I visited my sis in the Big Apple last weekend and came home on Sunday night with a Big Smile. Lord, she is a machine. Meg and I kept up with her, but barely, and not without some whining every once in a while. But even when we were so tired we could keel over, we knew if we kept going, it would be worth it (e.g., picnic lunch in Central Park).
On my way home to Columbus, I saw a picture of Disney’s Tinkerbell on a kid’s suitcase. It hit me – that is my Sarah! She is a tiny, floating, magical fairy that sweeps you from place to place. But she kicks Tinkerbell out of fairyland because she not only sweeps you around but she also keeps you entertained with good Gospel music, outrageously delicious food, and awesome picturesque views from century old parks.
On Friday night, Sarah surprised me with an evening of Gospel music with Shirley Caeser. We sat in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and praised the Lord for two hours while watching hundreds of others dancing and bellowing out the Lord’s praises. The crowd exhibited all walks of life, old and young, African-American, white and Chinese, poor and rich. I love the energy that comes from so many different walks of life who gather together and just let loose (and it is hard not to let loose a “Praise Jesus” or an “Amen!” with Shirley singing.
On Saturday morning, Sarah pushed me to go on a 12 mile run through Central Park. The thought of running through Central Park intrigued me since I have never seen all of it. Besides, I could keep up with that little fairy sis of mine. Right? Yeah…. I actually did make it but there were a few times I thought I would pass out or experience a massive coronary as we ran up a hill. To Sarah’s credit, she tried to make me stop and walk back to the hotel numerous times but I have that Menkedick determination and it got the best of me (she also used her old trick of continuously asking me questions to try to get my mind off the pain. She used to do this when I gave her massages, too, with the hopes I would get so engrossed in the conversation that I would massage her for hours)! When we got back to the hotel, I felt so spent but so cleansed at the same time.
After cold showers, we rocked out some Dim Sum at a little chinese place in Chinatown and then headed to Little Italy for a stroll along the pedestrian street. Meg showed us around Washington Park where she had planted herself on Friday while waiting for Sarah to get off work. We watched the pups stroll along with their owners – 90% of the pups not weighing more than 12 pounds and sporting serious attitude. We chowed down on some Italian food in the evening – ravioli with goat cheese and two homemade pizzas. We drank a bottle of white wine with it. Yum.
On Sunday, we bought foods for a picnic brunch at Eatlery (delectable italian grocery store and restaurant) and then proceeded to Central Park (subway to Eatlery, subway to the Park and a walk through the park to find the perfect spot – we were ready to chow)! We sat in a shady area and ate cheese and bread, blackberries, peaches, a prosciutto panini, and amazing NY cupcakes all the while watching the runners go by and reading the NY Times. Ahh, waht a way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon. We topped off the day with a 15 block walk to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sar and Meg looked inside while I walked around the Upper East side trying to find a Hulk figurine for Mario and something cute for Ri. However, all I found were shoe shops, luggage shops and high-priced clothing shops. Ugh!
By the time we all met up, we had to hike back to a subway station to take the subway to Times Square. After getting off the subway 8 blocks from Times Square, we sauntered back to the hotel to get our things and send me off to my flight home to Columbus. We were exhausted but were satisfied that we had experienced New York City in the matter of two days!
When I got home to the kids, they immediately informed me of their weekend with dad at Uncle Mario’s farm.
“We went four-wheeling. I painted my toes and fingers with Bianca. We ate spaghetti and meatballs. We went to the candy store.” I started to tell them about NYC but they were busy finding books for me to read to them. I have to start gathering books about NYC, Aix-en-Provence, Oaxaca and the other cities that Sarah for her travel. Somehow I can see that little Maria following in her fairy footsteps.