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We're back!

Posted by Suzanne D on 5/20/03 at 17:17 (119415)

Hello, Friends! I returned with my daughter and her choir at noon today from our trip to New York City. We left last Friday evening. As I wrote earlier, this was a BIG trip for this Kentucky 'girl'! ;) My, my, what a HUGE city and what a great time we had! Now, mind you, it is not EASY to ride almost 16 hours on a bus up there and then back (both ways, all through the night). It's not easy to sleep on a bus with a group of teenagers, but I made it!

And for all of you with PF, I was able to walk and walk and walk - and you have to walk FAST crossing those streets! :) I was so thankful!!! My legs were sore, my knees and hips were sore, and my feet would be REALLY tired at the end of the day, but the next morning they were ready to go again - no pain! Two years ago I could not have imagined making this trip. So, I hope this encourages someone! I kept up with everyone, and most of them were much younger than me.

My favorite part was riding the boat to the Statue of Liberty. That's an awesome sight; no matter how many pictures I had seen, it still brought chills up my spine.

I haven't had time to read many posts yet, but I hope all of you are well and just wanted to say 'hello' and that I was back!

Suzanne :)

Re: We're back!

marie on 5/20/03 at 18:16 (119423)

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Our seniors went to New York earlier this Spring. They got back on the eve of the Iraq war. It is such a great experience for these young kids from a small town to get to such a wonderful city.

I am so glad to hear that your feet cooperated for you!!!!

marie

Re: We're back!

Bev on 5/20/03 at 18:44 (119426)

Suzanne,
Great to hear of your great time you had. Did you have to stand in line a long time to get on the boat for the Statue? I took a 'tour' of N.Y. on the internet and went up in the Statue of Liberty and it was really beautiful. The internet tour was really great , it took hours and took me all over NY and I learned so much and saw so much , and my feet didn't hurt at all :) I bet you are exhausted - to bed early tonight.

Re: We're back!

Necee on 5/20/03 at 22:59 (119459)

I'm so glad you had a wonderful time and that you made it home safely.
I've never seen the Statue of Liberty in person, hopefully I'll get to one of these days.
Take care, and tell us more about your trip when you have the time.

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: We're back!

Carole C in NOLA on 5/21/03 at 06:04 (119468)

Welcome back! What a victory, to be able to walk all over NYC and have no pain the next day! That's fabulous.

That moment as you rode the boat to the Statue of Liberty is something to cherish and never forget, as the years pass. Even though your schoolchildren are so young, they will probably remember what you tell them about it. What an unforgettable experience!

Carole C

Re: We're back!

Suzanne D on 5/21/03 at 07:10 (119474)

Thanks, everyone!

I thought of you all so often while I was in New York. Carole, I thought of you the moment I took a few steps on the ship which took us to the Statue of Liberty! I wobbled a little and remembered your writing about getting your 'sea legs'!

I thought of Judy when we saw where the Today Show is filmed. I remembered the picture of her and her sister there a few months ago.

I thought about Ellen and her touching account of what she experienced on September 11th as she fled the Ground Zero area. What a sobering place that was...I remember she wrote that she was so thankful that her PF was better then or it would have been so hard to walk fast enough.

I thought of John and Brian G. and all our vets when I saw the Statue of Liberty. How many have served our country, defending the liberty that it personifies...

I thought of Max who I believe is a taxi driver. I'd never seen so many taxis in all my life! Anyone who can drive a taxi in a big city (or drive anything!) has my admiration!

I thought of each one of you who struggles daily with foot problems and pain and who can appreciate what a victory it can be to walk somewhere and be able to keep up with everyone else who doesn't give a thought to their feet...

We saw Radio City Music Hall, the Lincoln Center, a Broadway play (Aida), Times Square, Ground Zero, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, ethnic neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty (Just going around it on the ship; no one can go up inside since 9/11), ate at Planet Hollywood and an Italian restaurant, and enjoyed a bus trip with a New York tour guide riding with us and explaining what we were seeing. I was amazed by it all!

I took three personal days from school. Today will be used to unpack, wash clothes, rest a little, and go get my driver's license renewed!

Have a good day, everyone!
Suzanne :)

Re: We're back!

Bev on 5/21/03 at 07:54 (119476)

Carole,
Riding the boat to the Statue of Liberty is like taking the boat to Pearl Harbor isn't it? That was also a solemn experience for us . The ride there was so quiet as you hear the story and approach the area, and noone speaks as you walk onto the memorial and break up our lei and spread it over the USS Arizona, and read the names on the memorial wall. That must have been how Suzanne felt too when she saw that magnificent Statue of Liberty.

Re: We're back!

Kathy G on 5/21/03 at 09:56 (119498)

Suzanne,

I'm so happy you had fun and that your feet cooperated so beautifully! What an amazing amount your group managed to do in just a few days!

