Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Story of How I Lost My Mom on the Subway in New York City

When my mom was here in Maryland visiting for the holidays my Christmas gift to her was a trip to New York City. My mom had never been to the East Coast before so New York City, Baltimore, Washington, DC, it was all new to her. My mom is not a city gal, sure she grew up in the suburbs of LA but I bet it is safe to say she has never rode public transit nor tried to navigate the extensive and confusing NYC subway system.

Our day started out great! We saw Times Square, ate at a cute French bakery in Rockefeller Center, saw the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and skating rink, and even made our way to Saint Patrick's cathedral without a hitch.

We had pedestal tickets for 1pm at the Statue of Liberty and got on the subway towards Battery Park. This is when things took a turn for the worse. I've only been to NYC once before and it was with my hubby who is a better navigator than me. We got on the first train headed downtown expecting it to take us to Battery Park or at least within walking distance. Turns out it only went to the World Trade Center. We got off and I pulled out my map to figure out which train to get on next. A gentleman asked where we are going and told us what train to get on. As we were going down the stairs we heard the train arrive and he asked if I wanted him to hold the door. I said, "yes" and stepped onto the train with my mom right behind me. As I stepped through the door I turned around to hold it for my mom and the door had shut in the split second I stepped through it. So there I was headed on a train to "who knows where" and there was my mom in the subway station, unsure what to do next. Of course there is no cell service in the subway since it is underground.

The next 45 minutes were a bit stressful to say the least. I got off at the first stop, waited for the next train to see if my mom was on it. She was not so I assumed she was waiting where I left her so I headed back there. She was not there either. I went up to street level to call her cell phone, no service on her part. Then I asked someone who worked there for help and they suggested a few places for me to look at the World Trade Center subway station. She was none of those places either. At this point we were late for our 1pm Statue of Liberty ticket and I was done with the subway. I just wanted my mom to get to street level and I would take a taxi to pick her up wherever she was. I had no idea if she realized she had to go to street level in order to contact me. This whole ordeal made me realize that I have lived my entire adult life with the convenience of cell phones. My hubby reminded me before cell phones people made plans when traveling together of where to meet and what to do if separated. I should've thought of that!

They say, all's well that ends well, and my mom was not lost in the New York City subway system forever. She took the 1st train that came and got off at the 1st stop. I wasn't there so she asked for help on which train to take to get to the station we were headed to. She did what she should've done but in the chaos of it all I didn't even remember what station the gentleman had originally told us to go to. As soon as she got to that station she went to street level and regained cell service. When I got the call from her I hailed a cab, picked her up and had the cab drop us off at the Statue of Liberty. Quite the drama!

Turns out our timed, reserved ticket is good all day and we were still able to see the Statue of Liberty, go up to the pedestal, and tour Ellis Island, all in time to make it back to our bus by 6:30PM. All's well that end's well!

My mom in Times Square

Rockefeller Center

Radio City Music Hall

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The Rockefeller Center ice skating rink. So much smaller in person than it looks on TV.

Saint Patrick's cathedral

Lady Liberty

That's me!

That's my mom!

The original torch before renovation, now inside the statue.

My mom with the city in the background

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