There’s not much worse than listening to someone drone on about their vacation. “First I went here… and then I went there…” We sit there and feign excitement about their photos and ooh and aah appropriately, all the time wishing they would shut up and get on with it. Tell me you haven’t been there…
And so it is that I’m hesitant to post my vacation photos and talk about my vacation from our vacation. But then I thought about how I will look back through my blog in the future. I’ll be thinking about our trip and my supply run to New York and I’ll want to browse through my blog and look at photos…
That’s why I’ve decided to post these photos here – for me. I apologize to you, dear reader, if this bores you. If you are one of those who simply can’t stand the same ol’ vacation pics – pics of the traveler with friends and in front of famous landmarks – I urge you to click away now. I’m serious. This is that kind of post!
It’s been a whirlwind since I arrived into NYC. Within hours of arrival, I was off on a whirlwind tour of interviews and meetings, meeting old friends and new, and eating wonderful New York food. Wow!
My first order of business was to make sure I actually had a wheel when I got back to Peru, so I headed out to Connecticut to my mother-in-law’s house. We visited the bike store and, sure enough, they didn’t have the wheel ready. In fact – they hadn’t even ordered the hub! I was stunned. As I stood there, they called their supplier but it was a no-go – nearly all the bikes made these days have disc brakes so they couldn’t get a hub for my cantilevers. I nearly panicked. Fortunately, they remembered they had a wheel already built up with a cheap rim, so they are swapping it out with the good rim they ordered for me.
Anyway, Anne (John’s mom) blows me away. The woman is 81 years old and can run circles around me any day. She spent the day cleaning up her attic – climbing up and down the ladder umpteen times. I hope I have half her energy when I’m her age!
And waking up to the view outside her house was a real treat!
The following morning I was back in NYC and set up our new First Ascent tent in Mary’s kitchen – the only place big enough for it! They are beautiful tents, but big!
Then I raced off to meet with one of the classrooms that has been following along with us through Reach the World. I had a blast with the kids – a great group! I got to tell all kinds of stories and eat school lunch with them. I was so happy to finally meet them in person!
The school and class and teacher are wonderful. When I first arrived I told the secretary I was there and she called up to the teacher. A few minutes later a handsome young man came up to me and shook my hand and introduced himself. And then he said, “May I escort you to the room?” and he placed his hand on his hip so I could take his arm. I melted then and there. It was sheer delight to walk through the halls of the school holding the arm of my fifth grade escort!
From the classroom I headed over to the Reach the World office to meet with Heather, the executive director of the program, and Tonia, the program coordinator. It was wonderful to finally meet them after talking on the phone and sending emails for a couple years!
By now, it had been a full day, but Mary and I headed out bead shopping. I mean – how can two beaders NOT go bead shopping??
I figured that was the end of a very hectic day – I would just pack up some of the stuff I had sent to NY in order to tidy up a bit. Mary helped by offering to remove my new bike pump from its industrial strength packaging. The scissors weren’t sharp enough… The knife….oops. Yep – it was sharp enough. To make a big gash in Mary’s thumb, anyway. We dashed off to the nearest hospital.
…and when we left there she was the proud owner of a bunch of whiskers in her thumb.
By the time we left the hospital it was well after 10:00 pm – you would have thought we’d head home and collapse into bed. But beer in the Pony Tavern was calling…
Mary – artist that she is – simply couldn’t leave well enough alone. She pulled out her sketch book and made beautiful art. I love the hospital ID on her wrist and bandage on her thumb!
The next day I traveled down to my nation’s capital to visit my sister, Connie. She happens to be an ice skater, so she dragged me along to the rink. Unfortunately, I was not quite as graceful as her – but I didn’t fall!
From there, we headed down to the national mall to attend an Earth Day rally and visit the new Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian.
I finished up the day with dinner with Jacquie Kubin, governor of the Communities to the Washington Times. It was amazing to finally meet her after all this time!
I am now back in New York City and will be flying out Friday morning to return to Peru. Tomorrow I take a train back out to Connecticut to pick up my new wheel, then I’ll pack up this whole mess of stuff. Somewhere in there I’ll file our taxes. Mary starts a new job in Ohio tomorrow so has left her lovely apartment to me for a few days – such luxury!
I’ve had a grand time here in the Big Apple, but am getting antsy to get back to my family and the bikes. It’s been wonderful to have this vacation, but I’m ready to plunge back in!