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Many people will walk in and out of your life, but your truest friends will leave footprints in your heart forever.

Eleanor Roosevelt

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:

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!