I need to write all this stuff down before I forget, because my trip was AMAZING.
As background, when I first heard that Facebook was having us come in to NYC to present to them, I was stoked, and sort of bought my tickets in haste. I have a kneejerk reaction to buying my plane tickets from Southwest, and so I did. For some reason they don't fly to Newark or LaGuardia, so I was like, 'Oh, I'll fly into Long Island, that's in New York so it should be close, right?'
Actually it's about 60 miles away, which is pretty far considering that unlike Albuquerque, the entire island is like one big city. I realized my mistake seriously right after I clicked 'Buy these tickets.' So I also had to figure out how to get to Manhattan, where I was staying, once I landed.
Also, as more background, I first heard of Avenue Q when I heard the song "Schadenfreude" in 2005. Since then more of their songs have been coming into my consciousness, and due to their quirky, sort of cynical nature I quickly became enamored with the idea of seeing the musical itself. Unfortunately, they hadn't yet toured, and pretty much just stayed in NYC (with a brief stint in Las Vegas).
Okay! On to the trip.
When I got to the Sunport, they wouldn't print me a boarding pass. I was pretty confused, but they gave me a security slip so I could at least get through security. Once I got to my gate, I figured out that the reason they couldn't give me a boarding pass was because they overbooked the flight -- so technically I didn't have a seat. So they gave me a Southwest Voucher for the price of the ticket + $200. So I got this sweet travel voucher, but was not looking forward to arriving in ISP even later than I was already (and then having to deal with getting to Manhattan that late). But! Somehow I managed to get onto my flight anyway, because someone who had checked in (the first person who had checked in, in fact) didn't make it to the plane. Lucky me!
Next I had a layover in Baltimore. While I was there, I met this girl who also went to school in North Carolina, on a gymnastics scholarship (she'd been doing it since she was like, 2). She was also recruited to go to places like Berkeley, and some other place I don't remember, so she had to have been really good. So we talked gymnastics for a while, and eventually we started talking about why I was going to NYC. Well, it turns out that she's a business person who happens to have contacts in the social networking industry, so she was like, 'Let me give you my card, and I'll let you know what I can do.' Sweet, I haven't even made it to NYC and I'm already making connections.
So I got on the plane, and by this time I'm super tired. I end up sitting next to this girl who is visibly afraid of flying. So I talk to her for maybe 5 minutes, while we're on the tarmac. She's only flown 4 times, and is kind of freaking out, so I comfort her as best as best as I can, and then promptly pass out for the duration of the flight. Well, we land, I wake up, and we talk some more. She's taken some of the advice I gave her to take her mind off of the flying. So we talk some more, I find out she's from Long Island and some of her girlfriends are picking her up. I just tell her that I'm going to Manhattan, so I'm going to grab a shuttle to Ronkonkoma station. At this point she offers me a ride. I was like, 'Seriously?' How often do people whom you talk to for 5 minutes on a plane offer you a ride? This was my first (and definitely not last) experience with super nice New Yorkers. In fact, I only ran into one really rude New Yorker, but I'll go ahead and gladly roll with that.
Hmm, I'll finish this later... I'm not even to Manhattan yet!