Our Concrete Jungle Adventure

Ahhh, we made it home safely from our epic adventure in the city that never sleeps and are taking a few days to slowly find our footing again (well, me anyway).  🙂

Actually, the fun began for us the weekend BEFORE our flight to New York on June 18th.  Rolf and I drove up to Palo Alto on Friday the 15th to celebrate our niece who graduated from Stanford that weekend.  It was refreshing to spend the evening with good friends and a beautiful afternoon on campus with Rolf’s sister, brother-in-law and niece.  We returned home late Saturday in time to celebrate Father’s Day with the boys and later with Olivia when she returned home from a lacrosse tournament in San Diego!

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Yay Heather! Class of 2018!
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Olivia’s first summer lacrosse tournament in San Diego…Go Mission Lacrosse!
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Happy Father’s Day Rolf
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More Father’s Day fun

Then, we got up early Monday morning for our flight out of LAX to NEW YORK CITY!

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Thanks to our friends Rob and Susan, we enjoyed stress free car service to and from the airport in Los Angeles…and again to our hotel in Times Square!  Such a huge practical help!

This trip was made extra-special by the number of details arranged by friends that added to the fun the Dream Foundation planned…and, of course, there were a number of divine blessings too.  Bottom line?  An army of earthly and heavenly angels had our family’s back and the trip couldn’t have gone smoother!  🙂  Here’s more detail than anyone would ever want (Ha, Ha, Ha)…

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Saddled up and ready for some FUN…
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The first divine blessing came in the form of a flight delay (a delay I prayed for) during a layover in Indianapolis which allowed me to have a quick visit with two of my best high school friends. ‘Grateful to have friends that drop everything to meet me in an airport food court. Ha Ha 🙂 
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Due to our delay getting into Newark, we didn’t make it to bed until nearly 3am on Tuesday but everyone was still all smiles for our 6:30am arrival to the ABC studio in Times Square…
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Thanks to Shelley, we got VIP tickets to GMA!

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Kevin Costner shaking Olivia’s hand…she got to tell him how much she liked “McFarland”. 🙂
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The audience handler singled out the boys (surprise, surprise) in his off camera schtick…
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Olivia and Amy Robach
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Ginger Zee…adorable.
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Michael Strahan was the sweetest.
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We left GMA and headed straight to Tiffany & Co on 5th Avenue for an appointment arranged by my friend Chelsea from the SB Tiffany & Co…

 

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Outfitted with my Audrey Hepburn sunglasses and black dress,  we were ushered into a private shopping suite and served croissants and tea/coffee…we literally had breakfast at Tiffanys!
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So fun!

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Thank you Chelsea for the fun surprise.
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Later that night we enjoyed “Wicked” -the first time for all of us…thank you Tami!!!…
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…and a late night trip to the top of the Rock after the show…
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A beautiful view of the city thanks to the Dream Foundation!
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Inside Rockefeller Center…album cover perhaps?

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Aaaaaand that concludes DAY ONE!!!  Ha Ha Ha

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On Day Two I met my favorite New Yorker…Kevin the ticket taker at the Empire State Building.  There was a small glitch with our tickets and we couldn’t get to the top but it was worth the walk just to meet Kevin…seriously!  🙂
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The kids set off on an excursion around town by themselves in search of this cool building that was the subject of a school project for Olivia this year…
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…$500 shoes…
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…and subway tile in an actual subway (with New York attitude)!
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The DF sent us to Aladdin that night…another excellent Broadway choice.
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We ended the day with a walk through Times Square…
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A stand-out even in a giant Times Square crowd.
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We braved the subway system with the scooter on Day 3 to go see the 9/11 memorial and museum…we spent two hours in the museum and still didn’t see everything. It was very well done but a little overwhelming after a couple of hours.

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A camouflaged World One Freedom Tower…

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It was such a beautiful day!
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Manhattan
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The Hudson River
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The East River and Brooklyn Bridge
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Later that night Rolf took the kids to see Bruce on Broadway while I rested back at the hotel.
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A highlight for Rolf for sure!

