Sorry to leave you hanging. I type lots all at once and then stop in the middle of the trip and get caught up in life. I'm going to finish now.

Day six was a travel day. Back home to my sick family. I was emotional leaving and, quite frankly, not really sure whether I was ready to come home yet--not that I had any choice in the matter. The plane ride was bumpy but I was under better control, thanks to lots of medicine. It took me a few days to get the medicine out of my system. That wasn't pleasant. But all in all, the day went really well.

Day five was truly a day of highs and lows. When Seamore came into my bedroom and asked if I was up for adventure, I felt great and said, "let's go!". By the time I got down and tried to eat breakfast, I wasn't so sure about this. I had probably 1/4 of an apple and about two tablespoons of yogurt before I knew I wasn't eating anything any time soon.

We popped in the car and drove to meet one of my many brothers. We had three cars so that we could take everyone. I moved to my brother's van, ostensibly so we could talk and get caught up. That didn't happen.

About 5 minutes down the road I knew I wasn't doing anything and my brother told me to put the seat back and take a nap. He covered me with extra blankets and then stopped talking to me. I was very grateful. I dozed in and out of sleep from Philadelphia to just outside NYC.

I looked at the NYC skyline and could hardly believe that I was here and that I felt like crap. We drove through the Lincoln tunnel--which is the first time I've ever driven under a river.

Weird feeling, that. I'm mildly claustrophobic, so I had to close my eyes most of the time, especially on the way in to the city--on the way out wasn't so bad.

The original plan, I think, was to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then to the Natural History Museum. See, it had been raining in Philly for two days straight by this time, and if it was raining in NYC, we wanted to do some cool inside things. However, about 10 minutes outside of the city we ran out of the rain. It was cool, but it was not raining. Solipsist promptly changed our plans. Which turned out to be a good thing for me. Solipsist told us where to park and we all met there.

FYI, our group at this point consisted of 3 of my brothers and their families and my little sister and her family, and my mom. We were missing one of my nephews who didn't want to come. The total number of people was 18.

Our first stop after parking was bathroom and lunch. When I got out of the car I had numerous people ask me if I wanted to turn around and go back. My answer was, "No!" I have wanted to come to NYC all my life and I wasn't about to let this go to waste, no matter how I felt. Plus, I soon found that being out in the open air and walking was a much better idea than sitting in a car or even being in a building. So we wandered around. Half of the family stopped at a pizzeria but the other half really needed a bathroom, so we went on and found a diner with a bathroom. We opted to have lunch there so that we wouldn't feel guilty about using their bathrooms. I initially ordered a salad that sounded good. My mom ordered French Onion Soup. I took one look at the salad and knew that I wasn't eating that. So my mom and I traded. I only ended up eating the broth from the soup. It was yummy. I love French Onion Soup normally, but every time I ate something solid, my tummy hurt. I was also anxious to get back into the open air.

Because we went to two different places for lunch, the other half of the family finished first. They came, watched us for a bit, and then told us they would meet us at the Empire State Building. We finished our lunch and headed that direction.

I had a fierce internal debate at this point and by the time I got to the Empire State Building, I had decided that I wasn't going up. In my current state of stomach unease, I was very afraid that I would throw up in the elevator. I don't do elevators very well anyway, and the thought of going up 86 floors made me sick. I was regretting this decision, but I felt I had little choice.

Seamore talked me out of that choice. She and The Guy both said, "You're here, you should go up. The elevator isn't that bad." They were right on all three counts. I decided to brave it. I had a pit in my stomach the whole time we walked through the interminable lines to get to buy a ticket and get to the elevators. (Interminable meaning in reference to the maze we had to go through, not that there were a lot of people there. I was lucky in that respect, I think. There could have been a lot more people there, which would have made things worse for me. It was bad enough as it was since I could feel the floor shake underneath me.)

The elevator ride was the best elevator ride I have ever been on. They had music playing which helped distract me, and it was very smooth. What you may not know is that you go up 80 floors and then move to another elevator ride for the last 6. (That comes in handy on the way down because then they can shuttle you through the gift shop.) We stood in line for a bit on the 80th floor, and then decided to take the "walk the last six flights of stairs" option. That was cool for me. I was tired out by the time I got to the top, but for some reason I really liked being able to climb those last six floors.

Then we came out on top.

This is the other thing that I was very surprised by loving. I loved the top of the Empire State Building. I have no idea. I have climbed mountains and enjoyed views much more breathtaking. . .and yet not. I don't know if I was finally feeling better or if I was just so relieved about not throwing up in the elevator. I don't know. But I loved being up there. I could have stayed up there for hours. I wandered by myself for a bit, but then Solipsist and the crew found me up there and Solipsist started telling stories. He talked about why there were the straight avenues in NYC. He pointed out to me where I should have seen the World Trade Center, and the building next to it that will ultimately be torn down. We saw Central Park and Columbia (Solipsist's alma mater). We talked about "the projects" and how if they worked they weren't called projects.

