Many months ago when Shannon (oldest daughter) had just gotten back from her solo, round-the-world journey, she and I were talking about cities. When I told her I’d never been to New York City she was flabbergasted. (We only live about 3.5 hours away.) I told her she and I would have to go visit one day.
Fast forward some number of months. Earlier this year, Shannon made the decision to move to California. She’s leaving on May 31. I’m going to miss her terribly, so I’ve been trying not to think about it too much. But one day I remembered that New York discussion and said, “Hey, we really should do the New York thing before you leave or we’ll never get there.” Amy (youngest daughter) had never been either, so we decided to make a girls’ weekend out of it.
It was fabulous. For many reasons.
I have lots of fun pics to share, but I’m only going to share a couple for now. Along with my centerline shot, this one is especially touching since it was taken on the day Osama bin Laden was killed. Engine No. 6, which is mere blocks from Ground Zero, lost at least four men when the towers collapsed.
One of the highlights of the weekend was that we got to meet one of my favorite blog buddies, Ralph aka Shybiker. He and his wife Robin made the trek into the city by train specifically to meet up for lunch with us.
Ralph and I met through our blogs. He’s one of those people I liked instantly and knew early on we’d have to meet one day.
I’m so glad he’s not just one of those people in my computer anymore. In addition to commenting frequently on each other’s blogs, he and I have had some pretty interesting and personal e-mail conversations. He’s a very open, warm, articulate, compassionate, caring individual. He’s just as wonderful in person as he is online. And Robin is also very sweet. The two make quite a charming couple.
I’m sure we were at the restaurant for a while, but the time seemed to absolutely fly right by. I believe. we could have all sat and chatted for hours. Really. Shannon and Amy were both happy that they got to meet the pair, too.
It’s funny, having never met in person, you’d think things would have felt a least a little bit awkward. But they didn’t. Since Shannon and Amy have both read Ralph’s comments on my blog and have visited his blog on occasion, we’ve had several chats about him. So they both sort of felt like they knew him already, too. Robin was the only real unknown for us, but I knew since she’s married to Ralph, she’d have to be pretty cool, too. And I was right.
Ralph is a motorcyclist and Robin is a passenger. We’re all going to have to meet up to ride together one day. Either I’ll make the ride up to Long Island, they’ll come down to West Virginia, or we’ll meet somewhere in between. Whatever we do, I’m sure it’ll be splendid. They were both VERY cool. I really am glad they got to be part of our very special New York experience.
On the way into the city, Amy called home to say goodnight to her husband and kids. The youngest, Joey, who will be four in July, asked why she had to have two sleepovers in New York City. He’s going through a Mommy-separation-anxiety phase. We all think it’s related to TJ having been gone for his recent 14-month Kuwait deployment. How do you explain “me time” to a four-year-old? Not to mention the reasoning behind our girls’ weekend.
I’m really very glad we all got to share this experience. I think we may just have to make it an annual thing. Especially since Shannon won’t be around for Thirsty Third Thursdays anymore.