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Day 4 was spent with family as Rolf’s sister and her girls came down from Boston for the day…we walked along the High Line above Chelsea Market and spent the afternoon in Central Park.
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Cousin fun in Central Park

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On our last day in the city, we fanned out and spread a little Rudy love in the Big Apple. He wouldn’t have liked the crowds or noise in New York City but he would have really loved the colorful, crazy people we met!
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We squeezed in one last show…the matinee of Phantom of the Opera…
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…and did a little shopping at an outdoor market. Well, Livy and I shopped while the boys hung out looking at their phones. 😉
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We extended our trip a couple of days to tour around Rolf’s hometown in New Jersey.
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We spent a few hours on the Jersey Shore…

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…and enjoyed an evening with old, family friends and Oma (who just happened to be visiting friends in the northeast that week too!)
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Rolf worked here in high school…
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…ate here in high school…
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…and hung out in this pretty park!
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We got one last look at NYC from Jersey City the night before we flew home.

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God was very gracious to me all week with amazing weather. I don’t tolerate heat and humidity well and we ended up enjoying mild temps in the high 60s and low 70s ALL WEEK! It was amazing and the cooler temps allowed me to thoroughly enjoy all the excursions we took…a HUGE blessing!

Rolf and I had the added blessing of connecting with friends from long ago that just happened to be in NYC for various reasons…such a small world!

So, how do I sum it all up?  Certainly the collective effort of this trip is deeply touching to me…I feel loved and surrounded and lifted up…not only by those who participated in the particulars of the trip but also by those who took care of things at home and lifted us up in prayer.  The trip itself was precious family time together.  I’m not sure we could have squeezed anything else into it. 🙂  Being in the city was invigorating but also exhausting.  I think it was perfect timing for me physically…my limitations in navigating the typical world were very apparent to us all.  I needed the boys’ help to get out of the sitting position most places and Rolf’s help getting off the toilet and in/out of the shower.  As the week wore on, I felt my speech and body maneuvering slower and it was stressful to battle the crowds all day, every day.  I’m hoping a few days in bed will help me bounce back a bit but regardless, it was worth all the effort to go.  I love my family…I love doing life with them…and I love them even more as we journey ALS together.  Thank you, Dream Foundation, for making this trip possible.  Thank you, dear friends, for all the “extras” that made this trip even more memorable.  Thank you, family, for rolling with the punches, making our ever-changing life together look effortless and normal and for making me laugh.  There is so much for which to be grateful.  #iamblessed

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Thank you all!!
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There is much that inspires in a place so diverse, so big, so active!

8 thoughts on “Our Concrete Jungle Adventure

  1. So glad you had the opportunity for such an amazing adventure together. You sure know how to pack it in! Thank you again for always sharing the good times along with some of the bad.

  2. Hey! Welcome home!
    Love the photos. Thank you for sharing them. Hope you can all rest/regroup for a few days.
    Love you so much!

  3. Love to you and I am so glad you had such a blast. Great see you even for a little bit.
    and give you a special hug, well Rolf and the kids too.
    My sweet friend Christl is in awe of your wonderful family. Well, I am too, Blessings for all of you

  4. These pictures say it all, but your words, as always, are touching and inspiring. Seeing you all together joyful and playful is glorious!
    Love,
    J&J

  5. What a fabulous family adventure! Each day I prayed that God would give you strength and bless you along the way. Your beautiful photos and descriptions are a testament to His goodness. Enjoy some R&R time.
    Love,
    Nan

  6. Thank you for sharing the wonderful selection of pix & again the words you chose to let us travel with you all!

  7. Such wonderful trip! Thank you for sharing all the neat stuff with us! Glad the weather cooperated and that you got to see so many old friends and family too! You have such a beautiful family and you my friend are beautiful inside and out! Welcome home.❤️ Love U

  8. Your kids are the best and your hubby aint bad either. So fun to see you marching around the big apple and Jersey – especially the restaurant from Rolf’s high school days. I’ll bet that high school kid couldn’t have been more clueless about the adventures ahead and the widths to which his heart would expand. Love you

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