Many people will walk in and out of your life, but your truest friends will leave footprints in your heart forever.
It’s Wednesday, October 21st, 2009. Today, a long time wish was about to unfold. New York City! In my imagination, it was larger than life. I couldn’t really wrap my mind around what to expect but I was ready to find out! The plans were set: I was meeting Jen at the Newark airport at 8:00pm for a 4+ day adventure like none other. I think I’ll point out that being very much an “outgoing introvert” (yep, believe it or not, I am a major introvert), I can’t even begin to tell you what a huge step out of my comfort zone it was to plan a trip like this away from Bill, just me and a girlfriend. It’s a testament to how totally comfortable and connected I feel with Jen – and how much fun we’d already had together. I was excited! Excited as I was tho, when Bill left me at the airport and I disappeared thru security, I found myself feeling like a big baby because I was actually fighting back tears over leaving him (I know. It’s pathetic, butttt, I guess that’s a testament to the connection I have with him). The irony about that tho is: when I plopped down on my plane seat to come home, I fought back tears over leaving Jen behind. Jeeeez, I am a big baby!
So, it’s 8:03 pm, I’m in Newark, and when me and Jen met up, all the excitement of what was about to happen totally took over. We were jumping up and down, hugging each other, and marveling: “We did it!!! We really made it happen! WOO HOO . . . let’s go play!” And off we went. We dropped our stuff off at the Sheraton in New Jersey, and headed to none other than Time Square! O-M-G ! ! ! ! I’d seen pictures, but nothing prepares you: The lights. The colors. The BIG. Sooo BIG! And the swarms of happy people (and they really really were happy). It was almost more than my mind could take in. It felt surreal, like I was walking in a dream. A GOOD dream! I could hardly talk to Jen because all I could say was, “Ohhh my gosh! Ohhh my gosh! It’s so pretty! It’s so cool !” But that’s okay. We had over 4 days, so I figured there’d be plenty of time to talk later (tee hee . . . how prophetic of a thought that turned out to be -- talking till the wee (and not so wee) hours of the morning) .
So, I guess this isn’t meant to be so much a play-by-play of everything we did. I think the photos tell that story, but it’s more of a journal of some of my emotions and feelings about the experience, and to share what the trip meant to me – in my heart. My heart fell so in love with New York! I loved the smells of all the restaurants and pubs. I loved the loud noise of people laughing and engaging with each other. I loved and I mean loved the diversity of people. All kinds from all walks of life -- all okay with the differences rubbing shoulders together. I even loved the horns honking and getting aggravated with the traffic jams. But I think what I loved the most was how you walked everywhere and could experience it all as you went. Mind you, you have to park your car and mortgage your house to pay for all the parking fees – but hey – we’re on vacation, who cares, right?. We were figuring that we walked about 8 to 10 miles a day, and I have to say, by the end of our trip, I was in awe of the stuff Jen is made of! On Day 1, she got some nasty blisters on the bottom of both feet. Every now and again, you could see her wince when she realized we had yet 21 blocks to go, so I knew she was in a lot of pain, but any mention of slowing down or changing plans would not be heard of, and she would brace herself and trudge on! I told her there was no doubt in my mind that there was nothing in RMNP that she couldn’t handle. Long’s?? Yep – she could do it! And that is a fact ! She is tough!!!!
So, off the top of my head -- here are just a few of the things that meant the most to me over the 4+ days besides what I’ve already mentioned. If I mentioned all the things that made this trip special and unforgettable, tho, this would have been about 6 or 7 pages long, so I'm just touching on a few:
Looking down on New York at night from 70-floors above the city on top of the Rockefeller Center. When I stepped out on that deck, I got a lump in my throat! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so breathtaking. And we have the Tower of the Americas here, so that type of scene isn't totally foreign to me, but - this takes breathtaking to another stratosphere! And I loved meeting these girls from Spain up there. They had a great camera but were clueless about what to do with it. Jen spent so much time with them showing them what to do. In the end, they just asked her if she would mind taking the pictures for them using their camera :).
Ed Siegel! I had been wanting to meet him because on Facebook, I could see that he was one of the few who were able to dish it back at Jen as well if not better than Bill. That is quite a gift. He was SO FUN to hang out with the day we watched the Law & Order filming on the street & went to the Brooklyn Bridge and had lunch together. I wanted to live there so bad so we could hang out like that more often!
Steve Hill a/k/a Pawdrix. One of my virtual friends from DPchallenge. He lives in Manhattan, so hanging out with him was fun! We got an inside peak at what it would be like to live there. It would be pretty awesome, actually. He took us to some of the greatest places to take New York Street Life photos. We were on Cloud 9. It was cold that day (but not too cold that we couldn't stay warm in our jackets). Cold weather always makes me happy and makes better memories for me. At the end of the day, we stopped in this great “so-New York” Pub that only Steve knows about (*wink*) and enjoyed one of the best Sierra Nevadas I’d ever ever had!
Spending the evening with Janine (a/k/a Wyldfyre) at a cozy little Brooklyn Italian osteria. The laughs and conversation came so easy it was hard to leave! When we did leave, we felt like we’d be friends for life. RMNPforums friendships strike again :)
Seeing the skyline at 1:00am from across the Hudson River at Weehawken. It was so quiet and beautiful. I remember having the conscious awareness while we were there taking pictures that I would never ever forget that moment!
Our last night at the German Restaurant!!!!! Our bedtimes so far had been 1:45 am, an early 12:45 am, and 3:00+ am. So, on our last night, we were tired, giggly, and by this time bonded for life because of all the fun we’d been having. Everything about that night was the stuff that magical girl-friendships are allllll about. Like when you just know that no matter what happens to you on this earth, if you have even one friend like this – you can deal with it! We were there for hours talking, laughing, reminiscing, hanging out with a big birthday party at the table next to us who all but included us in their gathering -- and we had some moments of getting a little emotional over our amazing time together nearing its end (*sniffle*). I ended up taking lots of pictures of the birthday party, and sending the pictures to our new friends once I got home. I remember that night thinking about how I had just spent the last 4 days making memories that I would take with me -- and find joy in over and over again for the rest of my life! It was such a great time!
We stayed up until 4:00 that night because after the German restaurant, we headed over to Grand Central Station to slutter (tee hee) & take in that site. Sluttering had been our newly coined term from when Jen, in her bleary-eyed foggy state of mind, was trying to tell me when I showed her one of my street photos from a moving car, that my "slow shutter" pictures were cool. It always got us giggling at the ways we then found to slutter after that, and praise each other for our sluttering skills :) So, after staying up being girlfriends until 4:00 am, we "rose and shone" the next morning at 7:00 to get to the airport in time to catch the plane. We were a little rushed that morning because we just couldn’t get enough “get-up-and-go” to get there in plenty of time. As I ran up to my gate, everyone had already boarded, and they were just getting ready to shut it down. Whew! I breathlessly plopped down in my seat. . . and the first thing I did was text Jen to tell her I made it. As I started texting, I found myself ‘fessing up, “I feel like crying – I miss you already!” But it was some of the most “well-worth-it” tears I’ve ever fought back!!!
Sigh. I miss New York! I miss Jen!