We arrived in New York City an hour and a half after our scheduled arrival time. We left the blue skies, sunshine, dry air and cool breezes of San Diego, in exchange for thunderstorms, rain, humidity (OH GAWD, the humidity!) and numerous flight delays to get to New York. We had all the ingredients for disaster along the way. We knew we had to get there to have the fun, however.
Sometimes, the adventure is in the journey, rather than the destination, right?
After two crying babies, seats that would not recline (while the seats in front of us reclined right into our belly buttons) and a plane that circled La Guardia for two solid hours before touching terra firma, I was ecstatic to have my two feet firmly planted on the ground. I was beyond thrilled to be in the Big Apple with the family.
Our Town Car was awaiting us at the airport. We had a deal through Living Social to $20 from La Guardia to Midtown and it worked out perfectly. Of course, there was an accident near La Guardia and the entire bridge was closed, nonetheless, our competent driver took us another route, over the Queensboro Bridge and through Queens.
We entered a neighborhood that I recognized. In an instant, I was overcome with gratitude. I was sitting next to Allison, driving through Queens, New York. The last time I was in Queens with Allison, she was in utero, in 2005 and we were in big trouble. Mr. Bear and I were on our way to Paris, France following a week-long stay in New York. While at JFK Airport and six months pregnant, I realized I was bleeding heavily. I was terrified I was losing my baby. The paramedics came and took me to Jamaica Hospital in Queens, New York, in the middle of the night. After a thorough evaluation and a clean bill of health, the head of OB/GYN cleared us to have a great time in Paris and sent us with the cell phone, e-mail, and home address of two of his colleagues in France if we were to have trouble again.
It brought tears to my eyes to see my healthy, happy, beautiful daughter staring out the window at the same hospital I feared I would lose her at, nearly seven years later. Life is a beautiful thing. I felt so much appreciation for the beautiful moment. Seven years ago, the future was so uncertain. Today, I hold her tiny hand, recognizing how truly fortunate I am to know her—my little New York miracle—my heart outside my body. I presume it takes dramatic experiences in life to fully appreciate how precious life really is.
New York 2012
We arrived at our hotel in New York City after dark and enjoyed some appetizers at the bar downstairs. Mr. Bear and Allie were ticketed for the Empire State Building. Instead, they decided to push the adventure out a few days. I made my way to the Hilton, where I met up with a good friend and called it a night.
Thursday morning, we made the trek to Battery Park, with all the other tourists from all over the world, to take the ferry over to the Statue of Liberty and to Ellis Island. Although it was not the first time I had seen the Statue of Liberty, it was my first time at Liberty Island. Mr. Bear and I took the Circle Line tour back in 2005 and I caught my first visual of Lady Liberty. This time I was in awe of how incredible a sight she really is! Ellis Island got me emotional, as I attempted to comprehend what it must have been like to come through the port to be evaluated and to have someone determine your fate, depending on if you were fit to immigrate. The stories of families that were separated, potentially never to be reunited again, left me humbled, speechless, and grateful. I could not imagine what that must have been like for the thousands upon thousands of human beings that were processed like cattle through the station.
It was wonderful to spend the day with Mr. Bear and Allison. Allie was a trooper throughout the whole day. There was one moment of meltdown, where the humidity was getting to her. She was complaining and crabby, so I did what any parent would do and doused her with a bottle of water. She snapped out of it and we had no other complaints the rest of the day.
We had an amazing time and made some amazing memories. Stay tuned for the rest of the Lohr Vacation Extravaganza 2012!