New York sky line taken from outside our hotel in Weehawken, New Jersey.
Jim and I – just the two of us – have not been on a vacation for over three years. Yes, we go to Florida every year, but that is always accompanied by a dog or two and a minimum of seven cats! We sometimes go individually while the other one stays home to be with our pet family.
We were invited to a wedding which was going to take place on a boat in New York Harbor. And although this invitation came through our mentor, Jacqueline Margulies of Inspurrations Cattery, the invitation did not mention if cats were welcome!
Our daughter, SueEllen, said “You deserve to take the time and experience this once in a lifetime opportunity. I will come to Girard and take care of the pet family. Tell them you will be there!”
We did! And we were! And we are so very happy we said yes!
First, the wedding: Friday evening we boarded the Royal Princess and were ushered to the top deck to witness Jackie’s son,Franklin, and his beautiful bride, Angelica, recite their vows.
The Bride and Groom reciting their vows.
The rest of the evening followed traditional wedding procedure, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dancing and cake. Each done on different levels of the boat and done with perfection.
Happy to be at this wonderful wedding
Jim with Jackie, mother of the groom, and me
But then it happened! Jim and I were sitting down watching the young people dance when Jim decided to walk to the other side of the boat. I looked up and he is motioning me to come join him. By this time my feet are hurting: my new shoes have started rubbing blisters on top of my toes! I hobble over. He points to the skyline and there she is in all her glory: the Statue of Liberty. She is surrounded by light, the waves dancing and sparkling around her. The sight was breathtaking!
Both of my grandmothers immigrated to this country many years ago and now I was gazing at the Lady who welcomed them to this country!
I had never spent any time in New York City so we had made plans to stay a few days extra to see the sights. I am a very detail oriented person and always believe in researching an area before visiting. This trip was no exception. I researched the best places to visit, the recommended places to eat, the weather and what to wear.
After my research I told Jim “do not pack any shorts; shorts are tabu in Manhattan.” Understand that this man lives in shorts so although I got “the look”, he obeyed. Saturday we are waiting at the ferry stop to take us to Manhattan and Times Square. Lots of people in shorts! Jim looks at me and questions my advice. I say “well, we are in New Jersey (our hotel is in Weehawken); when we get to Times Square, you will see.” And see we did – lots of people in shorts! So then I say, “well the article said if you don’t want to look like a tourist, don’t wear shorts. If you want to blend in with New Yorkers, wear long pants and the pants need to be dark.” So now Jim says “why didn’t you tell me that; I don’t think anyone is going to mistake us for New Yorkers!”
And he is right. It was obvious we were tourists. And how do I know that? Because we repeatedly were asked if we needed help. We would be standing on a corner, map in hand, looking at street signs or down in the subway trying to figure out if we wanted N, R or Q. But we never had to wait long because someone would say “where do you want to go?” and would then proceed to give us great directions. And they say New Yorkers are not friendly! Please let me put that fallacy to rest.
There was no way we could see all the sights we wanted to; that would have taken weeks. We did visit Times Square, saw an off-Broadway play, visited Wall Street and the Bull, and spent three hours at the 911 Memorial Museum. And ate at some wonderful restaurants. The cannoli from Rocco’s brings a smile to my face just thinking of it.
The Bull of Wall Street
Quilt made in honor of those who died on 9/11. On display in the 911 Memorial Museum.
We are both so grateful to our wonderful mentor, Jackie, who invited us to be a part of her family for an evening. And for giving us the opportunity to experience the city that never sleeps.
So if you have never been to New York City and have the opportunity to go….go. And if you go in July, pack your shorts!