Those were the reasons and that was New York: a day with Andreas (part five)

OK, let’s see if we can get this puppy wrapped up today. Which honestly, is a little sad? Because that means it’s over. I was grocery shopping today and I realized that a week ago, I was grocery shopping for things for my trip to New York last week, and now that is a whole week ago. Sigh.

So let’s see. We are now at LUSH, shopping for bath and body supplies. LUSH is very crowded. It always is. LUSH stores are all very small, smell delicious, and are packed with people. It’s the rule, apparently.

So FIRST, we smelled all the soaps. This was kind of the most fun. Mostly I made comments like this:

  • “I like this one. It smells like lemonade.”
  • “Don’t ever buy this soap. It’s got raisins in it. RAISINS. And they get all over your bathtub floor and clog the drain.”
  • “This soap is called Lust but mostly it smells sneezy and terrible, and if someone used it for sexytimes I think I would gag. That’s not lusty, it’s vomity.”
  • “This is a good soap for you because it smells like men.”
  • “This soap is good because it’s both lemony AND scrubby so it’s like two things in one. It’s a multitasky soap.”
  • “This soap smells like nothing. If I wanted a soap that smelled like nothing I could get one at the drugstore and I wouldn’t pay a billion dollars for it there.”

So then Andreas picked out some soap and I picked out some soap and also I got a shampoo bar and then the salespeople tried to sell us things like a hair treatment that smelled like the beach and a tin for my shampoo bar and we nodded politely but we didn’t want that hair stuff and I already had a tin at home. Then it was time to pay and here is the best thing. So at LUSH, they cut you a piece of soap from a BIG piece of soap to order. Like, you tell them you want a quarter-pound of soap, and they cut it for you right there. They pride themselves on being fresh. That’s their thing. So the lady went to cut our soap (NOT A EUPHEMISM) and when she came back she handed us our soap. Andreas was getting BIG chunks of soap. “You are NOT KIDDING AROUND ABOUT YOUR SOAP!” she said to me. Because I’m a lady. She thought the soap was for ME. I totally told on Andreas. “Oh, that’s his,” I said. When I said that? He became the hero of LUSH. ALL THE LADIES AT LUSH LOVED HIM. They were all starry-eyed over a man who knew his soap. The checkout lady was all impressed, and then one of the salesladies was all impressed with him. It made me giggle. He was the hero of the good-smelling soap store!

Here’s my LUSH haul:

Ooh, look, I’m gonna be fancy. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sandstone soap (lemony and also with sand in it, so it’s scrubby AND lemony); Coalface cleanser (the BEST soap for my weird facial issues; unfortunately, it is very expensive, but if I could afford it, I would use it all the time); and Seanik shampoo bar (smells like the ocean and lasts forever as long as you keep it dry between showers; it’s very handy for traveling!) YAY FOR LUSH! Thank you for going to LUSH with me, Andreas!

Then we needed to find an outfit for his wonderful daughter. Now, sizes in Europe and America are different for little ones, but we were smart and researched it on the internet, and knew going into it what size to look for. WE WERE PREPARED!

We were not prepared for not being able to find a single place that sold children’s clothes on the entire street. And it was a big street. 6th Avenue. I mean, seriously. That street doesn’t dick around, you guys. IT IS THE AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS. MERKA!!!! If you walk far enough, it becomes TIMES SQUARE! And the Empire State Building is right there, I mean, come on!

MERKAS!!!!!

MERKAS!!!!!

So we walked and walked and WALKED and I really was just hoping for a Baby Gap, seriously. We went into Macy’s because we thought maybe there would be baby clothes in there (shush, I’m about to tell you a shocking thing, I HAVE NEVER BEEN INSIDE A MACY’S BEFORE SATURDAY, I know, I always thought it was TOO FANCY FOR ME) and come to find out there were no baby clothes, and it was the weirdest store I’ve ever been in. It’s not like I imagined it at all. It’s like all different counters for different very expensive things like fancy purses and super-expensive makeup. I thought it was going to be like an expensive version of Sears. I know. I’m a weirdo. Anyway, the music in there was SO LOUD. It was “Moves Like Jagger” which I hate anyway but SO LOUD. Like, we could not hear each other talk. It was like being in a disco where you could also buy a handbag or a tuxedo. We ran out of there like we were on fire, seriously.

