There is always a first time for everything and there is always a surprise to behold. Imagine being picked up surprisingly from school by your dad, you get to your car and find your mom, your sister, her bff and her mom and your bff all waiting in the car. Then imagine no one except your dad talking to you in the car, not knowing where you are going.
Now back up about 6 months. Sweet man suggests that I take our baby girl to New York for her 18th birthday. Make it a girls trip with her sister. Inviting sister’s best friend and leading to best friends’s mom coming too and not to leave the birthday girl without a bff, and you invite her’s. Following me? So now you have 6 woman, none have been to NY before, and you have no idea where to start, just hold your nose and jump in!! That is exactly what we did. I spent countless hours researching everything to do, see and where to stay while there. I contacted friends I knew had been there or lived there. And I had a complete itinerary of the trip or so I thought.
Now back to the moment. A beautiful December day, driving to the airport, Abi had no idea where we were headed, why no one but Daddy was talking to her, she did finally realize we were headed to OIA. She thought maybe we were picking someone up, she did not realize until we got out and started unloading the car that we were being dropped off. We still were not talking to her and she unwillingly followed us into the bathroom, at which time, we all changed into our new shirts!!
Here is the design I came up with:
When she came around the corner and saw us all in them, the tears started flowing. Here we all are in the airport:
|Front Row: Dani, Me, Abi (birthday girl), Alex Front Row: Erica and Jody|
Our flight was delayed a couple of hours, so it gave us all time to brag about how awesome of secret keepers we were. And the lengths we went through to keep it, almost ruining the surprise a million times.
It was pouring rain when we arrived and dark. But we made it to our hotel on 77th Street Upper West Side. We went down to Nicks and had a slice of pizza as big as your head (no kidding, take a look!):
Mind you, Abi now knew where we were, but she still had no idea what was in store for her.
The first day, We got up bright and early and headed to a quaint tea shop. It was just darling, Alice's Tea Cup. We LOVED it, the prices were great and the food was wonderful. Such a great time!!
Next we headed to ground zero. None of us knew that when we got there, we would need to get tickets and wait. So what was suppose to be a couple of hours, turned into a few hours. We went into the wonderful gift shop they have, and I found the greatest book of hundreds of photos from the days surrounding 911. I just knew my mother in law would love it, so I got it for her. What a mistake, not because it was not a great book, but because it weighted probally 10 lbs, no kidding. And I had to carry it around all day. We finally made it to the memorial. It was really touching and such a beautiful tribute.
Here is a picture of The Survivor Tree:
And here is some great info on it: 911 Memorial, Survivor Tree
We decided to hit China Town, what a disappointment to most of us. I personally did not care for it at all. It was dirty, intimidating and you could not walk 5 feet without being approached to follow someone down an alley for a purse or perfume. But we did pass some beautiful sites. We also started to really enjoy the subway.
We made it back up to the Empire state building but it was a long wait and we were told if we come back in the am, that we would have no wait. So we decided to do that. Well what to do for a few hours before our next adventure? Shopping, yes shopping. But sadly that was short lived, as Abi’s bff suddenly got a phone call and her face went from joy to heartache. I could not quit figure out what was going on, and as I got my phone out, I had realized that my husband had texted me. One of the girls long time close friends had passed away that morning. Needless to say, we headed back to our hotel to process everything and to get ready for our evening. It was tough to enjoy the remainder of the trip. But we knew there was nothing we could do in the next couple of days. So we pressed on. Lots of prayers followed us on our trip.
That evening, we had tickets to see “On A Clear Day” revival starring Harry Connick Jr. We had heard that Mr Connick typically comes out the stage doors after, so I would have a wonderful chance to meet him, I thought I would faint. The play itself was not bad, not great but not bad. But meeting Mr. Connick was so exciting, however a bit disappointing. There were not many of us outside the doors, maybe 20 or so. He came out after waiting for what seemed like forever. I had my playbill and my cd in hand along with a marker. Dani, my oldest daughter, had the camera ready. I was right near the front of the doors when he came out. My daughter asked him if she could get a picture of he and I and he said very matter of factly and I quote “You may take my picture”. He felt the need to repeat this twice. He would not take a moment and look up for a picture, my heart was broken. He was not all smiles, or talkative, he completely ignored my cd. He would not personalize my autograph. I will still swoon but I will no longer faint over Mr. Connick. I do admit that I had to sit down for a moment after and compose myself.
That pretty well sums up our first full day in New York. I will get into some great fun and excitement in my next installment. We had some amazing opportunies thanks to a sweet friend…..
Peace, Love and EnJoy