Manhattan on the Rocks

My fourth and final day in New York City was fast. It was also some of the most fun that I had on the trip. There were a few sessions going on in the morning, but I skipped them so I could catch up with one of my friends from high school who goes to college in New York.

Kayla and I!

Kayla and I!

I was too afraid to take the subway on my own, so Kayla came and got me from my hotel and we got breakfast at a cute little diner. I was really glad that I skipped the sessions to hang out with her, since we haven’t seen each other in two years, and it was really great to see her again. She’s doing some amazing things with costume design for theater productions and photo shoots and it all sounded so incredible and exciting and just so very New York.

After breakfast she showed me around the city to some of the places I hadn’t gotten to see that were a little bit less touristy than what I had been doing, probably for my own good. We talked and walked through the streets near Times Square and stopped at Grand Central Station take some pictures.

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal

I had only seen the New York Public Library in passing on the way to the Empire State last night, and it had been closed, so Kayla took me inside to show me the Reading Room. It was huge and beautiful and very very quiet, as to be expected. My mom is a librarian, and I know she would have loved it.

The Rose Main Reading Room

The Rose Main Reading Room

We were only able to hang out for about an hour and a half before I got a text from my professor wanting us to meet up to get ready to leave, so we said goodbye and I went back up to my room to pack. Hopefully if I apply for internships in New York, Kayla can show me how to use the subway so that I don’t do what I inevitably always do and get lost and in trouble.

Our flight didn’t leave until five o’clock, but we had to be checked out of our hotel room by 1:30. There was so much more that I wanted to do, like go to the 9/11 Memorial and see the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry and go see Ellis Island, but we would have had to drag our luggage along wherever we went. We had just enough time to stop for lunch, and we went to a really good place called Hello Deli, made famous by David Letterman. It’s just around the corner from where his studio is.

The Italian Connection sandwich (it had hot peppers on it!)

The Italian Connection sandwich (it had hot peppers on it!)

Then it was finally time to get a taxi and catch a few flights back home. I was disappointed by the fact that I hadn’t gotten to do all the things I planned, but Kayla made me feel better by affirming what I had already assumed- no one, not even the people who live in New York, have time to see the whole city and do everything they want to do.

Saying goodbye to the city...

Saying goodbye to the city…

Grace picked me up from my late plane ride into St. Louis, and tomorrow we’re heading back to school. It seems almost ridiculous that after spending four days in New York surrounded by this huge city that I’ll be heading back to my tiny rural college town in just a few hours.

Before this trip, I was convinced that New York was a scary place, not easily navigable by outsiders where people were mean and would crush your dreams. Now, I know it’s a difficult and fast-paced life that some people just can’t keep up with. I’m convinced that I want to go back, whether it be for an internship or a job or just for a visit. Maybe it’s a naïve assumption to think that I could handle it, but I’m a lot more confident traveling to big cities now than I was before.

So, where to next? My next adventure will probably be my biggest. This summer I’m heading to Israel to help out on an archeological dig and spending four weeks in the Middle East. It’s going to be crazy and scary and fun and I can’t wait for June to get here. That doesn’t mean I won’t be updating until then, though. I’ll probably post a few things here and there over the next couple of weeks leading up to that. One of the things I want to do is go back and chronicle the adventures I’ve taken in other places, so I’ll be posting about my trip to Germany and various other places.

Thanks so much for going on this adventure with me, and I’ll see you next time!

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