Then we just kept walking and walking and walking and looking for a Baby Gap and guess what we saw in the middle of the street? SOMETHING TERRIFYING!

SCARY ELMO BUT NOT!

SCARY ELMO BUT NOT!

AND…

COOKIE MONSTER BUT NOT! *shudder*

COOKIE MONSTER BUT NOT! *shudder*

They looked filthy and creepy and I was so afraid they were going to look at me or touch me so I went past them super-fast and with this noise: “EEEEEE!” because I don’t trust people in suits. I don’t know their intentions or that they’re not John Wayne Gacy in there.

FINALLY WE SAW A BABY GAP! It was like angels sang! So we went in and looked at adorable little-girl clothes that made me smile. Come to find out that the research we did was for naught. FOR. NAUGHT. Because at Baby Gap, they have sizes by WEIGHT or HEIGHT or AGE. That seems foolish. Just size things like normal humans, Baby Gap.

We found the BEST outfit, however, because we are AWESOME, and I told Andreas he could pretend he didn’t have help picking it out when he got home but he said he wouldn’t lie. AW! Listen, Andreas is possibly one of the most stand-up guys I know. Sincerely. It’s kind of awe-inspiring and makes me so happy. So we found a little pink skirt with a little crinoline peeking out at the bottom and a pink sweater that matched and it was so cute it made my whole ovaries cramp up. STOP THAT FOOLISH OVARIES!!!

(SIDE NOTE: I’m totally biased and I think all my friends’ babies are the most beautiful so it won’t surprise you that I think Andreas’ children are the most beautiful children ever ever EVER. Imagining her in that little outfit made me grin and grin.)

The salesperson was ALSO impressed with our shopping prowess and then I think he thought we were married until he asked “where are you from?” and we said “Albany and Finland” and laughed. ALSO, the outfit was totally on some sort of secret SALE, so as you can see we win shopping.

Then we decided to go back to the hotel and decide where to have dinner. Because guess what time it was? Almost time to go. Sigh.

So back to the hotel! Past the scary not-Elmo and not-Cookie Monster! Past men who attempted to hoodwink us and bring us to the Empire State Building and that was weird! ALL THE WALKING!

Stop trying to bamboozle me, people, I've already BEEN to the Empire State Building, it's not like it changes up there!

Stop trying to bamboozle me, people, I’ve already BEEN to the Empire State Building, it’s not like it changes up there!

Then we went back to the hotel and researched Thai restaurants because Andreas totally waited to get Thai until I got there because he knows I love Thai. Isn’t that so nice? Yes. We also played a game called “Amy looks at Andreas’ passport and says all the names of the animals in there in terrible Swedish and makes Andreas laugh and laugh at her pronunciation and also makes fun of the drawings because some of them were so awful.” Honestly, it was one of the most fun things. Partly because animals and partly because I got to hear Andreas speak Swedish and partly because it made us laugh and laugh so much. Do you know where a true friendship is born? If not, I will tell you. Laughing with each other. I am quite sure of this. Helping each other through hard times comes later; if you can laugh together, that’s the true test right there. And we totally passed that test. With all As. A PLUSES, actually.

I can't find any inside-the-passport photos. Probably because of identity theft. There are ANIMAL drawings inside.

I can’t find any inside-the-passport photos. Probably because of identity theft. There are ANIMAL drawings inside. ANIMALS!!!

Then we realized I should bring all my things with me, because I’d have to leave straight from the restaurant to the train station. Again: sigh.

THAI RESTAURANT!

We chose between three that were within walking distance. One was delivery only: RULED OUT. One was – I’m not even kidding – like a disco before 7pm? Odd. RULED OUT. That left…

Pongsri Thai!

Pongsri Thai!

