Travel: When Plans Go Wrong

If you've read my guide to trip-planning, you'll know I'm bordering on does-this-girl-have-a-problem? meticulous about planning. But sometimes plans go awry. Missed connections, unexpected closures, inaccurate directions and the occasional argument are part and parcel of the travel experience. So, in the interest of honesty, I'd like to share with you Chris' and my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day in New York City last summer.

That Sunday we planned to take the free ferry out to Governor's Island for a little day trip, then catch Amy Poehler perform as part of the Upright Citizens Brigade. I was psyched.

After much searching, we managed to find our way down to the Brooklyn Boardwalk and up to the pier. We knew then we'd bitten off more than we could chew. The line was loooong, and it was clear we wouldn't make it onto our planned ride in ten minutes. It was another hour of waiting to catch the next ferry. The only food to be found close by was over-priced ice cream and bottled water, so we were both starving by the time we got on. We stood on a swaying boat, strange people close in on all sides, and when we finally reached Governor's Island, every food cart had a comically large and slow-moving line. I abandoned one slow-as-drying-cement line for another, only to see that line begin to move, while in my line, they ran out of food by the time I got to the front. 

The number one way to make me grumpy is to deprive me of food and then make me wait in line. When I finally got my hands on a disappointing hot dog and watery shake, we couldn't find anywhere nice to sit, since after the recent heat wave, most of the grass was dead and the ground was hard and dirty.

I successfully kayaked around a pier, and then we decided to abandon our terrible plan, and sprint for the ferry back to Brooklyn. As we bobbed away, we cracked jokes about Governor's Island being pretty much the worst place on earth (although I'm sure it's lovely under better circumstances) to try to cheer ourselves up. 

After catching the subway to Manhattan Island, we headed down to Chelsea to begin waiting in line for the Upright Citizens improv show. The Sunday show is incredibly popular, and we'd missed a chance at buying tickets in advance, so we planned on waiting in line for about three hours to get one of the few free ones. But seeing Amy Poehler? (a personal hero of mine and about 99.9% of the conscious female population) So worth it.
We arrived with plenty of time to spare, and knew we'd get tickets for sure. But we didn't come quite as prepared as our line-waiting companions. These smart folks had blankets, books, umbrellas, water, food, probably even canisters to urinate in. We had none of that shit. And then it started to rain.

About twenty minutes before the start of the show and after two-and-a-half hours of sitting on hard concrete in the rain, we learned from the woman waiting in front of us that Amy had actually left for England to film Parks and Rec, and wouldn't be in the show after all. 

Dejected, although surprisingly jokey, we left the line and tried to find Bill the Butcher's grave in a last-ditch effort to salvage the day, only to discover it's way out in Brooklyn, and in fact, not on Manhattan Island at all. Finally, we gave up on any semblance of success and headed back to our rented basement suite to eat ice cream and wallow in self-centred misery together.

On a scale of hangnail to genocide, it was a pretty lousy day.