I spent my 24th Birthday in New York this year. In the company of the lovely Tim.
We had an absolutely brilliant time. We met each other at Newark airport. I flew in from Calgary and Tim from Chicago on the Thursday evening.
Tim had organised a lovely hotel just off Broadway and between Times Square and Central Park. The whole thing was utterly serial and completely met my expectations. At times I felt like I was walking around a movie set haven seen most of the sights a thousand times on the TV. Amazing.
It was lovely and warm in NYC, and we spent my actual birthday having a great picnic in Central Park. We wandered around for hours and only covered a tiny part of the park! We also headed to the Central Park Zoo. Unfortunatly didn't bump into any of the animals from the Madagascar movie. But then I guess thats because they're still there...
We then walked down 5th Ave, where I drooled at the shops. Headed to the Rockefellor Centre and up to the Top of The Rock. Amazing views. Then out for a nice dinner.
The Next day saw us visiting Grand Central Station, the New York Public Library and then heading to a Broadway Show. We went to see Avenue Q. Highly recommend everyone to go and see. Hilarious. Followed by dinner at a lovely Seafood resturant where I had the obligatory Cosmopolitan cocktail, and then a nice walk up around the area.
We headed to more of the southern Manahatten areas on the Sunday. Took a trip out to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty, quite an overwhelming thing to see that close up, and then Ellis Island. Provided some amazing views of Manhatten and the Hudson River. We then walked up towards ground zero. Very eerie area, we wanted to walk round it to just gage the sheer scale of what was left behind, not somewhere you want to linger though, very sad. Then onto to Wall St and the City Hall and along the Brooklyn Bridge
Then came the incredible Megu. An upmarket sushi resturant that my Lonely Planet had suggested. Quite an amazing experience. Incredible atmosphere and insides, and the sushi was pretty amazing.... probably shouldn't of ordered the wine size bottle of Sake for the two of us though!
On Monday we attempted to head home. Spent a LONG time in Newark airport as our flight to Chicago had been cancelled. 5 hours later I was on my way home to Calgary via Toronto and Tim caught the second flight out that left for Chicago.
A weekend I will remember forever.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Last Sunday my Grandpa passed away. He was 92 years old.
He had four Daughters. My mum Bridget, Marylee, Carolyn and now Maria too.
As I am in Canada I was unable to attend the funeral today, where I'm sure there will be a massive turnout.
I didn't know a massive amount about my Grandpa's life. Should've made a point to ask. But I do know how so many people hold my grandfather in very high regard. And so do I.
He had so many family friends all over the world. That shows what I mean.
He was a teacher, a father, a husband, a farmer, a soldier and those are just the parts that I know about.
I also know he was stubborn. In hindsight perhaps this explains my stubbornness. Not a bad trait to inherit in my opinion. He wouldn't let life and old age get him down. I remember when he lived at Calverleigh and there was a massive, steep lawn in front of the house, he would drag a lawn mower up and down this lawn, for years and years and years, even when he wasn't really strong enough anymore and had accidents, would he stop? Would he heck. He enjoyed doing it too much, so he carried on.
I also remember his huge fruit patch he had at Calverleigh. As kids we would sneak out and get caught up in the netting whilst trying to retrieve raspberries. In fact I'm pretty sure this is where my brother Mike's strange love for Gooseberries came from.
The endless hours that Mike and I would play pick-up sticks in the sitting room whilst grandpa sat in his massive reclining chair (which we thought was particularly cool), doing crosswords, smoking his pipe and drinking his whiskey.
Most of all Gerald Wigram was a generous man who opened his home up to everyone. Guarenteed when you went to Calverleigh Cottage there would be at least 10 others, kids, teenagers, adults, charging around the house. There was almost always jacket potatoes and cold meat ready for anyone who turned up. He created a home that was always lively, full of people, full of laughter and occasionally of sadness, but everyone had a home there.
My heart will be there with everyone during this tough time even if I can't be there in person.
Rest in peace Grandpa. We will miss you.