This is Alvin. He lives in Central Park and has lots and lots of friends. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, yours truly started naming every chipmunk we saw Alvin...I think I was up to Alvin the XVI. Then I decided the numbers were getting to high so we started coming up with new names (such as Ben Franklin, Genghis Khan -Khan for short- Alexander the Great...you get the picture) This photo is either Alvin V or VI. :-)
We got started with a bang. We were up and out by 9:30 (meaning I got up at 4:15 California time...two days in a row) and headed for the Cloisters. We used public transit and our very own two legs to get around so I started feeling like a true New Yorker. If memory serves it was approximately a 2 mile walk to the Cloisters, a medieval inspired recreation of five French religious buildings which are part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We then walked/public transited ourselves to the Met itself and spent several hours browsing the museum. There is SO much to see. We basically had to select the highlights and hope to see a fraction of their collections by wandering from place to place. Afterwards Christina and Peter treated me to a delicious dinner at Frankie Spuntino's. It was a delightful evening of yummy food and fabulous company. (the ricotta cheesecake was amazing...)
Here's a brief sampling of our tour! (see next post.)
Here I am in New York City for Thanksgiving. My trip here was no less eventful than in the past, and I experienced more traveling firsts...a canceled flight! Things got off to a great start, but when I checked the departure board in Denver (what was supposed to be my one and only layover) I noticed a flight to LGA leaving at the same time as mine was canceled. It didn't click it might actually be my flight, and I started scoping out the area looking for lunch and a place to charge my laptop. Fortunately for me, (although I didn't know it at the time) none of the outlets worked, and I had this nagging feeling I should check the board again. That's when I discovered my canceled flight. There was no one around for me to ask about booking on another flight so I trudged down to the other end of the terminal to inquire at the gate. No one was there either, and when I finally found personnel to ask, I was told to re-trace my steps to the customer service desk which by this time had quite a long line of passengers just like me.
Fast forward an hour and I'm on a plane headed for Chicago sitting next to Mr. Talkative who is already 3 beers down. Another one on this flight turns him into Mr. Obnoxious. :-( More flight delays in Chicago prevented me from landing in NYC until 8:30 (an hour and a half behind schedule), and lo and behold my luggage was not waiting for me! Will this never end?! Actually, I wasn't really upset about any of it. Granted, it wasn't the ideal situation, but things happen and at least I reached my destination. Since my suitcase was on the next flight Christina and Peter picked me up, and we drove around Queens until we found a coffee shop to wait in. My luggage arrived right on schedule, and we were off to Manhattan.
This week marks a first for me. After twenty-five Thanksgivings with my family I am spending the week with my best friend and her awesome husband in...New York City! Am I excited? You bet! Time with Christina and Peter, cooking, shopping, and fun touristy excursions await, but I'm also feeling a little bittersweet about not spending the holiday with my family in So. Cal. Part of the fun (and challenge) of adulthood is creating ones own traditions, and Thanksgiving '09 definitely fits the bill. :-)
May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.. It is there for each and every one of us.
Vicki, Feburary 2009 Words: Deborah D. Smith Music: Michael W. Smith
Packing up the dreams God planted In the fertile soil of you Can't believe the hopes He's granted Means a chapter in your life is through But we'll keep you close as always It won't even seem you've gone Cause our hearts in big and small ways Will keep the love that keeps us strong
And friends are friends forever If the Lord's the Lord of them And a friend will not say never Cause the welcome will not end Though it's hard to let you go In the Father's hands we know That a lifetime's not too long to live as friends.
With the faith and love God's given Springing from the hope we know We will pray the joy you'll live in Is the strength that now you show But we'll keep you close as always It won't even seem you've gone Cause our hearts in big and small ways Will keep the love that keeps us strong