Wednesday, September 23, 2009

From Maine to Manhatten

After a month in the north woods with NO traffic and not many people, you can imagine the culture shock that hit us when we visited the fabulous island of Manhattan on Sunday.

And no it wasn’t in the original plan for this trip. But we have been known to re-plan should a better offer come along. And a day in the City was most definitely an offer worthy of consideration.

We began the day zipping through traffic, flying under the George Washington Bridge, zooming by the Intreped and gawking appropriately as the bustling city passed quickly before us. I think it’s important to share that we last visited NYC 36 years ago, where the very same thing took place (the zooming, zipping, flying and gawking) with the very same cast of characters. The only difference was this time I was in the back seat of a much more comfortable Jeep Grand Cherokee instead of a VW Beetle. The driver and his driving skills remained the same. (The last two dark hairs remaining on my head dove for cover only to emerge as white as the rest of them.)

Oh how I wish I was home and could dig up the photos taken on that long ago visit to NY. I don’t think the four of us have changed one bit but you’ll just have to take my word on that.

And just like on our first trip we landed at Battery Park and boarded a ferry for the Statue of Liberty. It was a glorious fall day with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 70s.

We did a quick tour of Liberty Island and marveled at the beauty of Lady Liberty and all that she stands for.

We moved on to Ellis Island, and as first time visitors to this national monument were once again moved by all took that place here so many years ago.

It was not hard to imagine the excitement and fear that was felt by those less fortunate immigrants who passed through those doors.

And in keeping with the theme of the day, we walked north to Ground Zero. It is a construction site now. But that didn’t diminish the multitude of emotions that washed through me as I stood quietly with old friends and strangers and remembered that morning eight years past.

Ladder Company 10 sits on the perimeter of the site a permanent memorial to all who lost their lives that day.

We ended our day in NY with dinner in the theatre district. Weeks overdue for a haircut, with only jeans and sweatshirts that smelled of smoke and pine you can imagine how I felt dining with the elegant sophisticates that surrounded us.

A walk around Time Square completed the day. The crowds, the traffic, and the noise were almost more than I could bear. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.

And then it was over. We climbed into the car (after sacrificing our mortgage payment for September to cover the cost of parking), and zipped and zoomed and flew again, sometimes in circles, but always at wharp speed.

I think for me, the highlight of the past two months just might be the time spent with these wonderful friends, both in Maine and at their home in CT. The years melted away and conversation began where it left off ten years ago. We had such a great time together that we have agreed to do it again…soon.

Thanks for a great time A & B. See you in Alaska!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for zipping me around the city with you. I've only been there twice, once on senior trip and once to visit sister-in-law, who took us up to the top of the WTC. I have the pictures, but I don't like looking at them.

Audrey said...

Both weekends were great - and we can't wait for Alaska! We are VERY excited - and Dad is definitely up for it! Enjoy your grandkids and have a safe trip back to FL.