When I lived in Connecticut, we went with to NYC a number of times with a family friend who had lived there. This was back in the days of automats and he knew the best one to go to, all the best, out-of-way restaurants, etc. It was like having our own personal tour guide. And he drove, too, which I doubt even my father would have been willing to try. This guy drove like a maniac but he was able to keep up with all the mad taxi drivers!

On one visit, when I was about ten, the son of these friends, who was a year older than I and a great friend, decided that we would walk up the Statue of Liberty while the 'old folks', our parents, used the elevator. This was back in the days when you could still go out into the torch. Well, I wasn't yet aware that I was claustrophobic and afraid of heights and I was quite enthusiastic until the stairs became a spiral staircase and the area grew quite small. I sat down on the stairs and decided I wasn't going to move. Just planked myself down; didn't cry; didn't explain myself; just decided I wasn't going to move! He was beside himself! Can you imagine? I suppose I was in some sort of state of panic but I remember it so well. I just couldn't move!

A kindly gentleman, with white hair, took control and gently and kindly walked me back down the stairs. My friend went up to tell our parents where we were and that nice man stayed with me. I was so embarrassed! He kept reassuring me that I'd done nothing to be ashamed of but to this day, it stands out in my mind!

So I never got out into her torch but I found it to be one of the most spectacular places I've ever seen. We went there many times thereafter but I never attempted to go up, not even in the elevator!

Re: We're back!

BrianG on 5/21/03 at 18:58 (119557)

Hi Suzanne,

You were probably closer to some of my old 'ghosts' than you realized. Part of my hitch in the Coast Guard, I was stationed on Governor's Island. It's right near the Statue of Liberty, and we had to take a ferry from Battery Park, probably the same place you took your ferry from. The CG owns the whole island, and uses it for classroom instruction mostly. I was there for commisary school.

Glad the feet held up
BrianG

Re: We're back!

Carole C in NOLA on 5/21/03 at 19:33 (119562)

I have never seen the Statue of Liberty, but I do agree about Pearl Harbor. It was a very solemn experience when I was last there, years ago.

I cannot imagine the emotions that Suzanne must have felt in seeing the Statue of Liberty just a few days ago. I think that during the past twenty months many of us feel closer to that statue and what she represents than ever before. I know I do, and I am so glad that she is still standing. Some day, I would like to go there and see her for myself.

Carole C

Re: We're back!

john h on 5/22/03 at 09:35 (119625)

When I was flying helicopters in North Dakota many years ago I flew up to the face of Mt Rushmore and hovered about 100 feet from the faces. At that time about 100 miles in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota a man was working on a giant granite carving out a statue of what appeared to be some sort of Indian Monument. I was told he had been working on it for 20 years. It was huge. You wonder where these people find the dedication and resources to spend their life on one project? On the border between Laos and Thailand I treked high up on a mountain many miles form no where and in deep jungle to a Buddahist Monistary. No one spoke here and there were many small caves on the side of the mountain. The Thai person who guided me up there said the caves were used by people from everywhere who would come there and spend a year or more in the cave meditating. The Monks provided them with food and water but no one talked. There were two Americans there at that time. You have to wonder how people find these places. This place was about 300 miles northeast of Bankok and you would never find it by accident.

Re: We're back!

john h on 5/22/03 at 09:36 (119627)

Brian I thought your old haunt was Ryker's Island.

Re: We're back!

Bev on 5/22/03 at 10:30 (119640)

John,
No wonder your feet hurt :) Treking up those mountains :D

Re: Mt Rushmore

Necee on 5/22/03 at 12:47 (119660)

Mt. Rushmore is an awesome sight to see. We drove there from Texas several years ago, there were tunnels and sharp hairpin curves on the roads surrounding the Mt. every time we made a curve you could see it off in the distance. If you looked back when you went through a tunnel you could see the Mt framed perfectly in the tunnel opening, it was amazing to me how they did that.

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: We're back!

BrianG on 5/22/03 at 17:23 (119688)

Actually, it was Greenwich Village :*)

Re: We're back!

Suzanne D on 5/22/03 at 20:39 (119704)

Yes, Marie, a great experience for the young kids and us 'older' ones as well who have never had such experiences! :)

Thanks!
Suzanne :)

Re: We're back!

Suzanne D on 5/22/03 at 20:44 (119706)

Yes, I was tired, Bev, but it was worth it. How neat that you took a tour of the Statue of Liberty on the internet! Actually, no one is allowed to go up in the statue any more - not since 9/11. But it was great to see it from the boat. Where did you go on the internet to take the online tour? That would be neat to see after visiting there.

Thanks for always being interested in everyone, Bev!
Suzanne :)

Re: We're back!

Suzanne D on 5/22/03 at 20:47 (119707)

Thank you, Necee! It WAS a great trip and reminded me once again just how big and diverse this country really is. I think the young guy in the ice cream parlor could hardly understand my accent when I ordered! He was straining hard to understand me. I know I sounded as 'strange' to him as others around did to me. I think languages, dialects, and accents are so interesting.

