There are oh so many things that I loved about my recent trip to New York and Boston…but I thought I’d give you a Top Ten list of my favorites:
10. I Love History!
I love the rich history that is found around every corner in the eastern region of our United States. History just comes alive when you see it in “living color” right before your eyes. Whether it is a visit to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and imagining what it would be like to immigrate to this great country hundreds of years ago, walking through Paul Reveres house and picturing him riding through town yelling – “The British are coming! The British are coming!”, reading inspiring epitaphs on gravestones (see my earlier blog post here), or even more recent history that is a part of our own life story as we visited the Ground Zero Memorial that has just recently opened up and reflecting on the impact and influence that single event has had on all of our lives. There is a vast amount of things to be learned on a trip like this. I drank it all in…it never gets old for me and I never stop learning new things.
We also took time out to visit the occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park…history in the making! As my girls questioned why we were taking time to do this, I explained to them that when their children sat in history class in a couple of decades that they would be studying the Occupy Wall Street Movement and they could share with them that they had “been there”. We walked right down into the middle of the encampment – reading signs, listening to debates and observing the people. It was quite an education! And I loved it when a few days after we returned home I got a text from my daughter one morning as she was beginning her school day – “Mom! They are evicting the protestors….70 arrested this morning” I can promise you that had she not just experienced first hand the OWS movement that she would have had no idea what that even meant or been the least bit interested. (and my other daughter just walked in the door exclaiming – “Mom! Guess what the extra credit question was today in Government?….What is the current protest in New York called?” I am thinking she will get those bonus points!)
Note to all my friends who have school age children – whether you homeschool or they are in “traditional” school….get out of the house, take them out of school and go and “do” things. It is one of the BEST ways to really learn (that and reading, reading, reading) As Mark Twain said – “Don’t let education get in the way of your learning”
9. Tea Time at Alice’s
Actually….having tea anywhere and anytime is one of my very favorite things! Michelle has found the cutest little tea house in the Upper West Side that is based on Alice in Wonderland. It is a darling place with fabulous tea and delicious pastries! We began our Sunday morning at Alice’s Tea Cup enjoying scones – pumpkin, strawberry lemon and savory ham along with tea selections of cinnamon apple and birthday tea (which was AMAZING!) Even now as I type this I find my self relaxing and warmly remembering this cozy tea shop.
Nothing better than a cup of tea….except for a cup of coffee of course! 🙂
8. The Magic of Musicals
I have always been a big fan of musicals! As a “drama” girl in high school my all time favorite play that I performed in was the musical Godspell. I also watched every musical that came out in the movie theater or on television and took advantage of many stage performances. I love the music, the fanfare, the energy, the dancing and the magic of it all. Wouldn’t it be great if in “real life” people just burst out into song at every opportunity? Well, in my world it would be awesome! 🙂
We had the opportunity to see not one but two musicals! First Rebekah and I were treated to the Broadway performance of “The Phantom of the Opera” as part of The King’s College Inviso weekend for students looking at the college. It was awesome!
Then we were all able to see “Wicked” through the generosity of a friend who “comped” us two tickets and then we were blessed to win the Broadway lottery for the other two tickets (front row seats!) So all four of us enjoyed an amazing matinée performance of Wicked. I knew the music well as the soundtrack is one of my girls favorites to listen to while cleaning but I had never attended a performance. It was spectacular and had a great message! I enjoyed every minute.
Oh and speaking of musicals….I found myself often breaking out in song as we walked through Central Park (“That’s How You Know” from Enchanted), down the streets of New York (“N.Y.C.” from Annie) or in Times Square (“Give My Regards to Broadway”)…cuz that’s how I roll!
7. Churches, Cathedrals & Sanctuaries
I am enraptured by large beautiful places of worship that are built of brick, slate or stone and have ornate designs, massive columns, long aisles, traditional pews, stained glass windows and cavernous acoustics. I also love simple yet traditional colonial style houses of worship with the beauty of altars, pulpits and windows looking out to God’s creation. I want to see, feel and be enveloped by the majesty, wonder and awesomeness of my Lord. I want both the sacred and serene as well as the stirring of the spirit I feel in these places of worship. Don’t get me wrong, I can worship anywhere….from the more modern multi purpose type church sanctuary that I have attended for 28 years, to under the overpass while ministering to the homeless, walking alone along the seashore or even in the shower but there is something in my soul that longs for a breathtaking cathedral, an ivy covered brick church with stained glass or a simple sanctuary with pews looking up to an altar while the sun streams through the colonial windows to meet with God. I had a vast array of these opportunities while in New York and Boston. It renewed and refreshed my spirit.
6. Hungarian Coffee….who knew?
One of the best things about our trip to New York was having a real “New Yorker” with us! While not being a born & bred New York gal, after three years of living in New York I think Michelle made an excellent tour guide. One of the places she took us that we would have never experienced without her expertise was a little Hungarian Pastry Shop. It was one of our last stops before heading to Boston and it was well worth it!
The Hungarian coffee was smooth, delicious with a hint of almond and a dollop of whip cream laced with spices. It touched all your senses with its pleasing smell, its amazing taste and its appealing presentation. Who knew I could be won over from Starbucks so easily? Can someone please open a Hungarian pastry shop in Stockton?
Oh and the baklava and cream puff we devoured….oh my!
To be continued in Trip Top Ten (part 2)…..