Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It Was a Friday to Remember!


We got back from NYC Sunday morning. What a fun trip that was! I only had one full day in the city but with Tammy's planning skills we were able to make the most of it. She and Rachel arrived there earlier in the week having taken a little over two days to drive there. I've mentioned in a previous post that Rachel will be spending the first semester of her senior year out there at Stony Brook College on Long Island.

Tammy arranged for us to take a 5 hour bus tour of the borough of Manhattan (it's not a city). It was a great idea. We got to see so much of Manhattan while at the same time not spending the entire day on our feet. The tour guide was so good. She knew all sorts of interesting trivia that she sprinkled throughout her talk as she guided us along.

While walking the streets of Manhattan it dawned on me that the rude and obnoxious people of NYC that I fully expected to be surrounded by were avoiding me. Even behind the wheel in traffic they were keeping their distance. I really didn't expect that. I've never experienced a more densely populated city/borough with such a friendly and well-mannered collection of people.

We had several hours to kill after our tour before taking our seats to see the Broadway production of Wicked. Oh, that reminds me...I now know the difference between 'on Broadway', 'off Broadway' and 'off-off Broadway'. Do you? Let me help you. A Broadway play is one that plays before more than 500 people. Off Broadway productions seat 100-500 people and off-off Broadway shows play to less than 100 people.

Wicked is a Broadway production that kept us entertained the entire time. Tammy pulled a fast one on me. She told me that she'd gotten cheap seats in the very back row and I told her I was fine with that. When we walked into the theater to take our seats I noticed as I followed Tammy that we were walking nowhere near the back row. She'd upgraded us without telling me. She heard no complaints from either Rachel or me.

After the show we made one last run through Times Square for some photos and people watching on our way to catch the Long Island Train back to Ronkonkoma where we'd left our rental car some 14 hours earlier. I had to laugh because we were all so tired and it reminded me of our trip to Disney World in 2004. Tammy had every minute of that vacation planned with stuff for us to do. We were all so exhausted by the time our vacation was over that we needed a vacation from our vacation. This was feeling a lot like that!

It was a Friday to remember!

Standing in the depot of the Long Island Train station waiting for our track information to appear the clock turned 12:00 and Rachel yelled out for everyone to hear "It's my birthday!!" Several people standing around us congratulated her. I smiled. That's my spontaneous daughter and I couldn't be more pleased with the woman she's become.

We left for home late the following morning expecting to take two days to get there. I had to be careful not to spend too much time seated for fear of another blood clot in my legs so I was careful to do some stretches in the car along the way and to run in place while refueling the car. Whatever it takes.

I enjoy watching the world pass by from behind a windshield so I was looking forward to the drive home. Tammy and I both programmed the GPS in our phones to Harrisburg, PA on the way out and compared the prompts. My Droid Maxx kept trying to route us away from Manhattan but Tammy's iPhone headed us straight for the heart of the borough. Against my better judgement I allowed her iPhone to lead the way if only to prove once and for all the superiority of the android platform. Sure enough, before I knew it we were stuck in traffic in downtown Manhattan with Tammy apologizing with one breath then gleefully telling me with the next that I was driving in Manhattan and hey "look out the window...isn't that the Empire State Building?" "Yup!"

Aside from some slow moving traffic in Pennsylvania where we were completely stopped for a time we made up for it once we left the hilly roads and struggling semis of that beautiful state behind.

My Droid was telling me we'd make Chicago at around 2:30 in the morning so we did our best to make that so. And we did. I don't think I used my brakes once going through that nearly always congested part of the country. My brakes did get a workout though at the too many tolls we encountered.

We drove straight through with the exception of a much needed 90 minute rest stop a little more than 4 hours from home in Wisconsin. We'd left Stony Brook at 10:15 the previous morning and arrived home at 11:00. I'd say we made good time while having a good time.

The pups were happy to see us and we were so thankful to my brother Tim for stopping by several times each day to care for them. Thanks, Tim!

You know how you sometimes experience a day or a weekend that you'd love to live over again? This trip was that for me. We're definitely considering plans to make it back to the Big Apple once again to see if we can expand on the fun we had but plans with much more time to spend out there.

Here's a link to some photos from our trip.

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