Coffee-stained beginnings

My first time “living” in New York (house-sitting for my cousins) had an interesting beginning.  I initially flew in and stayed one night in Midtown.  Did touristy stuff.  Wanted to get that out of my system, because for the next three weeks, I was going to live in Chelsea like a New Yorker!  At age 52, I would finally be cool!

The universe had other plans for me…

On Day 1 of “Life in Chelsea”, I asked the bellman to call me a cab.  (I was a little disappointed that he didn’t point at me and say, “Okay, you’re a cab.”)  The cab that picked me up was a van, and was driven by an Indian man with a long rug on the floor in front of the back seat. I grabbed the “oh-shit” bar and pulled myself up to get in, I stepped on the rug and realized it wasn’t attached to the floor.  The rug immediately slipped forward, so I literally slid in and ended up lying on the floor of the cab with my head hanging out of the side. The bellman was supporting my head and trying to help, but I was laughing so hard my stomach muscles decided not to kick in.  Sitting up was a lost cause. Eventually I scrambled onto the seat, but in the process I managed to pour my entire cup of coffee down the front of my shirt.

When we arrived in Chelsea, I realized I had forgotten about my street being closed during the day, so the driver dropped me off at the corner (almost), along with my 50-lb suitcase, carry-on suitcase, oversized purse, empty (and dripping) coffee cup, and a backpack full of shoes.

I dragged my bags across the bike lane and up over the curb one at a time. I tossed the coffee cup into the nearest trash can (thank you New York!), and headed (slowly and not-too-gracefully) up the street, past construction workers and dog walkers, and then carried the bags one at a time up the stairs, into the foyer, into the hallway, and then into the apartment.

By this time I was talking to myself and laughing so hard that the crazy neighbor upstairs must have thought *I* was nuts!

I was greeted warmly by both Cholula the dog and Edgar the cat, and immediately took Cholula downstairs for a walk.

Since my cousins had both mentioned that Lula wasn’t really into walking, I didn’t bother to change my (coffee-soaked) shirt or grab my purse. I figured we would head down the stairs, take care of business, and back inside to change clothes (me, not the dog. Although Lula does own an impressive amount of fun seasonal-wear).

What I wasn’t expecting was Lula taking off on a full run…up the street, across the crosswalk, and down the next street, until she came to an abrupt halt. When I looked up, I realized she had brought me to the pet store! She stared inside, and then back up at me. I pushed on the door, but it didn’t budge. Checked the sign…not open till 11. I apologized to Lula, who continued to gaze longingly into the store.

I turned to head back, but she would not move. At. All. This is when I discovered exactly how much she weighed (adorable French Bulldogs are a compact 25 lbs of un-budgeable, barely draggable cuteness).  The 45-second run to the store, turned into a 15 minute drag home. She finally gave up and refused to move altogether, so I gave up and carried her the rest of the way.

As I climbed the stairs, covered in coffee and carrying Lula, I was still laughing and talking to myself.

Both Edgar and Lula talked me into giving them treats in exchange for their silence regarding my crazy first morning.

As the three of us are lounging on the couch, one of them has farted. Three times. I’m pretty sure the kids at the school across the street are being evacuated.