It was a nice little restaurant and the food was delicious. I had something with a lot of seafood that I feel like was called “Deep Oceans” or something and Andreas had something with chicken and green curry and I was all “urgh I hate curry” but he said “you should try Thai curry, it’s different from Indian curry, you might like it” and totally let me eat some off his plate with a spoon and I DID like it so now I know I can safely eat that and THAT is exciting!

There was a man sitting behind us who was an asshat and he yelled at the waitress and then the manager because – I’m not kidding – he was charged on his bill for his child’s free soda refill, and it CLEARLY STATED it should have been free, and that was INEXCUSABLE, what were they trying to PULL, and that was embarrassing. Dude, it was like $2, right? CALM DOWN.

Then we talked and talked and talked MORE but also it was in the back of our minds that it was almost time to go. That’s the worst part of any wonderful trip, isn’t it? The whole time you’re having the best time ever, you keep thinking, “this is going to end soon” and then you are sad.

When we were done, we realized that we had a LITTLE more time so we walked over to Penn Station and almost didn’t find it because I’m terrible about such things but then we DID find it. And we had like 45 more minutes so we went to Starbucks for MORE COFFEE and also because I’d never been to Starbucks for anything but a cookie one time years ago and Andreas thought it was high time that I try only the most ubiquitous coffee in all the land. (I wasn’t the most impressed. I like Dunkin’ Donuts better.)

So we sat and we talked MORE and laughed MORE but also sad. Because twelve hours went by in a blink, no matter how many blog posts I turned it into.

Then I said, “Andreas! We didn’t get any photos of the two of us. People will think we LIED about being in the same city!”

So then this happened, and it is now the screen saver on my phone, because it’s possibly one of my favorite photos of me ever taken, because I just look so damn happy, and I’m with one of my favorite people in the whole world, who ALSO looks so happy and wonderful, and he’s someone I never thought I’d meet in real life, not in a million years. It’s just the most amazing photo. It couldn’t make me happier.

And it was taken in Starbucks. With a cellphone camera. Sometimes things just work out.

Then it was time to walk to Penn Station, which was only a few steps away from the Starbucks. So we walked over, and I gave Andreas one hug, and then said, “Nope, I’m giving you another hug” and did. And then I said I was going to go into the train station now, because I didn’t want to cry in front of him. (I have a weird thing about crying in front of people. If you’ve ever seen me cry, you know why. It’s not pretty. Plus I think it’s about as vulnerable as you can get, and I don’t like that. I know. It’s a weird thing about me. Like you’re at all surprised there’s another weird thing about me.)

Then I went into Penn Station and got on the train and rode home (and the train was SO HOT, I stripped down like a cut-rate burlesque dancer until I was down to a t-shirt and jeans, good grief) and texted Andreas and sj and tweeted all the way home and it just flew by. And I might have cried a little. Oh, shush, I cry over COMMERCIALS, if I didn’t cry over having to leave one of my favorite people after having one of the best days I’ve ever had, there’d be something wrong with me.

When I finally got home, I was the most exhausted. Also, my legs hurt for three days afterward, because that’s a lot of walking for a sedentary lady like me. (Why is it your legs never hurt WHILE you’re walking? Nope. The next morning you wake up all OW OW OW!)

Me when I got home. SO SO TIRED.

The last thing Andreas and I discussed before I left? When I was going to come to Finland. You know how I’ve been kind of jokey about it before? Well, the jokey has stopped. The plan as of now is summer 2014. Yes, that’s a bit of time from now, but a plan has been made. Andreas is in charge of finding me the best flight deal (because seriously, when I search, the flights are all like $1,100, but he finds flights for like $650, and I DO NOT KNOW HOW HE IS DOING THAT. So that’s his job.) I’ll be staying for a week or so; I’ll get to meet Andreas’ family; I’ll get to go to Finland and see Andreas’ islands and the ocean and so many wonderful exciting things. Surprisingly, Dad’s totally behind this plan; I think that’s because Andreas turned out to be not a female truck driver after all.

