New York City – Beginning June 9, 2011

          As I posted last week, I traveled this past week to New York City to spend a week with my daughter and son-in-law. My best friend, Jessica, traveled with me. This was her first trip to NYC and we had lots of plans, none of which included me getting motion sickness on the approach into LaGuardia. I haven’t flown in a couple of years and the last time I did, I got motion sickness. I attributed that incident to having been on a ship, and then trains for several days without a chance for my stomach to settle before boarding a plane from Fairbanks, Alaska to Seattle, Washington.

            I was fine this trip until five minutes into a 25 minute approach. The plane rocked and rolled, sped up and slowed down for twenty-five minutes. I was having a conversation with Jessica one minute and staring straight ahead barely moving the next. My only thoughts were find an airport, any airport, and set this sucker down, NOW! To make things worse, the person in front of me reclined their seat. Please, if you are reading this, DO NOT do that to the person sitting behind you. Airplanes are not luxury cars. When you recline your seat, you invade the little, tiny, minute space of the person behind you. RUDE, RUDE, RUDE. She is lucky I did not barf on her. Think of that the next time you recline your seat! That sounds like a public service announcement.

            The New York City cab ride was next. Do I really need to elaborate on that one? I didn’t think so. For those of you, who have never experienced a New York City cab ride, imagine your worst nightmare – twice.

            I spent Friday at school with my daughter, Katie-Beth. She is the music teacher at P.S. 51 Elias Howe School in Times Square. That is always a treat for me. If you had the opportunity to watch her in action, you would say the same. Our day was relatively uneventful until after lunch. The two of us walked about three blocks and ate at the Shake Shack, which she claims has the BEST burgers in all of NYC. We then walked the three blocks back to school and hiked up five flights of stairs only to take part in a school fire drill!

            You might be wondering why it was such a big deal. Well, let me explain. Did you catch that I said we walked three city blocks to the restaurant? This chick is no longer twenty-seven, I am fifty-three (did I just admit that?) Climbing the steep stairs at school after climbing several little hills and street curbs (don’t laugh) and walking three (six) blocks is no picnic for someone who lives where the ground is flat.

            As I said before, I do love watching my daughter teach, especially when she fusses! “Now my friends, you are good but your behavior is not…..” The children at her school are just delightful and asked me at least 100 times if I was Mrs. Traxler’s mom (ya gotta love it.)

            On Saturday, my daughter and son-in-law teach music lessons so Jessica and I set off for the Museum of Natural History. The architecture of the building just makes you want to sit on a bench and gaze. It is beautiful. If you haven’t noticed, I am an architecture buff. I would rather gaze at the outside of a building than I would like to go inside. Since Jessica actually wanted to go into the museum, I tore myself away with the promise that on my next trip to New York, I would walk around the outside.

            Katie-Beth told us there was no way that we would be able to see the entire museum in a day, so we should choose what we wanted to see. Do not ever say this cannot be done. Jessica and I did what I refer to as the “drive-by at the museum”. We stopped and spent time in the sections where we had a deep interest, but we literally left no sight unseen.

            It was captivating to visit the different countries and to observe the families in each exhibit. The parents, usually the father, explained to the children (in their native language) about the pictures and exhibit. From the look on many of their faces, I would imagine that they were sharing their own memories as well. I don’t know if most people take the time to notice all that happens around them, but I am a people observer. I found the exchange between the parent and child more fascinating than the exhibit itself. I have family who have traveled the world and as I perused the different exhibits, I could hear my aunt telling the stories of their travels. The museum is a wonderful place to visit and everyone should go at least once.

            Saturday night we had tickets for the Broadway production of Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre.  It was fabulous! Katie could hardly contain herself. She spent the entire day singing the songs so she could get it out of her system and not break into song during the performance. The performers did a wonderful job and I would love to see the show a second time.

            Sunday resembled the Sex in the City series. There were four of us women having brunch at a trendy little café called Sara Beth’s. We sat around the table enjoying a leisurely brunch and talking about our lives (okay – what stores we were going to after brunch.) In the afternoon, we visited a cute little tea shop called “Alice’s Teacup,” and Tiffany’s (for all of us), The American Girl Doll Shop (for Jessica), Ann Taylor, Dylan’s Candy Shop (for son –in-law), the drug store (for Band-Aids for me – the extent of my shopping), and ended up at Serendipity for dessert. This was after Katie walked us completely around Carnegie Hall searching for the poster that had her name and picture on it. The poster had been on the billboard for a year and just because we wanted to see it, it was gone. My daughter had her picture on one of the billboards at Carnegie Hall!

            I’m not finished, but I’ll conclude this portion here. There were adventures aplenty on my trip, so please stay tuned!