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#32731 - 01/01/03 09:16 PM What a Vacation!
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Monday the 23rd was travel, Christmas Eve was recuperating. Also rested a lot Christmas Day tho of course I spent time with all the family gathered there--my wife & 2 daughters, my inlaws, both her sisters & families.

Surprisingly peaceful. My wife & family gave me a lot of space, and in return I was able to act like a civilized human being when I did spend time with them! OK, sort of! :p

The day after Christmas we went to Manhattan. "A kinda interesting place to visit a bit but definitely wouldn't wanna live there!" "Thank God I'm a country boy!" My family affirms my feelings, even the oldest daughter who always wanted to live in NYC--but no more!

I'd think anybody blind to “small town vs big city” stereotypes would surely have their eyes opened wide following a fiasco of a trip such as ours, especially after living awhile in both small towns & big cities!

If small towns are bad for expecting everybody who comes to know everything & fit in right away, big cities are just as bad or worse. And at least in small towns if you hafta know everything there's not nearly as much to learn & it doesn't take nearly as long to learn it!

“Green Acres is the place to be…”

But having said that it was a good one-time (maybe only one-time!) experience!…

Passing the Statue of Liberty & taking pics from the Staten Island ferry was neat; I vaguely remembered seeing Lady Liberty as a kid.

When we 1st stepped off the ferry onto Manhattan Island it was an incredible experience. I vaguely remembered it & none of the girls had ever seen anything close to like it before. The mass of diverse people, the rush of traffic, the immense skyline, even without the World Trade Center, the first site we walked to.

At Ground Zero, I took 3 or 4 pics, each time bowing to pray & make the sign of the cross. This was becuz it was powerful spiritual experience with me, having been born only a few miles away at most. It was also out of reverence for native New Yorkers (which by birth I am), many of whom apparently get offended by people taking pics there, tho I saw none of this while there.

What I did see were some people, obviously tourists, very very irreverently taking pics w their fams standing in front of the hole that used to be the Twin Towers saying “Cheese!”?!?!

They were lucky they didn't get their arses kicked, & lucky I wasn't doing t kicking!

Some of them were selling pics for $10 right there! A lady handed my youngest daughter one & she just let it drop in the mud. I am so extremely proud of her!

I woulda been far less gracious! I told the girls I was ready to go back & “Play Jesus,” overturning the tables of these "moneychangers," exploiting the fatal tragedy of so many, and of a city & a nation.

I was quite serious, too, and came damn close to doing it!

But I restrained myself from being thrown in a Manhattan prison, signed 1 of the walls “God bless Manhattan my birthplace,” and we walked on to our hotel.

Which BTW made a $50-$60 NC Econo-Dive (sorry, Econo Lodge) look like The Plaza (which we did see, by Central Park; all I could think about were scenes from Home Alone 2!). The floor was tilted, the room & "bathroom" were tiny, the beds small & like sleeping on uneven sheet rock. The continental breakfast was fair but late; the coffee was worse than Sgt Woo's on "Barney Miller!"

Little better were the $3.00 mini-latte's at Macy's we got the next day waiting for the girls, almost getting killed in another NYC stampede in the process!

I'll avoid city-country stereotypes as well as racial or cultural ones becuz I don't like them.
And becuz they don't fit anyway, as this trip only confirmed & magnified becuz of the massive number of people of so many different kinds.

Suffice it to say that in two days virtually any stereotype about any kind of person you could think of & how they do or don't behave was shattered!

A classic example was the members, mostly of the same culture, which I'll leave unnamed, that were the main pic takers & sellers at Ground Zero.

One of whom, in a hurry to get somewhere, dang near knocked me, bent over with my sore back, down a long flight of subway stairs, and bumped into my wife too, which if I'da known I'da been sorely tempted to help him the rest of the way down appropriate to the hurry he was in! This is a culture whose people are reputed to be very polite.

Meanwhile the members of another culture reputed to be rude & violent were by & large the nicest people there, at least from the contacts we had.

Stereotypes stink! Period!

My wife observed that there seemed to be very few obese people, at least out & about, in NYC, or where we were. I jokingly wondered if this was becuz they hafta walk everywhere even with the “suckways” even if you can figure the darn things out. Or becuz they're so hurried & uptight they burn all their energy just walkin down the street! Or becuz they bang into each other so much they bump off each others' fat!



