After 20 days on the road in my RV for most of September. I didn’t think that there’d be much excitement in October but I was totally wrong. I had been looking forward to spending a couple of days in NYC with Anat Shabi, another LEGO Serious Play facilitator from London who I was thrilled to be meeting in person. Throughout Covid Anat had hosted Zoom Happy Hour calls on Fridays to help us to improve our facilitation skills while everything was shut down. Those sessions helped me to become the facilitator I am today. I’m so grateful for Anat and would never have missed this chance to meet and spend time with her! We didn’t have many plans for our time together, though I had snagged us tickets to MJ the Musical thanks to a connection with a young woman I’ve known since she was a kid who has a starring role in the show. I had thought that we would also get minifigures from the 5th Avenue LEGO store, but it’s the one thing we DIDN’T do!
I knew it was going to be a great weekend when on Thursday I reached out to my friend Kristen who had recently relocated to NY from DC where we went to church together, and asked if she had time to meet me on Friday for coffee or lunch. We opted for lunch and went on a long walk through Central Park, AND had a salad at Tavern on the Green!! How does THAT just happen that we walk in without reservations and got to sit in the garden??? That was sooooo much fun!!
Anat arrived late in the afternoon and we met for a walk and dinner as she allowed the jet lag to wear off! The next morning right before 6am I got a text from Anat that asked, “are you up for going to Roosevelt Island for the sunrise?” YES let’s go see it, I replied and off we went. I knew the city had a Tram but I’d certainly hadn’t been on it. We walked to the subway, got on the tram and saw the city from an incredible vantage point! Roosevelt Island was incredible! We walked to a lighthouse, a sanctuary, and then learned about Theodore Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms in a gorgeous park. We took incredible photos of the sun and clouds that could be posted in a museum!
As we left the park to head back to the hotel to get ready for Anat’s first Broadway show ever, we saw a ferry station. “Let’s go see how the ferry works” we decided. Just as we were reading the information, we saw the ferry coming and decided to grab tickets and jump on!! The ferry was as awesome as the Tram!! We couldn’t believe our luck! Our luck got even better with MJ the Musical because it was almost beyond words!! Anat said it was like being at a concert, and it absolutely was!! After it was over we waited outside for the stars to come out and took pics with my friend Kamille!! What a JOY it was watching this Julliard grad live into her dreams!
We then walked more in the evening, just to see stuff neither of us had ever seen before! We had a fabulous Mexican dinner and the walked some more!! Who KNEW that we’d walk more that night that I had ever walked since getting my Fitbit years ago – we walked 35,000 steps!!! But it was so much more than the steps, it was what we saw along the steps that was so amazing! After all that I thought on Sunday we’d sleep in a little later, but NOPE thankfully this time we went to the Highline to see the sunrise!
It’s a series of connected parks and walkways that were on old railroad tracks. I had no previous idea what the Highline was but was THRILLED that we went!! It did NOT disappoint!! WOW!! We LOVED it and walked and walked in the beautiful weather! As we got near Chelsea, I looked across the city and saw what looked to me like a dozen or so champagne glasses. I said “let’s go see” and we did!! It was MINDBLOWING!! It was a brand new park that opened in June! There were gorgeous outdoor seating for concerts, meditation areas, a musical type of playground, and views of the city that were indescribable! It was one of the greatest unplanned discoveries of my life!
I had to catch the train at 1pm on Sunday to Philadelphia but even so we still walked 20,000 steps that morning and saw things in nature that day that many people might miss, just because they weren’t sure what it was! When I got to Philadelphia, I met up with Mary, another speaker on dementia and caregiving who I had met in person once before. We were both speaking on Monday at a Caregiving Conference and were able to go see the Liberty Bell together and have a bite to eat before the festivities began! Still more unplanned greatness just because we decided to “go see something”. I was feeling so great because I walked or Ubered to everywhere I needed to be so I was stress-less.
I made some amazing connections during the conference and loved my time with two speakers Mary and Heather from The Speaker Lab! We all got new photos done from a professional photographer which were awesome!
I left the conference right after my session because I needed to be at a reception in DC by 7pm that was connected to Women and Alzheimer’s: The Empowerment Forum! I thoroughly enjoyed being at the rooftop reception and meeting people from pharmaceutical organizations who were sponsors of the Forum that I would never have met otherwise! The Forum itself was amazing and I had stayed in a hotel downtown instead of going home so I could totally enjoy myself! Letting other people drive you around, or walking to where you need to be is the best thing ever!
At the end of the Forum on Tuesday I finally went home and quickly got set up to give my presentation on Engaging Activities for Every Alzheimer’s Stage for Health Care Aides with SEIU Maryland! I’ve really love my connection with them because they are so eager to learn and it’s my first time providing training for Union personnel.
When I went to bed last night, I thought to myself, I am usually a very organized and planned person, YET for five days in a row I saw things I likely never would have seen even if we had planned some of it simply because we walked to see stuff even if we had no idea what we were in for!! What an exhilarating feeling it was and gave new meaning to the phrase “go with the flow”!!!