Cousins and NYC!

Before I get started on current stuff, I want to mention a couple of things I forgot in my last post.  I forgot b/c we didn’t get any pics taken, and when typing a post, I will refer to my pics to remind me of all we do.  While in Lancaster, friends we met at the RV Dreams Reunion Rally, Nancy and Neil, came to visit us!  They brought yummy subs and we had a nice lunch together.  It was very nice catching up with them!  Also, the same day, Cori came by for a short visit.  She was in the area on a business trip and drove to see us!  It sure was great to see her!  Sorry about that guys!

There sure has been lots of good things going on!  We’ve been doing so much visiting – and I LOVE it! During our stay at Timothy Lake South in East Stroudsburg, we spent time with my cousin, Cindy and her husband Tom.  Cindy has been the big sister I never had, she is about 6 years older than me and when I was about 11 years old or so, she kind of took me under her wing and treated me like the little sister she never had.  She would take me with her to the mall, talk to me about boys, insist I tell her all my secrets, etc.  She saved me from myself on more than one occasion, back in those turbulent teenage years, and for that I will always be grateful.  She is Aunt Cindy to my kids, and her daughter, Quynn is my eldest Goddaughter. We were originally supposed to stay on their property, but Tommy had a really bad injury right before we were due to arrive, and we decided (mutually) that is was best we stayed nearby at a campground.  I won’t get into the whole thing, as I don’t want to invade their privacy, and all worked out ok.  They lived fairly close and we got to spend a good amount of time together.  They came to visit us the day after we arrived and Bill showed Tom around all the outside stuff, and I gave him the inside tour.  Cindy had seen the rig before when she came to help me pack up the house, but Tom hadn’t seen it before.  Cindy cooked us some yummy dinners, marinated chicken, etc. when we ate with them at their house.  She also insisted I bring my laundry and get it done, which I gladly took her up on.

our site was long but narrow

our site was long but narrow

our neighbor had these cute wooden bears nailed to the trees

our neighbor had these cute wooden bears nailed to the trees

While we were at Timothy Lake South, another cousin, Jane, and her family came to see us.  Jane has recently accepted a new job in Mamaroneck NY, and moved her family there from Santa Cruz, CA.  What a change!  Her oldest son, Tal, lives and works in NYC and she wanted to be closer to him.  So, they drove 2 hours each way to see us!  We had a nice afternoon/evening, just relaxing and enjoying the day.

Adam took this one, Dori, me, Bill and Jane.

Adam took this one, Dori, me, Bill and Jane.

was a perfect day for sitting outside and enjoying the weather

was a perfect day for sitting outside and enjoying the weather

Jane and I

Jane and I

While in East Stroudsburg, we heard that a friends of ours Mom passed away.   Gina is a friend from WAY BACK!  We all grew up together and knew each other when we were kids.  Her Mom always welcomed us into their home and had snacks, and let us hang out.  I was very glad we were able to be there.  I had been on the fence about going, but another friend, Carolyn sent me a PM on FB and after she reached out, that’s what helped me decide to go.  I was a bit apprehensive, I don’t do wakes well, but I ended up being very glad I went.  We met up with Carolyn and her husband, Frank before hand and had a great fried fish meal from our fav local place, Keyport Fishery.

We grew up going here for fresh local fish

We grew up going here for fresh local fish

We also decided to do a quick drive through the old neighborhood and stopped to spent a minute at the seawall.  Bill and I grew up in a very small town, Cliffwood Beach, which was named that b/c at one time there were cliffs that lined the beach in the town.  When we were kids (elementary school age), the cliffs, which were a breeding ground for all kinds of garbage, wrecked cars, etc. were filled in and a seawall built.  Hanging out on that seawall as teenagers became a right of passage and I have many happy memories from those times.

view from the seawall, if you can click on the pic and zoom in, you can see the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the Freedom Tower, before 9/11/2001 you could have seen the Twin Towers

view from the seawall, if you can click on the pic and zoom in, you can see the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (which connects NYC boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn) and the Freedom Tower, before 9/11/2001 you could have seen the Twin Towers

view of Keyport, NJ from the seawall

view of Keyport, NJ from the seawall

this house was built by my parents and they lived their with my Grandmother for many years, the back of the house backs up to the seawall. and the above pic was taken from behind this house.

this house was built by my parents and they lived there with my Grandmother for many years, the back of the house backs up to the seawall. and the above pic was taken from behind this house.

