Tuesday, November 27, 2007

NYC for Thanksgiving

Hey - the book sold, so that's cool. But what's even cooler? Our trip to the Big Apple for Thanksgiving!

Settle in - much to say.

Back in 2002 on our first adoption trip, we got to know Jeff & Tina H., a couple adopting through the same agency. If you're unfamiliar with the way China adoptions go, usually when you travel to China to complete the adoption, you are part of a group of families from your agency, all being processed the same time. Jeff & Tina were in our group and what we went through together, being in the Civil Affairs office together and experiencing the same thing at the same time has glued our families together. They are in our videos and photos of the trip, and we are in theirs, and we are part of each others' stories. Of course, we shared the experience with other families in our group too, but all of the other families are either somewhere in the Pacific Northwest (near our agency's offices) or scattered elsewhere. One dad, Greg, is on a tour of duty in Iraq, and we all hope and pray for his safe return to his three daughters and wife Cheryl. Other parents in our group, pre-adoption, were adversaries in a legal situation (one representing the plaintiff, the other the defendant, in a government case) and now are able to put differences aside because of what we've all gone through together. Adoption is amazing that way.

Anyway, every November, we get together with the H family to celebrate the anniversary of that 2002 adoption trip. So far we've been to Mt. Airy, NC (the "real" Mayberry with lots of Andy Griffith stuff), they've come to Harrisonburg, we've gone to South Carolina, and last year we went to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN. For the fifth anniversary we wanted to do something big, so we decided on the Big Apple. They'd never been--bonus! It's so much fun to take people to NYC for their first time, and I'm happy to report that the city definitely cooperated, and we had a great experience.

They came up late Tuesday night before Thanksgiving and slept over. After a quick breakfast Wednesday morning, we hit the road. It was pretty smooth sailing until we got within shouting distance of New Jersey. The interchange between 81 and 78 was closed due to an accident, so what should've been a 6-7 hour trip turned into 10-11 hours. Ugh! I didn't mind though, because Tina and the girls and I were in one car and Chris, Jeff, and Jeff's son were in the other car, so we had lots of time to catch up and talk about the different things we could do in NYC.

We got to the Mariott Brooklyn Bridge no problem. Drove through the Holland Tunnel, across lower Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge, and the hotel was super easy to find. We settled into our rooms (Jeff's company has a deal w/Marriott, so the rooms were only $100/night!!!) and decided to go out for Pizza. The good restaurant street near the hotel was Montague Street, and we found Monty Q's, an honest-to-goodness New York pizza joint. It was wonderful pizza. The Italian sausage was just out of this world. We went back to the hotel and rested up for the next day.

TO BE CONTINUED...Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, photo gallery, and much more!!

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