Country girl visits NYC

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 14, 2003

I had the absolute pleasure of taking a few well deserved days off for vacation last week.

You know you want your vacation to be something special and you want to enjoy it wherever or with whomever you are. I usually make it my business to plan a special site the year before and have done that for the past few years.

While leisurely relaxing at some scenic resort the thought of next year’s vacation just comes up and you decide then and there that’s what you’re going to do.

Well, last year I decided that flying was out, for one thing, because it’s becoming more and more expensive to fly. Then I decided I wanted to see something in the continental United States. You know the cruises and other sites are beautiful, but we have some beauty right here at home too. Okay, I know you’re wondering and I’m just talking and talking.

This year I traveled to New York City. As old as I am and as much traveling as I have done, I had never been to the &uot;Big Apple&uot; and decided this was the year for that trip. Now, you have to understand I’m one of those people who never make reservations at hotels and attractions because anything can happen. I like to take to the highway and stop when I feel like it, eat a little, take pictures from one site to the next and take my time. This year was no exception. I made no reservations and took off early last week for the drive.

Everything cooperated. The weather was nice, travel was great with only a few others on the highway and there were several good stops along the way to get a bite to eat and take a few pictures.

Interstate highways are nice, but sometimes you need to get off them and see what lies behind them and the beauty that goes with them.

Now, when I planed my vacation last year there were some specific things I had to do when I got to New York. I had to see the Statue of Liberty up close. You know you’ve seen it 100 times on television, but I had to see it up close.

I also wanted to see the Empire State Building and there wee some thoughts about the site of the 911 tragedy. I wrestled with that one for some time about whether or not I really wanted to go there because I had this thought of dishonoring t hose who gave their lives by walking on that particular piece of property.

Well, yes, I did go and I’m glad I did.

There was certain amount of peace that came with that particular site and even though so many lost their lives there, the area was full of life all around it and you knew that they did not die in vain.

Next, I planned to see the legendary &uot;Apollo Theatre&uot;, which I did and to set foot in &uot;Times Square&uot; because I will never be caught there on New Year’s Eve.

There were other sites like Central Park, a visit to the site of the old &uot;Cotton Club&uot; and even &uot;Madison Square Gardens.&uot;

The city is awesome. When people tell you the city never sleeps, they are telling you the truth.

For newcomers like myself, a ride on the subway was an experience and walking city block after city block with thousands of people was something you have to experience for yourself.

All I know is that the vacation was wonderful, the sites were a little more than I had expected and the people are everywhere.

I have never seen so many different types of nationalities in my life in one place. Don’t think that I’m nave and never been past my backdoor, but it was very different and some of the differences I didn’t care for.

Country folk like myself are just that. We are proud of our heritage and we take pride in the simplest of things, like saying hello.

We are quick to say &uot;excuse me&uot; if we bump into you while walking down the street or even in the grocery store and we often carry a smile during the day.

These are some of the things I missed while I was in New York City. Don’t get me wrong, there wee some very nice people I met, but there were others who you have to wonder how they exist from one day to the next because they sincerely appeared to be unhappy…at least from my perspective.

Although I enjoyed my vacation tremendously, it was kind of nice to get back and see smiling faces all around me and welcomes of &uot;good to have you back&uot; and &uot;how was your trip&uot;.

My trip was good. I shopped until I literally dropped and now I’m planning a few days in Chicago.

Let’s see what I have to say when I get back from there.

But I’ll always remember the all too familiar words of Dorothy in &uot;The Wizard of Oz&uot;, There is no place like home.