Our trip last week was fantastic!! Having never been to NYC before, I was just giddy with excitement to finally experience even just a bite of the Big Apple.
My son and I flew into PA and stayed over night with my mother-in-law Diana, who then drove us into the city the next morning.
We picked up Blake from JFK (he flew back from a conference in England). Then Blake drove while I navigated us into Manhattan. We drove through through Brooklyn on the way there. It was incredible to see all the many different cultures of people, all crammed together. The brownstone homes and storefronts were all right up tight against each other. Very different from home, for sure.
We stayed in Mid town Manhattan on 14th Street. My sister-in-law Stacie rented an apartment for all of us for the weekend. Four bedrooms, a kitchen, living room and one bathroom with a really long hallway my four year old niece Carmen could run up and down like a race track!
Since the wedding didn’t start till 6pm, on Saturday we walked through Central Park to the Natural History Museum. The park was filled with people of all ages, lots of them exercising in the beautiful sunshine.
The Natural History Museum was stunning and absolutely HUGE! Yes, this is the same museum from the movie, Night at the Museum starring Ben Stiller and Robin Williams. The kids had a blast and even we adults loved seeing as much as we could before heading back for a power nap at the apartment.
The wedding that night was gorgeous! We took a taxi down to the restaurant in Battery Gardens Park, which is located down at the very southern tip of Manhattan, just past Wall Street (yeah, THAT Wall street).
The wedding was held outside, and with all the rain we had gotten, everything was clean and fresh with just a few clouds in the sky. The sky was pink as the sun was setting and the Statue of Liberty off in the distance. I cried through the whole ceremony!
Afterwards, we started with drinks and appetizers outside on the patio. There was even a gentleman hand rolling cigars. He has a whole routine to tell you about what he was doing, including dipping it in honey and lighting it with the tip immersed in brandy. Not my thing, but very entertaining, none the less. We ate dinner and did all the traditional reception stuff in the upstairs party room.
After the cake and dancing, we tried with some difficulty to get cabs back to the apartment. With 9 people in our group, we had to get 2 cabs and at 11:30pm it was harder than you might think.
The next day we went to see the Blue Man Group, walked around Times Square (which was packed with people, even on a Sunday afternoon) and then ate dinner at the Brooklyn Diner. Being 4 o’clock in the afternoon, the place was completely empty except for the staff. We all got to sit down and eat together as a family, which I honestly think was one of the best parts of the whole trip.
After dinner we headed back to the apartment so Stacie and her family could pack up for a 6am flight to Florida the next morning. Since the sun was still out, I decided to walk down to Union Square for a look around. My brother-in-law Karl said he was thinking of joining me after he got packed up, and Blake was working on my website (Thanks Honey!) so I headed out by myself.
It was only a block and a half walk from the apartment and as I walked I thought about what I would do when I got there. Of course I wanted to watch people, but I’m not one to just sit quietly and stare.
I decided to dare myself to give out the 5 Current Inspiration business cards I had in my pocket. Not all 5 cards to one person, but 5 separate people.
So I did.
As I walked into the square, I came around a corner and noticed a chanting hare krishna drum circle.
I felt drawn to it like a paper clip to a magnet. I stood about 20 feet from it, just basking in the lovely vibration when a beautiful lady came walking past me. She could tell I wasn’t from NYC and said something to that effect as she got closer. I just smiled and said “You don’t see this in Ortonville. That’s for sure!” She stopped and asked me where Ortonville was, so I told her it’s about 20 minutes south of Flint Michigan and then asked her if I could give her something. She raised her eyebrows and said sure. So I did it! I told her about the website and the books! She smiled as she left me watching the beautiful chanting people.
One of these beautiful people motioned for me to come over and joined then and so I did. Yes, my friendly blog reader, I actually walked over, sat down as part of the group and started singing along! (No I never would have thought I would do something like that, but since I was there and it felt so wonderful, I figured why not!)
At first I just kind of hummed along, but once I got the rhythm and the words I sang right along. Awesome, awesome, awesome!
After a few minutes I got up to talk to the leader of the group, who wasn’t singing but walking around talking to people. At first I told him about the Stretch, which lead into the website and then You’re the Boat. He really seemed to like what I offer and he gave me a booklet with the address of the Detroit branch of their group. I gave him my card and continued through the Square.
Next I gave my card to a young gentleman sitting at a table by himself. Then to a lovely lady I was walking out of the park. The last card I gave to a couple sitting on a bench. She was wearing a Beatles Yellow Submarine t-shirt which drew me to them.
The sun was just about down so I figured it was time to leave. I knew there was still one more thing for me to do and just then I saw a young man carrying a FREE HUGS sign. I got my free hug and just then my brother-in-law called to let me know he wasn’t coming. “That’s all right. I’m on my way back.” I told him.
Back at the apartment, we all sat around and played Jenga, the new Explosive version we gave Stacie for her birthday.
We headed back to PA the next day and then flew home the following day.
Whew! What an adventure!
I’d love to go back one of these days. Like for an interview on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Yeah, that would be just awesome!!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, my friendly blog reader!
Have a most wonderful day, and I’ll be back tomorrow!
p.s. You’ll notice I got the images from Google. I didn’t take many pictures because I wanted to really soak it all in and enjoy the moment.