Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back from the Big Apple, and Tired to the Core...




We had a fabulous time with our dear friend Michael... He's not changed a bit - in spite of his worldwide success as a famous tenor (opera). His voice is incredible, and he's still the same amazing person we both remember... yet, even more so...

The trip up was difficult, as K had a seizure on the plane (sometimes happens with recirculated air, the altitude changes, etc.), but once we got there and got her settled in to rest for a bit, and back on oxygen (thanks to a portable concentrator), she felt alot better. We both enjoyed very much catching up with Michael, as it had been almost 20 years since we had seen him last... so much time passes so quickly.

Being back in the city was very refreshing for me. The energy and the flavor of the people are always a wonderful change. We were talking to a server in Pete's Tavern, who nailed it - she said, "People here are kind, but not polite... they are direct, and narcissistic, like 'I got mine, go get yours'... but they are kind". And, I might add, misunderstood by those who aren't used to the directness (thankfully, we are very used to it)... and then on the way back to the apartment on the upper west side, we see a lady with her arms loaded, pushing a baby in a stroller, who, without knowing it, drops a glove on the sidewalk... and before we get to where she is, another lady, a jogger, pauses her jog to pickup the glove, runs back to the lady with the baby, and hands it back to her... "Thanks" she replies... "No problem" says the jogger, and goes back to running...
Efficient and kind... and on about her business... I love this city...

Around the city, people hold doors for us, offer to help... it's refreshing, and very helpful. The doormen at the apartment building see us coming and open the doors, then head to get the ramp, so that we can bridge the two steps up to the elevator landing - all without being asked. Restaurant service is incredible, and attentive to every detail. Owners, chefs, servers and everyone are accomdating and helpful, assisting us with working around getting in and out of the places, dietary concerns, and so much more.

We got to meet friends of friends who are now seeing one of our doctors, as the husband was recently diagnosed with the same condition K has... it was so good to meet them face to face there at the office, after having shared so much via e-mail... precious people. Enjoyed meeting them very much.

So then we fly back to Atlanta on Friday... and I can tell a difference the minute we hit the Atlanta airport... For those of you who have never been there, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is huge, and all hustle and bustle, especially on a Friday afternoon. Our flight had been delayed a total of an hour and a half, so instead of 2:41pm, we arrived at like 4:15pm, and then head to baggage claim. Since we are dealing with a wheelchair, we have to use elevators instead of escalators, so we get to the elevator, and are behind two airport employees, one of whom turns to us, and with a snotty tone, informs us that they "have to take the elevator to the bottom floor, so you (we) have to wait for it to come back up before you (we) can use it"...
so much for service, hunh?

The last time we were there on the last trip, an employee of the airport tied up the family bathroom for 20 minutes, so that she could talk to "Kenisha" on her cell phone and give her the latest lowdown... No joke, I could overhear the whole conversation, so I knocked on the door 2 times in that 20 minutes, calm, yet frustrated, but very patient... family bathrooms are nice when travelling with a spouse in a wheelchair, or with kids...
so, then when she comes out, she gives me all that attitude and more, when she knows she's supposed to be working and not talking on the phone... and no flush and clean water tells me she was just tying up the bathroom, and not utilizing it to it's potential...
so yeah, I can tell a difference... it's like heading south means trading service for self-centered arrogance and attitude when it comes to those in service roles, sometimes... thankfully, though, some people remain kind and considerate... we are blessed wherever we go to be able to cross paths with wonderful people.

Friday night, we got to catch up with two great friends from college, Wade & Linda, and their kids. We had a blast, and really enjoyed seeing them as well. About 45 minutes after we connected with them, K's parents arrived with our boys (they had been staying with them for much of this week - THANKS!), so we had a great reunion and a wonderful time. I am so thankful for my inlaws... they are so wonderful, and I love them very much. We have a great family. K's brother and sister in law wanted the boys to spend the night with them on Saturday night, so we connected and made that happen, and then on Sunday, when we started home, they made it so easy for us, by meeting us near the interstate, so that we could pick them up with no detour at all. Like I said, we have a great family, and they have been so very supportive and kind and giving toward us during the most difficult days yet....
We are very thankful for our friends and family...

Sorry if I am rambling - alot of thoughts in my head, and a long past 2 weeks or so...
Wanted to post while my thoughts were all fresh...
Life has been so busy, I haven't been able to blog much lately, but will be back on track soon...

Bless you, our friends...

J/

14 comments:

calicobebop said...

I know what you mean about the energy in a big city. It's pretty addictive. Glad you had such a great time in the Big Apple!

Kel said...

I'm glad the trip went well and you all made it home safely. I think it's interesting to hear your perception of people 'big city vs. southerners' - I've always been amazed at the big city bluntness - grew up in the south so I've always thought they were friendlier, but yes, big city is very efficient!

Hope you have a great week back!
~K

Melissa said...

A support system is so important, huh? I have been learning that lesson rather quickly.

I feel (as I believe you do) that I'm very lucky to have the friends and family I have to support me and MY FAMILY through this mess that is my health.

You often remind me to be thankful for the things I take for granted. For that I say thank you.

I'm glad your trip went well, I hope you were able to get some of the answers you were looking for.

I hope Kim continues to feel better.

Steph said...

Awesome for having a great time. Those are definitely needed! And it's nice to know there are still nice people out there that will help a complete stranger. You don't see that too often anymore and it is sad.

Vidal's Nest said...

What a delightful trip! It's always nice to get away and have a a fabulous vacation!
Yeah when I am in Atlanta I see the attitude!
Glad it was wonderful!

April said...

So glad to hear that you guys had a great trip and enjoyed your experience. :-) And how nice to get to meet some great people and friends in person (as opposed to just online).

Jen said...

I've missed you!
So wonderful to hear about the good side of people and too bad those others have to be out there..but they help teach us a lesson don't they.
blessings and prayers to your family.

Caroline said...

Great post! I love NYC...the sounds, the diversity, the food, the energy. I can handle it for about a week, then start to get a bit nutty. I have traveled through airports with my Mom who is in a wheelchair. I am always amazed by the ignorance as well as the helpful. There are those that step up to the plate and really try...then there are those who just snort and roll their eyes because we slow down the system. I used to get angry, but I am always thankful that I am not that angry inside...

Pigeon said...

Reading your post reminds me how important it is to be kind. I love New York City, though I haven't been there in about 10 years.

Krystyn said...

Glad you had a great time!

And, Atlanta...I know it ALL too well. It's special, isn't it?

the cubicle's backporch said...

I always thought that I wouldn't like NYC, but the way you describe the people with a direct-to-the-point sort of attitude, I might fit in pretty well. I like when people get to the point.

Your airport story reminded me of when I got stopped in Detroit for trying to take liquor (I bought it duty-free) on my next flight. Instead of making me throw it away, the security woman led me to the front of all the lines so that I could check another bag. It meant a lot that she went out of her way instead of taking my French wine!

Georgia overall never impressed me much.

angie said...

I'm so glad you had such a nice trip. When I lived in MA I found the people to be much like those in "the City".

Bogart in P Towne said...

Welcome back...glad to hear you had a great time and even happier to hear how much you love/appreciate your in-laws.

King of New York Hacks said...

Welcome back, sounds like you had a wonderful trip although you did miss out on a taxi ride by the king it seems. No worrries , at least you did see that New York does have kindness, funny I drive a few of the Bartenders home each Friday night from Petes Tavern. Small world. Oh and GREAT shot of the Chrysler building which is my all time favorite...you don't mind that I just stole it for a screensaver do you?