Like most Canadians, I was raised on American movies and television. When our fabulous Lillooet Travels group organized a trip to NYC, I jumped on board. Let me share some highlights.
While on the flight, a half an hour from Newark, the pilot announces we are changing runways because our brakes have failed, and don’t be alarmed by all the safety vehicles. Whatever. I prayed, encouraged others and made my peace with God. The plane was eerily quiet. And the brakes miraculously worked.
After landing, and fighting the urge to literally kiss the ground, we met our guide and boarded a bus that ran past Hoboken; the driver declined to visit Buddy the Cake Boss. We drove under the Hudson River via the Lincoln Tunnel and arrived in Manhattan.
Italian restaurant with real New York cheesecake, a Frank Sinatra room, a Joe DiMaggio room, and even a Pope room.
We met people from all around the world, but didn’t meet Harry or Sally at the Empire State Building. We appreciated the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
After confirming with our guide that Subways are safe; no people wanting to shoot or stab us, or even throw us in front of the train, (okay, maybe I’ve watched too much TV!) we braved subways all week. We went out to the old ball game, ate crackerjack and the Yankees won.
After a fabulous Broadway show, it was raining. What does one do while holding an umbrella on Broadway? Yep, I sang “Singing in the rain.” Two doors down from our hotel was our very own Irish Pub, where everyone knew our name.
Fabulous historical treasures from all over the world are stored in New York, including Sunflowers by the artist who cut off his own ear, van Gogh, huge ballerina paintings by Degas, and Lily paintings by Monet. The guitars in music memorabilia section Rocked. The best dinosaurs, including those from Alberta, spend their nights at the museum. There are even Night at the Museum events where people actually sleep there.
Boat tour on the Hudson River and Brooklyn Bridge, walking in Wall Street, a guided Food Cart tour, and even rode a limo back from Little Italy. I gave my regards to 42nd Street, while riding the bus down this shopper's paradise.
We saw where John Lennon was shot; Yoko Ono still lives there. Walking across the street to Central Park, we visited Strawberry Fields, a mosaic of stones with Imagine in the middle. A man started to play guitar; three of us rockers from Lillooet sang Imagine, joined by a circle of youth.
The World Trade Center Memorial tour was powerful. And those were just some of our adventures.
En route to the airport, there is a giant poster of a dog, balancing a bone on his nose. All it says is “Stay.” No worries, New York. Pieces of our hearts remain. Thanks, NYC, for bringing all the movies and tv shows I’ve ever watched to life.