My feet: ice skating at Rockefeller Center, December 9, 2010
I got to spend a whole day in New York City last month!
Beth took this great photograph
The short story is that we have a family friend who is a pilot and had use of his company plane for the day. Dad gathered a group that included a priest, his sister and niece and my sister, Beth and my friend, Novella.
Beth got to ride in the co-pilots seat on the way there.
Here is the route...it only took us a little over two hours to get there.
Flying on a private plane rocks - no security check or scanning. I could have taken gallons of liquids if I liked...I didn't, there is not a potty aboard. We did have homemade cookies and other goodies.
Russ helping Dad exit the plane.
We landed at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and took a shuttle van to Rockefeller Center. Beth, Novella and I opted to walk and window shop (and shop shop) while the others had lunch.
Like good little children of God, we wound up at Mass at Saint Patrick's Cathedral. As Beth pointed out, they were saying Mass on a continuous loop - one ended and another started. Like a not-so good child of God I took advantage of the electrical outlet by the font of Holy Water to charge my iPhone.
We browsed museum shops and actually visited one. The American Folk Art Museum was lovely. We saw quilts and an exhibition of work by Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. Eugene was a quirky guy - Outsider Artist is probably the proper art term. The collection highlighted his poetry, pinup style photographs of his wife, ceramics and miniatures build of guided turkey bones. I'm sorry that I didn't take more photographs but I was too busy clutching the walls trying to not freak-out by the layout of the museum - my fear of heights was kicking in big time.
The museum had a wonderful cafe - it was fun to have a fancy lunch - chicken salad and diet Pepsi in a wine glass in the beautiful space without worrying about rushing back to work or anything. The exhibitions were great, but it was worth the price of admission for a warm restroom and the coat check.
We bundled back out into the cold and headed back to Rockefeller Center. Ice skating was at the tops of my list for the day.
Nora and Novella on the ice
I'm proud to report that we skated for half an hour and did not fall once. Click on the video at the top of his post for some exciting skating action.
We followed the skating with cocktails in a swanky bar and dinner at a lovely Italian bistro and window shopping.
Through the wonders of facebook, I knew that there was a fundraiser for soup kitchen/homeless services at NYC John's church on the Lower East Side that evening. I sent him a text that morning saying that we were in town and planning on attending the event. I asked if I could help with any errands and was delighted that he had a project for us.
We met him in the lobby of the NBC Studios, where he had just finished his work with Jimmy Fallon. That was the day Paul McCartney was on the show. I got to shake the hand of the hand that shook Sir Paul's hand. Click here for a clip of Paul from that day.
John loaded us down with raffle prizes for the fundraiser and shepherded us on to the subway. He kindly bought our tickets and led the way through the tunnels.
John getting us through the turnstile.
Dad reaction to entering the subway for the first time: This is where it all ends! I'm sure a few commuters thought the same about us when we burst into the subway car with hats with flaps and boots and armloads of raffle prizes.
The fundraiser was in a bar not far from the church. Dad was making friends and I was meeting folks - the minister of the church is from Indiana as was another guy that I met. I was grabbing a card from my bag in the coat check when I noticed that Dad had his coat on and was heading out the door. I grabbed him and asked where he was headed...."taking a taxi to Times Square."
Whoa! Hold up papa!
I plucked the drinks from Beth and Novella's hands, bid a quick good-bye to John and we piled out the door.
It was fun to kick around Times Square pop in to shops and walk under the bright lights.
We had a slight panic when we got separated for a bit back at the meeting place, but Dad was finally able to convince someone to use their cell phone to call us.
Now who wouldn't let that charming man use their phone?
Since we weren't on a commercial flight, it didn't matter what time we left - it was after midnight by the time we were "wheels up."
I sat in the co-pilots seat on the way home. I tried my darnedest to stay awake, but I just couldn't do it. In fact I got a good elbow to the ribs at one point. My guess is that I was either snoring in to the pilots headphones or ready to fall into the steering mechanism.
All and all it was an amazing day. If I've need a boost in the last few weeks, I just play the video of my feet ice skating - guaranteed to make me giggle!