About a week before I was scheduled to leave for Jordan I found out that I needed to get myself from Louisville to JFK. Between the short notice and the fact that it was spring break for area high schools, meant that flights leaving Thursday and coming back Saturday night or Sunday were astronomical. I stretched out the dates a bit and found something that worked.
If I flew into Newark Thursday morning and out of LaGuardia on Monday afternoon flights were actually extremely reasonable. Plus, I could spend a couple days exploring New York. Sold.
We kind of forgot about the whole jet lag thing, but ended up fighting the urge to nap to take advantage of our time in the city. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, here’s a handy (almost) hour by hour guide on how to beat jet lag in New York City.
Saturday 6:30 pm
Land at JFK and find the lines at border control aren’t too long. End up spend any time saved waiting for your bag. Jump in a cab (it’s a flat rate from JFK to Manhattan- $52 plus tolls and a 50 cent surcharge) and head into Manhattan.
Arrive at Library Hotel and feel embarrassed about your current appearance. Check in. Find out they offer free DVD rental and grab Indiana Jones hoping to relive your recent travels to Petra.
Find your room. All floors are based on the Dewey Decimal System. Collapse into the plush king size bed. Turn on Indiana Jones. Fall asleep within five minutes.
Sunday 4:45 am
Wake up to pee. Realize you aren’t tired. Then realize your friends are awake too. Work. Write. Edit photos. Brainstorm social media strategy.
Head down to breakfast as soon as it opens. Over indulge on pastries, plus a side of fruit in an attempt to look healthy. Make a latte using the espresso machine and head up to roof and listen to the city come to life.
It’s time for a second breakfast. You’ve been up since before 5 o’clock. You deserve it. Walk to Ess-a-Bagel and find a line wrapped around the building. It’s a good thing this is your second breakfast.
You finally get to the front of the line. Order an everything bagel with lox cream cheese to go. And a black coffee. Devour the bagel as you rush to Grand Central to catch a train because your running late.
Marvel at Grand Central Station. Yes, some people in the United States do take trains. Yes, train stations this majestic do exist. Once you’re done snapping photos run down to the 4 train.
Arrive, only 15 minutes late, to meet your friend at Smorgasburg, a food market in Brooklyn. Battle the crowds to eat everything in sight. Cold spicy Asian noodles. Indian tacos. Banh cuon. Wish you were hungrier.
Walk along the river admiring the view of Manhattan on a gloriously warm and sunny spring day. Buy a ticket and take the ferry to Williamsburg. Lean over the boat to take photos, carefully attempting not to trip your camera into the East River.
Make your way to the Wythe Hotel and drink at their rooftop bar. Feeling tired? Drink through it. It might be $9 for an IPA but, trust me, it’s worth it for the view.
Head back to Manhattan for the complimentary wine and cheese reception at Library Hotel. Load up on the brie and pour yourself a glass of red.
Feeling tired? Power through it and head back to Brooklyn for dinner at Diner, a restaurant in an old dining car under the Williamsburg Bridge. Share dishes among friends so you can try almost everything on that night’s menu. Split a bottle of Pinot Noir. Laugh about past travels and teaching English in Korea.
It’s dark now and the jet lag (and alcohol) is starting to catch up to you. Bid farewell to your friends and get back on the subway, restlessly count every stop until your back at Grand Central.
Once again, you’re asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.
Monday 7:30 am
Wake up at a more normal hour and feel slightly more well rested than the day before. Head downstairs for breakfast. Spend the rest of the morning before your flight catching up on work in the Reading Room. Dream about a longer stay in New York City.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary stay from Library Hotel as part of their Writers-in-Residence program. For more information about their property, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. As always, all opinions are my own.