Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Central Park

I walked through Central Park with my hubby today.  The air was crisp and the leaves were mostly green, just starting to turn yellow.  The sky was blue, and it was GORGEOUS.  I loved holding my Wayne's hand, just breathing in the autumn air and reminiscing.

I was taken back to my first walk through Central Park.
It wasn't like this one at all....but it was a first of many more to come.

1986.....I was a drama teacher at Bountiful High School.  I had just had  my first baby boy.  Wayne and I were working hard.  We were in our first home.  We had no extra money, but life was good.
I wanted to go to NYC in the worst way, but I couldn't see it happening any time soon, until I heard about teacher/student tours.  I offered to take a group of students to NYC after Christmas and over New Years through Educational Tours.  I had 7 students who wanted to go.  Enough to cover my trip-- but not Wayne's.  Instead of canceling, we decided I should go for it, because I might not have another chance.
There was me,  6 girls and 1 sophomore boy on this trip.
New York was crazy-scarey!
Times Square was dirty and filled with cheap strip joints so we always had to keep our eyes straight ahead and not take any handouts from anyone.....It was pretty sleazy.
It was also pretty cold.
The sophomore boy, Craig Casper, was a pianist  and his dad had brought him to NYC before, so he was really my guide.  Craig wanted to grow up and live in NYC.
The girls all went shopping and Craig and I went every place else.
We traipsed through freezing cold  scarey-Central Park on our walk up to the Metropolitan Museum, where we sipped hot chocolate and  stood in awe over the large George Washington crossing the Delaware painting.

I remember eating at the Howard Johnson's on Time's square and having the waiter ask us where we-- the one boy and 7 girls --were from.  We told him Utah and he immediately asked if we were polygamists, with Craig as the dad.  Craig blushed from the top of his head to his toes.  The girls giggled.  This same waiter even asked to see our horns.....?

We were in the crazy New Years Eve crowd.  We were pushed and pulled this way and that, squished in the mass of people waiting for the ball to drop.   It was amazing....and surreal.  I waved to any camera I could see hoping my Wayne back in Utah, holding my 7 month Addison would see me.  I cried when I talked to him on the  pay phone later that night and blew him a happy New Year's kiss.

We climbed to the top of the Statue of Liberty...went inside her hat.... We went to the top of the Empire State Building...it was  a LOOOONNNGGG wait and freezing...and I ate my first piece of Carnegie Deli Cheesecake....my all time favorite.

All of these thoughts came flooding back to me today as I walked through beautiful Central Park.
My how times have changed.
Times Square is cleaned up  and so is Central Park.
Broadway shows have been disney-ized and more families than ever can be seen on the streets of New York.
HoJo's is gone.
I have been back to the New Years eve ball drop with Wayne.

Little Sophomore Craig Casper grew up and moved to New York 15 years ago.  He was in charge of the pit orchestra of Les Miserables for 10 years.  He lives up on the west side on 73rd just off of Central park. We speak often.

I have been back many times since with family and friends, in the cold and the heat and I always come away with one feeling.....
I love New York!


erin noelle said...

Didn't you just GET BACK from New York? Like a month ago? How is this happening?

Shanna said...

Oh I'm SO jealous. I love New York too and can't wait for the time when we can go!! Have fun!!

Mark and Jill said...

I can't believe your back in NYC! I want to go there so bad. Have fun

Melanie said...

Wait, you are in NY again? What is up with that? We need to get a girl trip planned.

Si said...

Seriously, you are a BUM.
Loved that story about your first time in NY.