My fondest memories of my childhood are spending the summers with my grandmother in Connecticut. I use to count down the days until school was out so that I could fly and see her. I did this from age 5 to about ages 13 or 14. (This was back when a flight attendant was my “babysitter” and I could even help fly the plane in the cock-pit with the pilots!!) Boy, lot has changed since then! I use to accumulate little plastic, gold pilots wings after every flight and by my last flight, my carry-on duffel bag was covered with them!
It really didn’t matter if my grandmother and I went for a walk around the block, or if I went with her to the store, but I loved everything we did together. Being so close to New York City, we use to go into the city and just take pictures. The train use to pull right out of her town and about an hour and a half later, we were there!! I have some really great pictures of us in front of the Twin Towers, on top of the Empire State Building, in the Subway.We loved exploring places together. Needless to say, New York has always been special to me.
Many years later, it would be New york City that Jason would ask me to marry him – sealing the love I had for the city. Living in North Carolina, hopping on a train and spending the day there really isn’t an option, but a few months ago, I learned of a bus that leaves Friday night and comes back early Sunday morning. That would mean I would leave late Friday night, sleep on the bus that night, shop and sight see all day Saturday and then leave late Saturday night in order to be home for church on Sunday morning. Could I do it?? I was going to try. And so were my three sisters-n-law and two other friends!!
I had never been that far away from Landrey before. And on top of that, Jason had never kept Landrey for more than 45 minutes at a time, tops! But I was certain he would do just fine. And if all else failed, both my mother and his mother were close by…(God is merciful! ) haha…
Friday night, all six girls got onto the bus and we were headed to New York City!!! It had been almost six years since I had been there and I was so excited. I was trying to think about all the fun things to do! And I would be able to keep thinking about all the things to do while I lay awake while everyone else on the bus slept!! It was around 11pm and from my row back (I was approximately half way to the back) everyone was sleeping, including the girls I came with. The rows in front of me were wide awake! Some genius decided to play the movie AVATAR at 11 PM!! Did I mention that I had a speaker right above my head and the volume was turned up to a very LOUD setting. Attempting to get comfortable, the bus stopped. I politely asked the trip director to lower the volume and she said no problem. She was planning on doing that so she could sleep, too. “Good”, I thought, “I can get some sleep.” By 2 AM, the movie was still playing and still very loudly in my ear. How long was this movie, anyway!!??!!! At around 2:30 AM, the movie ended and I got my answer: 3 and 1/2 hours long!
At around 6am, we stopped at a rest stop to use the bathroom, change and attempt to look decent for the day ahead. This was where we had to share an outlet for our straighteners and curling irons and share sink and mirrors for make-up and brushing our teeth with the rest of the bus and about 3 other buses!! Haha! That was fun.
About 45 minutes later, we were pulling into New York City!! The city was already booming with people and cars were everywhere. They’re right, that city never sleeps! First stop, The TODAY show and then shopping in China Town!
By around 11 am, the 6 of us were starving. Shopping makes ya’ hungry! We came across this interesting italian place called Da Gennaro. Great food. We really enjoyed ourselves and even left room for some real italian pastries at a little pastry place around the corner. Yummy!
While 4 of the girls went to a show, Melissa (my sister-in-law) and I went sight-seeing. Melissa had never been to NYC before, so off we went to see and explore. We saw some amazing sights and took pictures of everything and everyone! We saw The Statue of Liberty, Battery park, Ground Zero, Wall Street, street vendors, a few stores, men with snakes around them, a beautiful garden, and some amazing architecture. Needless to say, we really enjoyed ourselves. Nothing like seeing the city, then to walk every block of it.
With the day coming to a close, we were all anxious to sit down on the bus and get some sleep. Especially me! As the bus pulled up to meet us, I turned around and took one last picture. I actually had one foot on the bus and realized what I was looking at. It happened to be The Empire State Building right in front of us , all lite up and just beautiful. It seemed that it didn’t matter where you looked, there was always something there for your eyes to marvel at. What an amazing city…
I am so blessed to have been able to share New York with nearly everyone I love. As a child, my grandmother. As a newly engaged woman, with Jason. And now, with my sisters-n-law and friends. What wonderful memories New York City has given to me. I get excited just thinking about taking Landrey there one day. I’m sure we’ll have to forego the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the American Girl store or FAO Swartz, but I am looking forward to making those memories with her.