Sunday, December 25, 2016

#430 A Gift

I recently shared this video on Facebook.  It’s such a simple message and really resonated with me.  I try to be grateful every day but sometimes I diverge into thoughts of wishing I had this or that.  Soon after I saw the video I had the stomach flu for four days.  Ugh.  Lucky for me it was only four (and a few residual) days. 

Today is Christmas.  Most of us give and receive gifts.  It’s supposed to be a jolly time, but it’s not so jolly for everyone.  We miss those who are no longer with us.  We may be isolated or estranged from family or friends.  Maybe money is tight and we can’t give what we’d really like to others.  We stress ourselves out trying to do everything for everyone.  We or a loved one is dealing with illness or pain. 

Let’s take one minute today to catch our breath and really think about the gifts we have all around us.  I’m thankful I woke up today and feel good.  I don’t have to go outside to use the toilet (I’m thankful for this every time I come home from a camping trip).  When I turn on the faucet, water comes out.  My house may be small, but it keeps me warm and dry.  Simple. 

As a child, I loved getting Christmas gifts.  As an adult, I appreciate what others give to me, but I find more joy seeing my friends and family open Christmas gifts I picked out just for them.  And I’m thankful to spend time with them. 

Today marks the birth of Jesus, yet another gift.  And He in turn gave to us the greatest gift of all – the gift of eternal life.  One day I will be celebrating Christmas in heaven with everyone I miss today. 

Regardless of your beliefs or faith, I hope you enjoy the everyday gifts around you, and any gifts you may receive today.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Festivus!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

#429 BikeMaine (Still Wicked Awesome!)

Last year I branched out and drove to Maine for my yearly bike trip (see Post No. 413).  I expected it to be a one-time thing due to the distance and cost of the trip.  The last day’s ride through Kennebunkport and the other coastal towns was so beautiful that I started thinking I would like to return.  And when the 2016 route was announced (The Bold Coast) I became more serious about it. 

Something about the water draws me in.  I love everything – the sound, the smell, the sand.  I emailed my friends and told them Maine was calling my name.  As the available spots shrunk, I made up my mind to go for it.  I understood why my friends didn’t want to return.  However, the pull was too great for me to resist. 

After the thrill wore off and spring turned into summer, I began to realize I had to get myself from Indy to Maine.  I love driving, so that was not the problem.  The problem was a low number of vacation days and that this time of year is busy at work.  My plan of staying a few days to explore Acadia National Park vanished.  My new plan was how to get there and back as quickly as possible.  I admit that I got a bit stressed, but it all worked out splendidly.  Here’s the story. 

Day 1 (Sept. 8) – Drove ~570 miles from Indianapolis to Rochester, New York.  One of my co-workers (Ty) saved the day on my drive to Maine.  His sister lives in Rochester and without ever meeting her or her husband, they said I could stay at their house Thursday night.  I left at noon after working a half day and arrived just after 10 p.m. 

Day 2 (Sept. 9) – Drove ~650 miles from Rochester to Stonington, Maine.  Ty’s parents happen to have a house in Maine (I knew this after last year’s trip).  I left Rochester at 6:30 a.m. and arrived in Stonington at 5:30 p.m. 

I had a fun time Friday evening with Ty’s parents and their friends down the hill (Jeanette and Mike, and another neighbor, Karen).  Despite knowing no one in the town, I still enjoyed listening to the gossip while enjoying some wine, snacks and the amazing view. 

Day 3 (Sept. 10) – Drove ~100 miles from Stonington to Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park (Winter Harbor).  Awoke to a glorious view from my room with floor to ceiling windows.  We ate breakfast at the HarborCafe, walked around town and then drove to Nervous Nellie’s Jams and Jellies.  It’s hard to describe this place.  Sculptures, jams and jellies (obviously), an Old West-type village.  Check out the website and see for yourself.  It’s worth a visit. 

My bedroom view at the Halpin's house  
After leaving Stonington, I detoured to Acadia National Park to see the top of Cadillac Mountain.  My visit wasn’t as quick as the Griswold’s at the Grand Canyon (I did walk around a bit) but it was close. 

On top of Cadillac Mountain
The main part of Acadia is separate from the Schoodic Institute.  The drive within this section of Acadia is incredible.  I arrived around 3 p.m. and after parking, realized I had followed Woody into the park.  He is a native of Maine and I met him last year on the ride.  The ride is fairly small (limited to 400 riders) and many are repeat riders. 

