My apologies for allowing myself to get swept up into the holidays. Then again, I’m not really sorry because if I had stayed put pecking away at my keyboard I would have missed out on some incredible life experiences. One of these experiences was a major part of my Bucket List. I’m unashamed to admit that I fit into the cliche of aspiring creative spirit who dreams of living in New York. Ever since I was a kid, I can remember watching Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve and thinking, “Someday. Someday I’ll be there.”
“Someday” for me finally happened. My original plans for New Year’s Eve included a stay at my friend’s lake house on Tablerock in Missouri with a secret adventure up to London, Ontario on New Year’s Day. However, my best friend suggested that if we were going to go all the way up to Canada, we might as well see New York. It snowballed from there with my addition that if we were going to see New York, we might as well be there on New Year’s Eve. So, without telling anyone, she and I planned a week-long visit to New York City, Montreal, and Niagara Falls in one evening.
The next day we loaded down my ’06 Cobalt (affectionately nicknamed The Flying Dutchman) and embarked on our 20+ hour drive, shaking and even a little nauseous from excitement and nerves. We powered through grogginess and road grime until we reached the Howard Johnson in Clifton, New Jersey which was to be our home for the next three days. After stretching and showering, we set out for our first adventure into the Big Apple only to find that The Dutchman’s lights had been left on while we unpacked and she was dead. Panicking only slightly, we secured a jump and were back on our way to the train station in under 20 minutes.
I can’t even begin to describe to you what it felt like to be in New York City during the holidays. What it felt like to be in New York City period. I had finally made the pilgrimage to my own personal Mecca. Time finally moved at an appropriate speed instead of being stuck in slow motion like I felt it was in the Midwest. I could walk wherever I needed or public transit was readily available. It was both an introduction and a homecoming. I knew my adventures in NYC were limited to three days, but a gut feeling told me that soon enough I’d be back for good.
Part 2 (includes Times Square on New Year’s Eve shenanigans) coming soon!