I recently returned from a trip with my four daughters, and I experienced many firsts on the journey. It was my first “girls’ trip” with all my daughters by birth. My two daughters by marriage were invited but were unable to go with us because one is fighting brain cancer and the other preferred to spend her birthday with her husband in Hawaii.
The trip was my first time to fly from Alaska to the eastern coast of the United States. My #1 daughter and I left Anchorage at 8:00 in the morning, made a quick change of planes in Seattle, and arrived in New York City just after 10:30 at night. The first flight was 3.5 hours to travel approximately 1440 miles, and the second was 5.5 hours to travel approximately 2440 miles. Because we arrived at night and did not know the city at all, we took a cab to the Airbnb in Soho and arrived at the third floor apartment about 11:30. Since we had not eaten dinner and had only snacks on the airplanes, we were quite hungry and walked around the block to a small grocery store to buy some food.
This trip was my first time to visit New York City, so I wanted to see everything. On our first full day we visited Ground Zero, the spot where the Twin Towers once stood. We saw the memorial outside and toured the museum. It was a solemn reminder of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and I experienced many of the same emotions that I had on that terrible day. We also visited the Statue of Liberty where we had tickets to the pedestal. After climbing what seemed to me to be unending flights of stairs, I was pleased to look out and see the rivers, ships, and cities. I was impressed with the enormity of the statue as well as the creativity and skills that went into making it. We also visited Ellis Island, which I found interesting. However, none of my ancestors or my husband’s ancestors came through that facility because all of them came to America in earlier years.
On our second day we walked through Central Park and visited a couple of museums. We went to the Harry Potter museum on its opening day and fought crowds. The people in charge let too many people in at a time, so it was difficult to see everything. However, I found the experience interesting. The Museum of Natural History is huge! It covers a full city block – or more - and has at least five floors. There is no way that we could see the entire museum in one day, but we certainly tried. There were many interesting areas, but I found the dinosaur exhibit the most fascinating. I particularly liked the giant moose, which was much bigger than the moose in Alaska.
We started our third day quite late because #2 and #3 daughters went for an eight mile run that morning. They returned just as we started to watch the Saturday morning session of the semi-annual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We waited anxiously to see what changes would be announced in this conference, and we were not disappointed. President Russell M. Nelson announced that our Sunday meetings would be changed from the current three-hour block to a two-hour block. This change is being made in order for us to have more time on Sunday for individual and family gospel study. When we finally left the apartment, we walked about a mile to the Brooklyn Bridge. There we rented bicycles to ride across the bridge and come back. It was a fun idea, but it did not work out very well. There were hordes of pedestrians walking on the bridge and crossing over into the bicycle lane. It was a nerve-wracking experience for me, so I turned my bicycle in and walked back across the bridge. We took the subway to Central Park in order to visit a castle, but it was closed. Instead, we went to Shake Shack for shakes.
We started our fourth day late also because we had to pack our bags before we could leave the apartment. We walked the entire High Line, which is an elevated rail line that was once used to deliver freight directly to businesses in the 1930s-1960s. The powers that be put the railroad 30 feet up in the air because there were too many fatal accidents with the freight lines at street level. When most of freight was delivered by truck, the freight line was unused and allowed to return to nature. It is now a paved walking area with wonderful places for resting as well as many plants and trees. It is a beautiful place to get some exercise and to see the city. As we were looking over the Hudson rail yard, we saw a big, fat rat scurrying across the lot. It was about the size of a small cat, and I was happy to be 30 feet in the air. We visited the Empire State Building and the New York City Library. I found the library much more interesting with its beautifully painted ceilings and woodwork. It is obvious that there was a lot of money put into the library.
The trip was my first time to watch plays on Broadway. My #4 daughter instigated the trip because she wanted to see “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” We watched Part 1 on Thursday evening and Part 2 on Friday evening. The magic in the Harry Potter plays was fascinating, but the story itself left me wondering, “Who was the cursed child?” The title could fit any number of people. We watched “My Fair Lady” in the Lincoln Center on Saturday night. I loved this classic, but I did not care for the ending. I much prefer the ending of the movie.
The trip was full of excitement and exciting things to do for the first time. However, the best part of the trip was being with my daughters and seeing how much they enjoy being together. I am thrilled with the friendship that they share as well as their sisterhood! We had such an enjoyable time that we are already discussing our next girls’ trip.