Saturday, November 1, 2014

OCTOBER 19-26,2014



We went to New York City this week! One of the terrific perks of our mission.  We were asked to drive one of our Boston missionaries to Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan for some tests.  He has effects from Lyme disease and they are one of, if not the, leading authorities on its treatment.
So we happily agreed to take him there. His brother and his wife live downtown and his mother was coming in for the evaluation so we were told we could just drop him off in their care and we could have fun!  We did! We drove down on Sunday after church and a lovely baptism and stayed until Tuesday late afternoon. A quick trip but we crammed a lot into it . And the best part of it is that the elder was pleased with his diagnoses and given advice and hope that the effects he is suffering now will not be permanent. 

 This is the lovely lady who was baptized on Sunday- Janaia Braggs. Her darling 5 year old is Ranaia. They are both as effervescent as they look. We love them!

The whole 'gang':
Brother DeGraff, Elder Walk, Elder Dahl, Sister Batschi, Janaia and Ranaia, Sister Nielson, me, Dale, Elder Jackson and Elder Rodriguez

Our cute, sick missionary. One of his symptoms is extreme tiredness so we brought pillows and a blanket so he could rest up on the trip. He is an excellent missionary and a hard worker. He never lets on that he isn't feeling 100% and just keeps giving his all.

The view from our room! (along with the opening photo)
We were thrilled and surprised to walk into our room and see this! We were on the 33 floor of the Courtyard Marriot.  I found an amazing deal so I never expected this! We slept with the curtains open so we could fall asleep gazing at this splendor.

Right outside our hotel !(Had to get the trash in although the city is actually quite clean.  The trash gets put out on the sidewalks late at night.)

Our morning view!

The first thing on our list was to go to High Line park.  It is new since we've been there and I've heard quite a bit of buzz about it. It was built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets in Manhattan's West Side. It's about 25 blocks long and its landscape varies about every other block. It starts with a wild grassy meadow to wildflowers, to urban forest, to a"beachwalk" with wooden chaises to lay out and catch some rays.  It's wonderful ! We were delighted by it all!
Click here :
 if you want to learn more about it.

A view of city streets from above.

 A view of the Empire State Building.

 A view of the Chrysler Building.

Dale chatting in Dutch with some men from the Netherlands trying to figure out how in the heck they get your car out when you want it!

Another view of the Empire State Building.  Like all the different architectural styles together.

Talking about architecture!

You can even see the Statue of Liberty from here- way in the distance. 

I call this "The Bridge of Sighs- NYC style".

The chaise lounges.

I'm crazy about the water towers!

The High Line ended near Chelsea Market so we explored that fun place for an hour or so.

Tempting but no self-respecting New Englander goes to NY for lobstah!


Remember these from a nursery rhyme but never saw any before.

 Eeeeiiiiiiii!  Pretty scary, right? Had to throw this in the mix for my kids and grandkids.

From here we walked to The West Village. It was charming and a calm oasis in a big noisy city.


A famous  NYC bakery. I got a cookie sandwich- 2 peanut butter cookies with chocolate frosting in between.  Soooooo yummy!

The next few photos depict a taste of Halloween in NYC. 

We took a taxi from here to the World Trade Center Memorial.  What a sobering and solemn place of  haunting beauty. Years ago we were privileged to see the Twin Towers when they were still standing from all angles- from all over Manhattan, from across the river in Brooklyn, from the Staten Island Ferry and even took in the view of the city from atop one of those magnificent buildings. The great and tragic loss of life is without question the main reason for the sadness here but I also just really miss those buildings. I loved them and they were NYC to me. 

The Museum was very well done and we could have spent more time there.  A fitting tribute to help us all never forget.

Love the reflection of old buildings in the new.

The new Freedom Tower

Again we hailed a taxi and went back to the West Village where we ate dinner and went to a magic show.  (have to keep Dale happy!)  Monday Night Magic- the longest running off Broadway magic show in the city.  Dale loved it and I loved watching him love it ! I thought the comedian MC-ing it was better than any of the magicians. 

 The Empire State Building - again! I love it! Just walking around waiting for the show to start.

 Can never pass up some Beatles respect!

That was a wrap for day one. Long and busy and full and fun!

Day two we walked to Central Park and took in plenty of its goodness.  I truly love that park and admire the vision of Mr. Olmsted in creating it.  What a wonder it is.  Smack dab in this huge crazy city is this oasis of nature.  It has so many marvelous elements and little surprises around every bend, either in natural landscape or with the architecture of its fountains and bridges .

Strawberry Fields memorial to John Lennon. 

The following are some of the newer skyscrapers that surround Central Park now.  Last time we were here there weren't any. 

Grabbed a sidewalk cart hotdog and a hole in the wall pizza slice for lunch- doesn't  get much more NYC than that.  We then went back to our hotel, picked up our car and drove uptown for a meeting Dale had arranged with the NYC area  social services counselor .  He talks with him over the phone and wanted to get to know him. We were to meet at the church but there was absolutely no parking anywhere near so we called him and he came out, jumped in the car and the meeting was held driving and 'standing' in a no parking zone. Crazy! 

We wanted to see the temple ( we will attend it before we leave our mission!) so we drove there our last few hours until time to pick up our missionary and take him home.
It is located right across the street from Lincoln Center. Pretty amazing to see the angel Moroni in the midst of that city. 

The Metropolitan Opera


We bid the city farewell and made the drive home.  Would only be about 3 1/2 hours without traffic but we don't really think such a thing exists.  Dropped our missionary off at about 10 and we got home around 11.  It was tiring but fabulous and so worth it!  We were happy to be of service and get to have some fun in the mix. 

Thursday was once again serving in the temple and afterwards the Moores, ourselves and another couple, the Millers, all went out to dinner.  I am pleased to say I finally found a Thai restaurant I really like. ( and Dale is  elated over this !) Everyone loved what they ordered and the portions were so large we all had another meal the next day.

Friday we put in a 15 hour day. Whew! Got up at 6:30 to leave at 7:30 to be at the church by 8:30 for our planning meeting with the district leaders and sister trainer leaders. Then District meeting, then we served lunch to the zone.  Next we visited a few people, came back to the church where Dale made phone calls and I helped with the set up for the ward Halloween party that night.  I also decorated our car for Trunk or Treating. The party was fun and very well attended.  Afterwards we took 3 youth home about 20 minutes away from the church and then made our long drive home.  As I've said before, yes we play hard but we work hard too :).

My pretty lame attempt.  Hey, I'm on a missionary budget and had no time!

Some of our little ward cuties.

On Sunday Dale had the honor of confirming Janaia a member of the church.  
It was a full and fascinating week which left us with hearts full of rejoicing.


  1. First and foremost, MEHHHHHH! I am never swimming in the ocean again! That fish has HUMAN teeth. Scarred for life, I tell you. So freaky.

    On another note, your short trip to NYC looked amazing! No surprise here that you guys know how to travel right. Love that you packed so much in! That high line looks awesome! I remember seeing it on Taza's blog and thinking it looked interesting (bummer you two didn't cross paths ;) Seeing all your pictures makes me want to go back to New York and explore. And I think your decorated car was pretty fun for a last minute thing!

  2. On one one of our NYC trips Joseph took us to High Line and we walked the whole thing, it was great! He also took us to Chelsea

  3. LLove Pictures of New York! Have to agree with Cierra about the fish. Always love my little travels I experience through your blog!