I’m going to Finland, you guys. Not even in a jokey “hey rich people, sponsor me a trip!” Nope. I have a good job with time off; I can afford to send myself to Finland. I have a place to stay. I have 15 months to learn some Swedish so I can talk to Andreas’ children at least SOME. I don’t want to be that weird lady who visits from America (with, let’s face it, THE BEST PRESENTS) and is unable to talk to them at all. That would be the worst.

Andreas thinks Lufthansa will be the best choice. Lufthansa here I come!

Andreas thinks Lufthansa will be the best choice. Lufthansa here I come!

Now Andreas is home safely, and presents were distributed to much glee and his family was so, so happy to see him (as of course they would be, he is ANDREAS) and I miss him already. Why are my people so far away, I ask you?

Thanks for sticking with me for Andreas and Amy take New York City week, my favorite minions! It’s been the most fun to share it all with you. I promise we’ll be back to our regular scheduled programming tomorrow (or if not tomorrow, then soon – might have something going on tomorrow night, not sure yet. I KNOW SO SECRETIVE!)

Thank you, Andreas. I knew you were amazing before I met you face-t0-face; actually being in the same place as you was just the best thing ever. Thank you for one of the best days I’ve had, and one of the best trips to my favorite city in the world I’ve ever had. You are wonderful; I am so, so lucky to know you. Thank you for being one of my best friends. Thank you.

I’m going to get on the train (totally a euphemism) now so you don’t see me cry. All aboard!

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

27 responses to “Those were the reasons and that was New York: a day with Andreas (part five)

  • becomingcliche

    How sweet of Dumbcat to take your picture when you were sleeping! Sweet or creepy. Watch that cat. He’s only playing dumb.

    I have never been in a Macy’s before, either. I thought they were just a department store like any other. Except more expensive.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I totally faked sleeping for that photo and took it MYSELF on the SLY! I know, I’m very tricky.

      My friend C. emailed me and told me that the Macy’s here in town is very much like a department store and I shouldn’t be afraid but I still kind of am. That place was DAUNTING!

      Like

  • Charleen

    On one of my choir trips to Europe, we stayed with host families for a few nights instead of in hotels. It was a rather awkward experience (being afraid of new people, as I am), but it was also pretty cool. The family I stayed with in Denmark had three kids, maybe 4, 8, and 12… ish? I don’t know. But it was so cute. The older ones knew enough English from school that we could talk with them a bit, but the youngest one, not being in school yet, could only talk in Danish (I’m assuming it was Danish?) and it was so cute. I mean, shy little kids are cute anyway (MUCH cuter than loud and annoying little kids), but something the foreign language made it extra endearing.

    Like

    • Andreas Heinakroon

      I know! When in Helsinki on Tuesday, there was this little girl of – I don’t know – five? sitting at the table next to us in the restaurant. She spoke perfect Finnish, which is perhaps not so surprising, but it was the most adorable.

      Like

      • lucysfootball

        My parents live next door to…oh, now I can’t remember. I think they’re Amish? No, that’s not right. Something like Amish? people. And their children speak nothing but Dutch until they’re 5. So when I go home, I see these adorable kids running around speaking merrily in Dutch right next door. It makes me so happy! (And makes my Dad INSANE. “This is MERKA! Speak MERKAN!!!”)

        Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    It was the saddest thing when you left on Saturday evening. I might have had a lump in my throat walking back to the hotel, I won’t deny it.

    And the next day, walking around looking for a place to eat breakfast, New York seemed empty, quiet and somehow broken. It was the saddest feeling; and a very real sense that the trip had now ended. I was feeling melancholy and wistful the whole day.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I will have you know, sir, that I read this in my car at lunch today and got all choked up. *shakes fist* (*doesn’t really shake fist*)

      I felt the same way. I was so sad that you were still in the States but I couldn’t see you anymore on Sunday.

      I also like that I brought cheer to all of New York City. I think that might well be the best compliment I have ever gotten. Thank you.

      How much cheer will I bring to Finland, I wonder? Will Finland know what to do with me?

      Like

  • Samantha

    More LUSH love!

    I understand why you love that photo of you and Andreas. You both look genuinely, ecstatically happy. I am so happy you guys got to meet in person, it’s kind of the best thing.

