This was it, our last day in NYC. I woke up happy, grateful but a tad of sad loomed over me… I did not want the trip to end, but all things must!
First off I walked with oldest to a local roastery to replenish the fresh beans which were creating our most delicious, French pressed coffee every morning. It was a nice breezy stroll. The first time he and I had spent a few mom/son moments alone. I watched as he intentionally chose the preferred beans. He explained to me since the shop is so near he buys small quantities so they stay fresh. We made another quick stop along the way. I had and hadn’t noticed before how sure and capable he is; truly a successful man in a city where you swim or drown. We talked, laughed and went to KMart for socks for the youngest, who’d used all the ones he’d packed.:)
After donuts and bagels with the steaming fresh coffee – how come mine never comes out as good? We headed to the Museum of Natural History.
This was always a favorite when my kids were little, though the youngest does not remember it well. We explored every corner and purchased tickets for every show. My favorites being Dark Universe in the Haydon Planetarium, breathtaking! And Wonders of the Artic, fascinating!
I love the animals set in displays of their natural habitats. My favorite being… you guessed it… the bears!
I insisted on a photo op with my pals:)
Next were the dinos which are a favorite of middle son. Yes, was wishing he was with us, again.
We explored the Ice Age and every exhibit the museum offers.
Eventually we found yet another bear.
The grounds of the museum are a masterpiece themselves. Hours could be spent there wallowing in the beauty.
Watching them watching.
Time to go and time to eat… We stayed uptown and visited another Shack Shack for another of my favorite burgers and a large portion of chocolate frozen custard. I can’t get enough of that stuff.
We walked along Fifth Avenue headed toward Columbus Circle. We checked out the stores before eventually hopping on the subway.
To my surprise, the subway station is also a shopping mall. It’s clean and beautiful with all sorts of shops.
That evening, as we changed trains and waited for others, I was inspired to take photos of life underground. NYC subways get a bad rep. Sure there are some that are gross, smelly, dirty. Yes, you might run into some unsavory people. But isn’t that true in all of life? That is life, a blending of the good and bad. To that end, you use caution, celebrate the good and do what you can with the bad. Nothing is the sum-total of everything. It’s all an entity unto itself.
I appreciate the stellar performers you’ll find on a platform.
And way underground, in the bowels of the city, there is art.le
As we neared home we remembered we’d not been able to find my beloved Drakes ring-dings. Something else I can’t get in California. We headed to another grocery story, a bit out of the way and yea… they had them. Something else I love, the narrowness of aisles in city grocery stores. Stores in the burbs are huge, tiresome and often a waste of time. If I run in for three items, I don’t need to take a day trip from one end of the store to the other. I just want to grab the three things, get in and out. There’s no way around it, I’ve tried both lifestyles and I am, hands down a city girl!
Later that night we ordered pizza. Real, honest to goodness New York Pizza, like none other in the world. Where a slice needs patting and a fold. Where the cheese is real and pineapple or ham are not really a thing. Where it’s hot enough to burn the roof of your mouth and the pain is delightful.
Eventually, the boys dozed off. I could have too, but since it was our last night here, I didn’t want to. We’d done, seen, enjoyed so much, but there was still so much more. I sat on the patio, breathing in the night air, admiring the skyscrapers, listening to the bustle of life on the street below. Inside I watched my sons sleep, remembering how they looked when they were little when knowing we were all safe together under the same roof was a given. Now, that they’re grown, being under the same roof is a gift, a treat, a blessing!
Tomorrow we’ll rise at six to hop on the shuttle headed for JFK. Tomorrow two of us would sleep under different roofs in California, one of us would still be here. Tomorrow it was back to real life as I know it now. Back to dreaming and setting goals for how I want it to be. But for now, in these quiet New York City hours, I was completely home living in the place where my heart and mind often journey away from where my body resides. It’s not a bad life in California, not at all, it’s just not where my heart is!