Perhaps I should back up just a bit, despite still being in "pat myself on the back" mode.
My 15 yr old cousin -- last seen at age 10 when she was a junior bridesmaid in our wedding! -- came to visit us this past weekend, making this her first trip to the Big Apple. She has travelled internationally quite a bit (her mom is the lovely Sonja from To Europe with Kids), but this was her first solo flight, so that alone was exciting. With a few evening hours to spare upon her arrival, we headed off to show her around our neighborhood... for a few more weeks, anyway.
We ended the night with dinner at The Grand Sichuan, our corner Chinese restaurant. Order their famous crab and pork soup dumplings and you really can't go wrong. Sure, if you're bringing a toddler, things might get a little "interesting" but the waitresses love kids and didn't seem to mind our Sweet One's "antics" at the dinner table. Whew.
NYC Trip, the NYC "vacation experts" graciously offered me a complimentary tour of the World Trade Center and Statue of Liberty, and I was fortunate enough to share it with Husband, my cousin and Toddler S the next day. While the pouring down rain was disappointing, our tour guide remained enthusiastic and full of interesting tid bits along the way. First, we visited St. Paul's Chapel (a haven for first responders and now a makeshift 9-11 memorial), and St. Peter's Parish, another quiet escape for emergency workers. Both institutions were spared major damage during the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Circling the WTC site, we were able to see two overhead views of the damage and re-construction efforts from the World Financial Center. While it still BAFFLES MY MIND as to how it's taken ten years to settle on a fitting memorial for 9-11 victims, there was a certain peace in knowing progress is finally being made... and that I got to see it with my own eyes.
That evening, my cousin (a talented ballet dancer) and I headed out to see Savion Glover at The Joyce. I've loved tap dancing ever since I saw my first Fred Astaire movie as a child, and Glover is no doubt the best living "hoofer" there is. I was exhausted watching him dance, and yet at the same time, anxious to dust off my tap shoes as soon I got home. Truly an amazing performance, and if you're curious to check him out, the last show is tomorrow evening!
And yes, I do own a pair of adult-sized tap shoes.
Day 2 recap coming soon...