Thursday, October 20, 2016


Plans are great but sometimes wandering is even better.

Don't get me wrong, thinking ahead and planning out life is a super important skill as I've desperately been trying to teach my teenaged daughters... often in vain, but there are times when it's refreshing to let go of all planning and allow the moment sweep you along.

I've always loved serendipity but when it comes to traveling, my husband and I have well planned routes and itineraries to make the most of our time away from home (my husband is always the mastermind behind the planning! :).

Enjoying Central Park
But this last week we did things a bit differently.  First of all, we left the kids at home with grandma and grandpa which we never do. I can't thank them enough for this!! Then we flew off to New York City for a week with basically no plan. We've been there before so we didn't feel the pressure to see all the touristy spots but I still kind of wondered if we could pull off a fun, relaxing trip in the Big Apple without advance reservations and plans for everyday.

So what did we do?

Well, we wandered.  And it was lovely.  We took a day and strolled through Central Park, sat on a rock near Gapstow Bridge and watched turtles sunning themselves and ducks swimming aimlessly.

We found a quiet spot elsewhere in the Park, stretched out, and looked up at the clouds and talked.

We walked 5th Avenue and wandered into Bergdorf Goodman.  It was fun to see what they had though I'm not really a $3000 pair-of-shoes-kinda-girl!

New York Library
We meandered through Bryant Park on 42nd Street, drank coffee at a little table in the sun, and decided to check out the New York Public Library's ornately beautiful Stephen A. Schwarzman Building built in 1911.  How I would love to sit at a table in there and write all day!

Breakfast at Jack's Wife Freda

On Thursday, we traipsed all the way from our hotel on 42nd street down to West Village finding adorable breakfast spots like Jack's Wife Freda, (one of my favorites) and little coffee shops.  All along the way we just talked and took in the
moments together.

Believe it or not even after 22 years of marriage there is still plenty to talk about!  Our kids, future retirement plans, future travel, where to eat dinner, and more heavy topics like:  why we can't seem to take better care of the mentally ill, as we passed an old man who slowly rose from his "home", a ratty old blanket in the corner, with urine and likely feces soaked pants, who even we'll forget about once we're back home in our cushy lives; and the sad state of our nation that seems to only care about hating everyone who is different and "my team/group against yours".

After wandering most of the morning, we found ourselves in the Chelsea Market area and we decided to go check out the ice rink at Chelsea Pier.  As pure luck would have it, one of my best friends from college, that I haven't seen in twenty years happened to be on the ice teaching a lesson. (I did know she taught there, but I had no idea what her schedule was.)  It was great to spend an hour with her catching up and it probably wouldn't have happened if we'd tried to plan it!

We made our way back uptown, with Stumptown Coffee in hand and decided we would hang out by Rockefeller Center, where the ice rink had just opened.  We sat and watched skaters go by, then the ice was cleared and a couple came out alone. We watched the guy very carefully and not too gracefully get down on one knee and propose.  Everyone around cheered for them as she seemingly said "yes", I held my breath as he attempted to get back up.  I envisioned him slipping as he rose pulling her down with him, not a good start to an engagement! But luckily he wobbled and then stood and they skated carefully off.

We sat and watched the city go from daylight to brilliant city lights.  Then we went up to the Top of the Rock, (a tour that takes you to the top of Rockefeller Center.  We decided to do this a couple hours earlier and purchased tickets online.)  There is nothing quite like New York City at night.  The weather was beautiful. Just a slight autumn breeze and crystal clear skies.

By the end of the week it was time to head back to Cleveland, the kids whom we missed dearly, and fine tuned schedules, but we'd had a wonderful time on our wanderings.  I loved not knowing exactly what was coming next and allowing the tide of time to move us along, relishing in each serendipitous moment.