It was awesome.

We went down. I bought all sorts of overpriced stuff at the gift shop, because I'm liked that. One tradition that I'm trying to start is that our family calendar for the next year come from a place that we go on vacation. So our calendar for next year is an NYC/Empire State Building calendar.

I was the last one down. We met at the bottom and talked about what was next. At this point, my mom, Seamore, and Woof-Woof opted out of the day. My mom was really starting to hurt and Woof-Woof is only three. So they left us. I was sad, but I understood.

So, the next question was, did I want to go to Grand Central Station, or Times Square? By this time I was feeling much better, so I made a spontaneous decision and said, "Grand Central Station".

What a beautifully spectacular building! Marble and chandeliers and the zodiac painted across the ceiling. It was so beautiful. I don't have a lot to say about it other than it was gorgeous.

My nephew--who also had never been to NYC--really wanted to see a subway. We were going to go to Times Square, and so the unanimous decision was to take the subway instead of just seeing it.

My first subway ride.

I was grateful it was short. I was feeling better, but not so much that I would have been good for a long ride. I had no idea they were that far underground. I think it's one thing to hear about it, but it's another thing completely to actually go down the stairs and be down there. They weren't as big as I was expecting--height wise, but hello! They are three or four stories underground. I was glad to be with the group because I really had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. We (barely) made our train and off we went to Times square.

I had to take a couple of pictures of the Times Square subway station because I had recently read "The Cricket in Times Square" to my kids. They all wanted to see where Tucker and Harry lived. I took a picture of a newsstand. (I had to take it from far away and I was a little grateful that it came in a smidge out of focus because they sold magazines I don't want my kids to read, but my kids were able to get the idea.)

Then we came up.

Times square was. . .what. . .alive?


It's Vegas, packed in to a smaller space. I wonder if people who have seen Vegas will see Times square as super special. Bright lights. Advertisements.

Oh wait, Times Square is far less smutty than Vegas. If I had to pick, I'd pick Times Square.

I love the chairs and tables in the middle of the street--so to speak. We kicked up our heels for a while. I saw the huge indoor Ferris wheel in Toys-R-Us. We went to both MnM world (where I picked up some toe socks for Kendra. She loves them) and Hersheys world. We looked and looked and saw and saw.

Here's one of my favorite shots.

That's the New Years Ball, in case you didn't know.

Times Square was basically the end of our day. We walked back to the cars. (We went through the garment district, I might add. I could have spent a grundle on fabric had we gone through there earlier.) We drove back through the Lincoln Tunnel--after driving around in circles for a while--and headed back to Philadelphia. I was finally able to have a roll and some cheese when we got back to the car, so physically I was making progress. The ride home was fun. I rode back with The Guy and Sweetie. We chatted of his work and church callings and what the last minute 1/2 Stake meeting meant (boundary changes in the wards).

It was a good day.

My impressions of NYC were that it was alive and that I'm not nearly as scared of it as I used to be. It's a city. It has the cities dangers and the cities beauty. And it was vibrant. I'm still not sure I'd ever choose to live there, however if I were called on to live there, I would be okay.

So that was my trip. Yes I was sick, and yes I was letting off much steam, but I will always remember it with happiness. Happiness of being with my family (especially since they are the half that I don't see as much) and seeing new things and feeling a lot of love. I felt (mostly) safe in NYC because I was surrounded by people who love me.

All in all, a very good trip.
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8 Responses
  1. Emily Says:

    I love NYC, I am glad you were able to go and see some of it. I am sorry that you didn't feel well, and I am impressed that the smell of the subway didn't make you sick. It ALWAYS made me sick. And I usually wasn't sick to start out with!

  2. charrette Says:

    How exciting you made it to NYC...and the top of the Empire State Building!

    (Ditto Emily on the smell of the subway!)

  3. Kimberly Says:

    What an amazing experience! I can't imagine the feeling of visiting places I've only seen in movies...and to have the sense of history implicit in some. Wow.

  4. L.T. Elliot Says:

    I loved what you had to say about Grand Central Station. I've always wanted to go there. It just sounds like it feels romantic.

    I'm glad you had a good time (sorry that you were sick) and that you were surrounded by loved ones. That makes it all more fun.

  5. Melanie J Says:

    I went to NYC when I was five months pregnant and I almost passed out in the subway. First time it ever happened in my life. BESIDES that, I think it was one of the best trips I ever took. I totally want to go back.

  6. Kazzy Says:

    I LOVE NYC! My folks used to live really close so we would drop the kids and go into the city.

    Speaking of lunch there... hubby and I split a Reuben and a coke and some chips and spent 26 bucks! Sheesh!

  7. What a wonderful opportunity! I truly think travel is essential if we are going to be more evolved people. I surely wish I could do more of it.

  8. I'm so glad you loved it despite your trials! I hope you can come back someday.