"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New York City: Season 2

After spending Christmas in Yellowstone Patrick and I once again went to New York to visit his family for the New Year.  But getting there was an adventure in itself.  I mentioned in a previous post that I have suffered from a flying phobia.  I am not talking about being merely uncomfortable and nervous on airplanes but a full-blown, panic attack phobia.  Over 10 years ago I spent an intense weekend in a fear of flying seminar where the climax was a round-trip flight.  I only finished half the flight and refused to board the plane for my return flight.  I had been absolutely petrified by the experience.  But in these past few years I have conquered many fears and have proved  to myself that I am capable of much more than I thought I could so I felt I was prepared to meet this fear head-on.  

Our flight included flying from Bozeman to Denver and then Denver to Newark.  I boarded the plane in Bozeman and immediately after takeoff I found that I might not be as strong as I had previously suspected I was.  I was i immediately terrified and that fear was compounded by the fact that we were experiencing quite a bit of turbulence.  We experienced more turbulence coming into Denver.  After spending some time shaking and a few tears I was faced with an important decision:  to board the next plane to Newark or stay on the ground.  So much was riding on my decision and Patrick was more than understanding, though a bit concerned as to what I would decide.  Would his future include a rented car and an incredibly long drive to New York?  No it would not.  I decided I needed to be strong and board the next plane.  And I did.  And I am grateful that I didn't let my fear hold me back.

Once we were on the ground in Newark I triumphantly marched through the airport to pick up our luggage.  Patrick got his luggage off the carousel and the we waited patiently for my luggage.  And we waited......and waited.....and waited.  Soon we were all alone watching two pieces of luggage taking a ride around the carousel.  Unfortunately neither one was mine.  Yup, my luggage was lost.  We filled out the paperwork and I left for my New York adventure with only the clothes on my back, my make-up case that was on my carry-on (minus my toothpaste which was confiscated in Bozeman) and a suduko book.  I would eventually be reunited with my suitcase but not for another five days.
We spent an evening with his sisters, Ann and Dorothy, at the Radio City Music Hall watching the famous Christmas program and the famous Rockettes.  Afterwards we had a wonderful meal at Ted's Montana Grill (I have also been to the one in Bozeman).  With all the bison pictures on the wall I would never had guessed I was in the middle of New York City and not in Montana.
St. Patrick's Cathedral

Belvadere Castle in Central Park

New York City Library

The Birthplace of Theodore Roosevelt

Patrick and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York City skyline from the Staten Island Ferry
Patrick and I walked over four miles in New York City seeing the sites, which included Theodore Roosevelt's birthplace, the Dakota, a walk through Central Park, the New York City Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park Zoo, and the sights, sounds and smells of the New York subway system.  We even spent two days in Atlantic City with his sister Ann.  I am a cautious gambler so I decided to start out spending five dollars which soon became a twenty dollar win and I cashed out and spent the rest of the night watching Ann and Patrick gamble and spent some time people watching before we settled into our rooms at the Hurrah Casino. Then it was time for a trip to the outlet mall to browse through the Eddie Bauer and Columbia stores.  I love Atlantic City.
Dinner with the family

Patrick and Robyn at Caesar's Palace in Atlantic City
I am definitely a small-town, wilderness type of gal but I am totally entranced by New York City.  I love wandering the streets and seeing all the great sites and seeing the city culture.  I have already started my list of things to see on my next visit there.  Patrick and I have even planned our next adventure:  a trip to Las Vegas in February.  And how will we be getting there?  I will be flying.  No fear will hold me back.  I am New York strong!  I am Yellowstone strong!

I wanted to take a moment to send out a big Yellowstone Hello to George and Rosa!  I hope to meet you soon!

Christmas in Yellowstone

Robyn, Courtney and Benjamin wearing our Christmas hats in Lamar Valley.
 I am just coming down from two manic weeks of holiday celebrations.  Two of my three children came to Yellowstone for some festive Yellowstone Christmas cheer.  We had been planning their visit for a couple of months.  I had made reservations to snowmobile from Mammoth to Old Faithful on Christmas Day but with a lack of snow the trip was cancelled but we found plenty to do in the rest of the Park.
 We took a small hike to the Boiling River.  Benjamin was the only one who decided to take a dip in the steamy water.
Patrick and Courtney

Courtney mugging for the camera.  Notice the snowball that her brother launched at her.

A snowball payback for Benjamin, compliments of his sister.
We took in the sites of Mammoth by talking a walk through the area.  We also watched a movie at the Visitor Center and had a Christmas night meal at the Mammoth Dining Room.  Christmas in Yellowstone is a wonderful experience.......especially when it is shared with the ones you love!