I lived in this house as a young child - although it looks completely different now, used to be a very small 3 bedroom, 1 bath bungalow style house.

I lived in this house as a young child – although it looks completely different now, used to be a very small 3 bedroom, 1 bath bungalow style house.

I lived here (it was NOT this hideous blue color then) from 11 years old until i moved out at 18.

I lived here (it was NOT this hideous blue color then) from 11 years old until i moved out at 18.

this is the house hubby grew up in, from the day he was brought home from the hospital til he moved out to be with me. It was white back in those days.

this is the house hubby grew up in, from the day he was brought home from the hospital til he moved out to be with me. It was white back in those days.

Thats enough of the walk down memory lane, for now anyways. Our week at Timothy Lake South went very quickly and we moved on to Great Divide Campground in Newton NJ.  We had to stay to the left at the fork in the road.

the literal fork in the road

the literal fork in the road

the site was HUGE!

the site was HUGE!

The campground had a bunch of these totems.

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Most of our time in Newton was spent visiting with long time “family of the heart” friends, the Yaegers.  Linda has been my BFF for 24+ years.  It is a bit of an interesting story how we met.  We were each shopping at a Kids-R-Us in Toms River, NJ, picking over the sale rack for toddler girls items.  My daughter was with my Mom that day, so I was on my own, but I was about 6 months pregnant with my son.  Linda was with her MIL and little girl, who looked like she could have been Michelle’s twin.  We had caught each other’s eye a couple of times and I finally had to ask “How old is your daughter?”, to which she replied “13 months”.  I said “No way, I have a 13 month old daughter, she is with my Mom today”.  She then asked when was I due with my baby, and the conversation exploded from there.  She ended up inviting me to join her at a new play group she had signed up for the following week and I accepted.  We exchanged phone numbers and haven’t looked back since.  Our girls (who are only 2 weeks apart) are best friends to this day, Billy and her son, Jimmy are also very close, even though they are about 2 years apart.  Before we moved to KY in 1996, we spent a lot of time together.  Even after that, we visited them every summer and winter as part of our yearly trips and they came out to see us many times also.  They live in a very nice lake community in Andover and the kids loved spending time there.  We all did – still do!

Jimmy and his GF, Brittany, who we were meeting for the first time!

Jimmy and his GF, Brittany, who we were meeting for the first time!

Jodie, Jim and Linda, playing

Jodie, Jim and Linda, playing Cards Against Humanity

more players

more players

One day, Linda, Bill and I went on a hike. image

love the water bottle

love the water bottle

Bill - at the top

Bill – at the top

waterfall - looked bigger in person

waterfall – I so love waterfalls – the sound is so soothing, almost as much as ocean waves

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loved how the trees lined the trail

loved how the trees lined the trail

Another day, it was Jodie’s birthday, so Linda and I went with her to float on the lake.  They have these awesome floaty things, like you get for a pool, only much bigger and nicer.  We had snacks and wine when we got back on shore.

great day with great friends!

great day with great friends!

The big day while in Newton was the day we spent in NYC!  We were supposed to go over the weekend, but Craig ended up with a toothache and fever, then Alberto got a stomach bug, then Bill had a crown pop off and had to get it recemented.  So, finally, we were going Tuesday, the day before we were leaving.  During the night Monday over to Tuesday, there was a bad storm and the electric went out, and it was still out when we got up Tuesday morning.  Since it was supposed to get very hot, Bill decided to stay home in case the electric didn’t come back on and he needed to start the generators and run the a/c.  We do have the pets to consider. So, Jo, Craig, Alberto and I made our way to the Dover Train Station to catch the 9:06am train direct into Penn Station, NY. image

I was the only one in our group that has been to NYC before.