    Soooo when I went to New York City, went into the Macy’s simply so I could say I had been to the biggest one ever (not sure if it ACTUALLY is, but I’ve heard that) and it’s nuts. I haven’t been to Macy’s much because it’s out of my price range, but we have a large-ish one in my hometown. The New York one is just mind-boggling. I’m sure they probably HAD a baby section, it’s probably just IMPOSSIBLE to find. SO MANY FLOORS! I think I was with a group of guys and we just ran all the way down the escalator and up all the way to the top and then exited, because high school boys + Macy’s doesn’t work all that well. :P

    Anyway…I know it was sad to leave but it’s just so awesome you guys got to meet up. I’ve enjoyed this series very much. :D

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed this so much! That makes me so happy. I had the best time writing it – I got to relive it all over again. And now I get to look back on it and re-read it once it gets farther in the past – I wish I could do that with some of the other amazing days I’ve had!

      That Macy’s was NUTS. I’m assured that the one here really IS more like a Sears, but now I’m afraid!

      Like

  • mfennvt

    Aw, what a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Like

  • Kris

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful day in NYC with ANDREAS so we could enjoy it vicariously! I totally did! I’ve never been to NYC, so it was fun to see the photos and hear all about your adventures.

    Glad you tried the Thai green curry – it’s my absolute favorite Thai dish! It’s definitely not like Indian curry (tho I like that, too).

    Just so happy that you two had such a great day. And, YAY!! You will go see him next year??!? Total awesomeness!!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I’m going to have to try something with Thai green curry the next time I go out for Thai!

      I know, only…let’s see. 16 months until my grand adventure to Finland! That’s…a very long time, actually. Grumble.

      Like

  • greengeekgirl

    Aaaaaghhh this series of posts was so happy-making. You are both so awesome. I’m jealous of your soap adventure and baby-clothes-buying adventure (but that’s probably because I want to be shopping for MY OWN BABY CLOTHES DAMMIT but I have to wait until I lose some weight).

    How does a shampoo bar work?? I have a hard time with undiluted shampoo, my hair does not like to suds up at all.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      SO MANY ADVENTURES! Thank you! We had so much fun. I miss New York and Andreas so much!

      You just get your hair wet, then rub the bar on your hair like a bar of soap. It does make a lot of lather, though. Just like regular shampoo. It makes my hair so squeaky clean and it totally smells beachy – I love it!

      Like

  • DogsDontPurr

    Wow…I was a little weepy after that….and I don’t even know you guys!

    If only everyone had just one friend that was so full of love and pure friendship and lived in the moment so fully as you did that day, I believe the world would be a wayyy better place. (Awww….look at me being all full of mushy platitudes!)

    Seriously, if you ever want to come out to Los Angeles, look me up. I promise I’m not a female trucker (although I am female and used to be a delivery driver for an arts magazine….does that count?)…and I will try my darnedest to give you a welcome that is hopefully at least somewhat close to as enthusiastic as you were for Andreas. (Wow…was that a sentence?)

    Cheers Amy and Andreas…you totally win at Bon Vivanting!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      OMG, thank you! That is just the nicest compliment! Now *I* am weepy!

      I have always wanted to go to Los Angeles! I made it to San Francisco and Santa Barbara years ago, and loved it – I’ve always wanted to visit California more. I loved what I saw so much!

      Thank you. Seriously. This made my whole day.

      Like

  • jbrown3079

    The picture of you two sums it up nicely. I am very happy that it turned out so well. Very, very happy.

    Like

  • Heather

    I’m so glad you both had such a wonderful time. SO AWESOME.

    And FINLAND! *\o/*

    Like

  • elaine4queen

    okay, you do NOT get to fly right over my house and not drop in – or at the very least have andreas make sure he builds on enough bedrooms for me to come too.

    only fair.

    Like

  • Friends | heinakroon.com

    […] as in plural, because there are several) on the subject: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5. She goes into plenty of details on what we did and where we went. Also, she describes it much […]

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