Travel Zen & The Weekend of Strong Women
I have a confession to make: I knew I was going to have a great time in NYC for BlogHer10 before I even got there. Yes, it’s true. I’d decided before I even had my bags packed.
You can do that?
Yes, you can, and I do it before every trip I take.
Will things work perfectly? No. Do I expect them to? Absolutely not. Would I want them to? Of course! Casual or not, I am a perfectionist, after all.
Does any of this matter on my final evaluation of the trip? No, not in the least.
If the perfection of a trip decides my happiness, I’d never be a happy camper. If I never got to dip into my Bag o’ Plan B Tricks, things would be rather boring, right?
So, before every trip, I decide that I’m going to have a good time regardless of what the reality of the situation dictates. It’s my Travel Zen Mentality, and it’s worked like a charm all the years I’ve been traveling.
This trip was a little different, so I knew I needed to really take a full dose of it this time, because for the first time ever, I’d be traveling by myself.
Well, as “by myself” as I could be with thousands of people around me at any given moment.
The potential to think too much about that and all the What Ifs could eat me alive if I wasn’t careful.
I was going to explore NYC by myself, and I couldn’t wait!
Going to BlogHer10 in NYC was my excuse to get there. I studied the itinerary of the conference to see when I could fit in my own adventures. As luck would have it, all of Saturday could be devoted to BlogMe, rather than BlogHer.
This was my first BlogHer conference, and I couldn’t wait to see what all the hooplah was about. I loved it! The people, the energy, the food, the information, the camaraderie, the whole experience was top-notch for me. I loved meeting people I’ve admired from afar in person! It’s a huge boost to your confidence when someone recognizes who you are, too!
But the best part of my experience was exploring New York City itself, specifically The Statue of Liberty. I’d made reservations in advance to see her up close and in person. Claire, my four-and-a-half year old daughter, has been smitten with Lady Liberty for over a year now. I’m not sure where the infatuation came from, but she LOVES her. In fact, one reason Claire was so willing to let me go on a trip without her was the promise that I’d send photos of the Statue of Liberty while I was there.
I’d seen glimpses of Lady Liberty in 2003, when my husband and I had explored New York with some friends. They were locals, so getting around the subway was just second nature to them. We were just along for the ride and had an awesome time. At that time, tours of the Statue of Liberty were on hold, and so we just took zoomed-in photos of her from Battery Park.
Now, the lines to see the Statue of Liberty are INSANE if you don’t have advanced reservations. I was able to sit in the shade in Battery Park and eat my little picnic lunch (okay, it was just a granola bar and fruit snacks), and then leisurely walk up to the security line and be let in the Fast Lane.
I had tickets to explore the Pedestal. I tried to get tickets to explore the Crown, but those are sold out months in advance. I was lucky to get one of two time slots remaining as it was, and I made my reservations almost a month in advance!
The weather was perfect. The sun was shining and it was warm. I didn’t find it to be too uncomfortable. All over the island were signs about staying hydrated. “Be sure to drink water!” all the signs warned. So, imagine my surprise when the officers guarding the entrance to the Pedestal requested that I either dump out or chug my water. I couldn’t take it past security! So, I drank it all. Right there.
Then, I literally laughed out loud when I was greeted by the “156 Steps to the Pedestal” sign. 156 steps with no water?? Great!
But, I did it, and I’m so glad I did.
I still get chills when I think of seeing the Statue of Liberty from this vantage point. As statues go, she’s rather large, but compared to the image in my head, she’s a lot smaller than I thought she’d be in person.
I was able to take photos with the “real” camera and with Glenda, my BlackBerry. I texted those photos back home to Daddy and Claire and to my sister in California.
“That’s so cool! Two strong beautiful ladies,” she texted back. Seeing that response not only made my day, it resonated with me:
It summed up my BlogHer NYC weekend perfectly.