I felt like a ping pong ball the whole time I was there! Even in those rare times & places when there's not a pack of people pushing around into & over you, the 1 person comin your way inevitably bumps into you!

Beats goin ta Weight Watchers I guess! Or maybe they're all practicing pick pocketers, whose victimizations we thankfully seem to have avoided, tho my wife had an open zipper on her bag on the sub. Or maybe bumping is the only way these worried hurried folks can get their touch therapy!

Seemed like a lot of lonely & isolated, worried & busy people, smashed together yet out of touch, a mass but not a community. Kinda unique, in some ways neat, yet pretty sad too... \:\(

We had some good food at a deli & a pizza place, and at a Café Iguana, where we had a free meal probably worth $80-90 for the 4 of us. It was free becuz the owner owes money to the law firm my wife works for.

We also saw some of Rockefeller Center, Time Square, and of course the big Christmas tree. We also went to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building and got some nice pics. My wife got to fulfill her dream of going to the site of the Today Show, and pieces of both of us got on camera. Meanwhile the girls shopped in Macy's & other places; they said it was nice but overrated.

Friday afternoon we went to Central Park, which was an awesome experience! I began to recognize things there in particular, like a statue; it was beautiful in the snow, & had a huge full ice skating area, twice the size of the 1 at Rockefeller, which like a lot of stuff looks much bigger on TV, & also cost $30 for ˝ hour or something. Too bad we had no skates, and were too sore anyway!

Next time, day trip not overnight, & nothing to carry!

But the best part of the trip for me was yet to come!

I rode the carousel that held my best Manhattan memory, which I had ridden as a 2-3 year old. In fact I'm convinced I rode what appeared to be the very horse (or spot anyway) I remembered riding as a kid. And boy did I behave like a kid.

There is a Looney Tune cartoon featuring the Red Hot Ryder, and I did his whole riding routine practically, including riding side saddle, just as I promised myself I would.

\:D

My wife & one daughter rode comfortably (or so they thot) in front of me, while the other daughter vainly attempted to take pics of me while acting like she didn't know me. The guys behind me & probably others watching thot I was nuts. Guess what? I coulda cared less!

This was a key beginning moment in the resurrection & release of my inner child. Little Wuame & Big Wuame had a blast, & I'm really starting now to relive my childhood. One of the most fun times & best memories of my life, & I got to share it with my whole (if somewhat embarrassed!) real family of creation!

I began the process of rebuilding my childhood & rebuilding my memories, by starting with & staying with the positive one(s). Even Ground Zero, as I remembered those dead & others far less fortunate than I.

I chose, in part on the advice of my pdoc, not to go look for my 1st home, & actually only skimmed the edges of Little Italy. If I ever feel the need to go back to my old home area I will, but not now. Probably no looking for old family records for now either; I also nixed Ellis Island.

What was really gratifying is how well I handled everything in spite of great pain, discomfort, "claustrophobia," change, etc. I took the standing, walking, shopping, bumping, driving etc very well with little complaint & a lot of flexibility. Even took never eating real Italian in stride. And gasp my wife actually told me she was glad I was driving in the heavy traffic!

I'm actually proud of myself & of our family. Really learned a lot about my own resiliency & stamina. Handling all this so well gives me, & my wife & girls, confidence that I can go back home to work & play & endure the pain & make the most of it, of life. So this trip was in so many ways great & well worth it.

Will I/we go back? If we really need or want to. No hurry. Maybe I'll wait until we invent the transporter! :rolleyes:

God bless my little town! \:\)

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#32732 - 01/02/03 07:38 AM Re: What a Vacation!
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Welcome home Vic!

I'm glad your holiday get-a-way went so well. Isn't it interesting that so many times when we confront a fear that it shrinks down to managable size or even goes away, it does for me sometimes.

You've shed a wonderful light on how reliving/visiting childhood pasts does not always have to be a terrible thing. What a blessing for you to have found good memories for your inner boy!!!

I could smack myself for not suggesting we meet in NYC while you were there (I live about 1.5hrs away).

I had the solemn priviledge of going to ground zero before it opened to the public. It was one of those beyound words moments. It was heartbreaking to see families there who were crying.

-jer


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#32733 - 01/02/03 12:43 PM Re: What a Vacation!
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Jer:

Thank you my friend it's great to be back home & back on site too!

Jer, going to Ground Zero so soon after 9-11 must have been a powerful experience in so many ways.