After checking in, setting up camp and eating, I was beat.  Two 10-hour days of driving did me in.  I wasn’t feeling too social and was in my tent by 8 p.m. listening to the entertainment in the nearby food tent. 

Day 4 (Sept. 11) – Biked 64 miles from Schoodic Institute (Winter Harbor) to Jonesport.  The first 40 miles were fairly easy.  (I had not trained much for this ride so was initially pleased it felt “easy.”)  The rest stop lunch was at Darthia Farm in Gouldsboro.  Around mile 50 it rained HARD and was super windy.  I kept going until I heard thunder and then ducked into a grocery store with some other riders.  Luckily the sun came out after only 15 minutes.  Our last rest stop was at a local church and when I asked for a hot dog the woman asked, “Brown or red?”  Wha???  Apparently red hot dogs are a thing in Maine.  Pretty tasty!

Our camp was at Kelley Point.  Pretty isolated and right on the water.  Our baggage was wet from the downpour so lots of folks spent the rest of day drying out their stuff.  Thank goodness I packed all my belongings in two-gallon Ziploc baggies! The sun came out later so that helped.  Dinner was a lobster boil (lobster, mussels, corn-on-the-cob, baked beans and cole slaw, blueberry crisp with whipped cream for dessert). 

Kelley Point campsite

Let's eat!
Day 5 (Sept. 12) – Biked 54 miles from Jonesport to Machias.  The temperature dropped during the night so I put on my sweatpants, hoody and socks.  I heard the lobster boats heading out at 4 a.m.  Today was sunny and in the 70s.  Highlights were Beals Island, Great Wass Island, Roque Bluffs State Park and Jasper Beach.  Lunch was at the Machiasport Fire Station.  Sandwiches, salad, haddock stew, squash soup, kale soup and chicken soup.  I tried all but the kale.  Have to leave some for the others.  Tonight we camped at Middle River Park along the Machias River. 

Roque Bluffs State Park
Day 6 (Sept. 13) – Biked 59 miles from Machias to Eastport.  Today was the hilliest day yet.  Lots of rollers and some longer hills wore me out.  After lunch (tuna and egg salad, pasta salad, lettuce salad with amazing cherry tomatoes, lemonade and a multitude of desserts), I stopped at the Charlotte Town Hall.  A cute older man gave a tour.  All the items reminded me of my grandparent’s barn/garage. 

Eastport, the easternmost city in the United States, was our layover town.  You know you’re on the coast when most towns are named “port”.  I enjoyed the town, which was a short walk from our campsite behind a grocery store. 

After setting up my tent I walked across the street to Raye’s Mustard to catch a tour.  Raye’s is the country’s last remaining traditional stone-ground mustard mill.  The tour was very interesting and the mustard samples were delicious.  It was hard to decide, but I did buy a jar.  If I didn’t have to load my bags on a truck I would have bought more. I was a little leery of multiple glass jars in my already stuffed bag. 

Being on our own for dinner tonight, I joined some other riders for a short walk to the Eastport Chowder House.  We sat outside and had a beautiful view of the water and sunset.  The seafood pasta was great. 

Eastport fisherman and pier
Day 7 (Sept. 14) – Layover day!  We stayed two nights in Eastport so could do whatever we wanted today.  I had a quick breakfast and browsed some shops in town, I then took the Eastport ferry to Lubec and rode the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Bridge to Campobello Island.  Our little group was Carolyn, her sister Peggy and Ellen.  We “picked up” Joe on the way.  The forecast called for rain but we timed it perfectly.  The day started out sunny, turned cloudy and we made it back to our tents before the rain.  We toured the Roosevelt’s summer home and took a short ride to Herring Cove after lunch at Jocie’s Porch.  There is much to explore on Campobello; I just wasn’t interested in riding that much since I wasn’t in top biking shape.  I topped out at 11 miles. 

Playing croquet at Campobello

Carolyn, Ellen, Peggy and Joe at Herring Cove
Dinner in town with the bike group again was salmon, potatoes, salad, blueberries and cream. 

