For the past few days, I’ve been in the New York and New Jersey area for a family event. I usually don’t really take many identifying photographs or share specific details about my family because I feel somewhat of an obligation to protect their privacy—obviously not all of them live in big city condos with dedicated security staff like I do, so I don’t really want to do anything that may put them in any sort of remote danger. So, I don’t really have too many photos from this trip like I do for my work-related trips. With that being said, I do have a small collection, most of which are from New York City, which is where I spent my final day before flying back home to Las Vegas. On the way to the East Coast, I noticed that we had flown over the very edge of Canada on our way to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Of course, I pointed at Canada and proudly took a picture of the flight map, then sent it to one of my Canadian friends. Now, if you’ve ever spoken with me in-person about real estate (or about just life in general), you will know that there are three places that I regularly flame as being terrible places to live: San Francisco, Los Angeles, and… New York City. I’ve been to New York before, but my past encounters haven’t really been too memorable or eventful, so I didn’t really have many personal anecdotes to back up my hatred for New York City, just the statistics of how expensive it is… and how impossible it is to find parking. I am concerned to announce that the New York portion of my trip seems to have gone just a little bit too well, and now I feel weird continuing to flame NYC when it seems to have treated me quite well. For lunch, I met up with one of our broadcast personalities, and out of sheer luck, there was street parking available DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE RESTAURANT where we were meeting. Better yet, it wasn’t just a normal street parking spot… it was a street parking spot that would normally fit 1.5 regular cars, which meant it was absolutely perfect in length for my RAM 1500 rental (yes, I rented a full-size pickup truck again). To top it all off, apparently street parking was free in that area on Sundays. Due to my loyalty to Marriott, I stayed at the Courtyard New York JFK Airport. There was no self parking lot, and valet parking was $25 per day, but street parking around the hotel was free. Miraculously, I ended up finding a street parking spot for my truck by taking only two laps around the block, when I very literally expected to be hunting for a good 15 minutes. Upon check-in, I got a complimentary upgrade to the 11th floor and received a little gift baggie with a bottle of water, two cookies, and a discount coupon for the convenience shop in the lobby. Now, being in management is great and all, but one of the things that gets old fast is having to take care of your employees and contractors’ travel logistics. Luckily, we have mid-level managers now who take care of that for me, but I spent a long time doing most of it myself, so I’m “burnt out” of planning events at this point (if that can even be a thing), and always seize every opportunity I can for other people to plan my day for me. (Yes, this does indeed mean that, sometimes, your boss might appreciate it when you think on his behalf tell him what to do so he doesn’t have to worry about it.) Anyway, dinner ended up being an absolute dream come true, because the person I went with literally selected the restaurant, picked me up from my hotel (which she offered to do without me even asking), whisked me through New York City traffic like an absolute god, did all the ordering from the menu, and even cooked most of the meat. The restaurant was similar to one of those all-you-can-eat restaurants where the grill is in the center of the table, except this restaurant wasn’t actually all-you-can-eat, so I was able to turn off the “get the most value for your money” switch in my brain, take it slow, and actually enjoy all the food. … I actually enjoyed it so much that I forgot to take a picture until I was done and the busboy had already cleared off our table. Now if my trip had just ended there, I would’ve probably just wanted to stay in New York City forever, but luckily, my airport experience was just barely bad enough that my signature phrase of “the best part of traveling is coming back home” still applied. Upon arriving in Terminal 4 at JFK, I couldn’t find the Wingtips Lounge (the instructions were to “turn right out of security and walk forward 100 meters,” but doing so would have just walked me straight through the information desk), so instead, I went to the Air India Maharaja Lounge, which was unusually and uncomfortably colorful, and only had Indian food and a mountain of alcohol. As I was preparing to get out of the lounge, I got a notification that my flight had been delayed by an hour and a half. I had actually been getting amazing travel luck lately, so I think this might have broken about a 20-or-so streak of on-time flights for me. Apparently, something had happened to the pilot and they had to fly someone else in from Baltimore, Maryland to operate our aircraft. After an almost six-hour flight, I made it back home to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas just before 7:30 PM PST, stopped by the Club at LAS on my way out for some non-Indian food, and made it back home about an hour later.
Only three days to rest—my next trip is on February 14.