Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New York, New York!

We haven't done a count in a while, so let's get to it.  We are now up to 104 tubes of blood that have been sucked out of my body.  We still don't know what the disease is, only that it's an autoimmune disorder.  I've had x-rays on both hands and feet.  I thought I was getting rid of Dr. Dracula, but I was wrong.  I think that covers it!

Got some serious, heavy stuff on my mind today, but screw that.  I'm not writing too somber posts in a row.  So let's talk about my trip to New York with Ginger in June last year!  As you may recall, I had promised to post about that but then went off to Neverland and disappeared from the blog world for about 15 months.

So the first thing you need to know before we start is that I have IBS.  Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  My bowel is far beyond irritable.  It is truly pissed off and then some.  But anyway, for those of you who don't have IBS, let me sum it up in just a few sentences.  You never know if it's going to be diarrhea or constipation.  An attack can last an hour, a day, what feels like years, and it always attacks at the most inconvenient time.  For me, it's often during vacation.  When we went to Italy, we went from Florence to Venice by train.  I spent 99% of the ride in one of the two train car bathrooms.  I emptied the first one of toilet paper and came close to using it all up in the second one, too.  Not to mention that I'm short.  I had to jump up onto the toilet seat and then had to do my business with my feet dangling, not touching the ground.  In the meantime, the train is bumping along the track, I'm bumping all over the place, and....well, you get the picture.  But that's another story.  On to New York.......

We arrived in beautiful New York City in early afternoon on a Tuesday.  We rode a shuttle in from the airport that dropped us off at the Port Authority which was near our hotel.  I was in heaven.  I saw the CUNY School of Journalism, The New York Times building, just all of these great institutions of writing.  We crossed over to 40th Street (where our hotel was located) and I asked Ginger what the address number was.  She said "236".  It sounded good to me.  I remembered those numbers being in the address.  We were sure.  We were confident.  We were going to bed down at.....

......the porn shop and massage parlor!

You can just imagine our surprise.  I briefly - very briefly - considered shopping for a few girl toys and lingerie.  NOT!  I was tired.  Ginger was tired.  We did the smart thing and checked our papers.  The hotel was at 326, not 236.  So off we trudged in the other direction, and then it was even better.  Our hotel was right next door to the Parole Office!  I had to laugh.  Between the porn shop, the peep show, the massage parlor, and the parole office, I was about to bust a gut.

Just when I thought I had seen it all, we learned why parking isn't a problem in New York City.  They just stack the cars!

So we go up to our lovely room (really, it was a very nice room with a fabulous view including the Empire State Building) and get settled in.  I'm feeling fine.  We have a scrumptious dinner at the hotel dining room and then go out for a walk.  I'm still feeling fine.  We come back to the room, put our jammies on, and dig in for an evening's rest, some reading, a little TV.  And then it starts.  The first trip to the bathroom.  After about 20 minutes, I come out and inform Ginger that I've dropped an alien, a few of his closest friends, and all of their mixed cocktails into the toilet bowl, now known as "the cesspool".  I barely get sat back down and I'm off to the john again.  After another 15 minutes, I come out and announce that I've now shot out the mother ship and the aliens have all drowned.  It goes on like this for a couple of hours and a little longer.  By the time I'm finished, the aliens, their cousins by marriage, and half of their planet have been deposited into the depths of the New York City sewer district.  We're supposed to hit up the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island the next day, and I'm wondering how I'm going to stay out of the bathroom long enough to get there.

But miracle of miracles, I get up the next morning and I feel like I can make it.  We have breakfast at the hotel.  I'm very careful and eat just a plain bagel with cream cheese.  We head across town for the ferry and I'm still hanging in there.  We take the ferry to Liberty Island and I'm STILL holding on.

Then she comes into my view.  Seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time was an awesome, moving experience for me, made even more so by the trip to Ellis Island.  To see what people had to suffer and endure getting to this country and after they arrived put a hurt on my heart and a lump in my throat.

Lady Liberty........

My fluffy self in front of the Ellis Island museum (just picture me being 32 pounds lighter now).....

The lobby at the Ellis Island museum.....

The great hall at the Ellis Island museum.....

Back in the day, this hall would be overflowing with people arriving at our country.  There are more rooms and exhibits showing the processes and examinations they had to go through.  At the other end of this hall is a huge staircase divided into sections by handrails.  Which section you were in as you headed down the stairs was important.  People in one section were admitted to our country.  People in another section were denied admittance and sent back to wherever they came from.  Families were split up.  Friends were separated.  I can't imagine the heartache that flowed down those stairs.

We spent the biggest portion of the day at Liberty Island and Ellis Island.  Then we had dinner and back to our hotel to rest.  The rest was mostly for me.  I don't have a lot of energy, so we schedule things for the morning and early afternoon when my energy level is highest.  Then I take the evening to rest and recuperate.  That evening, I'm happy to say, was uneventful as far as the bathroom was concerned, as was the rest of our trip! :-)

Ginger and I are art museum junkies, so the next two days were spent at the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The Guggenheim Museum building is a fabulous work of architecture.  It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and it's a spiral!  No kidding!

Inside, the floor winds up and around, and there are doorways to rooms full of art along the way.

The dome inside at the top of the building is pretty cool, too.  This is an off-center shot that also shows the spirals.

It's too bad that I'm old and can't remember which pieces of art we saw in which museum, but we did see some great things, including this fabulous painting ("Cat and Bird") by Paul Klee.....

and this one by Jackson Pollock (Ginger is standing by it to show how large it is - imagine her 20 pounds lighter now).....

and one of my very best favorites, "The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh.

There was great outdoor sculpture, too, and then the touristy spots that everyone who goes to New York City simply must see.

Time Square.....

The ball that drops every New Year's Eve.....

and Radio City Music Hall.....

But what I liked most were the musical instruments that we saw in one of the museums.  There was Ringo Starr's gold snare drum that he received from the Ludwig Drum Company.  (All of us band geeks know about Ludwig!)

I really liked the clarinets and bassoons.

But my favorite was this magnificent organ.

It was a great trip and a good time was had by all.  Four whirlwind days later, we were on our way back home.  We caught a small plane back home to Cincinnati.  Our seats were way in the back of the plane by the bathroom.....and the toilet just happened to be all stopped up, and the stench filled the plane, especially our row.  And I didn't do it!  :-)


  1. OMG...stop! Stop! You had me laughing sooo hard at the bathroom story...Lord, woman...you damn well can write.

  2. Thank you so much, MaicaKid! That's very kind of you to say. I'm not always funny. If you really want to be bummed, just read the blog before this one, ha-ha! But again, I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Now become a follower! Join up! It's easy and it's free! Plus, I just love seeing those little heads! :-) Do you have a blog on Blogger? (And did you play with the fish at the bottom of the page? If you click your mouse in their rectangle, it puts little dots of pretend food that the fish will come and gobble up. I amuse myself for hours at a time this way!)