Many people today are electing experiences over things. I am one of them. While I have always loved things, I have become more and more aware of the impermanence of them. Regardless of what we collect, things wear out, break, and lose their luster and even attraction over time. Experiences stay with us, and their memories last forever. Mike and I took our oldest granddaughter, Mary Grace, to NYC this week for an experience I hope she will always remember.
We arrived in the city late afternoon on our first day. Once we had checked in to our hotel, Mary Grace and I headed out to get her a pedicure and a manicure. While waiting for her, I had a mini back massage, which was wonderful. We then went back to the hotel, collected Dr. Danks (our granddaughters’ special name for Mike!) and went to Grand Central Station. Mike had an appetizer of oysters and I bought coffee at Oren’s Coffee Shop. I thought I had left our coffee behind, only to find it later when I unpacked. But I was glad to discover Oren’s coffee, for it was delicious. Tired from our travelling and wanting a casual meal, for dinner we went next door to our hotel to a favorite pub, the Perfect Pint.
Our trip was short, only three nights and two full days, but we had a wonderful time. There is so much to do in NYC, it is difficult to decide what to do. We had taken Mary Grace and her younger sister, Elsie, on a trip to NYC three years previously, and had been to the Statue of Liberty on that trip, so we decided to forego that experience this time. Mary Grace wanted to see the Today Show, the 9/11 Memorial, and one play, which was My Fair Lady. I wanted Mary Grace to experience Eataly, walk the streets to get a true flavor of the city and see NYC from the top of an open-air bus. I also wanted us to have dinner at Gramercy Tavern or Tavern on the Green. While we had some good food, including lunch at Eataly, we never made the time for dinner at a fancier restaurant. Next time, on a longer trip. Other options we considered were the Empire State Building, Macy’s, Tiffany’s, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum, and the New York Public Library.
Not surprisingly, we ran out of time before we ran out of planned activities. Mary Grace decided to forego the Empire State Building due to the very long line! We all decided that we could not do the Met justice with the time available. We never made it to Central Park, although we got close by visiting Tiffany’s! We made the early trek to the Today Show and were on TV. We did most of the other activities on our list and saved those we could not work in for our next trip. While we did some shopping, we did not do much buying. The only items purchased were gifts for family. It was truly an experience trip. Money spent was for experiences, not things.
Mary Grace’s favorite part of the trip was the Broadway play, My Fair Lady, and it was mine as well. Well, that is not totally true. While I loved the play, my favorite part of the trip was experiencing NYC with Mary Grace, seeing it all through her eyes. This is the first time I have been to NYC and did not go to my favorite stores, Saks and Bergdorf’s, and I did not miss them at all! The magic of New York is not the stores, although I do love walking the streets and seeing the architecture and the beauty of the different areas. And walk we did, one day clocking more than 20,000 steps, and the next day over 18,000 steps!
The magic of NYC is the awe of it all, and the overall experience. It is indeed a magical place, and the magic will remain with me, and I hope with Mary Grace, forever.
Patti, maybe as we get older we see the value even more of our experiences that create memories. I enjoyed reading about your trip with the beautiful Mary Grace!
Thank you, dear Pam. While I do still love things, I love experiences that create memories even more. As you said, it may be the wisdom of age. We had a wonderful time with Mary Grace in New York. I thought of you while we were there!