Close your eyes.
Squeeze them tight.
Now open them.
We are sitting on benches. These are interesting benches. The whole bench curves around a huge, dark brown flower pot. Looking around me, I can see about 5 or 6 more flower pots scattered around the area.
The skyscrapers rise up all around the little open plane, creating a boxed in feeling. Karin, Sophia and I are the ones sitting on the bench. We are waiting here while our Dad is quickly riding the subway back to the 79th street yacht basin. Franci has just left us to go and check if my mom is okay where she is waiting outside the Rockefeller centre.
How did we come to be split up like this? I’ll explain…
We had arrived at the Rockefeller centre some time ago, exchanged our explorer passes for “Top of the Rock” tickets and ascended to the second level of the building – no problem. However, once we reached the security checkpoint, there were some holdups.
To be exact, those belonging to Karin and my Dad.
We were told, (extremely matter-of-factly), that we had only two options: return the pocket-knives to the hotel or throw them in the dustbin. No alternatives. No arguing.
It was quite a shock. How were we going to get to the boat and back in time to go up the tower? Throwing away the pocket-knives were just not an option…
We were allowed to take our tickets and exchange them for another time-slot, but it had to be on the same day. We figured out that and hour ought to be enough time for my Dad to get to the boat, leave the knives in the dingy and be back in time.
Sitting on the bench now, I’m reading aloud to my sisters from Anne of Green Gables. It has become our New York book. We have lots of little pockets of time where we have absolutely nothing to do but wait. The fact that the book is on my phone makes it easily accessible. I mostly read to them while we are waiting in the subway, but now we also need something to distract us.
It’s not working that well, however. I keep on looking up to see if our dad hasn’t come back yet. After a while Sophia says she’s going to go and check on Franci and my mom. Off she goes across the street. (Yes, all on her own and I’m not even worried. 😉 ) Just as Karin and I start picking up our bags, we spot the rest of our family on the other side of the street. Happily we reunite, pedestrians milling around us as we catch each other up on the details of the last 30 minutes.
I love how our family does that. If someone has been separated from the bulk of the family, even for a short time, we need to first catch up on all the details of the time they’ve been gone. It might be just because we’re so nosy, but it keeps us connected too.
We make our way back to the entrance to the Rockefeller centre, only slightly apprehensive. This time, however, there are no hitches. We have to wait a while till we can ride the elevator up, but there is enough to look at while we wait.
As the elevator goes up, I watch the floor numbers flicker past on the digital screen. Disconcertingly, I notice that sometimes it completely skips a number altogether!
The elevator door opens and we pour out along with the other people who rode the elevator up with us. Big glass windows invite us to come look at the view – and we’re high!
I think the best views were from the Rockefeller centre, because of where it’s situated, between the Empire state building and Central park, two of the most typically “New York” features of the city.
We stayed until the lights turned on. In the end, we got the best time slot. =)