Sometimes I wonder about people who return from a trip and say that it was all fabulous.
First of all, I wonder if they really have better vacations than I do. Or maybe they have lower expectations than I do and it is fabulous just to be away from home. Maybe they have such a positive outlook on life that they actually had a week chock-full of fabulous days. Or maybe they are scared to admit that the trip didn't meet their expectations because gosh, they paid all this money and so they talk themselves into believing it was more wonderful than it really was.
I find that my adventures are just like the rest of my life--some parts are wonderful and some parts are challenges. So here's how I got through my trip to NYC with a grin, some grit and a bit of grace.
Heading to New York with 12 Girl Scouts means travelling on a budget. So we took the bus and stayed in a hostel. The bus was actually rather comfy and the girls had a lot of fun...for about the first 5 hours. Then we hit the traffic jam to get into the Lincoln Tunnel. After a total of 7 hours on the bus, we finally unloaded amidst the swirls of people and cigarette smoke in front of Penn Station's Friday night rush hour. Yes, travelling to our destination required more grit than we first thought.
Getting the girls to the hostel was our next challenge. We navigated our way through the crowds to the subway, and managed to get everyone on the right train together. As we began to disembark at our stop, the doors began to close with only 11 girls on the platform. I looked through the grimy subway doors at the other chaperone's eyes filled with panic. She reached in the doors and pulled a Superman move as she pried them back open and slipped out. The fact that we did not lose anyone on the whole trip was definitely a gift of grace!
The hostel was clean and friendly (despite Katherine spelling it hostile) but it was hard to sleep with the thin walls. In the morning Katherine said, "Now I know why New York is called the city that never sleeps!"
Up bright and early, we were in New York and ready for our day! In the morning we headed over to Broadway to attend an interactive workshop designed to teach us about the show we would see later in the afternoon. We had great seats and several members of our troop were volunteers on the stage. I learned a lot about Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana and had a fun morning. We walked over to Mars 2112 for lunch on the red planet with the aliens. The girls loved posing for pictures with every Martian that wandered by. Then after lunch it was off to Radio City Music Hall for the big performance.
I must say, the sets were unbelievable. The costumes were incredible. The circus feats were astonishing. The clowns made me laugh out loud. Radio City Music Hall is lush and amazing. I really loved the show, despite the fact I'm still not sure what in the world it was all about.
After the show, we did the whirlwind tour of Central Park in 20 minutes, followed by the super whirlwind tour of Times Square in 5 minutes and then walked back to the bus. Whew. Did I have fun? Absolutely. Was it all fun? No, but that's OK with me. Part of having an adventure together is remembering how we survived the challenges as well.