I was the only one in our group that has been to NYC before.

getting a bite to eat before we get started.

getting a bite to eat before we get started.

first things first, Jo decided she wanted to see as much NYC as possible, so a Big Bus tour was the way to do it!

first things first, Jo decided she wanted to see as much NYC as possible, so a Big Bus tour was the way to do it!

Parsons - I sure do miss watching Project Runway with Michelle - it was one of our fav shows

Parsons – I sure do miss watching Project Runway with Michelle – it was one of our fav shows

you see all kinds of crazy stuff in NYC, like this guy saving this parking spot for someone

you see all kinds of crazy stuff in NYC, like this guy saving this parking spot for someone

this is the courthouse steps used in the opening of

this is the courthouse steps used in the opening of “Law and Order”

A trip to NYC would not be fully complete without a freak sighting.  I was secretly hoping for one, for my TX friends, but I was unprepared for what we would see.

the

the “freak” was seriously annoying the guy sitting there, trying to enjoy his lunch. His wife is trying to get the guy to move on, but wasn’t being very successful

the wife finally got up to see if she could convince him to move away

the wife finally got up to see if she could convince him to move away

he finally got up and started doing this dancey thing, to music playing only in his own head

he finally got up and started singing and doing this dancey thing, to music playing only in his own head

Jo, Craig and Alberto just didn't know what to make of it

Jo, Craig and Alberto just didn’t know what to make of it

seeing the completed Freedom Tower for the first time!

seeing the completed Freedom Tower for the first time!

the north pool

the north pool

inside the Memorial

inside the Memorial

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the times when the planes hit

foundation wall

foundation wall

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There was a lot of the inside of the Memorial that we weren’t allowed to take pics of.  I will tell you this, the weight of this place was almost unbearable.  I heard several people say they had to leave b/c they couldn’t handle it.  I really felt that since so many people died that day, were killed, and so many people survived, the least I could do was honor it by looking at the Memorial to that day. I know we all have our “story” about where we were and what we did when we heard what was happening, but this Memorial speaks to the true horror of the day.  There was a lady sitting next to me during one of the 2 movies they show, who told me she was there, not downtown but in midtown when the planes hit, and she had to walk into Brooklyn to get out of Manhattan.  I looked over at her about half way through the short film and she was openly crying.  I felt so bad for her.  Her husband had his arm around her and was also crying.  She is a survivor, she saw up close and personal the truth of that horrible day, the least, the very least I could do was look at the Memorial, regardless of how uncomfortable it made me.

John Thomas Resta. My (late) sister in law, Barbara, was married to his brother, Mike.

John Thomas Resta. My (late) sister in law, Barbara, was married to his brother, Mike.

this was John's wife

this was John’s wife and their unborn child

even pigeons need to take a bath

even pigeons need to take a bath

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

Port Authority, according to the tour guide (and we know they are ALWAYS right!) this is the busiest bus station in the world

Port Authority, according to the tour guide (and we know they are ALWAYS right!) this is the busiest bus station in the world

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Times Square

Times Square

the Waterford crystal

the Waterford crystal “ball” that falls on New Years Eve

Flat Irons - LOVE this building

Flat Irons – LOVE this building

entrance to Williamsburg Bridge

entrance to Williamsburg Bridge

Freedom Tower at night - amazing

Freedom Tower at night – amazing

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

love this sign!

love this sign!

there is nothing like NYC at night

there is nothing like NYC at night

It was a long day in NYC, but I think Jo, Craig and Alberto got a nice “taste” of what the city is like.  Jo said it was a great place to visit, but she thought once was enough.  I love the occasional visit – the energy is like no where else I have ever been.

While we were off getting exhausted in NYC, Bill stayed home to make sure all was ok at the rig.  The electric came back on, not too long after we left.  Bill made the best of it by going to have lunch with his cousin, June and her husband Don.

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4 thoughts on “Cousins and NYC!

  1. The memorial wasn’t totally open when I was last there. So glad you got to see it. I agree it is important. And it’s wonderful your getting to spend so much time with your friends

    1. Thanks guys! I truly felt privileged to bear witness to the horrors of the day. It is an honor and privilege to be an American!
      I have known people who lived/ worked in the city – I don’t think I could ever do that – but the occasional visit is always awesome!

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