We Love New York!

For all our travels around the U.S. we had never visited New York City . . . until last September and last week. Carol suggested we celebrate our anniversary there in September. I wasn’t so sure with all the people and traffic and yellow cabs. But since I’m the boss of our family as long as I do what she tells me, I agreed. Well, Mother knows best. We had a terrific four days doing all the touristy things: zoomed to the observatory atop the Empire State Building at midnight; visited Ground Zero; saw the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park; and took in Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic. As luck would have it (or was this serendipity?) the San Gennaro Festival was going on in Little Italy and we and a thousand or so people walked along Mulberry Street, taking in the sights and sounds of this great celebration. Of course we had a scrumptious Italian meal along the way.

When we returned home we decided to take each of our six granddaughters and our one grandson to New York on their 13th birthday and last week was GD#1’s trip. Her mother decided to go along so the four of us took off for New York. After a 2-hour delay in Chicago we finally arrived at LaGuardia, only to have someone take our bag by mistake. The airlines reached him on his cell phone but he was already in Manhattan. About an hour later he returned with our bag – one that was exactly like his, same color, same brand. We finally arrived at our hotel around 2 a.m.

On top of this, that cold front finally reached New York. It was in the teens and low 20s with a biting wind. Long walking trips were out of the question, so we boarded the Grayline Tour bus which takes you around the city, stopping at various attractions where you can hop off and hop back on later.  The tour guides were well-informed and imparted many tidbits of information about the city which we didn’t know. For example, a street named Houston is actually pronounced House-ton. And for years we’ve heard of Soho but didn’t know that it’s called that because it’s a section South of Houston. Didn’t know there is a Noho, too, but there is.

One of the highlights of our trip was taking in Mary Poppins at the New Amsterdam. Now, hey, I know this is New York and Broadway and you expect to see good shows, but I think for the first time in my life I witnessed true perfection! Mary, played by Laura Michelle Kelly, begins by singing she’s “practically perfect in every way.” Well, the entire show was just plain perfect in every way. The sets, the actors, the music and the choreography. Ms. Kelly is the show’s original London star and Olivier Award winner. Playing chimney sweep Bert is Tony Award nominee Christian Borle (of Broadway’s Legally Blonde). And watch in the future for Cassady Leonard and Andrew Shipman who played the two Banks children at this performance. These two kids will have great careers!

We have five more granddaughters to go (a trip to New York  for the next three years, then a respite for a couple of years), and a 1 year old grandson. Let’s see, for him in 12 years I’ll be . . .

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