Thursday, May 9, 2019

DAY ONE: "In New York You Can Be a New [and very tired] Man!"

  1:30 AM.  That's when my alarm went off today.  It's now 11:00 PM, which means, allowing for the 1 hour time differential, that I have now been up for about 22 hours.  I think. I am rapidly reaching that point of fatigue where EVERYTHING is funny, so before I lapse into uncontrollable giggles at the sight of something as mundane as my socks, let me tell you about the first day of the trip.

   We met at GCS at 2:30 AM and boarded the bus at 3 to journey to Love Field, where our Southwest flight would take off for New York LaGuardia Airport at 6.  There are 17 seniors making the trip this year - Nick Bahm, Ryan Blazier, Jon Bleier, Becca Davis, Hannah Evans, Lucero Limones, Bekah Shreve, Mikayla Pierson, Hannah Packer, Jillian Fifeld, Jerry Rosenbalm, Zoe Pittsinger, Sam Pitts, Camden McBride, Brenna Weaver, Sadie Feezel, and Elissia Harris.  To accompany this amazing crew of Texas youth, there are four adult sponsors - myself, Jennifer Fifeld, the indefatigable Elizabeth Hyatt, and Doc Bleier, my roommate (poor man) and Jon's Dad.

   After a three hour flight, which landed a bit ahead of time and in which I went back and forth between reading William Shirer's RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH and falling asleep (which made for some odd dreams during those brief snippets of sleep!), we got to NYC around 10 in the morning local time.  I told the kids there is really nothing to this flying thing, as long as you don't think about the fact that you are in a fragile aluminum tube forty thousand feet in the air traveling at six hundred miles an hour with two full tanks of highly combustible jet fuel on either side of you.  I think they appreciated my trying to make it less worrisome for them. 

   We got on a bus and inched our way across the congested New York City streets to our hotel, a Holiday Inn Express on 48th street.  We only had time to drop our bags off and then we headed out to eat lunch (it was nearly noon by then and we were all starving).  We headed to an area a couple blocks off of Times Square and ate at several different spots; my group ducked into a pizzeria/deli and I had two large slices of the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life!  After that we met up for our first excursion of the day, taking the subway uptown and touring the amazing Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  Words can't convey how magnificent this church is; you can see some of the pictures I took of it on my FB feed or on the Greenville Christian School FB page.

   Oh, and on the subway we saw a rather interesting personals ad, written out on a piece of paper and taped to the overhead bar on the train, which sparked a lively discussion as to whether the guy who posted it was desperate, or a pure genius. I'll let someone else explain the details.

    After the Cathedral, we hiked through the north end of Central Park - a huge stretch of woods, greenlands, and ponds that covers some eight hundred acres in the middle of New York City. We climbed rocks and trees, chased squirrels, ambushed other groups from our school that had split off from us, and took lots of beautiful pictures.  We met in front of the  New York Museum of Natural History, where I took a picture of the statue of my hero, America's coolest President, Theodore Roosevelt, before we headed back to the hotel to freshen up and wash up.

   Then it was back to the subway to head up to Yankee Stadium for a baseball game!  I will be honest; it was very chilly (about 52 degrees with a stout North wind!) and the game was one of those low-scoring, long-lasting pitching duels, so we left in the 8th inning and rode the trains back to our hotel, getting here around 9:30 local time. We were all pretty punchy and silly by then:  I am not sure which one of us told the worst joke on the train.  My entry was:"How many chickens does it take to cross the road at the center of a Tootsie Pop?"  (The answer is "None!  There isn't a road at the center of a Tootsie Pop!")  Jerry, on the other hand, had this utter groaner of a knock-knock joke:  "Knock knock!"  "Who's there?"  "JOseph!"  "Joseph Who?"  "Joseph Mama!"  (I didn't think it was funny, but I kept laughing harder the more he told it! Fatigue, I tell you!)

   So after a quick stop at a convenience store to buy some bottled water and sundries, we got back here and headed to our rooms.

According to my Fitness App, I walked over 25,000 paces today,

Goodnight!  And check out my pictures from the trip on FB and Instagram!

No comments:

Post a Comment