Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Greats

The greats are here!  My three great-nieces (my niece's daughters) arrived last Wednesday and we've had a whirlwind week, as one does on their first trip to New York City.

For two of the three of them, not only was this their first time in New York City, this was the first time they had ever flown on an airplane!  Or rode a subway.  Or taken an elevator more than three floors.  So it was pretty easy to impress them.

I went easy on them the first day since they were pretty jet lagged and exhausted from the red-eye flight.  We walked through the campus of Columbia University, found Kevin's name on the alumni wall, walked around St. John the Divine Cathedral, and then took a nap in Central Park.  We ended with a performance of Midsummer Nights Dream in the park where we followed the actors all around as they performed.


The next day Ella and Holden still had a couple classes to finish up, so I put the girls on one of those double-decker tour buses to get the lay of the land.  We met up with them later and showed them the New York Historical Society where I was happy to learn that Starry (the oldest) is a big Alexander Hamilton fan.

The cross-stitch crew
I was so happy to have not one but TWO families from our old neighborhood in San Mateo visiting New York this week as well.  On Friday morning we met up with our old nextdoor neighbors - SungSim, Matt, Erika, and Alex - at a playground in Central Park.  And then in the afternoon we met up with my good friend Mary and her kids to walk the High Line and wander around the Whitney Museum.


That evening after Kevin got off work we headed north to Woodstock to give the girls a respite from the big city.  We had a beautiful day on Saturday showing off our favorite swimming hole and walking around the lake (we even saw a real eagle!!).


We raced back on Sunday morning to not only watch the New York City Pride Parade (the first parade of any kind for the girls) but we actually got to march in the parade itself!  We were part of the Moms Demand Action contingent, a grassroots organization that is working hard for common sense gun laws.  I have to say, marching in the parade, with a group that is so close to my heart, and receiving an incredible response from the parade audience (given what recently happened in Orlando) is definitely one of the highlights of my time in New York and possibly of my life.  It was a day I won't soon forget.


There was no rest for the weary.  I woke everyone up bright and early on Monday to head downtown to go up 102 floors to the World Trade Observatory.  It's an incredible sight with views across New Jersey, Brooklyn, and even Long Island.  We followed that with a walk around the 9/11 memorial and a trip on the Staten Island Ferry to get a closer view of Lady Liberty.

That evening we enjoyed a free concert in the park with friends as part of Central Park Summerstage.  We picnicked while listening to the sweet folk music of the Indigo Girls.

Their last full day here we took a more leisurely day mostly walking around the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  We spent a few hours wandering the halls and exhibits and walked home via the Museum Mile along 5th Avenue, popping into several other museum gift shops and gardens.

The girls still have two more weeks of vacation as they fly from here to Savannah to visit my sister, their grandmother.  I plan to take a very long nap.


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