – it’s bizarre.
So, when we arrived at the airport, at check in nothing major happened, but they had to get me a wheelchair and Dad had to walk my frame over to another desk for equipment being sent. What was frustrating, and still is, I realised that my sim card didn’t work and so Mum and I spent what little remaining time we had trying to figure it. We still haven’t, but Mum has spoken to Optus and I have a feeling it will be sorted.
It was hard saying goodbye to Mum and Dad. An employee of the airport pushed me to the gates and Mum and Dad walked behind us. In retrospect, I should haven gotten out of the wheelchair and hugged them properly, but there’s nothing I can do now. I think the three of us are still in shock that I took the plunge and did this trip.
I won’t bore you with all the details, but I will give you a basic run down on how the flights went. With the first leg of the trip (and the second leg) I sat in premium economy and the seat next to me was empty. The oxygen was on the floor, tied up to the seat in front of me and they put it on once we were able to take our seatbelts off. The flight was long. And boring. But I did get to see the movie Crazy Heart, half of Couples Retreat and a bit of Up. On the leg from LA to NYC, I finally got to see Prescious. I hope nobody saw me, but I cried a lot.
When I landed in LA, someone assisted me through customs, getting my luggage, handing my luggage over again and getting me on a plane. If you want detail, I had two men assist me (Ricardo and Val), both of whom were very friendly. I did tip Ricardo, but for some reason, I don’t think it was appropriate.
The 4 hour and 20 minute flight to NYC was alright, but I did get a wave of nausea and I did have a couple of coughing fits. However, overall I managed and when I landed in NYC someone helped me get my luggage and wheeled me out to meet Deborah and David. He even let me use his mobile phone to call David. This also happened in LA with Val. He lent me his phone to call David to inform him that my flight was running on time.
Throughout my whole trip, Qantas was fantastic. They knew about the wheelchair. They had the oxygen tank set up. They always checked up on me. They made the transition from the two legs of the flight smooth and assisted me with everything. I have no complaints to make.
So many thoughts are running through my head, so I will list them.
1. David and Deborah picked me up and drove through Queens to stop at a Diner. My first diner! It had small jukeboxes on each table and booths. I ordered a burger (7 ounces) and it was huge! Even I, Tully Zygier, couldn’t finish it all.
2. When David dropped me off the hotel, we were told that a pipe had burst and I was sent off to another hotel for the night – The Gem Hotel. So David once again had to put my suitcase and frame back into the car and drive me to the next hotel. This hotel was a bit more upmarket but it did not have room service or breakfast. Thankfully I am moving into the Comfort Inn where the breakfast is included.
3. I was able to have a shower and rest finally after being on the go for a whole day. I was able to skype with my mum which seemed kind of weird when I’m so used to skyping with her, speaking to other people.
4. I had a good night sleep, but I will admit I took a valium.
5. I worked out how to use a coffee maker! It was terrible coffee, but ti was still pretty cool.
6. The weather is cold and rainy. Thankfully I have a rain coat and a leather jacket.
7. I am already in the office and answering the phone on reception.
8. I can order in lunch to the office!
9. David and Deborah have been so friendly and so helpful.
10. I AM IN NEW YORK!