NYC…A Life Changing Experience
Have you ever had that feeling where you are so nervous about doing something, then you do it, and when you’re done, you’re so glad that you did it? I have. Last summer’s vacation hit all those emotions for me. I’m so glad, though, that we took the trip.
Each year we take a family vacation. We like to visit a variety of places to introduce the world to the kids. By far the beach is our favorite place to go, but we’ve enjoyed seeing some great American cities. We alternate our trips between the beach and our big city trips. This last summer, July 2014, we hit the Big Apple.
Brian was very excited to take us to NYC. He had been there before. The rest of us were longing for the beach, but we stuck to our plan and went to the Big Apple.
We like to experience our city trips like we live there. Giving the kids and us a taste of what it is like to live the city lifestyle. We take city transportation. We walk everywhere. The car and our suburbia lifestyle disappear for an entire week. We love it!
I was a little nervous about going to NYC. About taking this adventure. About taking the subway! I had never been to a city that large. I felt intimidated by the size and the number of people. Some people I talked to painted a nice picture of NYC, while others not such a nice picture. And, let’s be honest, I kept thinking about 9/11. Even though it has been 13 years since the events of that day, they have stuck with me through the years as they have with so many other people I’m sure.
In the back of my mind, I kept thinking, “let’s just get through this trip so that we can get to the beach next summer.”
Well, I was wrong to think that.
Getting out of your comfort zone is so important to growing and introducing new experiences to your life. Our NYC trip is a great example of that. We had a wonderful time.
We stayed in the city just a few blocks from Time Square. We arrived at our hotel around dinner time. The room was so small. The bathroom was the size of a small walk-in closet. There are five of us, so it was a cramped week. Our first dinner was at Hard Rock Café. Our waiter was very entertaining, and the kids enjoyed the environment. Afterwards, we walked around Time Square. Wow! is all I’ve go to say. The lights and huge billboards are just amazing, and the number of people…wow! The Square was filled with people from all over the world.
I always feel like we need a vacation after our city trips. Each day is filled with an agenda that is geared toward seeing every landmark and piece of history the city has to offer. We were the typical tourist with map in one hand and our iPhones in the other using our GPS to guide us through the city. We walked Central Park, ate dinner in China Town, and visited the Statue of Liberty, which is amazing. She is a beautiful site to see. Of course, we went to the Empire State building and saw Grand Central Station. Loved walking up and down Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue and seeing all the famous retail shops like Versace. We took random pictures of the store signs not daring to enter one of those high-end stores. We thought we were cute.
Visiting the 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Memorial Museum is a day I will never forget. Emotions and anxiety were high that day for me. You see, even though I didn’t loose a family member, a close friend, a neighbor or a co-worker, I still felt like I had lost so much. My feelings from that day were still so raw and it has been 13 years. The kids were so young. Tyler was almost 3-year’s old, Emma was only 7-months old and, well, Adam wasn’t even born yet. We weren’t sure how they would respond to being there. They had a lot of questions. Some were hard to answer. Some I didn’t want to answer. Visiting the museum brought everything to full circle for me. If you haven’t been to NYC to see this museum, you’ve got to go. It was a day of healing. A day of personal reflection. A day where I finally got to connect with everything I experienced from 9/11. A day I won’t ever forget.
Our trip ended with a Broadway musical. We saw Matilda. Emma and I dressed up in our stylish summer dresses. The boys wore their nice summer shorts. We went to dinner, then to the show. The theatre was smaller than I expected. The stage area was decorated to touch all our senses bringing us right into the tale of Matilda. It kept us entertained.
Our trip took us all over the city. It opened our minds, our hearts, and our imagination. We experienced the vast number of people that live in and visit this historical city. We faced our insecurities and had our emotions touched by symbols and landmarks that only the Big Apple can do. We adventured into locations like China Town and Little Italy. Places where we were unfamiliar with and saw cultural differences that allowed us to grow. Who would of thought a city could do all that?
I challenge you to experience life. Get out of that comfort zone. Go to that next level. Sure, it’s nice to stay warm and cozy in your own little world, but it’s exhilarating to get out and experience what the world has to offer. Those bright and shining stars are waiting for you. Go grab one!
Cheers and Blessings,
More random pictures from our trip….