A few years back when Angelique just finished her freshman year in high school, my mom and I accompanied her along with the high school band and choir on a bus trip to NYC. As many of you know from earlier posts, I can be quite neurotic when it comes to modes of transportation. This travel adventure was no exception. I remember getting on the bus that first day and being introduced to our first driver Gus. Now Gus was a very old man. He had a little drool coming out the side of his mouth. The second driver Al introduced Gus by congratulating him on getting his 75 year pin. Wait, what? Holy crap, 75 years or driving. Did I hear that right? Maybe he was 75 years old. Yes, that’s better. They were going to take turns driving us from WI into NYC. Every 6 hours they would switch off after stopping to have a cigarette break and pick up some fast food. One would sleep in the back of the bus while the other drove. You can imagine how quiet it was in the back of a bus full of excited teenagers. Despite everything I said, they were both very experienced drivers and after a sleepless night of trying to sleep upright in our seats, we were in NYC.
We toured all day that first day. The first thing that we did was take a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. It was a beautiful sight. Then we spent a couple of hours at Times Square. The picture of me below was from Times Square. I don’t think I look too bad for not sleeping or showering. My mom and I were in charge of chaperoning 2 teenage boys. Of course our boys headed right to the naked cowgirl for pictures. She was a lady older than me wearing little star tassels on top with a bikini bottom. Hhmm.
That first night we got to our hotel after 10, then we were up early to tour all day. We saw the 9/11 Memorial, which I spoke about in an earlier post. We saw Grand Central Station. Yes, I thought it was very similar to my life. We toured the United Nations which ended up being more facinating than I thought it would be. It was rather amusing seeing some of the kids go through security. Talk about culture shock! No wonder why we took a bus instead of a plane.
We toured NBC studios which was very interesting to see behind the scenes of TV shows. We toured Radio City and spoke to a Rockette. What I remember most, which is terrible, was that we got to the tour really early because I had to use the bathroom. But I couldn’t use the bathroom until half way through the tour. This urgency of mine got us into a bit of trouble as we separated from our group. All I could think about was how bad I had to pee.
We also got to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. The choir director got us in to see a minor character before the show to talk about careers in music and theater. It poured really hard that day. While we were in NYC, the choir and band students performed. The kids ran with their instruments in their formal band/choir clothes in a downpour. I couldn’t help but laugh at the craziness of it all. That afternoon my daughter performed the solo Popular right outside of Trump Tower in the atrium. I don’t think that I was ever more proud to hear her sing. People smiled and clapped for her as birds were flying around inside of the building, which I thought was strange.
We also visited Central Park. It was so interesting to see trees in the midst of skyscrapers. There was a man in the park playing Beatles songs on his guitar for money. I saw a man lying in the grass that I feared may be dead. Nursery school children walked by in a group holding hands. We went to the Empire State Building, shopped in China Town, and took an evening cruise to see the lights of the city and the Statue of Liberty at night. It was hard to believe that we were able to do so many things in less than a week
The city is such a beautiful place. I have always wanted to visit during Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Maybe someday I will go back.