Last June, on the next-to-last day of our vacation in New Orleans, my friend and I met some local guys while we were on the trolly. We ended up hanging out with them all night, as well as most of the next day until we were ready to leave for the airport. We had been having a good time before we met them, but they were so nice, fun, funny, and friendly that it turned our trip into the best trip I have ever been on. Ever. (Incidentally, it was the first trip I had taken with this friend, and it set the bar for our vacationing experience to a ridiculously high level.)
In the old days, that would have been the end of it. We would have gone home, resumed our lives, and in the years that followed we would have reminisced fondly over our trip and those nice guys we met in New Orleans. But, thanks to Facebook, we “stayed in touch” with them – meaning, we talked to them for a few days after we got home and now say “Happy birthday!” when Facebook tells us to and occasionally “Like” their photos and statuses.
Until last Wednesday, that is, when one of them, B, emailed us to let us know he was in New York City. He had come last minute for the purpose of taking the NY Fire Department test, and was alone. Initially we were just going to meet him for dinner on Saturday, but after hearing that he was alone we felt bad and decided to meet for dinner on Friday as well. Over dinner he mentioned that he was going to visit Ground Zero the next day. I said that I had never been and maybe I would join him.
And that is how I ended up spending my Saturday playing tour guide/tourist.
I met B at 9:30 on Saturday morning and we took the train downtown to Ground Zero. The plan was to go to the 9/11 memorial. Of course, neither of us had realized that you have to PAY to get in. I assumed it was just there on the street, open to the public. We got lost trying to figure out how to get there, so we ended up walking in circles for a little bit. When we finally did get there the line was ridiculously long, and we didn’t have any desire to wait OR to pay. So we decided to make our way uptown.
We took the train a few stops north to West 4th street. From there, we walked from Washington Square Park, to Union Square Park, to Madison Park, and then took the train to Central Park. The weather was INCREDIBLE. We walked through Central Park for several hours, finally emerging on the West Side by The Museum of Natural History. We grabbed some street meat and then walked down Central Park West. Then we made our way west, hitting up a Starbucks and a Century 21 (so he could get underwear haha) on our way to Lincoln Center. At that point (around 4:30pm) it started to drizzle, so we decided to call it a day.
For a few hours, that is, until we all met up for dinner. I took him and my friend to Arepas Cafe. Soooooo good. Yes, I cheated on my diet, again, but after all that walking I wasn’t concerned. After dinner we went for drinks, then to a local lounge where we danced until maybe 3 in the morning. Then I drove to his hotel so he could pick up his things, dropped my friend home, and then dropped him off at the airport around 4.
I can’t even express just how good of a time I had on Saturday. It surprised me, really, because I don’t really know B at all, and as we all know I am ridiculously shy and awkward in one-on-one situations with people I don’t know. But I felt very comfortable with him, and the conversation flowed all day. I think I was more at ease because I didn’t feel any “date” pressure. I told B that it was the best non-date date that I’ve ever been on. And it’s true! Now if I could just figure out how to channel that level of comfort I felt with him into a dating situation, I’d be golden.