Some of my friends have asked me about my trip, because they know that funny things happen to me when I travel, and because they know I’m not really the type to go to New York.
So here’s a run down of our experiences while visiting New York.
First: Arriving in Dallas. Holy barf bag batman! Our pilot trained on amusement park rides.
Upon arrival we’re told that our flight to New York has been cancelled.
Rush to a flight to Chicago where there's another flight to NYC waiting for us. Julie and I can’t sit together.
I sit by a Baptist minister who was about 6 foot 5. Seats in an MD 80 are small. He ate his lunch off the guy’s head seated in front of him. We had a nice chat. He assured me that I would like New York.
We buy Big Macs in O’Hare. ComAir to New York? Looks like a fighter plane. I worry that it's going to be bumpy. But we're very comfortable. Not too many people. Clouds break as we make our approach.
New York City.
Really something to see from the air.
JFK. Intense. People here are serious.
But the young man at the exit was very nice. He told us to take the bus. We’d be crazy to pay for a taxi ride. The bus would drop us at Penn Station.
“What more do you want?” he asks me in a thick New York accent.
We take a taxi to our hotel.
Sheraton Towers on 51st and 7th. Nice. Dropped our bags in room 2620 and out the door to Xochi’s hotel on 50th and 8th. Hampton Inn. So good to see her. Couldn’t believe this was all happening to us.
Took a walk to Carnegie Hall to get tickets to her concert, but the box office was closed. So we walked to the Jekyll and Hyde restaurant for a fun dinner.
It was fine, it really was, except that I didn’t know that Les Paul was playing at that very moment in a club on the corner of 51st and 7th, spitting distance from our hotel. Would have been a dream come true.
After dinner we walked to Times Square. What an experience. I recommend it to everyone. Wow. We stopped in stores, wandered through the Hard Rock Café, and made plans for the rest of the trip.
Next morning, breakfast with Xochi in her hotel. GREAT!
We buy tickets on the hop off hop on tour bus. Uptown. Cool. No, I mean FREEZING. Very cold morning in New York.
Tours are VERY interesting. I want to stop at Grant’s Tomb.You see, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to see Grant’s Tomb, since in was a little kid. Learned about it in school, didn’t understand that it was in New York. And I didn’t get the joke till I was 13. (Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?) Very cool visit.
But I needed to visit the little boy’s room. There isn’t one at the Tomb. But the lady at the gift shop directs us to Riverside Church.Okay, cool.
Martin Luther King. Nelson Mandela. Good history. They’ll let me use the bathroom.
They were NOT happy to see us. Couldn’t find the mensroom. Guard un happy about my wandering. We left quickly and got on the next bus.
Harlem, brownstones, and then:
We spent the rest of the day at the Met. WONDERFUL! I highly recommend it. I kept asking the guides: “Is this real or are theyse copies?” They hated me.
Funny thing, the experience of seeing it in real life is kind of emotional.
Xochi had tickets to the Lion King, so we dropped her off at her hotel and Julie and I wandered around Rockefeller plaza, got our tickets for Carnegie Hall, bought a hot dog (always wanted to do that) and visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral. WOW!
Picked up Xochi after the play and went to 42nd Street. WOW!
We went to BB King’s club and had dinner and listened to the Chris Phillip’s band. FANTASTIC! After the show we sat and chatted with him for a long time and made a new friend. Everybody go see him when you’re in New York!
Wednesday, over-slept. Met Xochi at Rockefeller plaza. She wanted to just relax and get ready for her concert. We understood. Julie and I visited the Top of The Rock and were thrilled.
Then we hopped the bus for downtown. Still cold, but bearable. Saw all the sites. Got off for the St. of Liberty. Didn’t understand that the last boat leaves at 3:30. It was 4:00.
Rode the Staten Island Ferry with all the disgruntled commuters and disgruntled tourists who missed the last boat.
Then we wandered around downtown and found a fun little place for pizza. Great people. Then a walk down Wall Street. More to see than I thought there would be. Saw the place where George Washington took the oath of office. Saw Trinity church, and St. Paul’s. Saw Alexander Hamilton’s grave.
Then we visited ground zero. Very emotional.
Then we got back on the bus at Wall Street and headed back to Mid Town.
ot changed and walked to Carnegie Hall.
Found our seats, looked at each other and said: “Holy Cow! This is Carnegie Hall!”
I started to get it.
Xochi needed us. She’s not a little girl anymore.
She can’t jump up and down and yell: “Hey! Look at me!”
Tennessee State played first. Wonderful.
Then a lovely lady with a thick English Accent came out and started to gush about how wonderful Weber’s Wind Ensemble is. Listed great accomplishments.
It starts to sink in.
Weber’s ensemble walks on stage. We see Xochi. She’s a VISION! Long black evening gown.
They start to play. There is an actual GASP from the audience. Wonderful! They have two numbers with soloists: An operatic soprano (unbelievable) and a Euphonium soloist (main number of the evening).
Julie and I sit and cry. We can’t believe it. After the show (and ovations) I walk down and touch the stage. I’ll certainly never get the change to perform there. Xochi has lived a dream for me, and she REALLY deserved it. The Wonderful Weber State University Wind Ensemble is the caliber of performance you’d expect at Carnegie Hall.
Pictures outside. There is a bus waiting for Xochi, but we invite her for one last walk down Broadway. Can’t believe I’m feeling sentimental about it. We visit with other members of the band when we get to Xochi’s hotel.
Then we take Xochi to Roxy’s deli in Times Square for cheesecake. Emotions are high because we realize we’re really going to miss it all.
Left at 3:00 in the morning for Newark. Never went to bed. Good plane rides home, all MD 80s.
I've Never been on a big plane.