As I walked and toured, I kept thinking of the rich heritage that makes up our country and how important each group and area is to the whole. I think it will be awhile before I truly absorb all I saw!

Suzanne :)

Re: We're back!

Suzanne D on 5/22/03 at 20:50 (119708)

Thanks, Brian! Yes, I was at Battery Park and saw Coast Guard vessels. Our New York tour guide who rode with us one day on the bus and told much interesting information said what a great job the Coast Guard did in cleaning up all the dust and mire after 9/11. She said in one day they had hosed off all the black soot and dust that completely covered the buildings in the area. She was very complimentary of their quick work.

Hope you are doing better since your last ESWT treatment!
Suzanne :)

Re: We're back!

Suzanne D on 5/22/03 at 20:52 (119709)

Yes, Bev, and like I felt when I viewed the traveling Vietnam memorial. I would someday like to see the big one in Washington, D.C.

Suzanne :)

Re: We're back!

Suzanne D on 5/22/03 at 20:55 (119710)

That was a nice man who helped you, Kathy! I don't think I would be able to walk all that way - even before foot problems! That is great that you had those opportunities. Those are times that you always remember.

Yes, our days (and nights) were packed, but at least that kept the teenagers busy which was better than having too much free time. And it was good to get to see and do as much as possible.

I went back to school today to a mountain of end-of-the-year paperwork and other issues to deal with, but the kids were glad to see me, and I was glad to be back with them. One sharp little girl had told another teacher yesterday, 'I think Mrs. Dennis isn't here today because her feet probably are hurting!'

Thanks for your message,
Suzanne :)

Re: We're back!

Suzanne D on 5/22/03 at 20:56 (119711)

You are so right, Carole! I hope you get to go see her, too.

Suzanne :)

Re: We're back!

Suzanne D on 5/22/03 at 20:57 (119712)

John, you really have been EVERYWHERE! I would love to see Mt. Rushmore. It has always fascinated me in pictures.

Suzanne :)

Re: We're back!

marie on 5/22/03 at 21:26 (119716)

Suzanne,

That is so sweet. Thanks for thinking of us here.. I can't imagine how wonderful it must have felt to feel like you conquered NYC. If you can conquer NYC who knows what you may be able to do next. Congrats!

marie

Re: John

marie on 5/22/03 at 21:38 (119717)

Yeah I saw a documentry on the gent who was carving the Indian head. In an attempt to answer your question. Passion. Art is like a drug an addiction. Some folks are just driven. It saids 'I was here.' I have spent some time studying wall murals, especially graffiti, and the bottom line is that there is an inate human desire to leave a message behind. From cave paintings to tagging it all tells us a story about who was there. I think this man just wants to leave something behind that everyone will appreciate for thousands of years to come. With that in mind 20 years isn't so much.

marie

Re: John

john h on 5/23/03 at 10:59 (119741)

Marie: It seems the only thing that I will leave behind that I have been working on for many years if PF. I need to find out about that guy doing that Indian carving. That has been over 30 years ago when I saw the carving and I wonder if he is still out there working on it. I mean to tell you it is out in no where so he is doing it for himself and not publicity.

Re: John

john h on 5/23/03 at 11:41 (119746)

Marie: I am glad you brought up that sculpture again as I have now found the history behind it. It is called the Crazy Horse Memorial and is or will be the largest sculpture in the world. It is 17 miles southwest of Mt Rushmore. Korczak Ziolkowski a famous sculputre started on it in 1947 and contiuned to work on it until he died in 1982. His family continues with the project. He would not accept government funding and began it at the request of the Indians on a scared mountain. It is really an interesting read on the enormous amount of blasting and millions of tons of dirt and rock he removed and continues to be removed. Woking on the project he had 3-4 back surgeries, a massive heart attack, torn Achilles tendon, a large bone spur removed from his foot but continued on. Readers Digest has called it the 7th wonder of the world. When I flew over it around 1967 the horse head was very clearly visible. I do not know when it is projected to be complete but it sounds like it rivals the great pyrmaids. He built a house near the sculpture and I think it is something like 600-700 feet high.

Re: John

marie on 5/23/03 at 14:44 (119753)

You have to know that this man was driven by a greater power than the average person. I remembered seeing a documentory about it years ago...I am glad you brought it up. I will try to find some info and pictures.
Thanks alot!

marie

Re: Photo of Crazy Horse Memorial

marie on 5/23/03 at 14:49 (119754)

Here is a link with information and a few photos for anyone interested. It is much farther along thean what I saw some years ago. Wow! What a phenominal sculpture!!!!!

http://www.legendinc.com/Pages/ArchivesCentral/COTDArchives/CrazyHorseAndZiolkowski.html