Will you still need me, will you still feed me::a New York City birthday weekend (Part I)...

globe thistle
{Globe thistle flowers around the fountain at Columbus Circle in Manhattan}

I am a May baby, and those lyrics should make it obvious which birthday this country girl celebrated with a New York City weekend.

I'll admit it's a stretch to call myself a girl. When I look in the mirror reality stares back, telling me I'm significantly more woman than girl. But the truth is, like most women, I suppose, I'm also very much the girl I've always been - just a little slower, a lot greyer, and hopefully wiser.

It's also true that we didn't fly to NYC to celebrate my birthday {or to watch the Yankees beat the Pirates}, though that's how we were able to plan it. Tickets for the Yankee's game on Friday night and waking up in NYC on my birthday on Sunday were simply bookends to Saturday's main event - our niece Elissa's wedding.

{More Friday Night Photos Here}

Only plans don't always unfold like we hope they will.  

We knew the weather forecast for Friday wasn't promising, so when we landed at JFK shortly after noon, we weren't surprised to learn that the game that night had been postponed. While waiting for our luggage, we made new plans considering our only reasonable option - to exchange our tickets to the postponed game for tickets to the Saturday afternoon game scheduled to begin four hours after the wedding. 

Considering the time needed to take a taxi from Elissa's noon wedding back to the hotel, change clothes for the game, and then take the subway to the Bronx, it was admittedly a stretch. There was no guarantee that tickets for Saturday's game were available or that we could get from where we were at the airport to the hotel and then to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx by the time the ticket office closed at 5, but with no other plans for a rainy Friday night, it was worth trying to make it happen.

After getting a taxi for the longer-than-it-needed-to-be ride to the hotel and checking in, we had only a little more than an hour to get on the subway and with a transfer mid-way reach the Bronx. Ten minutes before 5, we were still on the subway approaching Yankee Stadium. 

The subway doors opened and Emily raced through the subway station and out into the blowing rain toward the stadium. When we caught up with her, she was one of the last people allowed to wait in line for the ticket office. After supper at Hard Rock Cafe at the stadium, we returned to the hotel - grateful for a daughter who can run and the tickets we now had for the 4 o'clock game on Saturday.

Elissa's Wedding
{More Wedding Photos Here}

The blowing rain that ruined our plans for Friday left a beautiful spring day in its wake. It couldn't have been more perfect for Elissa's lovely wedding in the small garden behind the restaurant where the reception with Elissa's family and close friends was held. It was perfectly delightful, but we almost didn't make it in time.

Views from a Taxi

It takes nerves of steel to drive {and ride in, I might add} a taxi in NYC, I told our driver as I captured a few scenes through the taxi window on the way to the wedding and reception in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. Up to that point, our taxi experiences had not been good. It took much too long for our taxi driver on Friday to get us from the airport to the hotel, and the driver the hotel arranged to take us to the wedding on Saturday morning never showed up. Thirty minutes after we should have been heading for the wedding, we were finally on the way, but in a different taxi and a driver who had never been to where we were going. Though he drove like crazy to get us to our destination, it didn't look like we were going to make it in time. Fortunately, we weren't the only ones running late, and Joe and Elissa graciously waited for everyone to arrive before beginning the ceremony. 

Sometimes our plans don't unfold like we hope or expect, but it works out great anyway.

Yankees Win!
{More Yankees Beat the Pirates photos here}

Like our plans for going to the Yankees game on Friday night with tickets that had to be exchanged for the game on Saturday afternoon. If we'd gone to the game Friday night, I would have missed meeting my awesome bloggy friend and soul sister, Nancy Franson - a Pirate's fan {her only vice, by the way} who also had tickets for Saturday afternoon's game. Love how that happened. We only wished we had more time to just sit and talk...something we'll just have to arrange for another time - like along the Frio or in Nebraska.

Columbus Circle - Manhattan
{More Columbus Circle photos here}

After the game, we took the subway back to our hotel in Brooklyn, stopping along the way for coffee and to wander around Columbus Circle in Manhattan at sunset.  

9-11 Memorial
{More 9-11 Memorial, Wall Street, Brooklyn Bridge photos here}

Of all our plans for the weekend, Sunday's plans were the ones that held true and even exceeded our expectations. By 7 o'clock that morning we were on the subway for lower Manhattan and the 9-11 Memorial. 

This was not our first trip to NYC. After our son Nick was accepted to Kings Point, the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Great Neck, we visited NYC several times during the four years Nick was a midshipman - beginning in the fall of 2001, when we flew out of Laguardia for home the night of September 9th at the end of our first Parent's Weekend. Thirsty-six hours later, we were still unpacking from that trip the morning of 9-11. 

After Nick graduated in 2005, we visited NYC one more time - about 6 years ago -  for a Yankee's game in the old Yankee Stadium before it was demolished. Every time we've been to NYC since 2001, we have visited Ground Zero and observed the slow rebuilding. Walking out of the subway station this Sunday morning onto Church Street behind St. Paul's Chapel and looking up at the new One World Trade Center (aka Freedom Tower) rising tall before us in the bright blue sky, we were in awe of how much the World Trade Center site has changed.

To be continued...

JoandEllisa's Wedding