Eastport sunset
Day 8 (Sept. 15) – Biked 54 miles from Eastport to Lubec.  We joked that instead of biking to Lubec, we could have put our bags on the truck and taken the ferry again.  But then we would have missed the reversing falls in Pembroke Falls State Park.  To get to the reversing falls, we had to bike 1 1/2 miles on a crushed gravel road.  The gravel was small and not dangerous, but dusty and annoying.  Well worth it!  Had a wonderful lunch at the Tide Mill Organic Farm (chicken salad sandwich, salad, vegetable soup and zucchini bread). 

Reversing Falls

This puppy was napping in town.  I felt exactly the same way.  
Lubec is a cute town with a few shops.  They also had live music downtown for us.  Dinner was steak, cole slaw, potatoes, corn and rhubarb crisp for dessert.  The nights got progressively colder.  During this night, I put on my bike leg warmers under my sweats.  I later heard the temperature dipped to 38 degrees. 

Day 9 (Sept. 16) – Biked 74 miles from Lubec to Milbridge.  We had camped on the grounds of a school in Lubec.  We were unable to use any showers in the school (we had the shower truck), but this morning I changed in one of the school’s single-person bathrooms.  So nice!  I’m glad I was up early because after I ate breakfast I saw a sign that bikers were not to use it anymore. 

Today’s highlight was Quoddy Head State Park and the lighthouse.  Quoddy Head State Park is the easternmost point in the United States. Today was a hard day.  Lots of rolling hills and very windy.  Despite the beautiful rolling blueberry fields along most of the route, I did not enjoy today very much.  

At the Quoddy Head State Park lighthouse.  Very cool! 
Blueberry fields
Lunch was in Whitneyville.  Haddock stew, sandwiches, pasta salad, blueberry pie with ice cream.  I also stopped at Wreaths Across America, an organization that provides holiday wreaths at Arlington Cemetery. 

Dinner was at a downtown public building and catered by Vasquez Mexican Restaurant.  Chicken tamales, chicken and peppers, corn tortillas, rice, beans, chips and pico de gallo. 
Last freezing night!  This time I put on my bike jersey and arm warmers; with a hoody and another jacket on top of that.  On the bottom I wore my leg warmers with my sweats.  And socks and ear warmers.  I know I looked ridiculous! 

Milbridge campsite
Day 10 (Sept. 17) – Biked 38 miles from Milbridge to Schoodic Institute (Winter Harbor).  Drove ~570 miles from Winter Harbor to Dunmore, Pennsylvania.  The best parts of this day were the low mileage and the view inside the Acadia park.  We rode through Cherryfield, which, ironically, is the blueberry capital of the world.  I made it to my car by 11 a.m. and, after finding my luggage in a huge pile, I showered and ate lunch.  I was homeward bound by noon. 

My goal going home was to find a place in Scranton.  I saw a chain hotel on my phone with a decent rate but when I pulled in at 11 p.m. it was full.  I ended up at the Dunmore Inn down the street.  I was hesitant since it was a motel and the doors opened to the outside.  It was cheap and clean, and it was late.  It was also nice to roll my bike right into the room.  I was in bed by 11:30 p.m., said a prayer, and fell asleep in my warm room. 

Day 11 (Sept. 18) – Drove ~644 miles from Dunmore to Indianapolis.  I was on the road by 8 a.m.  My father trained me well with all our family road trips.  Don’t dawdle.  I stopped for gas and food and was home by 6 p.m. 

I can’t believe that I drove all the way to Maine by myself.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  I guess I’m so used to doing things like that and I don’t think twice.  (Well, I think twice after I’ve already committee to going.)  I wanted to go, so I did.  I hadn’t done a bike trip by myself since 2009.  I was a little nervous, but there were many repeat riders and it’s so easy to talk to people on these rides.  We’re all one bike family. 

For those of you contemplating doing anything on your own, DO IT.  It’s nice to have a friend (or friends) to keep you company, but when your friends are unavailable, GO.  You will meet other people with the same interested and have more friends. 

I’m thankful I made the effort to see the Down East part of Maine.  Many native Mainers on the ride said they have lived their whole life in the state and had never been to that part before.  It’s truly incredible. 

Maine is no longer calling my name.  At least not very loudly.  Next year’s ride will be in the western part of the state in the mountains – pathway to the peaks.  I’m sure it will be pretty, but I want to stay a bit closer to home.  I’m sure I will return one day.  As I said last year, Maine is wicked awesome!  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

#428 Parea

This past August was my fourth year volunteering for a week at The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp (see Post Nos. 351, 382 and 405). 