I wanted to go right after 9-11 in a way, yet had some trouble going even at this point, tho not too much. The most trouble I had was my anger at seeing how people were exploiting it, but I won't go into that again...

Having been born so close by, the 9-11 catastrophe
hit me hard even tho I hadn't been to NYC since I was 3 or 4, and have no known relatives there, tho I probably have some, at least on my father's Italian side.

When those planes hit the Twin Towers, it shook loose a lot of things in me, a lot of memories. Mostly bad ones at 1st, relating to my abuse. But later good ones, like Central Park & riding the carousel. And seeing the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry.

So I decided to build on those positive memories on this trip and bypass the negative ones at least for now. Just doing that does seem to be taking some of the power out of the bad ones.

So you live in PA not far from NYC. I used to live probably a little east of that area, and more toward mid-state also. Still have family (inlaws) in central PA. Who knows maybe we'll hook up sometime.

Take Care Jer

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#32734 - 01/02/03 04:38 PM Re: What a Vacation!
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Vic
I just love NY, we went a few years ago just for a few days - toured the NE corner 'tooorist trail'

NY is such a vibrant place, it's everything I hoped it would and more, and nothing like I imagined.

I'm a country boy as well, and most cities do nothing for me, Toronto's my other favourite place though, andI can't wait to return to both of them.

I'm glad you enjoyed the ride, aint it great to act the fool ?

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#32735 - 01/02/03 07:24 PM Re: What a Vacation!
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Dave, my philosophy of life is: "Act crazy, or go crazy!"

I've gone crazy long enuf. Now I'm beginning to really make it a priority to be restored to sanity--by acting insane!

Another irony that's hit home following my trip home to Manhattan is that out of one of the most hectic marathon vacations I've ever had, as sick & as sore as I was, I've found a new peace like I've never had before. Kinda like the calm in--& out of--the storm, like I told my T today.

Man was it cool sharing this stuff with him, my massage T, & my chiro! It's cool sharing it with you & all my friends & fellow survivors here too!

The places I now most dream of going to are Italy the land of my roots, and Australia, in particular Tasmania, so I can see a live & in the wilds Tasmanian Devil, my hero! \:D

Take care

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#32736 - 01/02/03 07:39 PM Re: What a Vacation!
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
BTW Dave, congratulations on post #1000! You must be the first on this site. And soon we'll hit 1000 members. Wow! What a place & what a great group of people we have here!

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#32737 - 01/02/03 09:52 PM Re: What a Vacation!
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Hey there Victor
when I read your comment about feeling like a ping pong ball... well I often feel that way in a crowd of people. Usually I tend to want to swing when someone bumps or hits me. I normally don't do well in an enclosed building with a large group of people especially if it is warm. But I struggle with being in crowds of people where everyone is moving around a lot.

Glad you did have fun though and from a Iowa Farm boy that is living in the big city of Miami... I do miss country living!

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#32738 - 01/02/03 10:53 PM Re: What a Vacation!
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Don, I guess I'm not alone in this thing with crowds & bumping & all. And you a country boy living in Miami. Wow! Talk about culture shock!

I was born in Manhattan and grew up back & forth between Tampa, a pretty large city, and Lakeland, pretty big itself even then; also lived in Allentown PA. Pretty much small towns besides that. Now I'm in a town of 700, having moved from a town of 200. Cities are ok to visit; much rather live in smaller towns.

But I always figure I go wherever I'm meant to go & need to go. Right now its my little town & I'm cool with that.

TC & TTYL

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#32739 - 01/03/03 12:23 AM Re: What a Vacation!
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
The towns I grew up in had a 1000 people at the most. *hint, miami is a few more than that..grin*. It is definately a culture shock. Just learning how to drive in a city like this versus the open farm roads... wow! If we had that many lanes in the farm country, it would be to easily transport farm equipment around.... LOL!

My path has taken me this direction for many reasons... not quite what I would have expected many years ago, but as long as I can get away from the city every now and then, I'm ok with it all.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#32740 - 01/03/03 01:16 PM Re: What a Vacation!
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Don the important thing is being where you think you want to be & are supposed to be, or as close to it as you can get!

I've been to Miami briefly a couple of times many years ago, never drove in it tho.

Me I learned to drive in the big city, in Tampa, with my 1st car, which was an orange VW Bug, stick-shift--and with a bad transmission!

It sure is nice to drive where I live now, where for miles & miles a big city is anything with more than 2 or 3 traffic lights!

"Green Acres is the place to be...!"

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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