This summer’s theme was Parea.  In Greek culture, a “Parea” is a group of friends who gather together to share their experiences about life, their philosophies, values and ideas. 

I had a multitude of things going on and had to choose a week in August that coincided with two of my favorite summer events – the Indiana State Fair and the Olympics.  I was ok about the fair and more bummed I’d miss a week of the Olympics.  I got over it. 

I had a surprise after checking in– I was assigned to a boy’s cabin!  I’ve always had girls.  I’ve loved my girls, but was a bit excited about the boys.  I usually stay in LuLu’s Lodge anyway (last year I stayed in the doctor’s housing) so that was not different.  I did sleep in one night in our unit’s girl’s cabin (more on that later).  I am a tomboy at heart so hanging with boys was right up my alley.  And I always joke that I have the humor of a 12-year old boy so I knew I would fit right in.

My cabin had nine boys aged 10-11 years old.  I got along well with all of them, but there were a few I connected with.  After cabin chat, maybe the third night, I made my way around the bunk room saying goodnight and then headed toward the door.  One of them called my name and said that I’d missed saying goodnight to him.  Oh no!  They have the option of giving us a high five, fist bump or a hug goodnight.  I figured the boys would not be huggers, but they were very sweet and after the first night, most wanted hugs. 

Love the purple unit!
One afternoon I had a blast in the music studio with one of my boys who played the drums to “Get Lucky.”  (Each kid could sing or play an instrument in the sound studio and they’d record them and give them a CD.)  Let’s just say, my boy didn’t know that he didn’t know how to play the drums.  That’s how it should be – you do something with pure joy and no thought of whether you’ll be any good.  I had so much fun seeing everyone explore their musical interests.  He also performed at Stage Night, complete with shades and a purple poncho from that afternoon’s Expro. 

Another highlight of the week was that tennis was part of the programming for sports and recreation.  There are tennis courts at camp but I’ve never seen them used.  Four years ago, a husband and wife started traveling from Florida one week during the summer to teach tennis to the kids.  I finally hit the right week!  I was able to join in one afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I overheard the husband say that if any camper says tennis is their favorite activity, they will give that camper a free adult racquet on Awards Night.  I passed along this tidbit to one of my boys and he got his free racquet (and thanked me for letting him know). 

I haven’t had many (if any) lowlights at camp.  Yes, we’re on the clock 24-7, but we get some breaks and we’re at camp, so we’re having fun.  However, I had perhaps my worst night sleeping in a cabin during this week.  I only mention it because it was so awful it was hilarious. 

Each volunteer counselor signs up to sleep one (or more) night in their cabin’s bunk room.  Since my cabin was boys, I had to take my turn in my unit’s lone girls’ cabin.  I didn’t know the girls by name and arrived after my boys’ cabin chat, so it was around 10:30 p.m. and they were already in bed.  I can never sleep in the cabins anyway, so I lay in bed hoping to get a little bit of sleep.  When I started to kind of fall asleep I felt a tap on my arm.  One of the girls stood over me and said, “I just threw up in the bathroom.”  Oh.  My.  Word.  This is my WORST nightmare.  I have a horrible gag reflex and was not looking forward to my reaction once I smelled the puke. 

The girl said she probably ate too much at Carnivarty.  (Carnivarty is a carnival and a party, and the kids play games and eat cotton candy, cupcakes, etc.  They give them snack tickets to limit what they eat, but you know how that goes.)  (Note to self – don’t sign up to sleep in the cabin the night of Carnivarty.)  She told me she felt better so I sent her back to bed while I tried to figure out how to clean up.  She just missed the toilet (of course) so I used an old mop and bucket (the kind that wrings out) I found in the bathroom closet.  Except that the bucket wringer didn’t work and the mop just pushed around the puke.  This is where the hilarity starts.  Picture me with my left hand holding my T-shirt over my face and my right hand/arm awkwardly trying to mop up vomit.  Oh yeah, I’m also dry heaving.  I finally made headway after finding some paper towels and Windex.  Thankfully, I also had gloves.  It was pretty much cleaned up when I turned around and saw her COMING BACK and vomiting on the common room floor (right in front of the bathroom door).  You have GOT to be kidding me. 

By this time, the other volunteer counselors woke up and sprang into action.  We got the girl to the infirmary and cleaned up the second mess.  When I finally got back into bed it was around 2 a.m.  I think she woke me at 12:45 a.m.  My heart was beating so hard I don’t think I slept the rest of the night.   

Luckily the next morning was the beginning of my time off, so I could have a fresh start and put the puke behind me.  We get an eight-hour block of time off during the week, so after breakfast, I drove to Newport, Rhode Island to visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame.  So cool!  It was a beautiful, sunny day.  I couldn’t resist stopping to take a picture of the Rhode Island sign (“Rhode Island is neither a road, nor an island.  Discuss.”) 

The grounds of the International Tennis Hall of Fame
As always, it was a fun and rewarding week.  I met new friends (my co-volunteer counselors Rob and Dennis, who is Bradley Cooper’s cousin) and saw old friends (Kathy and her daughters Annie and Grace, who were in my cabin/unit last year).  I even saw some girls from my past years (three were senior campers!).  And then there’s my boys.  They were a hoot!  They wanted to do stuff!  This was the first year that I enjoyed Carnivarty!  The girls usually stand around and don’t want to do anything and it seems to last forever.  This year Carnivarty flew by with the boys playing putt putt and wanting to try all the games. 

After each tennis session, the volunteer instructors passed out a plastic courage badge to each participating camper.  One of my boys, who is not particularly athletic, tried tennis during our sports and rec afternoon.  As we walked to dinner, I mentioned his cool courage badge.  His response?  “You know courage in itself is more valuable than any Olympic medal.”  Heavy stuff for a 10-year-old. 

That sums up my week at camp.  Camp is all about courage.  Courage for the parents to let their ill child go away for a week and be taken care of by strangers.  Courage for the campers to be away from their friends and family.  Courage for the camp staff to take on the huge responsibility of caring for the campers.  Courage for the volunteers to give up a week’s vacation to play with/serve the campers. 

But look at what you get in return for that courage!  The parents get some much-needed time for themselves and possibly their other children.  The campers learn that they are not alone in their struggles.  Best of all, they can just be kids and have FUN.  The camp staff and volunteers give out a lot of love, but it is nothing compared to the love they/we get back from the kids. 

It took no small amount of courage for Paul Newman to put his idea of camp into action.  After almost 30 years, it’s still raising a little hell.  I may have missed a week of the Olympics, but what I gained was much more valuable.   

Comparing hands with one of my boys.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

#427 I'm Just Wild About Harry

I know I have two previous posts with the same name (#48 and #352).  I can’t help it!  I AM wild about Harry! 

If you haven’t heard, Harry Connick, Jr. has a new TV show out called Harry.  (It airs locally on NBC at 11 a.m.)

Before the show started, I entered a contest to win tickets to the show, which is taped at the CBS Studios in New York City.  Both my friend Julie and I entered to better our odds.  And we both won!  We had three days to choose from and settled on Thursday, Sept. 22.  We did the afternoon taping. 

The fine print on the tickets said there was no guarantee we would get in and that they overbook.  We were optimistic.  I won tickets to see David Letterman over 20 years ago and they said the same thing and we got in.  You just need to get there early. 

Alyce, Julie and I took a late (and delayed) flight to Newark Wednesday night, Sept. 21, and arrived around midnight.  We have been to NY several times but weren’t in full NYC mode and mistakenly caught a limo instead of a taxi to the hotel.  Instead of it costing $50 it was $84.  Gulp! 

This was the first time I’ve been to NY and not stayed in Manhattan.  Prices were too high.  I don’t know if it was inflation or the United Nations meetings, but we ended up staying at the Meadowlands River Inn in Secaucus, New Jersey.  The price was good and it included breakfast.  The bus stop to the city was right across the street and was $8.50 for a round-trip ticket.  The bus took about 20-40 minutes depending on traffic and let us off at the Port Authority near Time Square. 

The view of Manhattan from our bus.  

Thursday was pretty much all Harry.  We walked toward the CBS building and I stopped at The Original Soupman for a mid-morning snack.  I had a delicious mushroom and rice soup and the bag it came in was like a clown car.  Soup, bread, an orange and a Lindt chocolate for $7.  Sooo good! 

"No soup for you!  Next!"
Julie and Alyce got lunch down the street from CBS and then we got in line around 12:30 p.m.  The ticket said 1 p.m. but there were already maybe 50 people in line. 

Hip, stylish and ready for Harry!
A little after 1 p.m. they gave us instructions and ushered us in to the holding room.  

Several producers walked around talking to us and asking questions.  The show’s question of the day was, “You wouldn’t know this by looking at me but …”  I had nothing.  You take one look at me and think I play basketball or volleyball or something.  Alyce called one producer over and told her that Julie played roller derby.  They were interested!  (For the record, I did tell another producer that I was literally Harry’s biggest fan, then stood up and watched her eyes get huge.  She wrote down my name but nothing ever came of it.) 

Julie’s producer kept coming back, while Julie kept cursing us, even while filling out her waiver.  

Julie does not look happy
Time came for the audience to be seated and we had to wait in the holding room.  There were four groups waiting.  When they brought us in they placed us in various seats around the studio (which was beautiful!). 

Every communication we had from the show was to dress “hip and stylish”.  They said to avoid white and busy patterns.  I brought two outfits and settled on a lavender dolman sleeve top, skinny jeans and my Franco Sarto purple strappy 3” wedges.  (I carried them in a bag until we got to the studio.) 

The band played to get us warmed up (awesome!) and then Harry came out.  Time for the show!  He started off with the audience question.  One woman played quarterback on a local football team, one woman was in the background in Dirty Dancing.  A woman and her daughter had seen Harry in concert for the past 20 years.  She first took her daughter when she was six years old.  She’s now 26.  He remembered them!  It was so cute!  (Although when the show actually aired, they were cut.)

Then Harry said, “Where’s Julie?”  He asked her questions about roller derby and she did a great job.  And she got a hug.  I just looked at him and thought, “He has beautiful skin.”  Ha 

After that, Harry gave away a trip to Mexico.  Each chair had a number on a piece of paper and they told us to keep the number when we sat down.  They called the number and Vera, a super cute woman behind me, won.  She was a retired teacher and a military captain. 

Harry especially loves teachers and nurses, and said that is why he wanted to do his show.  To meet people like Vera.  Awwwww! 

The main guest was Ken Jeung from Dr. Ken and The Hangover movies.  He was hilarious!  Harry also had a woman who makes dresses for little girls from designs they create (Picture This).  He finished with three women in a new movie called Dirty Thirty

Before we knew it, the show was over.  I remember sitting there the whole time thinking, ‘We are actually here!”  It was a blast. 

We got out of there around 4:30 p.m.  It took pretty much the whole day! 

From there, we walked to and around parts of Central Park and, after asking Julie’s producer about places to eat, stopped at a less crowded Shake Shack on the Upper East Side.  We passed one near Time Square earlier in the day and the line was out the door.  We found this one around 7 p.m. and it had a beautiful courtyard on the side.  I had the Shackburger, crinkle cut fries and a chocolate shake.  Soo good! 

As we walked around the Upper East Side we saw an elegant woman (maybe late 60s) come out of her building.  She didn’t look up, and walked out to the street looking at her phone.  Soon after, the doorman ran out to the corner and whistled to call a cab for her.  She silently opened the cab door and got in.  Impressive. 

Day two was the 9/11 museum, lunch with one of my friends who works at NYU, a walk along the Hudson River to Battery Park, wandering through Little Italy and the Feast of San Gennaro, dinner at Lil’ Frankie’s (another suggestion from the producer) and back to the Port Authority.  My calves were killing me!

I loved this quote in the 9/11 museum
Saturday we attempted to see Saturday Night Live The Exhibition, which I was told last year would be there for “many years to come.”  It had closed this past June.  Heavy sigh.  I was greatly disappointed.  I seriously would have gone earlier if I had known it was closing.  We walked back to the park and had lunch on a huge rock just enjoying the people-watching.  We were lucky and had three beautiful, sunny days! 

Lady Liberty view

The Three Amigos along the Hudson River

Our view atop our lunch perch in Central Park

Bethesda Fountain
We caught an evening flight back to Indianapolis and I got home around 11 p.m.  What an amazing trip!  We experienced a lot, but most importantly, we experienced them together!  Julie and I had seen a lot of the things before, but Alyce had not.  We did see some new things and it was nice to see other things again with someone else.  A fabulous three days! 

And all because of Harry …